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Old 02-06-2013, 01:50 PM   #1
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She feels left out..... advice?

We recently had new neighbors move in. Up until now we have not really socialized with neighborhood kids as mine are still pretty young - 2,4, and 5. The little girl next door has really taken a liking to my 5 year old son. She often asks to come over or wants him to come over to her house. The girl is really sweet and kind. The problem I am having is that my 4 year old daughter really wants to be her friend and be included. My daughter is a bit immature for her age and has delayed speech making her hard to understand. She can't just go over and play in the neighbors back yard like my 5 year old can. She needs more supervision than that. It is breaking my heart though because my son is over there jumping on her trampoline with her and I am at home trying to explain to my daughter that it is time for the bigger kids to play together- she thinks she is big enough of course. She also tends to try and be a pest to the older kids and they honestly don't want to play with her. They are so close in age though that it is hard for her to understand this. I have never had to deal with neighborhood kids or one of my kids feeling left out like this. Would you continue to let the 5 year old go over there and play (leaving the 4 year old out?) I might just try and make the time he is over there be a really special mommy time here for her an my other son......it still won't compare in her mind though! Any thoughts are appreciated!

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Old 02-06-2013, 02:11 PM   #2
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Re: She feels left out..... advice?

Hm I think that's tough.

Could you have the little girl over to YOUR house? Maybe for an art project or something?

Maybe ask your 4 y/o to help plan a "surprise party" for them all. She could "help" you pick out cupcakes and an activity, and help you set it all up, and then could interact and play with them at your house... ?

Other than that, I got nothing. I'm sorry.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:16 PM   #3
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Re: She feels left out..... advice?

I will preface this with that, my son is only 15 months, so I haven't been there yet. This may be terrible advice.

But, it seems kind of...lacking the right word here...sad to deny your five year old a friend and an independent experience from something that is out of his hands, ie the speech delay and maturity level of his sister. My mom grew up with a sister who was a year older and had a heart condition and was really odd, and my mom was not allowed to play with kids unless they wanted to play with her sister too. So, my mom had no friends for a long time and she was bummed.

Is there a place for your four year old to meet someone on her level and can you arrange a playdate at your home with your daughter at the same time you have arranged for your oldest to play at the neighbors?

Good luck
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:24 PM   #4
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Re: She feels left out..... advice?

I would continue to allow the 5 year old to play, it doesnt seem fair to keep him from a friend just because his sister is feeling left out. Maybe every once and a while you can have the little girl over for a play date and do something with all the kids, like make cookies, or do an art project, that way your daughter can play with the "big kids" sometimes too

I have kids a year apart too, its hard when they are at such different stages. I try to keep in mind that they are individuals and not lump them together as a pair just because they are close in age
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:40 PM   #5
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Re: She feels left out..... advice?

I'm not there yet either, so take mine with a grain of salt. Maybe you could work out something where there's a set time your 4 year old can play too, then the big kids get their alone time, if that makes sense? And big brother may be more willing to include little sis if he knows he gets to play with his friend alone too, KWIM?
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:50 PM   #6
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Re: She feels left out..... advice?

We are in a cul-de-sac with 14 children in 4 houses from 7yo - 3m and it's comes complete with a trampoline in our back yard. Most of them get along, most of them have buddy or two, most of them are ok to play with whoever is out there playing BUT every now and then just the boys are out or just the girls are out and in those cases I only allow the one(s) out to play that will fit in with that group. Some times it leave my 5yo or 4yo feeling left out but I always just explain to them and we move on. I can imagine it's hard when it's ALWAYS your 5yo and the neighbor girl and in that case (as it is often with my 2yo if I don't want her out) I make it a point to play something distracting with her.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:51 PM   #7
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Re: She feels left out..... advice?

How old is the other little girl?
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:59 PM   #8
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I'd surely let the bigger kids continue to enjoy each other's company and explain the situation just like you have. I'd also explain that having a neighbor on your eldest's level was luck of the draw and there will likely be some luck of the draw in her favor someday.

I had some explaining to do to my daughter after it became clear that the little girl (a year older) across the street was just too aggressive to play with. But she seemed to do such fun things! The grass over there seemed so much greener.
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:19 PM   #9
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Re: She feels left out..... advice?

The little girl is in first grade - so 6 or 7?

After playing over at her house for awhile they did end up coming to our house and my 3 are all outside getting to enjoy the neighbor now (even though I am pretty certain the younger two are being pest ) I think they are all just in love with having another kid so close by. They are used to occassional play dates not someone who can come play every day! They all want her attention. I will definitely still let my 5 year old and her have their time to play and then have her come over here some so they can all play. Thanks for all the responses so far!


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Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post
How old is the other little girl?
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