Preschool behavior

DarkAngelDarkAngel Registered Users Posts: 2,671 Curl Neophyte
Alexander is 4 and in pre-K. He's my oldest child so I don't really know what is normal with other children his age. He comes home many days telling us that he doesn't have any friends. We ask the teacher and she says that he is doing just fine socially.

This week, one of the moms invited all of the children to her son's birthday party. Alexander wants to go but told me that the little boy said he didn't want Alexander at his party. My son is a really sweet child so this makes me cry. Xan doesn't seem to be too upset by the fact that the little boy said he doesn't want him there.

How do I help him? Do we take him to this party and hope that going will lead the boys to be friends? Or do we find something better to do on Saturday so he doesn't go and potentially get his feelings hurt? He plays well alone so I suspect that if we go to the party, he will have a great time even if no one talks to him. I just worry that one or more of the kids will be mean to him.

I'm going to talk to the school director this morning but I am not sure what I am even going to ask. What's normal with this age group?

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel


  • FullOfCurlsFullOfCurls Registered Users Posts: 47
    I am hoping I can help you out with this. I used to be an early educator and have seen very similar situations to this. When you go to talk to the teacher, be clear about what your son is telling you and why it is bothering you. Many kids at that age are still learning how to make friends and how to be friends. The classroom teacher could do some social stories on friendship and give the opportunities for all students to play with students who they might not normally play with. This is such a critical age for students to develop those friendship skills. I could probably write a book on strategies to help develop friendships in the classroom, and I am hoping that when you share this information with the teacher she will be able to as well.

    Secondly, find out why your child does not seem to be making friends right now. There is often a reason behind this and in many cases it is very minor. Sometimes it is because of a bit of name calling and hurt feelings, etc. I have seen many kids in my day call another kid a poophead, when they get home they are so upset about what the other kid did to them they forget about what they also did. This may not be the situation at all for you, but it is worth taking a look into because it does happen frequently.

    Third, I say go to the party. Kids always love presents regardless who they are from, but more important it gives your child and other children a chance to socialize outside of the classroom. An added bonus for you is that you can go and keep an eye or ear out as to what is exactly going on!
  • Mamacurl3Mamacurl3 Registered Users Posts: 1,559
    I agree with FOC, definitely go. I think that it's hard at this age, when they are starting to build friendhips, because on many levels those friendships are relatively shallow. If that makes sense, they easily change feelings about one another, love a friend one day and can't stand him/her the next day. It's all part of the learning process. I think that you being there will help encourage your ds to get to know the other kids a little more. Perhaps even find out which of the kids he really tends to buddy up with in class and arrange a playdate so they have more informal opportunities to play.
    GL, it breaks my heart when other kids are mean to my babies. It's all part of the process though, use it as a learning tool if you can ;)
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  • DelmaDelma Registered Users Posts: 1,121
    I wouldn't go, I wouldn't want to risk his feelings getting hurt.

  • mad scientistmad scientist Registered Users Posts: 3,530 Curl Neophyte
    I would take him to the party. Karan is the same age as Xander (as you know) and he's been to a few whole class birthday parties now. They are tons of fun and sometimes he doesn't even interact with the birthday boy/girl at all, other than saying Happy Birthday when he walks in and Thank you when he leaves. So Xander will have fun with his other friends there.

    As for his classmate saying he doesn't want him there....I haven't observed the kids being willfully mean to each other at this age. But then I also heard Karan tell his BFF that "he was going to kill him" yesterday. So all sorts of nonsense comes out of their mouths that they don't mean. They are just playing with words and with relationships. I don't take it seriously at this stage.

  • DarkAngelDarkAngel Registered Users Posts: 2,671 Curl Neophyte
    Thank you all for responding. We were going to go ahead and go but I changed my mind after talking to the PreK Director.

    Per her, Alexander does have friends so I can ignore him on that. She recommended a few children to have over for playdates to facilitate their relationships. She also let me know that the little boy with the party is a lot different from Alexander. I got the impression that she thought they would never be friends. I'm okay with that. He doesn't have to be friends with everyone.

    "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Registered Users Posts: 17,898 Curl Virtuoso
    But why can't he still go and have a good time w/ the other kids?

    My daughter just turned 5 and everyday she tells me she barred so-and-so from her next birthday party for stepping on her foot or taking her toy or tattling on her, etc. They don't remember that stuff. Why feed into it?

  • DarkAngelDarkAngel Registered Users Posts: 2,671 Curl Neophyte
    Honestly, we have another party on Sunday so he will have enough fun there. If we didn't have the other party, I might have changed my mind. I also don't want to take my husband. He's really upset about the way this little boy has treated Alexander and doesn't fully understand that some of it is normal 4 year old behavior.

    "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel
  • nynaeve77nynaeve77 Registered Users Posts: 7,135 Curl Novice
    I think kids that age don't even know what being friends means. They're just learning to form those relationships with peers. I mean, just a year ago, they didn't really even play together; they just played in proximity to each other.

    If it were me, I'd let Xander go to the party anyway. As long as the other boy isn't actively bullying him, Xander will probably have fun playing games with the other boys and girls in his class.

    ETA: Just saw what you wrote about having another party. If so, then it's probably no big deal unless Xander expressed a huge desire to go to this other boy's party.
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