My 7 Year Old Not Playing Well with Others

Updated on January 29, 2010
S.A. asks from Cheyenne, WY
10 answers

My son is 7 and in the first gread. We jsut got his report card and everthing looked ok, but the teacher made the comment that "he sometimes has difficulty working and playing with others". That is not the first time that a teacher has said somthing like that, and my husband and I ahve seen this too. Our son is into sports and my hubby almost always is the coach for his team as a way to spend a little more time togather, and our son get upset when he feel somone is not being fare to him crying and some times yelling. I know how sweet my boy can be but sometimes he jsut cant seem to get along with others. He has friends, but one day they are friends and the next they arnt. It changes from day to day. I am not sure how to help hime with this problem. I have tryed talking to him about this but he never seems to answer me. I wouldnt mind taking him to see some one to talk to them about it, but do to my hubbys Job in the Air Force it could be a problem and my hubby. so how do I help my child be nicer and play better with other kids. Are there any books or thing that ya'll have tryed and work? I would love any help with this.
Just as a note after reading a coment- I cant realy say here WHY taking my son to talk to somone might be bad for my hubbys Job, ya'll are just gonna have to trust that i MIGHT be...its somthing we would have to look into. I am Not saying we CANT, jsut that it might be hard. Als, I can truly say that my hubby treats our son just like the other kids when he coachs. They both like dad being the coach, and teh hubby dos not push our boy to play harder or better in anyway. I ahve seen other coaches do that with there kids and I would not let that happen to our boy. Sorry for not makeign those things clear, and thanks for your understanding

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So What Happened?

First off I wnat to thank everyone for there understanding and help! What we ended up doing was talking with the someone at school. We just started but I feel good about it and I think it'll help. But I loved the Info about tri-care and Mil-one source. Its still good to have all that info for just incase! THANKS!!

More Answers



answers from Billings on

I am also a military wife and I absolutely understand your concerns about seeking outside behavioral/emotional help for a member of your family and fearing that it could impact your husband's job...and your fears are not unjustified. Here is a way for you to deal with it since you obviously don't want to go to "Life Skills" as they call it on base...and I don't blame you. Talk to your Tricare office and they will give you a list of OUTSIDE CIVILIAN counselors that are covered by the Tricare network. If you are Tricare Prime you and your family members qualify for a set number of consultations/appointments with one of the providers without a referral-it's like 7 or 8...I can't remember exactly-but a Tricare rep can tell you specifically. Then, if further appointments are necessary then the counselor that you see will simply need to write a note to Tricare telling them that in their professional opinion, more appointments are needed. If you are Tricare Standard, then it might be a little different, but again-a Tricare rep can guide you through all of that- and they DO have to help you-so if they give you any problems, put your foot down. The best bit about this is that if anything comes up where a "review" of your family's records is required, like an overseas move-then your records will not be released from the private counsellor without your permission. Since there will be a record with Tricare that they are being billed-they may ask for them, but all they really need is a letter from the counsellor saying that whatever your family member is being seen for will not pose a problem. Best of luck. Probably what you are dealing with a simple issue that you don't need all of this information-but if you ever do-you should know that you DO have a right to privacy, even medically, though it may not seem like it, or you're told otherwise. Best of luck to you!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I understand your reluctance to take your son for help, as my husband was active duty AF in a job that might not look well upon such, or so we thought. However, we did it anyway, and it never had any impact on his career.

Now, Tricare is great about psychological benefits for your son. You don't even have to go through your PCM. Just find a psychologist that accepts Tricare. Tricare will not cover any therapists below a PHD level, so make sure about the person's credentials and their acceptance of Tricare. Make the appt, and then call Tricare's Behavioral Health line and tell them you have an appt and what the issue is. Chances are no one at your husband's work will ever even know that you have taken your son to someone. They also have services on base if you would rather use them, and again, no one at your hubby's work need know.

That is how easily it worked for us anyway. I'm not saying you need to go, but please don't let your husband's career be a block. The service is MUCH better than it used to be towards persons seeking help.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Have you talked to the teachers about your concerns? If this is something going on at school, it may cause problems with him learning in class. My daughter is a bit behind socially too and her teacher and I have had many discussions about what might help. We also got the guidance counselor involved and they started a small group class with 4 kids (our kids are not the only ones) and meet once a week practicing social skills. Part of it could be age, I see my daughter having the same issues with her friends, but its her friends that are being mean. On a side note, does he have friends of different ages. I noticed my daughter only really has these issues in school and with children her age. She gets along great with younger and older children. So she gets good practice, when with them too. Good luck.



