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Forming friendships

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#1 nicknick

Posted 26 February 2013 - 10:27 AM

DS (3.4yrs) started Preschool this year and has been going for 4 weeks. He loves going, runs in the gates in the morning and very happy to send me on my way. This morning I was chatting to his teacher and one of the things we discussed was friendships, she commented that he is happy being part of the group but isn't forming direct relationships. To me I didn't even think at this early stage it would be commented on, but she mentioned it so is flagging it to me but I was interested to hear from others about how long it took to form friendships in Preschool. Also is there anything you did to help him/her develop the friendships?

#2 tibs

Posted 26 February 2013 - 10:48 AM

My 3 year old DD just started preschool and she is the same, I would say that is normal for this age.  Plus it has only been 4 weeks!  I remember when my son started preschool he was the same but certainly by the second half of the year he had his definite friends that he played with.

#3 nicknick

Posted 26 February 2013 - 10:53 AM

Thanks tibs, yes I was very taken aback this morning that she mentioned this - I really wouldn't think after a month he would be required to have a bunch of friends and that he was playing with the group was the important thing. We have a parent meeting next week so will certainly do a little more digging on expectations then..... Thank you again for letting me know about your DD.  original.gif

#4 DontKnow2015

Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:02 AM

Still fairly common to be doing side by side play rather than playing directly with other children...  I would not worry....

#5 boatiebabe

Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:10 AM

I would also be surprised by that comment from the child care worker.

I would think at 3 there would still be a lot of side by side play but not direct friendships after only 4 weeks in a new centre.

I don't think either of mine started forming close one on one friendships until at least 4 at day care.

Sometimes even at 'big school' it might take until Year 1 or 2 for them to find besties.

#6 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:17 AM

At 3.5 yo, I think it would be common for new kids to take at least a few months (3-6 months) before they actively seek out someone to play along side or with.  Happy enough to play along side most kids at that age, but would imagine it might take a few months before they actively pick a friend to play with.

#7 josh2003

Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:32 AM

I've been worrying about the same thing, so it's a relief to hear it's quite common.

My son, who is 3.5, has been going to daycare 3 days per week since he was one. He is really shy, and I've been worrying lately about whether he is making any friends. He talks about a couple of kids being his friends, but when I watch him, he seems to just hover around them and play, rather than play directly with them.

Our oldest son had a best friend (a girl!) from the beginning all the way up until they started school, and they were inseparable, but our second just seems to be different.

He does have a "proper" friend (our neighbour's daughter), but she is 6, so I think he's been able to connect with her because she instigates it.

#8 nicknick

Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:48 AM

Thanks for the feedback, I must say I was surprised with how easy it is to take him - he is a routine man and thought the new environment this year would have really challenged him so have been quite surprised he adapted so qucikly as I said happily says goodbye to me everyday.

I thought at 3 it's still common to have side-by-side play, this morning as I was talking to the teacher (or felt like being told off by her - maybe just me thinking that) he happily put himself in the middle of a group of kids and played with the water. I understand if he wasn't interested at all being around them it might be a different case. I would also think every child is going to be different as you all mentio, some Im sure might make quick friends. To add to how bad I was feeling 1/2 way through the discussion DD decided to vomit all over me...

Josh it's really hard I know, you just want the best for them. I might also watch a little more next week after leaving him, I can put myself in the trees a little - maybe just need to add the camourflage paint to hide myself.  original.gif

Thanks again  original.gif

Edited by nicknick, 26 February 2013 - 11:50 AM.

#9 Bbtimes2

Posted 26 February 2013 - 07:50 PM

My DS1 is almost 9 and still doesn't have a best friend. He is really popular and gets invited to all the parties (even for children I have never heard of!) and always has someone inviting him over for a playdate.
DS2 is has just turned 5 and it wasn't until this year that he even had a friend. He is much more a one on one kind of kid.

I think some kids just like to drift between groups and are more than happy, while others prefer to have certain people they play with.
I wouldn't worry. Your son obviously loves preschool and is getting along with all the other kids so in my book he is doing great.

#10 nicknick

Posted 27 February 2013 - 09:33 AM

Thanks Bbtimes2, I do agree with your comments.

I don't know, dropped him off this morning and he was his happy self going - same as I watched him he was playing a chasing game with another boy (who was a little older and faster, he couldn't actually catch him  biggrin.gif ) then went to the rope climbing area with some other kids. He puts himself in the middle of it all so really think this comment was a little strange from his teacher yesterday.

Thanks for all of the feedback, really does make you feel better hearing others stories and puts it all into perspective.  original.gif

#11 tiggy2

Posted 27 February 2013 - 09:45 AM

Sounds perfectly normal.

If you do want to cultivate specific friendships organise some one on one playdates with a few of the kids and see who he seems to click with (and which mums you like!)

If you don't get to chat with the other mums you can put a note in the child's pocket thingy where they put the kinder newsletters.

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