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02/12/2013 at 12:55
Luke started reception class in September. he didn't know anyone having gone to a different pre school. we weren't worried as he wasn't the only out of area child to start school and for the first few weeks seemed to come home talking about a few different names, especially H who was new to the area in the summer. I made friends with his mum at the school gates and she was nice.
then he started mentioning one particular name 'A'. half a story about A's name being on the cloud (bad) and having a special rocket (later found out that it's a visual prompt to remind him to sit nicely), he has a mat he has to sit on the carpet. Then the teacher mentioned in Luke's parent's evening that he was developing a friendship with him. I didn't want to tell him not to play with him because I thought that might isolate him from other children if he felt that he couldn't play where A was.
On more than one occasion I've heard the child minder tell the teacher that she's had a difficult morning with A and at pick up time I frequently see the same thing.
I also heard another mum telling her son that she didn't him to be friends with A. 'I've told you about this before I don't want you playing with him'.
last week I was pulled to one side and told that both Luke and A had been told off twice for not lining up. first at break time they ran off and hid behind a bush when the bell was rang, and despite being put on the cloud they did a similar thing at lunch time and missed some choosing time because of it.
After much discussions we suggested to Luke that he needed to make better choices and maybe choose a different friend to play with. He's socially immature and more of a follower than a leader and I was worried that Luke was getting caught up in the bad behaviour.
The following day Luke had an awful day and was very grumpy and quiet at pick up time and when I asked him who he's played with he said that E and H(2) hadn't let him join in and he felt sad. I'm worried that friendships have been formed and even the new children have friendships because they live closer together and walk to school etc, for example H lives on the same street another boy J and they seem to play together.
I've tried instigating some play dates with H and his mum but she was 10 day overdue and had a new baby 3 days ago and has understandably more important things to do at the moment.
02/12/2013 at 13:01
meant to add (sorry it's epic) that his behaviour has really changed. is that a normal reception start thing? He started answering back, blowing rapsberries and calling us names ;(
02/12/2013 at 13:20
I do feel a little sorry for A, being classed as the naughty boy - I can imagine people thing the same of C when they see how he can be sometimes and worry that other parents won't want their children to be friends with him. Fortunately C does seem to be very good at school though, and has had a couple of party invitations, although none for after school play dates (I know I should probably instigate them, but I find that sort of thing very hard)
In response to your second post, I think it is a bit of a reception starting thing, C really has started to answer back a lot recently too - his most common phrase these days is "I can do what I want"
02/12/2013 at 13:27
I know I don't to label him, and I wonder how other parent's perceive Luke, and who know what is happening in his home life. But Luke seems to be really influenced by him and I'm not the only parent to notice.
Luke shouts I'm in charge!
02/12/2013 at 14:04
Yes, the behaviour thing is quite normal. My daughter is now in Year 2 but she was awful by Christmas in Reception. I think its a big change, there's lot to get used to, they often work very hard at being good at the start of the academic year, but its impossible for 4 and 5 year olds to keep that up. Plus add the excitement of Christmas coming up and there's bound to be trouble. (Also, don't forget that some children will have learning issues of one kind or another which might be contributing to this behaviour. )
I wouldn't worry that friendships are formed forever at this stage because they really aren't. There will be movement in friendships all the time. My daughter got into trouble in her first term because, encouraged by a boy that she was friends with, she started refusing to do things. We talked to her and said that she must stop doing this, and that even if her friend J was doing it, she was not to, She was to tell him no, she wouldn't join in with whatever he was doing wrong.
Then we reinforced it with praising all the good behaviour all the time. Her behaviour had obviously not been brilliant during the year as she won an award at the end of the summer term for 'most improved behaviour' during that term. But it hasn't been raised as an issue since then.
There will be times when they won't be allowed to join in with other children which is hard and horrid at the time. Try to encourage him to ask other children, or if it seems to be a pattern then talk to his teacher about it. Learning to play together and respecting others feelings are targets for children in reception so teachers can encourage this.
As for fostering friendships with other children, I would just pick random children from the class and ask their parents if they can come for tea one day. See what happens. That's what I did and others invited her as well.