answers from Salt Lake City on

has your dh deployed recently? even in the past year or two? I know my dd has had a really hard time with her daddy leaving and coming home and acts out when the changes occur.
with that said, we are career air force. even just 5 years ago I would have agreed that the mental health field was really frowned on but in the past several years with all the deployments they have really come to see how helpful it is for family members, and even the airmen themselves are really encouraged to seek mental health care now.
another mom posted this but you don't even need a referral to see a mental health provider. just find one that is through tricares network of providers and you can just go in. you get 8 apppointments without any need for tricare to even approve the appointments. after that if your son still needs more therapy I've not heard of anyone not being approved for more.
I really recommend seeking that out. I get where you are coming from on the fear of it possibly being detrimental to your dh's career, just to restate that...a few years ago it might have been. I know that I had wanted my dh to go after his first tour in Iraq but he wouldn't because of the backlash that could have come up, well with all the PTSD they have seen and the way it is affecting the whole family unit they encourage families to seek that out now. If you want some annonymous advice on that call the number for military one source (you can find it at the website they won't ask for names or your squadron but can answer questions you might have about the process and even have ideas for you
another thought would be to check with your base MFLC (Military Family Life Councelor I think...) they are only on the base for 6 weeks, you can talk to them about anything they don't take notes or report to anyone but are there to help out in these situations to help get you pointed in the right direction. they also have one at the CDC (child development center) that can help with specific issues for your child. these are just some thoughts if you are nervous about just going right to a mental health provider.
Hugs--and good luck.


answers from Denver on

Is you son an only child? I have the same problem with my daughter. At least this is what her report card says and this has not been the first time. However, I am meeting with her teacher at Peoria Elem. (APS) this afternoon for Parent-Teacher's Conference. I will see what we can do to work at this problem. I will let you know what me and the teacher come up with today.




answers from San Francisco on

HI there, I feel your pain as I have three boys. It could be several things from my experience. First, boys reach emotional milestones a bit behind girls for the most part. If something in their world is bugging them, they will tend to use a physical response before knowing how to articulate it. Like they say, there is no "bad" attention, when you want attention. He could be feeling insecure about a relationship, some school work, etc and he feels a bit lost, so its easier for him to act out. I have found that boys will even get mis-diagonsed as hyper or unsocial when they just are at a lost as to how to communicate or maybe even just need to move around more. Its hard to sit still for so long when its not your way. As an option, if you (or your husband) can take him away from home, maybe outside somewhere and while doing some activity they enjoy, chat about this and that and include a story about yourself and how you handled something that was diffiicult when you were a kid. Kids need to know they are not alone in how to handle something they may not feel they can when they think they are expected to.
Just my two of luck!


answers from San Francisco on

You don't say whether or not he plays with kids his own age outside of school? If his only social experience is in sports, the classroom and at recess, it's not enough (it's very normal in the school setting for friends to change from day to day.) He needs time to play with kids in an unstructured environment. Does he ever get invited to other kids' homes for playdates? If not, start inviting classmates over (one at a time) and just let them play for a few hours. Don't try to play with them, just observe. If playing at your house is not an option, take them to the park. Soon enough you'll see how your son interacts with others. Sounds like he just needs the experience.



answers from Chicago on

My stepdaughter had some issue with kids when she was seven (and still does occasionally) but what kid doesn't? They call them "social skills" because they must be learned.

I found that by giving her scenerios and then talking about what she could do in those situations helped a lot. We'd either act it out with Barbie dolls or "practice" where I would be the other kid and she would think of what to say.

So for example, I would say "Okay, your friend Sara is not being fair. What could you do instead of running to the teacher and crying? Could you talk to her? I'll be Sara, and you be yourself and let's work it out."

This completely handled the situations. As for one day being friends and the next day not...I wouldn't worry about it unless he seems really upset. That happens All The Time with seven year olds! It always changes from day to day. The most I've done about it is if she seems really mad we talk about how she could resolve it.

As for being his coach, I'm my stepdaughter's gymnastics coach and it is harder on the child because at that moment *she* is not more important to me than the other kids. Anywhere else she is. I have noticed that she wants a little extra attention from me because she's used to it and in the beginning she'd be extra "dramatic" because she wanted it. I do think if you can teach him how to handle the upsets with kids that it'll help when he's being coached by dad. It just sounds like he lacks the skills to deal and like any other kid, runs to dad for help.

Good luck!



answers from Pittsburgh on

Could your son talk to the guidance counselor at school? That might help.



answers from Detroit on

I'm confused here... what does having to take your son to talk to someone aside from you, have to do with your husband's job in the Air Force and being a problem? Either way, this is your son you should be worried about, not your husband - he's the big boy and can take care of himself, your son needs the help right now.

Maybe it is not a good idea for your son to have his father as a coach as many times this can be more damaging to a child's psyche (emotionally for certain). Can you honestly say your husband is not overly hard or harsh with him during practice/ game time? It can be possible as he would have a higher expectation out of HIS SON over the others. (it can be an 'ego thing' in many cases as I have seen this before with my friends growing up.).

And that right there, may be the case... your son's peers may resent being coached by his dad- or there could be something more to it. This is why he needs to talk with you (in a safe, non judgmental way, w/o punishment) or even a counselor at school.

Put your son first here and keep trying to talk to him... It truly sounds as if there is an emotional issue underneath for him.

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