9 year old daughter's friendship problems help!

(7 Posts)
suzanski Wed 21-Nov-12 14:01:21

Hi everyone. This is my first post, so please be gentle My daughter has always been a bit "different" - I think this could be down to her having a serious neurological condition in her nursery years, and missing out on that crucial socialisation time. I do think that now she has improved, and seems to be able to get on with her peers OK.

However, her school class is rather peculiar, with 21 boys and only half that number of girls, leaving a small friendship pool. The girls are cliquey, and my girl is in a loose group with maybe 5 others. I thought I was good friends with a couple of the mums of the girls in her group, but I'm beginning to doubt that now.

I called my "friend" one day when I overheard her daughter be really mean to mine, and she said she felt that her daughter didn't really like mine, and was "neutral" towards her. I had thought they were friends, and she has been at my house to play, I have babysat for her, and we have spent time together at weekends- I am gutted, and as you can imagine am feeling "neutral" if not "negative" towards the mum!

Another of her friends, whose mum I get on with OK, seems to be cooling off towards her too (and being more friendly with the girl above...) and when I asked if she would like to go to an event with us, her mum said to leave it as she didn't think the girls were getting on that well. I am Gobsmacked that someone would actually write that down, as I try very hard to treat people well, but it raises the question about my daugyter's friendship with this girl too.

This leaves her with hardly any friendship opportunities in the class, apart from a very disruptive girl from a troubled background and one girl who is nice and loyal too (although friendly with girl B above).

My question for you is....do these mums think that my daughter is not a suitable playmate for their girls? Or do they not like ME, and are trying to hurt my feelings? What should I do?

My daughter says she still plays with girl B every day, but she is sick of me asking questions about friends, and I get the feeling she's not telling me everything. She is at the childminder with girl A once a week, but they didn't play together yesterday.

I don't know how to help my daughter, if there is a real problem with her getting on with the girls at school.Please don't suggest I talk to her teacher, because she doesn't get involved in issues like this - she is a great teacher, but has made this clear. My daughter doesn't seem to lack confidence, but perhaps I should be thinking about building her up?

Wit's end with this -just feel like moving away somewhere else where she can make new friends without all this hassle. And me too

Notmyidea Fri 23-Nov-12 07:05:21

I suspect there is something in your daughter's behaviour that the other girls are finding hard work. Have you tried asking the teacher what that might be? (different from "can you make A and B be friends with dd?" and be prepared for an answer you may not like, but will give you somewhere to start?
Does your dd mix with other girls outside of school?

Visualarts Sat 24-Nov-12 18:29:38

If teach has made clear that she won't get involved, I would go to the person reponsible for pastoral issues - maybe the deputy head? And failing that, the head - I think you are reasonable to ask school for help with socialisation issues, cliques, friendship difficulties etc

Is there only one class? if there are only ten other girls in the whole year, it may simply be that there is no one dd really clicks with - that is a small pool - and nothing wrong with her social skills really. Have you had an opportunity to observe her with friends recently - you would probably be able to judge whether it's something that she's doing that you might be able to advise her about, kindly?

and lots of sympathy to you -this sort of thing can be very upsetting, But on the other hand your dd is lucky that you're ken to help and find out what is happening!

Visualarts Sun 25-Nov-12 09:00:58

I was thimkimg more about this last night, and realise I didn't actually answer your question! so:
From what you say, it sounds v v unlikely that mum A doesn't like you, as you've spent time together at weekends and she's had you babysitting. And mum B you get on with ok, so I think that is unlikely as well. I think maybe discussing friendship issues with the mums can be difficult, because different people have such different approaches, and also it is a very emotive issue if you feel -or are told! - another child doesn't like your child (although in reality we all know that not everyone will, that doesn't mean we don't mind. Hugely, if we thought dcs were chums!) That is why I would definitely involve the school - much easier to discuss with them, and another reason is that they have experienced such things many times, and will maybe have a good feel for the 'overview'.
Also - on another thread we posters have been agreeing on the importance of friends and activities outside school - which seems particularly important if there are only 11 girls in the year. Could you look into Brownies, a spors club, music or drama group? And are there other local friends at other schools - get them round to play one to one?
So sorry you're experiencing this - to be frank, it can be awful!

lljkk Sun 25-Nov-12 09:18:31

Friendships at this age are notoriously volatile (DD now in y6). The odds are the girls will make up & be best buds again or there will be sudden transformations of social circle configuration in blink of an eye.

As a rule, the less you get involved the better. If you think you've been friendly with the mums, I would ask the mums if there's anything specific your DD has done to fall out with the other girls. And only act on that information if it's very concrete and specific. But otherwise, try to stay out of it.

If your DD isn't unhappy about her social life & can point to at least one good friend, she's doing better than many.

lljkk Sun 25-Nov-12 09:19:25

ps: view as separate your friendships with the mums from your DD's friendship with their DDs. Best for all.

nortonmumoftwo Wed 28-Nov-12 12:57:55

Hi suzanski

Really feel for you and I know so how you feel!

I've got 2 DD's - they're good kids and we have a close relationship - HOWEVER - problems have been extremely strained over the last year with friendship groups/friends who are neighbours - concerning both DD's.

My DD's have had it all - kiddish threats, nasty texts, school problems and all that sort of thing. Really all minor 'she said that/she did that first' stuff. Sometimes my DD's at fault - sometimes not - but always me who gets her ear bent after the 'fall out'! It winds me up as there's nothing you can do you can't even get to the bottom of the problem and most of the time the two enemies are friends again the next day! aarrgghh!

So after talking to friends and DH I have decided to take a back seat and let them get on with it. I still listen to their grips and whines and say the right things and sympathise but leave it at that.

I will only get involved if it reaches a level that requires an adult to intervene. A couple of times this has happened and I have had to block people on FB or block their numbers on their phones. I only speak to the other parent very rarely as most parents believe that 'X wouldn't do that it's your child that's at fault!'

Teachers probably feel its unsortable. They would never have time to teach if they tried to sort out all playground spats! Often you just get 'tea and sympathy'.

All you can do is empower your child to be a pleasant and kind person and leave playground disagreements in the playground. Your DD will find her own way in the world.

I have had to do this as I found myself sometimes in the playground and acting like a 11 year old! I had to have a word with myself and remember I am an adult!

Best of luck

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