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Dd great social skills 1:1 but doesn't socialize in groups

 
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amother




Vermilion


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 12:22 pm
My 6 year old dd's teachers both told me that at recess she kind of wanders around by herself and doesn't really play with the others. I think it's because it's mostly groups at recess, and she prefers one on one socializing.

We have friends come over on Shabbos and Sunday, and I watch them play, and dd has great social skills! She interacts, initiates, goes along with friend's ideas, contributes her own ideas, they laugh together and have a great time! I am seeing a social kid!

But the teachers are saying that they don't really see that. She does talk to the other kids, but tends to be alone at recess time. I asked her if she wants to join in when her friends are playing jumprope etc, and she emphatically said no, she doesn't want to.

So, is it a problem if she prefers socializing one on one? Does she need to improve in group social skills? Many adults prefer one-on-one to a group, including me! And how would I go about helping her in that area?

And if it's not such a big deal, why are both teachers mentioning it to me? What do I do with this information? I want to help dd if she needs it, but I'm not quite sure how, since when she has friends over, she does great.

What's your take?


Last edited by amother on Mon, Jan 09 2017, 12:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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amother




Mauve


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 12:44 pm
School is a pretty structured environment and, for better or worse, children are somewhat expected to conform to pretty rigid standards of what they are supposed to be doing at any given time. Once we reach adulthood, there is a lot more flexibility in what we choose to do with our time and how we prefer to socialize. So if a child doesn't quite meet those standards its not really a reflection of their overall life success (although it may make parts of school difficult). So that's just to calm you somewhat.

I think the questions you should be asking the teachers should include: how does she look during recess, does she appear upset or sad. Why does her behavior during seem to be disturbing to you? Do the other girls treat her as though she is strange or are they just absorbed in their games? Is there any current toy or game she can bring so she can be "boss" of the toy and be able to initiate the group play like a ball or jumprope? What have the teachers done in the past to help bring such a child into the group and are they using those methods or not? If yes, what has the outcome been?

If you think she is fine socially, then I think your job is to legitimize and support the person your child is and champion her to the teachers so that they know her traits are very valued. Sometimes teachers in school systems are way too caught up in making every child a clone of the next.

Not every kid loves recess. that's ok. I also think you should ask more questions to your daughter. Why doesn't she want to join? Sometimes the answers are legitimate! My daughter hated playing because some kids always cheated and fought and it wasn't fun. I think you'll learn a lot from her perspective that can help you when you reach out to the teachers.
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amother




Mauve


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 12:44 pm
School is a pretty structured environment and, for better or worse, children are somewhat expected to conform to pretty rigid standards of what they are supposed to be doing at any given time. Once we reach adulthood, there is a lot more flexibility in what we choose to do with our time and how we prefer to socialize. So if a child doesn't quite meet those standards its not really a reflection of their overall life success (although it may make parts of school difficult). So that's just to calm you somewhat.

I think the questions you should be asking the teachers should include: how does she look during recess, does she appear upset or sad. Why does her behavior during seem to be disturbing to you? Do the other girls treat her as though she is strange or are they just absorbed in their games? Is there any current toy or game she can bring so she can be "boss" of the toy and be able to initiate the group play like a ball or jumprope? What have the teachers done in the past to help bring such a child into the group and are they using those methods or not? If yes, what has the outcome been?

If you think she is fine socially, then I think your job is to legitimize and support the person your child is and champion her to the teachers so that they know her traits are very valued. Sometimes teachers in school systems are way too caught up in making every child a clone of the next.

Not every kid loves recess. that's ok. I also think you should ask more questions to your daughter. Why doesn't she want to join? Sometimes the answers are legitimate! My daughter hated playing because some kids always cheated and fought and it wasn't fun. I think you'll learn a lot from her perspective that can help you when you reach out to the teachers.
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sourstix









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 1:19 pm
I agree you should ask dd why she doesn't join. And I second if your child is ok then they should either leave her alone or help her. Whatever you decide. Don't let them make you think something is wrong if there isn't anything. Again see if you can figure out if anything is bothering her.
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amother




Dodgerblue


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 1:25 pm
I would speak to your daughter. See if it bothers her or not? Recess was really tough for my dd. We ended up switching her to a small montessouri and recess was one of the reasons why.
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amother




Magenta


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 1:40 pm
I was like your daughter. I have loads of friends but it's really hard if they're all together.
It actually was hard for me that way, not because I didn't have what to do or such but because the other girls couldn't figure out what's 'wrong' with me, why I'm so much fun but I'll never join the group. Every school trip I pretty much had the whole class coming over to ask 'why are you so quiet and sitting alone'
I was fine with it. The problem is being different and that is probably why the teacher mentioned it.
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amother




Vermilion


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 1:45 pm
Dd is happy. She is fine the way it is. She is not looking to join the group. When I ask why she doesnt give me a clear answer.
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sourstix









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 1:50 pm
I also think she's very young she might not be able to verbalize what if it's really bothering her. she might be the more quiet type. Having some friends but doesn't like big crowds.
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FranticFrummie









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 2:00 pm
If she's happy, leave her alone.

School can be very intense, with lots of stimuli to absorb. Paying attention to the teacher, filtering out background chatter, even socializing with friends - it all adds up. Some kids (and adults!) need a bit of quiet time to process all of that information, and get some downtime so that they can be refreshed for the next round of activity.

I loved my friends and my teachers, but I also enjoyed a bit of solitude at recess, where I could just relax, look at the sky and the trees, and be alone with my thoughts for a few minutes. It's perfectly healthy.

Mauve amother expressed it beautifully. Kids should be allowed to have their own personalities, needs, likes and dislikes. Expecting everyone to be the same does nobody any favors.
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Fox









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 2:32 pm
I'm not saying this is necessarily the case in this situation, but I think teachers often come up with observations or problems just so parents know the teachers are paying attention. In their defense, they are often being prodded by administrators and principals to point out minute non-issues to parents.

It's not necessarily a bad thing -- sometimes real problems can be caught and addressed early. However, it also leads to a lot of non-problematic behaviors being examined under a microscope.

I can't imagine anything worse than being forced to engage in group activities during what's supposed to be my break, and if I recall, I happily spent many recesses with my nose in a book. Sure, it's worth an occasional conversation to make sure your DD isn't being excluded or doesn't feel excessive anxiety in larger groups, but those problems typically surface elsewhere -- not just at recess.

If everything is otherwise going well, thank the teachers for their observations and move on. Kids bring us enough challenges; don't go borrowing more. As my DH says, "Our credit limit on the trouble credit card isn't that high!"
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seeker









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 4:24 pm
I don't think it's a matter of teachers looking to make issues. It is good to be aware of details like this. Sometimes it's nothing and sometimes it's an issue, and sometimes it's nothing on its own but could later be a piece of a puzzle that emerges. As both a teacher and parent I think this type of communication (without drama and histrionics) is important.

There is no problem with preferring one-on-one socializing, but it's not a preference if you don't have a choice. And a 6-year-old saying "I just like being by myself" can also mean "because I don't feel comfortable entering a group." The ability to socialize in a group is essential. I would ask the teachers to keep an eye on how she does in group activities in class and I'd also look for opportunities to check it out for myself. Do you ever have a few friends over at your house together?

As others have said, it could be nothing. But it could also be a processing difficulty or missing social skills or even a hearing problem.
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Luvme









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 5:33 pm
It could be nothing but it could also be something.
I personally would keep an eye on it. I wouldn't ignore it but I also wouldn't freak out coz it could just be her type.
Does she know how to play the games that they are playing?
What happens if u invite a few friends over at the same time?
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