DD has 'no friends' at school

(114 Posts)
RichardDawkinsAngel Thu 11-Apr-13 21:15:17

My DD is at a very small primary school - in fact there are only 4 girls in her year (Y1). Last term there was some nasty three on one bullying- I saw the class tracher and it seemed to get sorted, although there has been the odd comment, nothing that has been worth following up.

Today my DD was chatting to her little sister at the table about how her gran's dog is her best friend. DD2 innocently asked who her 'real' best friend was as you 'can't really be best friends with a dog'. DD1 said, conversationally, 'well, no one really. I want to be friends with x, y and z but they don't want to be friends with me so ....'

I would like to be able to tell her to go and play with soneone else but there IS no one else and it must be so miserable to have no friends at school. My DH says not to worry as she has friends outside school and doesn't seem unhappy but it is really bothering me ...

MildDrPepperAddiction Thu 11-Apr-13 21:21:36

No real advice for you but didn't want to read and run. Your poor DD. Could you maybe arrange a playdate with the other girls to see if they get along outside school? They may just need someone to facilitate them getting to know each other better.

larks35 Thu 11-Apr-13 21:22:06

I would look to move her to a bigger school, is there any possibility of that? If not, I would be very pro-active in encouraging these other girls to accept your DD as their friend - tea parties, picnics, play sessions etc. I don't imagine your DD's class size is likely to change much over the years and it would be sad if she never felt like she had friends at school.

WorraLiberty Thu 11-Apr-13 21:22:28

Why is there no-one else?

Does she not get on with any of the boys either?

AgentZigzag Thu 11-Apr-13 21:24:38

That's really tricky when there's such a small group, and awful when you hear your DD say things like that.

What does she make of the lads in her class? Could you encourage her in that direction?

Ultimately though it's up to the teacher to use whatever techniques they've got to make sure your DD isn't being excluded. I would go back and tell them that although it's a bit better your DD is still on the outside.

You can't see this as a relative thing, your DD has a right to go to school without any of this shit, and 'low level' exclusion from the group can be just as bad as outright hostility.

Your DH has a point though about developing more friendships outside school, but they're at school for so long during the day that it can still make for a really long day/week/term.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 11-Apr-13 21:25:26

Oh I feel for her. My DD was at a tiny school too ...until year 2 when I finally got her into a larger one.

She was one of 4 girls too and it was hard. I also agree another school might be better...is there any other? THis type of thing could go on and on.

exoticfruits Thu 11-Apr-13 21:26:54

Is there no chance of moving to a bigger school with a bigger friendship pool? Other than that I would go the way of out of school activities.

Smokedsalmonbagel Thu 11-Apr-13 21:27:16

I was going to say what about the boys. I have a 6 year old DS who prefers playing with girls although I do worry he doesn't fit in with the boys.
Speak to the teacher and see if theres anyone she could be paired up with.

issypiggle Thu 11-Apr-13 21:27:22

make friends with boys, best option. sod the girls. thats what i did, played football and ran around like a loony

if she's got friends outside of school, i'm guessing they go to a different school, any chance of looking to move her there?

kids friendships change as often as the weather, next year they might all be friends. chat to the school see if they have any concerns.

RichardDawkinsAngel Thu 11-Apr-13 21:29:29

I have had the girls round - it is fine when they are here, though there has been some low level unkindness at the houses of the two who have returned the invites.

I love the school other than the peer group and all the schools near here are full anyway!

I have encouraged playing with the boys in the class - and with the girls in the years above and below, but yhe Y2 girls win't play with 'babies', the reception girls are a tight knit little group and, sadly, she doesn't want to play with the boys :-(

pamelat Thu 11-Apr-13 21:30:01

If no chance of moving to a bigger school I'd speak to the parents of the girls.

Assuming they are reasonable people they'll want to help. They need to know that their daughters behaviour is not acceptable and I'd arrange play dates with 1 girl at a time with your dd

I'm very sorry as I'd be heart broken. It must be very hard with so few children in the class.

exoticfruits Thu 11-Apr-13 21:32:26

When I was that age there was no way that I would have played with the boys- I had 2 brothers, that was enough.

MrsMangelFanciedPaulRobinson Thu 11-Apr-13 21:33:34

I'm so sorry to hear this. It must be really upsetting for you and your DD. sad

I really would look into moving her. Even if other local schools are full there is no harm in popping her name on the waiting list. I don't think that the situation with the other 3 will get much better unfortunately. Yes, the teacher can try to make them play with your DD but I honestly don't think things will change long term in how they treat her.

