Private School Kindergarten Social Dynamics?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-23-2004
Private School Kindergarten Social Dynamics?
Fri, 09-27-2013 - 8:08pm

Hi all.  I have a kindergartener in a private school.  Everything is new to her, and she's finding it very tough to assimilate after years of play-based preschool.

The only two girls with whom she feels an affinity are also in a ballet class with her.  While we are middle-class, these girls' families are hyper wealthy, and their mothers don't seem particularly receptive to setting up playdates.  I asked one about a playdate, and she took all of my information and said she'd be in touch that day...and that was about a month ago.  When I've seen her since, she's seemed aloof, and anyway, what would I say?

I guess I have two options.  One is to let this continue.  The other is to email both moms and proactively try to set up a playdate at our humble home...possibly forcing the issue when they tell me to take a hike?

I've been encouraging my daughter to find other friends, but so far, she hasn't succeeded -- or at least, when I ask about playdates, she only mentions the two girls from ballet class.

Please help me navigate this new social scene, which is out of my realm.


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2003

I'm not a play date mom. Its hard we both work. There was one friend who had a working mom too and for MONTHS they asked for a play date and for MONTHS her mom and I danced around it before discovering we both had the same hang up. Since we work 5 days a week, we aren't the best housekeepers and there is always that fear that the friend will say something negative about the non spotless floors and clutter. turns out we both had the same problem so the kids could careless but now between sports and other extra circulars there just isn't time for them.

Do other kids do play dates? At my kindergarten schools there aren't alot of playdates schedules. Seems to be a culture thing and a working parent thing. Being a private school I find more two working family homes but more extented families taking kids after school and thats a lot to ask of a grandparent to supervise a play date or sometimes its an older sibling.

It maybe a snub or may be a we don't do playdates but you won't know until you ask because it could also be an overload of extra circulars we just don't have time or energy to plan. Can't hurt to politely extend the invite and see how it goes.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2007
Sun, 09-29-2013 - 11:20am

Hi, I am new to private school too and have encountered similar issues. As for friends, when the other moms are not getting back to you about playdates, then they are not interested. That is what I read from various advice on the web. I wouldn't push it. Second, at least at our private school, the teachers are more accommodating, especially to social issues. Mention the social/friends issues that your child is having with her teacher (e-mail or meeting), and ask the teacher what the teacher can do during the school day to help your child.

Also, your child should have friends outside of school anyway. It's healthy for them to have other social groups who see her in different ways so that her place in the social hierarchy at school doesn't feel so salient. Like, my neighborhood friends see me this way, my church friends see me this way, my cousins see me this way, etc. That way her fitting into any one particular social group doesn't take on too big of an importance but it's more balanced.


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-23-2004

Thank you both so much for the replies!  As an update, I emailed six moms of my daughter's classmates, and it took them a while, but they all got back to me with good replies and even thanks for getting the ball rolling on setting up playdates.  I set up four playdates and I hope many of the moms/kids will show at them.  Maybe I'm forcing my playdate culture onto these people, but the bottom line is that I really want my daughter's transition to kindergarten, and the process of making friends, to be as smooth as possible.  Whatever it takes!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2004
Fri, 10-04-2013 - 8:00pm

Instead of meeting at each other's houses, we meet at parks or activity places.  Parks are a big one, but so are Lego classes on the weekend, biking/hiking trails, bowling, putt-putt, etc.  Can you tell I have a boy?

Agree with the others - if there is no response about playdates, they aren't interested.  It's strange to work within academic peers, but NOT economically.