explaining lack of playdates

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by oscar, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. oscar

    oscar Guest

    My difficult child (7yr/1st grade) and his friend from school really want to do a playdate and have asked me about it a few times. I have emailed and spoken with-the friend's Dad twice, and he says we should do it and he'll talk to the mom. But then nothing. I have to assume this is because they've seen my difficult child playing a few times (not at school but at parties, etc) and being too rough/aggressive. I also heard today that this week he's been rough with-the kids at recess and the teacher believes that the kids mentioned this to their parents (I don't know which ones). The teacher was very nice - said he hasn't had this behavior so far this school year and that they'd work on it, etc.

    But my question is, what do I say to my difficult child when he asks about the playdate? So far, all I've said is that I've done all I can and just haven't heard from his friend's parents, and he hasn't brought it up for a few days. At what age do you tell the child his behavior may be effecting his playdates? (Of course, I've never confirmed his behavior is the reason, but I don't see how I could do this - I don't see how I could raise it with-other parents with-o it seeming confrontational.)

    Have you said things to your difficult child about similar situations that you found effective? Would you continue to try to arrange playdates, e.g. with-other kids?

    His little brother (4ys/no issues) has playdates with-friends and will have another next week.
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    This is always a hard issue to deal with. Both my difficult child's have felt the pain of social isolation because of their behavior. In difficult child 1's case, it was due to his withdrawn behavior, lack of reaching out and engaging with his peers, etc. He still struggles with this, despite our encouragement for him to pick up the phone, call people, email, connect in any way that he can.
    For my difficult child 2, the lack of friends had more to do with his awkward behavior and immature social skills. I tried explaining as frankly as I could the reasons why he had a hard time attracting friends, and also that it was my job to help him figure out better ways of interacting with people. That way he could view it as a lack of skills rather than a character flaw.

    One of the things I did for a couple of years was host a Halloween party as a pretense for inviting LOTS of kids to our house and sort of building good PR for my difficult children. I realize this isn't always a feasible solution for many, but it went a loooong way towards helping my difficult child's be identified as "fun" among their peers, even if it was only for a short time. The kids at school all remembered the event. Maybe arranging for a group movie matinee outing... (dutch treat, of course), or some other group activity that gets kids together for a fun activity they can associate with your difficult child attending. That can set the stage for more one-on-one activities in the future.

    Have you tried nailing down a specific invite to the other child as opposed to an open-ended-someday-let's-get-together activity? For example, have your child call the other child and say "I'd like to invite you to my house to play on Saturday, from 1-3pm. Can you let me know by tomorrow if you can come or not?" This forces an answer to a specific request. When they call back, if it's to decline, you can then ask when would be a better time and go on to explain how much your difficult child and the other child enjoy playing together and that you're hoping it will help difficult child with his developing social skills.
  3. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    We have so been there. And still are with difficult child 2. We end up doing a lot of driving to pick up kids etc to try to have playdates. It was always so hard when my kids wanted to have playdates with kids I knew were not going to be allowed to come, or the kids didn't want to come. Sometimes you can find one or two other kids with some social skills deficits and try to arrange stuff, or kids whose parents work and would welcome a playdate.

    One thing that we have done is to try to get him in a lot of organized activities so at least he was with other children. Meant a lot of time of parent involvement since we had to be there to try to help things go well.

    Can you get any help from school counselor, social skills groups etc? We are struggling with much the same situation--it isn't so much that my son doesn't have the social skills, it is the problem of impulse control. As in he knows what to do, but doesn't always do it. As he gets older and others mature faster, the isolation seems to be growing. So I am not helping you at all. lol.

    At this point if you think that the behaviors are beyond your son's control, I would try to make some excuses--so and so is busy after school or whatever. I would be gentle and try to find positives when you see him playing well with others. These kids already have some sense of rejection.

    While I resisted medication for a long time to some extent it has helped some of the ADHD stuff. So something else to ultimately think about.

    It is a heatbreaker. When my son was 11 he had to fill out a form for the doctor. One question is who his friends were --he wrote, "my dog."