How to help DD aged 9.5 mature in her handling of friends and in herself perhaps?

(17 Posts)
PimmsOclockisNow Mon 23-Sep-13 18:37:15

I need some mumsnet guidance as I think I am going about this all wrong. My DD is in year 5, aged 9.5 and is struggling with the whole friendship thing. She is I think rather immature compared to her peers in her behaviour and conversation.

She is very clingy to her best friend who is on the grown up end of the spectrum but DD doesnot get this - she just gets upset that best friend is ignoring her - Im sure she isnot but wants to hang with the more mature kids. As her class is so small there arent that many other girls to befriend as the other girls stick in their well formed cliques. DD has good friends out of school, although its often the younger sisters she gets on with better and she does brownies so had other friends which is good. I jsut want her to be happy at school and stop asking to leave as everyone was mean to her - her interpretation - mine is that due to her immaturity they prefer to play with other kids which is a part of life so she needs to get on with it.

Sorry rambling.....my questions are 1) What can I do to help her mature in social skills and as a person? and
2) how should i respond to the everyone hates me, they are all in the wrong and I hate them all tantrums - its never her fault or anything she has done or can change.....

I'd be interested to read people's advice, as DD (9y2m, also Y5) is significantly young for her age. She seems more like a 7 year old and her friends get frustrated with her sometimes because she can be silly, overexcitable and immature.

lisylisylou Mon 23-Sep-13 22:28:37

My ds is very immature he is youngest in class and has tantrums and needs to grow up a bit. I've brought his bedtime forward so he gets lots of sleep and I've noticed a huge difference in his behaviour he's not as erratic. His school has been brilliant and noticed that he wasn't dealing with his emotions too well and his confidence was going down! They put him through an art/sound course with a counsellor but the school also gave him more responsibilities and made him a buddy (look after other kids). They also looked at his friendship groups and are strengthening those as well. Definitely talk to the school about your concerns my ds is a lot happier. I say to my son (wrongly) 'oh grow up' and he looks at me and says 'but I don't know how to and I want to stay a kid!' I've found also when he has tantrums to stay calm myself and say I will give him timeout in his bedroom for 15 minutes and take a toy away! He usually stops at that point but if he doesnt i find that 15 minutes bives us both time to calm down. if the tantrum isnt too bad i have to get him to look at me and talk very calmly and firmly and sometimes that can stop a tantrum. I find anything electronic (computers, wii etc) hypes him up and hunger as well. If any of us are wound up then he becomes wound up as well. Those are his triggers and I have only found this stuff out by trial and error. I hope that any of those might help - good luck it's not easy is it?

PimmsOclockisNow Mon 23-Sep-13 22:44:53

Thanks three and lisy. You are right its not easy, it breaks my heart but also I can see why she has problems as she is immature and yes silly and a bit nonsensical. I just wonder if it is possible to grow someone up a bit?

On the tantrums I cant leave her in her room as she trashes things in frustration but we do the ignore thing as much as possible - rather difficult when she shouted 'losers' at DH and I on the way home from Brownies tonight. I do think there maybe something in having more sleep - very tricky as I don't pick her up from childminders until 5.30 and then there is homework, brownies, a bit of life and then we have to get her up at 6.30 to get the childminder for 7.45 - but where theres a will theres way!

lisy Your school sounds fantastic, mine is as useful as a chocolate teapot - pastoral care is way down on its list of priorities and its a faith school!

MmeLindor Mon 23-Sep-13 22:54:15

What time does she go to bed? Could you let her sleep a bit later and have breakfast at childminders?

Getting up that early would have been hard for my DD at that age, and she was an early riser.

I found talking about feelings was very important at that age. How did you react when she called you a loser? I hope you told her that was totally unacceptable and rude.

We spoke a lot about being respectful of the feelings of others, trying to work out how the other person was feeling, 'how do you think your friend feels', is a good way of getting her be less self-centered.

PimmsOclockisNow Mon 23-Sep-13 23:23:44

Its lights out at 8pm on a monday and tuesday due to activities and then 7.30 wed-sat and then as early as possible on a sunday. If she goes to bed any earlier i find she does not fall asleep until much later.

We walked away from her and waited until she came to us, then yes I did the unacceptable, hurtful, disrespectful chat and then she lost her computer privileges for 2 weeks as a consequence.

I like the looking at things from another persons perspective. I haven't used that one before so may be quite powerful at giving her some new insight.

toolatetobed Mon 23-Sep-13 23:34:48

OP, is your DD doing homework every night? If so, is it worth having a word with the school to explain that your daughter is getting worn out by her routine and ask the school to ease off a bit on the homework? Personally, I think homework for primary school kids (other than getting them to read at home) is a daft idea.

minihahawithafringe Mon 23-Sep-13 23:38:59

Can't she do homework at the cm?

