I really need some advice, my 12yo daughter is unpopular and always had been . The hardest part to admit is this, that she isn't always very nice. This has caused problems since she was a toddler, at playgroups I could see how she just seemed to rub the other children up the wrong way bossing them round and telling others they are wrong all the time and it has gone on ever since. It really breaks my heart when she cries because she is left out, without friends, picked on by other children as a result etc. She is very very clever, independent, strong minded, beautiful and helpful. But on the down side she is selfish, ungenerous and spiteful. She's had help in social skills at primary school and it's going to be starting in secondary school too but when I try to talk to her about how she is too people she gets angry and storms off saying 'you think I'm horrible' so it is really hard. We ALWAYS praise the good and encourage her she is a lovely girl she just needs to work harder at not aggravating people- to think how she'd feel to hear whatever she's going to say, before she opens her mouth. One example is this...a friend messaged her saying her boyfriend dumped her and my daughters response was, I think he fancies me!!!! Two hours back at school and she's texting me saying everyone else is invited to a party except her...how can I comfort her when I feel deep down...I'm not surprised? When she does strike a freindship she wants to be their best freind straight away, she's never been someone's best friend and seems to be caught in this cycle of being hard work, failing to make strong freindships as a result, and then being awful' because she feels awful I guess. I worry so much what will happen to her and feel if she could just stop caring so much and being so needy friendships might start to happen on their own. She is popular with grown ups, teachers, family and children she has less contact with so it's not all bad. It's heartbreaking as a Mum I really need some new ideas how to help.
Sounds like she's going to be running the country or multinational company in the future! I used to teach this and had girls in my class who had friendship issues. I often approached kind, reliable souls and asked them to be a "buddy" for the girl who was finding it difficult to form relationships. I think it would also help to talk to your daughter very openly about why her behaviour is sometimes an obstruction to making friends. Maybe try some role play at home and then discuss how she could have reacted or commented in a different way. It is difficult but rest assured she won't be the only one in her year group. She'll soon find her niche and will form her own friendship group in time.
Its sounds as though she is really lacking in confidence and because of that this spiteful behaviour is manifesting itself. She's not feeling good about herself, and is in turn trying to make others feel bad about themselves too, in order to increase her own self worth. I'd look at trying to build her confidence, if she feels happy secure and confident in herself, then she's less likely to feel the need to hurt others. In turn, if they respond positively to her, instead of negatively, then this will increase her feeling of self worth. Have you considered classes that might help her build her confidence? Acting? Something that she's good at that she can build on? Counselling so she can talk through the process of what is happening with someone independent from the family?
Also, consider having a word with the school. I don't know if it is common in England, but overseas, DD has been involved in friendship groups when a child has been left out. I can't imagine why they'd choose DD, she is a horror at home, but apparently, approachable and nurturing at school.
Thanks for your replies, I think all the suggestions have been tried at some point but it helped me to know all the right things have been done and especially reassuring that she won't be the only one struggling in this way. It's a roller coaster- one day everything is amazing she loves school and has friends, the next life isn't worth living. Such hard work being a mummy, the line 'I just want you to be happy' feels very different now I'm the one saying it to when my mum was saying it to me!