Incidentally, my daughter is still friends with the little boy who was 'leading her astray' - I don't think she needed much leading to be honest! - and they do get on well together. I think that eventually L will realise that he doesn't like being in trouble and will stop being led into it by the other child.
Its a lot to take in at 4 or 5.
Try not to worry, the friendship groups will probably change over the year. L is in year 1 and although she plays with most of the children I've noticed that friendship groups are changing especially since the reception year. There was a new boy started in September, he was labelled as the naughty one, L told me she was actually scared of him but in the last few weeks has told me he is nice now and is her friend.
How far do you live from the school? I can't see the distance would be too much of a problem, could you invite some of the mums over. For a coffee or meet for a coffee? Get to know some of the mums and maybe invite their children over for a play date.
02/12/2013 at 15:57
I will try and ask other people round. It's hard (though no excuse) but we live in a village with a military base and lots of the families live on estates specifically for militarily families. Whilst it's not a case of them and us, they have very close ties with other mums of military personnel because they have their community facilities and I'm finding it hard to break into their groups of friendships because we live at the other end of the village and they all walk in the opposite direction. I've been trying to buck up the courage to see if anyone wants to tag along and do some Christmas shopping.
Inviting people over for tea- how does that work? just the child? or child and parent? Not sure I'm at the stage where mums know us well enough to drop a child off at our house on their own? Also meal times are very difficult because of Luke's feeding disorder....
I asked the teacher at the end of the day how he's been today and she said he'd played with some other children and seemed involved with the game, and she's going to do some whole class circle time about suitable games to play. On a different note Luke's been exhibiting some more strange sensory seeking behaviour which involve him putting his hand in his mouth and mouthing it and drooling. We'd noticed it at home but now his teacher has noticed it. I presume it's either a self soothing behaviour or a developmental stage that he missed out as a baby.
02/12/2013 at 18:36
Invite round to tea I meant the child not the parents. But its only the first term, and coupled with L's feeding issues it may not be the right time to do it. But you could pick on a nice parent and ask them and child back for a playdate and or an indoor picnic tea next term sometime. The school gate can be a minefield. There are some lovely parents at ours but there's one who cuts everyone dead for some reason and always has done.
Sounds like the teacher is going to keep an eye out which is good. It is hard when other children won't play and you just feel awful for your child but these are things that we can't do for them unfortunately!
02/12/2013 at 22:26
As a parent I can totally understand where you're coming from, but I do feel sorry for that little boy being labelled so early on as a naughty child. How would you feel if it was your child that other parents were telling their children not to play with? While I'm completely speculating, as A is taken to school by a childminder, I wonder if he doesn't get to see much of his parents and has got used to attention seeking behaviour? Maybe he has other issues etc. Personally, before I intervened in this friendship I'd be interested to get to know A and his family myself and he would actually be the child I would be inviting to play. It may well turn out that he isn't as bad as you expected as young children often get used to labelling certain ones as the naughty kids and use them to blame everything on. I've had instances of this when they've blamed a certain child for something and he wasn't even in school that day.
As much as we'd like to, we can't choose our children's friendships for them, but we can educate them to behave in appropriate ways. C often blames another child for something she's done, but I don't accept that reasoning as she knows full well what is acceptable or not and if she doesn't want to get into trouble she should remove herself from that situation. However, I do appreciate that Luke's developmental delay can make him more easily led. Things may well settle down soon and hopefully as he gets older he will develop a longer term close friendship, but at this age it's good for them to play with different children - even the naughty ones!
03/12/2013 at 09:28
Yes LWO, that's why I feel so torn. As much as it would be the moral thing to try and engage with the child and family I really have to try and protect Luke and encourage him to have good role models to play with as the feedback I get is that consistently his behaviour changes when he is around this boy. Luke's social and play skills are behind and he been assessed as struggling to identify people's feeling so empathy and that kind of understanding don't come naturally to him. I also don't want him to get into the habit of this type of behaviour and risk isolating himself from other children because they don't like they way he plays.
Reagrds to A and the childminder it's about 50/50 that his mum picks or drops him off. I'm not sure that getting to know the parents is the answer because I don't want to befriend his mum for other reasons, and like I said I'm not the only parent who has made these observations.
ps I've edited my title to reflect your concerns about labelling the child. condemn the behaviour not child...
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