Rummikub Mon 23-Sep-13 23:47:45

I found role play very useful with my dd. I play dd and she takes the role of her friend. It is v interesting.

Also, it's ok for your dd to be a young 9. Let her know its ok.

MmeLindor Tue 24-Sep-13 00:05:43

Ok, I find the hurtful/disrespectful chat good, but two weeks computer withdrawal too harsh. That is a long time for a relatively minor offence (not that I wouldn't go ballistic at being called a 'loser' but sometimes kids of that age say things that they shouldn't and it isn't the end of the world)

Discipline shouldn't be about punishment, imo. It should be about showing her that she behaved badly and that you found it hurtful.

I can really recommend the How to Talk so Kids Will Listen book - it is great for preteens and teens, as well as for toddlers. It made me reassess my parenting

BlackMogul Tue 24-Sep-13 00:26:47

I think she is getting up too early and probably needs food immediately she comes out of school. My DD was often rude to me in front of other mothers! She was not immature and knew exactly what she was doing. She did lots of after school activities but never got up as early as your DD is expected to. Some secondary schools are now starting later as it has been proven that children are not at their best early in the morning and sleeping later is a benefit to them. I worked out my DD needed to eat every 4 hours to avoid tantrums when coming out of school and they had lunch at noon, so the afternoon seemed long without food. I always had a packed mini-tea in the car ready for her at 3.30. I am not sure the school should be expected to change its homework policy as, presumably, you knew what this was. You also knew the day would be long for her.

DS3 was having some temper problems in Y4. We got him a book that really helped, I will try to link for you.

SanityClause Tue 24-Sep-13 10:46:52

Definitely look at the "How to talk...." book.

The important thing is not to give advice, but let her work it out for herself. If her best friend is ignoring her, talk to her about it, but not "Well, perhaps you were being too silly, and she doesn't like it."

How will that make her feel? "Oh, Mummy always thinks the worst of me, she thinks I'm silly." No wonder she feels angry with you!

What if your friend said something similar about her workmates. You'd sympathise, wouldn't you? You wouldn't say, "Well, perhaps they don't like you, because you're too immature for them." You'd say, "Oh, that must be really hard, being left out all the time. How upsetting for you!"

You would give your friend the credit that she could work it out for herself. If she asked for advice, you'd give it, I'm sure, but more as a "Why don't you..." rather than saying "Well, I don't blame them! You should do X,Y and Z!"

How will she grow up, if you don't let her feel her way?

PimmsOclockisNow Tue 24-Sep-13 12:52:18

Thank you all - some really good advice and perspective - its so easy to be drawn in and not see the bigger picutre.

Mini and too late Homework is mainly small amounts and very easy but each night - spellings and timetables - she cant do them at the childminder as she needs peace and quiet to learn but once the tables are learned it will reduce dramatically. We take the view that she has her relax and play time at the CM and a bit of tables etc at home cant be too harmful. However I will look for opportunities to reduce and redistribute.

MmeLindor Its a tricky one - how much is enough? She hardly uses a computer so in reality its not much of a punishment but she values being able to use it if she want iyswim. I asked her what she thought would be an appropriate punishment and she said to not have any pocket money for a year so shes getting off lightly in comparison! I have the how to talk book and will dust it off - I found it good but too many strategies to remember in the heat of the moment but a refresh can only help! Sanity You are totally right and I have lost that viewpoint. Thank you for telling me - although not easy to hear! I love mumsnet!

BlackMogul I think the food one might be an issue in the mornings perhaps - we have to be carfeul with what she eats as she loves to snack on any sweet food - we always carry fruit and offer it to her but she always refuses. However she is very grumpy and unpredicatable in the mornings so maybe greeting her with natural yoghurt and a banana will help start the day well.

Threebee - book ordered - very hopeful on this one as its sounds very similar to DD.

Thank you all again - I feel so much more positive and armed to help DD to help herself and to be herself.

TeenAndTween Tue 24-Sep-13 13:30:51

Not exactly what you asked, but I would look at doing times tables (and maybe even spellings) on the way to CM in the morning.
As at takes you 75 mins from getting up to arriving, I am guessing you have at least a 15 minute car/walk?
That way you would do them when she is fresh which will be more productive than in the evening.
We do TTs with DD2 during walk to school or other random car journeys.

DD1 used to have problems getting to sleep and was always very grumpy in the mornings too. Once we sorted the sleep, the grumpiness went. Your DD may well be a bit sleep deprived. Is there any way you can shorten your morning routine? DD2 is out of bed 55 minutes before school, we fit in spellings and reading out loud in that time as well as breakfast etc.

wrt your question. With DD2, who is similar, I try to explain that people may not want to play her games, and maybe then she either needs to play what they want, or find someone else to play with. There is a buddy bench at school which helps too.

MmeLindor Tue 24-Sep-13 16:53:41

If you have a bit of a commute then what about a time tables CD with music?

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