I’ve said before, N is quite oblivious to the whole making friends thing. I don’t know if it’s a boy thing or whether he’s just better at being friends with one person at a time.
What I’ve always noticed, and been told from his old nurseries, is that he’s happy enough playing on his own, but that he does often have others coming over to play with him.
He will join in playing with a couple of people, and will get really involved in their play. I used to watch him at nursery when I picked up, and he’d be involved in some role play or imaginative play with a friend or two. And at after school club, while he’s sometimes sitting on his own and playing or watching something, often he’ll be playing some game or adventure with (usually) the girl who lives across the road from us.
At school he’s been telling me since he started, that he only ever plays with his best friend L. While it’s great that they’re such good friends, N can get a bit annoyed sometimes when he wants to be on his own and I’m trying to teach him how he can be nice while saying he needs time out. And I’m also worried that if he’s pushed away all his old nursery friends, and isn’t bothered about making other new friends, how stuck he might be next year if the 2 of them end up being split into the 2 different year 1 classes.
The teacher has noticed that sometimes they need time apart, so they’re split up into different groups when they do group work, and at lunch times, although they’re in the same house team, they sit at different tables.
I’ve tried suggesting that N should invite other children to come and play with them, and to ask to play with other children as well. I don’t think general playground is a problem because when all the children turn up at school in the mornings, they all just drop their book bags and start running round together. It’s more when there’s specific play in their playground or free flow.
After we had our chat one evening about who plays with who at school, I was so proud when N came home the next day saying that he had played with lots of other children that day.
‘What did you play?’
‘I asked some children if they wanted to play my game, and they said yes. I played with C, D, H, L….’
‘Wow, that is a lot of people. That was lovely of you to invite them to play. Was it good fun?’
‘Yes. C and J didn’t want to play because they were doing something else. And L was playing with M. But that’s ok’.
So his first effort at trying to get a group together to play went well. And he didn’t seem upset that some children didn’t want to play his game.
Hopefully even if he doesn’t do that all the time, N will realise that it’s fun to play with big groups as well as just one friend. And maybe that will mean other people will start inviting him and his friend to play as well, seeing them as more approachable.
Does your child find it easy to reach out and make friends? Do they tend to play in groups or with single friends?
Linking up to Ordinary Moments over at What the Redhead Said this week.