You can’t make friends for them . . .

This is quite an awkward post for me to write because I know that some of the Mums from LB’s school read my blog from time to time but it’s a post that has been going around in my head since midway through Reception. I’ve put it off time and time again because I don’t want them to think I’m having a go at them and I don’t want Little Bean to suddenly get lots of ‘pity’ invites but I am a Mum who worries about my children, it’s natural.

Before Little Bean started at Primary School she was part of a lovely group of friends at her preschool which included her best friend Ella who she had been with almost daily from about 6 weeks of age and further girls who she met at preschool and formed close bonds with. It broke our hearts when she didn’t get the placement at the Primary School we had applied for as this meant that she would be the only one of the girls to be leaving the group.

Little Bean

Starting in Reception, Little Bean struggled for the first half of the year to make friends and it was difficult as a parent to see others regularly going home with friends from her class for tea and playdates. Little Bean was invited to her first playdate in the February and it was a successful playdate. I do know that it goes both ways but at the time I was heavily pregnant with Jelly Bean and then of course had a new baby, so adding an extra child to the equation took a little planning for me.

During her first year at school Little Bean was invited to quite a few birthday parties as most parents took the same stance as us, they could have a full class party for the first year and then smaller parties in the following years as their friendship groups developed. This is where the worries have arisen for us since Little Bean hardly ever gets invited to parties, or playdates for that matter and as a parent this can be both worrying and upsetting. You ask yourself (and the teachers), is it because nobody likes her? Is it because other parents don’t like me? Do I need to try more with the other Mums? The teacher tells us that Little Bean is very popular with everyone in her class but not one person in particular and so this is where I wonder if things would have been different had she gone to the school we initially applied for?

As for me, I try to speak to as many of the Mums as I can in the playground. We have a pretty good social circle and have nights out but I wouldn’t say that I’m ‘in the thick of it’ I just tend to float around the outsite a little like Little Bean. I don’t always have time to hang around the playground after drop-off and pick-up but I do chat when I can.

I am sure that I am not the only Mum who feels like this and worries about their child. Do I need to encourage friendships for Little Bean by arranging more playdates or do I leave it to Little Bean to sort out for herself? She will often tell me, “friend X said I can go to their house for tea/their birthday party” but then the invites never materialise for the playdate or the party and then via social media you see other playdates and parties have taken place which makes you wonder why?

Answers and suggestions are very much welcome please xx

(DSJ2 Mums – please don’t be offended by this post xx)

12 thoughts on “You can’t make friends for them . . .”

  1. You are definitely not the only Mum to feel like this! I worried terribly about E the first couple of years at school, he never got invited to people’s houses after school and only to a few parties. He would always tell me he played on his own during playtimes and lunchtime and it was upsetting, even though he seemed quite happy. Although he does have more friends since moving school, he still doesn’t get invited to lots of parties or to play dates. I think you have to let them make their own friends – unless they are really unhappy I would just leave her to it, although it won’t stop you worrying!

    • That’s how I have got myself through the last couple of years at school, in general she is quite happy in herself but every now and then she will ask why she didn’t get invited to something because obviously friends don’t see the issue in talking about their parties to those who didn’t go and that’s when it hurts her and in turn me. She made of strong stuff and it will all make her stronger but as a Mum we still worry about them don’t we.

  2. Not offended as I know exactly what you mean, 100% agree with everything you have said hun. It’s nice to now that it’s not just me that feels like this xxxx

  3. Again you are defo not the only Mum to feel like this – I feel like this all the time – my little boy is in reception and he had his 1st friend over last night. He went to a different nursery than his current school and I half wish I had put his name down for him to go with his friends but this school is at the end of our street. I also have the added fact of all the parents are very antisocial and don’t make an effort to speak or even make eye contact! I think looking much younger than my years ( I look around 22/23 but im in fact 32! – Im not just guessing…I have been told! haha) doesn’t help matters – I feel a lot of people judge me on looks alone! I have found tho if you create the invites and start inviting children over for playdates/tea then a lot will return the offer. You can also get to know the parents a little better this way and I feel that always helps! 😀

    • Thank you for your comment and advice. I am sure that there are hundreds of Mums just like you and me in every school who feels this way, I’m just in the position that I am able to talk openly about it in a public forum to get support and I’m so pleased that I did because I think it will help other Mums to see they are not alone too. I have invited friends during her school time so far and they have all been successful although not all have resulted in a reciprocated invite and as Mums we do have a pretty good social life together which is great. It will all work out in the end I am sure 🙂

  4. Such a difficult post for you to have written, especially if it has been playing on your mind for so long. Personally I would call Little Bean a social butterfly, someone who doesn’t rely on one person, or one group of people as her support network. Birthday parties are tricky when they can only invite a few so of course they will pick the same children they play with day in day out, rather than those they like to play with but maybe don’t chat about at home. I would speak with Little Bean and see how she feels about it all and maybe arrange a few play dates at your house for a different friend each month and see how it goes.

    • Haha that’s exactly what I call LB to Hubby and that’s how we used to describe Curly too and he has turned out ok. He has a nice little group of friends at Grammar School. I have arranged playdates in the past which have been successful and I have promised her a couple in the next month if she keeps up the good work with her reward chart 🙂

  5. I’m really pleased you done it too babe. It’s nice to know that most of the other mums feel the same way as we do. And proud of you for writing the truth. I didn’t write my name because I bet you can guess who it is ????. We will have LB over soon aswel xxxx

  6. I know this is an old post but it’s hit hard this year:) our two at school seem to be exactly the same, albeit different to each other, middle has loads of friends, but ‘butterflies’ around and no one specific and the older one, well too eager to please and too easily hurt seems to be his problem, what the LIttle one will be like… Who know?! I’m glad that I’m not alone in worrying about them I really don’t remember primary school being this hard myself:(

    • It is so hard, we never want to see our children hurt but when it comes to friends, we just can’t do it for them, we can only be there to adminster hugs and kisses. Funnily enough though, yes I do remember Primary School like this for me too, although I had friends, I do remember being the one who would be picked up and put down according to my friends moods. I think that’s why today I only have a few close friends who I trust and never push myself onto other people. If your youngest is anything like my youngest, they won’t know what’s hit them when he reaches school!!! xx

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