Parenting woes

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Minx_Kristi's picture
Joined: 01/02/09
Posts: 1261
Parenting woes

So I don't know but I have a feeling in the pit of my stomach that my DD is the child who other children do not want to play with.

When I take her to school, I notice all the other little girls playing together or in groups and my DD is never included. I don't know if it's because my DD likes to do her own thing, or because she has done something for it to be this way.

This morning, I could see it happening and so I approached DD and asked her why she wasn't playing with the other children. She said it was because they didn't want to play with her.... This could either be her picking up on me asking about it or it could be the reason! I watched her approach a girl that she normally gets a long with, but they just stared at each other until the other girl turned away to cuddle her Mother.

URGH, I am not sure what to do, I know she can be a bossy little so-in-so at times but how do I address it without her thinking she has no friends? I would be so upset to think other children or their parents did not like her!


wishing4agirl's picture
Joined: 09/11/03
Posts: 917

I just wanted to offer some :bigarmhug: Honestly that use to be my son Christian in some ways (although he was bullied). Is there any way to get her involved in something that she is interested in so that she can be around kids who have the same interests? That might help break the ice.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

I'd be talking ASAP with the teachers at that school because they should not be allowing that kind of exclusionary behavior, that's actually a form of bullying. The teachers should be encouraging everyone to play together & should be stepping in to actively get a potential outcast included whenever they see it happening. Nip this in the bud now.

MissyJ's picture
Joined: 01/31/02
Posts: 3210

I'm sorry that your little one is dealing with this. It is no fun feeling like you are the "odd man out" so to speak and I believe even worse when we witness out kids seemingly excluded.

You indicated that you observed her being "bossy" at times. Is that within your own home or a behavior that you have observed her using within play time with other kids?

If the latter, it may be that the other kids were feeling a little intimidated if she was taking a more demanding "leadership" role. There are role playing games that you can play with her... and later lead her through that can help her learn more 'give and take' type of friendships. With her being the only one at home she may simply be used to getting her way and expect her playmates to do the same. (Please know that I am in NO way indicating that this is the case... just offering possible suggestions based upon the little you have shared. We have been battling a somewhat similar issue with one of our youngest who felt her "Princess" role she had adopted at home would fly with others. ROFL Not so much!!)

Angela's suggestion of getting her involved in an activity with other kids her age is an excellent one. For example, is she interested in dance, gymnastics, soccer (or is it futbol there? Smile Becoming a part of a "team" really helped my little ones develop other friendships outside of their siblings as it had a built in icebreaker. (Working together towards a common goal from the start helped them over that initial hurdle of getting to know one another.

If you do feel that she is being "shunned" or excluded, I do also agree that a word with the teachers is in order. Ask for their input on why this may be happening... and if they aren't aware -- make them aware and ask for their help. Addressing an issue at this age is a LOT easier than if she is in a bullying type of situation for years.

((((((HUGS))))))) Hang in there mama! Kudos to you for being so observant!


Minx_Kristi's picture
Joined: 01/02/09
Posts: 1261

Angela, I have signed her up for the local gymnastics class but I don't think I will hear anything about it until September when they are enrolling again. Other classes such as dance etc aren't held at convenient times (I'm still in work when they start) and they don't have football for girls her age here.

Spacers, this is happening before school starts. It is when we're waiting for the class to open, so all the parents and children are hanging around. I wouldn't say the other children are intentionally leaving her out, I just feel like they're not that bothered about her and I'm worried it's because of the way she is with them during school. I need to collar the teacher tomorrow morning although she hasn't mentioned anything to me so I don't know. Maybe I'm being paranoid?

Missy, I wondered if it was because they were playing her 'her house' but I took her to the park after school yesterday and our neighbour was there. She was telling her friend what to do (not horribly) but then if her friend wasn't listening, she would shout at her.

Another issue I have with her is she is such a whinger. I always put it down to being tired but I'll give you an example. Her friend from nursery lives 2 doors down from our house and sometimes her Mother will knock on to see if Leia wants to play. I let her go, but once I have to go collect her, she will cry and act out. The same happens if her friend is at our house, once her Mother comes for her that's it, Leia goes crazy! It's embarrassing more than anything *sigh* I don't know, I'm just struggling with her in general atm!