In the meantime I would focus on friendships away from school; clubs and activities, meet up with friends that have children from other schools, and yes, like some of the others have suggested encourage her to play with the boys.

pictish Thu 11-Apr-13 21:34:36

aw...I feel for both of you. It's a tricky one isn't it?

b4bunnies Thu 11-Apr-13 21:43:30

i am so sorry. do try to move her if you can, or get her into lots of hobby-type classes etc so she's busy and has opportunities to meet other people.

i can empathise. i don't have any friends at school. and i'm a teacher.

RichardDawkinsAngel Thu 11-Apr-13 22:14:21

Thank you for all your replies. I will brave some more play dates this term (to be honest, I haven't been able to face any since the unkindness just before Xmas) and will try to encourage playing with the boys.

If things don't improve, I may pop her on the waiting list for one or two of the schools nearby.

I am worried that there is a 'reason' that the other girls don't want to be friends with my DD though I'm buggered if I know what it could be - and it feels disloyal to even write that down! But if there is some truth in that, would moving her help in the long run??

nancy75 Thu 11-Apr-13 22:19:10

How friendly are the mums of the other 3 with each other? Did the others know ea h other before they started school?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 11-Apr-13 22:24:47

Just pop her on the lists anyway! No harm can come of it....places can take two years to come up; by then you may not want it....so fine. Get on the lists now.

GladbagsGold Thu 11-Apr-13 22:26:22

My DD is in Y1 and half her best friends are boys. Try inviting her favourite boy home for a play date?

Dereksmalls Thu 11-Apr-13 22:32:15

I might have missed posts relating to this but can you move her to a larger school? I was in this situation at school, one other girl and five boys in my class. The other girl could be pretty manipulative but it was a case of stick with her or play alone. In contrast, my DD is in a much bigger school and her friends this year are completely different from those she played with last year - I was a bit worried about her last year but today she had a card in her bag stating she was a member of a little gang, all five girls in it had been given one by one of the other members. I think you are doing exactly the right thing in ensuring she has friendship groups out of school.

thebody Thu 11-Apr-13 22:35:46

Aw this is such a sad thread and one I recognise.

My oldest ds ( now 23) was unhappy at his middle school. He was matter if fact about it and we didn't realised the extent if his unhappiness until we found a diary which simply said' being teased all the time is like having the happiness sucked out of you'.

Truley awful. He left that year for a huge high school and absolutely loved it as the friendship pool was huge.

Please put your dd on the waiting list for a bigger school or even move house to a different catchment area.

Children can suffer more than they they let you know.

You may have a nasty queen bee at a small school and she rules the roost.

If moving not in the cards tackle all guns blazing, involve the school and tell them how your daughter feels! Arrange play dates and involve gge other parents, have a dinner party and involve kids and parents, network and be out there. Be in their faces and this makes sky bullying harder to carry out. Let the kids know you are there and

aware of their behaviour., ,

Good luck op.

formicaqueen Thu 11-Apr-13 22:37:59

I think it can just be down to bad luck. A small mixed group of girls where there aren't any really nice ones. I would seriously move her to a different school Your DH claims that it's not bothering her but how does he really know? Have you talked to her about it?

EndoplasmicReticulum Thu 11-Apr-13 22:38:58

This was me, 30 years ago. Five girls in my year, the other four made two neat pairs and I sat at the side of the playground with a book.

I was miserable. Ended up moving schools.

Dereksmalls Thu 11-Apr-13 22:41:06

Just noticed your post about the "reason" for this. I grew up thinking there I must be the "reason" my school "friend" was always in the huff. I don't think this would occur to my DD as if she's had difficulties with some children then she's been able to go and find someone else to play with.

My DF moved her daughter after her first year - she was one of the youngest and my DF felt she'd developed some unbalanced relationships with more dominant children that was making unhappy. All fine now, a fresh start, slightly older and less overawed has made a real difference.

If you think there may be a reason your DD isn't making friends then she will too and that's not a healthy place for her to be. She'll also be spending a lot of time on her own - fine if that's what she wants but if not she could be playing tig in another school.

Leeds2 Thu 11-Apr-13 22:43:28

My first thought would be to move her to a bigger school. 4 girls in one year group isn't, imo, healthy. I have had a friend experience this in an all girls private school, where 5 girls was the entire year group. Different problems, in that the girls were taught with the year above, then the year below etc and my friend felt that the year group was just being tolerated. She felt it was so small that they stood no chance of attracting new girls! In the end, the 5 became very fixed in who they would be friends with, to an extent that low level bullying became the norm. My friend moved her DD, and never looked back.

I would also look at lunchtime/after school clubs, so that your DD has chance to make friends with her classmates whilst doing something they are both interested in.

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