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 ...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

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

Sounds more positive. Hope all goes well.

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!

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.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 12-Apr-13 15:38:53

OP... so sorry to read your post.

I wonder if the suggestion that you talk to the other girls' parents would be a good one (fathers as well as mothers). If my daughter were one of the ones excluding yours, I would want to know about it and I would do all I could to make sure that your daughter didn't carry on having to live her school days like this.

I agree with the other posters who say that your daughter sounds lovely and very well-adjusted.

Please update when you've decided what you'll do.

MrsMacFarlane Fri 12-Apr-13 14:12:40

Your daughter sounds like a lovely, well adjusted wee girl who has unfortunately not got many other girls in her class to play with. My DD was in a class with 20 other girls in, there were a group of 5 or 6 absolute witches in it throughout her primary school but she was in the very fortunate position of having 5 or 6 decent girls who where also in the class to form strong friendships with. I dread to think how she'd have suffered if only the "witches" had been available.

Take no notice of posters inferring your daughter is somehow to blame for her situation. She categorically isn't.

CruCru Fri 12-Apr-13 12:44:50

Please move her. I had this (pushed out of the girls' friendship group and not popular with the boys) at junior school and had a miserable time. Even now, if I meet someone who was at my junior school I feel uncomfortable and I'm now 35.

exoticfruits Fri 12-Apr-13 12:21:58

A good analogy is if MN decided to pay for 4 member to have a weekend away and they chose, at random, 4 women who were 37yrs old with DCs at primary school. 3 might have a lovely time and one might feel left out and hate it. It is very unfair to say that there was something 'wrong' with the one who didn't get on-with a completely different set she might have had a marvellous time and been life long friends.

Friendship is a very funny thing. My DSs all went to the same secondary school and the general thing was for them to fill in a sheet in yr 6 to say who they would like to be in a tutor group with. They didn't get all of them, but it at least ensured a friend.
When DS3 went they did a new thing-gave them a questionnaire to fill in and sorted them according to the answers. It caused so much upset, they never did it again! DS3 didn't get any friends. He doesn't play football, doesn't even like football so it immediately separated him because all his friends were not only footballers but good footballers. He ended up with a friend because one DS was so upset his mother got him changed. It wasn't just as if it was DS3 who got misplaced-it was across the board-they might as well have pulled names out of a hat.

The one thing that you do need is a large pool of potential friends-unless luck plays a huge part.

kerala Fri 12-Apr-13 10:51:31

Move her. Too few girls I agree with the majority. I went to a tiny village school and it was fine as there were 9 girls in my year mostly easy going so I had a happy time. My sister on the other hand was in a year of 3 girls.

My sister is the jolliest, most fun, kind popular person you could meet - as a teen and adult she has the most friends of anyone I know. But she had a miserable 7 years at primary school - one of the girls was having a difficult time at home and basically subtly tormented my poor sister for 7 years. The other girl was a weaker character who sided with the bully. My sister was trapped basically and should have been moved. Unlike most kids who quake at transferring to the enormous comp my sister was thrilled the whole world opened up for her and she made loads of nice uncomplicated friends she still sees today. Such a shame her childhood was marred by my parents "support the village school at any cost" stance she really paid the price for that one.

MrsMangelFanciedPaulRobinson Fri 12-Apr-13 10:21:13

Exoticfruits, I totally agree, and I've said the same thing as you earlier on in this thread. However I still would speak to the mum, as it's unacceptable for the child to behave in that way, and the mum should know really that her little darling is being unpleasant to a visiting child.

Catsize Fri 12-Apr-13 10:17:20

Thought en route to work that my 'issues' may in large part be due to having a pretty crap time at home too, so can't entirely blame school experiences for my stuff. Thought I should clarify.

exoticfruits Fri 12-Apr-13 10:16:33

I mean that one day we were best friends and the next day she decided we were not best friends and it was sort of on/off , the odd way that girl's friendships go. Once she realised it didn't bother me she stopped doing it. It only stopped bothering me because there was more choice and it really didn't matter to me.

exoticfruits Fri 12-Apr-13 10:13:42

A bigger group dilutes things that a small group make intense. I once had a rather bossy friend who would decide not to be my friend (this is going back a lot of years) it was a bit upsetting because there wasn't much choice. However once we moved to secondary school I merely went and joined another group. She never did it again-the dynamics were completely different.

pictish Fri 12-Apr-13 10:09:34

Totally agree.

exoticfruits Fri 12-Apr-13 10:09:23

* I would definitely mention it to a mum if my DD had had a horrible time at someone else's housee.*

Yes, but it doesn't alter the fact that if there was a bigger friendship pool they would never choose to be at each other's house in the first place.The general thing is that if someone is horrible to you, you go and seek friendship elsewhere.

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