Bonita's picture
Joined: 02/11/02
Posts: 1066


I have a 10 yr old and we've been in the same situation. I think some of this is normal kid behavior, and other parts of it I think you can help her through it. I see this behavior where kids want to tell each other what to do all the time. Imagine a baseball field full of 10 yr olds all shouting out to each other what to do. Having said that, I hear my son come home all the day and say "Mom I don't have any friends" "no one wants to play with me" and what it sometimes turns out to be is that he doesn't want to play the game they are all playing, and he can't find anyone that wants to break away from the crowd and play what he wants to play. Sometimes he doesn't want to play the game because he's the littlest one in the group, and he gets picked on. Which leads into, one question I have is, is she small for her age/group? My son is one of the youngest in his class, as well as one of the smallest, so he gets it from both side of this.

As far as teachers go, a lot of this bullying behavior goes on "at recess" or outdoor play. The kids are better behaved when teachers are watching. I've always had issues on the playground too with my son, since he was little.

I have a theory that I think might be what is happening. For my child, and maybe this is what is happening for you. As an only child, he hasn't had to learn how to have to take turns picking what to play and has had my full focus so if he didn't want to do something we just switched to something else. My suggestion is to start having more play dates. One way to do it is to help them by saying- what do you want to play- and have them each pick 2 things- then set a timer, and say we'll do this for 10 minutes, then "suzie" gets to pick the next game you play for 10 minutes. Or, you could put 3 ideas from each, write them down on a piece of paper, and pull it out of a jar, and then do that activity. You could even do this with her at home- where she will adjust to doing what gets picked out of the jar, instead of her making the decisions. I used to also give my son choices, do you want to do "a" or "b". He's used to choosing that way- or I would say, fine we will do "b" now, and "a" later. We had a nice playgroup with Moms & Kids when they were little (before school) and we would see a lot of that behavior, and had to coax the kids on how to play nice taking turns. So many were first kids and there was a lot of that behavior going on.

Another thing that you could try is to tell her ahead of time (at least 5 minutes) what is going to happen. She might need time to process it, and get ready so you can say in 5 minutes, we are going to switch. Then she has a warning. I do this when we are somewhere out and it's time to leave. He does better when it's time to go if I say we are going to leave in 2 minutes, or 5 minutes or 10 minutes. I find even a 2 minute warning makes transition easier than just announcing we are leaving now. He has gotten used to is so now he rushes off and hurries to finish what he's doing instead of complaining "I don't want to leave" because he knows I mean it. You might have to start off with saying:
We are going to leave in 5 minutes. You have 5 more minutes to play then we will help pick up toys and we will leave.
and then in 5 minutes when she starts complaining, say- Remember I told you 5 minutes ago that we would be leaving? It's time to go now.

I hope that helps- I have more ideas that might help too- but wondered if I was heading in the right direction here before I get into more. Smile


Jules's picture
Joined: 10/03/01
Posts: 797

I know how heartbreaking it is to watch when your child is excluded. (((hugs)))

Here are a couple articles on friendship skills and kids:

How Strong Are Your Child's Friendship-Making Skills?
Teaching Preschoolers Friend-Making Skills
The Art of Friendship

Some of your daughter's behavior is normal. Little kids sometime need to learn how their words and actions feel to other people. They often have trouble transitioning from one activity to another.

When my kids were young, I would always get their attention and give them a five or ten minute warning when a game needed to end or we needed to head home or dinner was ready. That seemed to really cut back on meltdowns when a child actually had to get up from that activity and move on to another. Have you tried this with Leia? (My child who really needed transition time is Leah!)


Minx_Kristi's picture
Joined: 01/02/09
Posts: 1261

Thanks so much for the replies ladies! Bonnie, I think you might have hit it ALL on the head for me so thanks again. Leia definitely is smaller than the other children so this could explain a lot. I'm not too convinced about the only child syndrome though as she has been in childcare since she was 9 months old, therefore has always shared toys and people. I did mention it to the teacher and she told me I had nothing to worry about, that it is mainly the age. So, I will see how it pans out in the next school year! I can't believe she is 4 on Thursday, wow, time flies.


ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

One thing I found worked with my daughter in terms of leaving places, was to put her jacket on when I gave her the five minute warning (it was winter when we went through this). Then, I would let her play for five more minutes. My thought was, if I have to drag her out kicking and screaming that she will at least not freeze, but it worked really well to remind her that it was time to go, and the issue went away really fast.