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 ...

woozlebear Fri 12-Apr-13 15:49:39

My primary school years were like this - smallish school, 90% boys. For several years I only had 3 other girls in my year. All of them were two-faced awful bullying b*tches. Usual girl ploy of pretending to be my friends so no one had any idea. When I was little it was fine as my two best friends were boys, but both of them moved schools at 7 and after that boys and girls didn't want to mix. hmm I had a best friend outside school, but it was scant comfort.

Personally, the experience scarred me for life. I'd seriously consider moving schools.

RichardDawkinsAngel Fri 12-Apr-13 21:20:42

Thank you so much for all your responses - and I am sorry that so many of you had a tough time at primary school.

We live very rurally (think NW England) and most of the surrounding schools are also very small - three or four classes from 4 - 11. Add to that my job which is half an hour away - I need to be there at 8.30 and finish at five, three days a week - sorting out childcare has been a real challenge and reorganising it would be a nightmare. Plus, DD2 starts in September and getting two places elsewhere would be very tricky. But I definitely have not ruled it out.

I snuck into bed with my DD for a sleepy snuggle this morning and had a chat. She says she is happy and wants to stay there - and doesn't want to leave her teacher, who she loves.

She also said that there is one of the girls who she would like to have over again so I will organise that asap. That little girls mum seems quite nice too so I may try to forge an alliance there.

My DD does rainbows and gymnastics outside school so we will keep up with those.

Thank you again!

exoticfruits Fri 12-Apr-13 21:25:36

Sounds more positive. Hope all goes well.

This was my entire primary school experience. I was lonely & confused the whole time and had no confidence at all as a result when I started at a normal secondary with proper sized classes.

Try to get her into the bigger school now if at all possible & in the meantime, move heaven & earth to get her bonding with these other girls. Not as a group, but arrange play dates individually, make friends with their Mums & so on.

Auntlinny Fri 12-Apr-13 21:35:48

My children go to a really small school too. Think two classes in the whole school. I think that the school needs to take some action on this, perhaps in the form of circle time so that children get the chance to talk about friendships and the teachers set boundaries. I also feel that the older and younger girls need to come to the party and be strongly encouraged to play more widely. Perhaps 'family' groups across the school might help. This is not your daughters fault and the staff at school need to be much more proactive in helping children with their relationships.

minibird69 Fri 12-Apr-13 22:34:44

You have had a good deal of well balanced advice here and your Dd sounds great. You sound lovely too.

I think you need to really follow your gut feeling here and re-read your original and final post carefully and as if you were your own best friend.

Your DD has said her best friend is a dog so maybe the rainbows and gym arent really helping are they? And you are bothered by the situation (which is a good thing).

Please do try making the applications, then at least your DD has choices. If she is as solid as you say, she may be saying what she thinks you want to hear. Of course she will love her teacher if she has no friends at school and she knows you love the school.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I experienced low level unkindness. But mostly, they did not mean to be unkind and actually I was never bullied for no reason like your DD. I was just the deaf kid and I played by myself.

Still, I loved all my teachers. And my fabulous Mum always made sure I had big birthday parties and lots of group activities outside of school. And massive packed lunches for the lonely school trips.

And I still feel lonely in social situations even when I am surrounded by friends.

This period of your DD's life is so important and there are good reasons that choice of school causes so much angst among parents.

Good luck!

kerala Fri 12-Apr-13 22:54:15

I fear you want it to all be ok to suit your schedule and its your dd who will pay the price. Three girls not enough your child has done all she can to tell you it doesn't work for her.

seeker Fri 12-Apr-13 23:00:05

Please remember how much children want to please their parents.....

exoticfruits Sat 13-Apr-13 07:23:32

The school can be proactive, but you can't get over the fact that 4 girls are pushed together and if they had 20 girls they would most likely not have much to do with each other. I could work in an office with 4 women, get on reasonably but have nothing much in common and not particularly like them. I'm not sure that I would want 6yrs in that office, I would prefer to find one where I could have a good laugh with the staff and maybe socialise a bit outside work.

hwjm1945 Sat 13-Apr-13 08:12:51

You need to change this.even if it really disrupts work and I think you know it.four kids is too small a pool.risk is of setting up yr girl to be an outsider

Auntlinny Sat 13-Apr-13 11:12:19

Exoticfruits - but children often need help with friendships. I don't think that a child's friendships and an adult's relationship with colleagues are comparable. Lots of people seem to be saying that you should move your dd as the pool is 'too small'. Actually I disagree. Children can learn to get along and to find friends in any situation and I don't think that young children need lots of friends, just some. Your dd could be helped to sort this out and the other girls could be helped to behave more inclusively and that includes girls in other years. It is only in school we are expected to socialise only with others who are precisely our age. It is far more natural to have friends of all ages and the staff at school should strongly promote this, as the staff at my children's school do.

pamelat Sat 13-Apr-13 17:36:00

Replied earlier on thread to send my sympathy and advice but just wanted to counter one point that some responses have made re selection pool of friends etc

Dd has 15 girls in her class but has "chosen" 2 that just happen to be daughters of my closer friends. I'm sure that mixing with these people out of school, and the familiarity/comfort my dd feels around these 2, has played a part in that?

I think contact outside of school is really important.

lally28 Mon 01-Jul-13 08:04:19

Look- she is in y1- 'best friends' at that age means nothing. Just let her be, because popularity fluctuates on who has the coolest shoes or the best birthday party. She will make real friends in junior school.

Nanny0gg Mon 01-Jul-13 08:15:06

lally28 Another year of potential misery then?
When there are only 4 children there isn't much room for 'popularity fluctuation' and being excluded is the most horrible feeling to have at school.
I think the OP should 'divide and conquer' and try and push a friendship with the child her daughter likes.

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