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Help- my 5 year old is annoying to her friends

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#1 bec.gilmore

Posted 12 August 2018 - 08:36 AM

I am so worried about my daughter

She's an only child. We are expecting our second in December however there's quite a gap.

She is in kindergarten this year and will start prep next year.

I am starting to become concerned about her peer / socialising behaviour and I'm at a loss of what to do.

She does like time to play by herself, I think this is an only child thing.

If we go to someone's house for a play there's bound to be tears or fighting about toys.

She has started picking other kids up and jumping on people. Doesn't seem to understand social cues.

The other week we met a friend for a bike ride. I saw her push her friend off a balance beam. I jumped in and made her apologise. Her and this friend can often play like this and push each or pinch each other. But my child doesn't seem to understand when to stop.

If she doesn't get what she wants she can throw something down, get upset and cry.

Yesterday we went to a 5th birthday. We were there for four hours. In the first 20 minutes she snatched a bucket off a girl, who then snatched it back and scratched her leg- so she proceeded to cry for 5 minutes.

I saw her throw another child's piece of chalk they were drawing with. She seemed more interested in playing inside then outside with the others. She had bubbled and emptied two containers of bubbles on the floor for no reason. I just don't understand why she doesn't play nicely.

She doesn't appear to be able to regulate her self control.

I've had her assessed by an OT and they've not raising any flags with her behaviour.

Something just doesn't feel right with me.

I never let her behave this way without addressing it. We role play. We talk about behaviour and how to be a good friend. She's a bright girl and engages in these discussions with me. She shows empathy to other children. She expresses desire to play with her friends.

I see the other girls her age settling a little and exercising self control and securing firm friendships but my little one doesn't seem to get there.

I often chat with the other Mum's and they comment that she's got lots of personality but I don't see it that way. I see her at times as someone who just wants to do what she wants and she doesn't seem to care. I asked her last night why she did those things at the party and her answer was she felt like it. I said is this okay- she said no it isn't.

I am so sorry this post is rambley but I am at a loss of what to do.

I am very concerned that next year she will annoy kids and they won't play with her.

Please I would welcome any advice about this or tips

I am wondering if she has ADHS or a behavioural problem and it's making me so anxious.

#2 Elizabethandfriend

Posted 12 August 2018 - 08:58 AM

The fact that you are anxious is probably enough reason to get some advice from another professional.  I would see a good child psychologist.  Some run group social skills programs which might also help.

#3 lizzzard

Posted 12 August 2018 - 09:03 AM

I'm sure some posters will reply with more experience than me, but I don't see anything in your post that seems that out of the range of 'normal' for 5 year old kids! Being self-centred is very age appropriate for pre-school children. As they get exposure to other kids, they naturally get 'feedback' through the course of those interactions, which is what teaches them behaviour that is socially appropriate. That process is normal :)

You don't need to be anxious about this. Aware yes - but you have had an assessment that came back ok. Has the preschool teachers raised anything to you? If not, wait until your DD starts school. If there is anything to be worried about your DDs prep teacher will talk to you about it - and of course, you can reach out to them too. A large part of prep (and preschool!) is about learning how to interact in social environments so teachers are very tuned in to it.

Edited by lizzzard, 12 August 2018 - 09:04 AM.

#4 *Melstar*

Posted 12 August 2018 - 09:07 AM

You are so articulate about your concerns. You've got concrete examples that illustrate your worries.

I would be finding a quality GP who can refer you to a quality developmental paediatrician for a review.

I always say to parents, it's not necessarily about labels / diagnoses. This might or might not happen. What it's about is direction. You've identified you're giving all of this support as a parent, and nothing is improving. So it's time to seek expert opinion about a different / new direction.

Good luck.

#5 ekbaby

Posted 12 August 2018 - 09:09 AM

What do her preschool teachers think ?
You are doing a great job of trying to teach her behaviours and of getting her checked out

#6 PhillipaCrawford

Posted 12 August 2018 - 09:15 AM

Talk to her preschool teachers and ask them how she is there, when you aren't around. It maybe that with you there she is not regulating her behaviour herself as she knows you will do it.

In your post you talked of her pushing a friend and you jumped in and made her apologise.
I know it seems that you are doing the right thing here but in fact 2 things happened, first you intervened which didn't give the children a chance to sort it out themselves, kids do a lot of pushing and shoving it is how they work out the emotions of others and learn to listen to each other.
Second making her apologise doesn't do anything. A child who is made to apologise doesn't feel genuinely sorry. In fact what they learn is they can do anything as long as they mouth a token 'sorry'.  I know this flies against everything we want for our kids but in this case manners is not as important as empathy.  

Many children of this age don't have a bestie. Unless preschool is raising concerns she is probably still learning. If you want to build empathy  "Have you filled a bucket today? is a great book to read

#7 Coffeegirl

Posted 12 August 2018 - 09:22 AM

Did your DD attend kindy or preschool prior to this year?  

I only say this as I noticed with my own children, once they started school, their friends who did not go to preschool or daycare, seemed to be a bit behind with the social cues and ‘playing nicely with others’

There was nothing wrong with the other children, they simply hadn’t had the same practise developing those skills as the children who attended pre-school/daycare did.

#8 bec.gilmore

Posted 12 August 2018 - 10:32 AM


Thank you ladies so much for your time

My little one has attended daycare since she was 1

I do think I'm going to talk to my GP about it as she's amazing and see where to go from here

I am anxious about working on this before we have another baby as inevitably my time is going to become more limited

I've spoken with her Kindy teachers on several occasions about my concerns. They say that she is a normal little girl. She has days where she tends to want to play on her own and others where she likes to play with others.

She has a particular friend that she seems to have quite a tumultuous relationship with. Very up and down, seem to love and hate each other and her Kindy teachers have commented on that.

They see she's very empathetic and kind towards other children, especially little ones. She knows all the parents and their siblings.

She just doesn't seem to be a great sharer or understand social cues.

When she gets silly she will hit herself in the head and sort of behaves like the class clown if that makes sense.

I am so analytical as she's been my only for 5 years and I know the damage that being socially isolated and rejected by peers can cause children.

#9 Starletta

Posted 12 August 2018 - 12:00 PM

Hi OP.

My daughter (just turned 6) was exactly the same.

Highly empathetic and kind, but seemed unable to regulate herself socially.

She started FYOS this year and has improved so much. She is still a bit of a class clown, but that seems to be part of her personality. She has a tight group of friends who already have intense relationships and are very close. I think she feels accepted at school by these friends and being with them every day has helped her a lot as opposed to once or twice a week at preschool.

We got advice but we were told over and over it was well within the range of normal behaviour.

Only now am I starting to actually believe that!

Good luck.

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