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Sleepovers and friends, or lack of

(38 Posts)
Fanjango Wed 08-Aug-18 23:32:11

My dd is 11 and just left primary. She's likely about to be diagnosed asd but is high functioning and school saw no issues, hence the delay in diagnosis. She's struggled with friendships for quite a while but it all came to a head the last two years while we had repeated issues with her feeling left out, bullied or lonely. At her leavers party she was crying as she said they all hated her. Another girl convinced her to join the others and told her they all liked her. Her father promised her a sleepover, she's never had an invite to one before, but we've now not heard anything and she's upset. She's having art therapy and can seem very typical to people she meets, she hides her mutism and issues very well at times, but this lack of friends I can't help her with. I can't message and say "what happened to the meal, cinema and sleepover you promised her?" So what do I say to her? It's heartbreaking to see the look in her eyes, the "told you they hate me" look.

Catgotyourbrain Wed 08-Aug-18 23:37:54

Hi IP,

That’s sad for your DD, but I would say that’s new school is a new start and although very worrying,secondary school has lots of opportunities for untypical children to ‘find their people’.

DS just finished year 7 and I was so worried about it for him as he went through similar socially in years 5-6. He has really found similar minds in the larger pool that secondary brings.

Look forward with your DD to an exciting time

Fanjango Wed 08-Aug-18 23:41:23

New schools in special measures after disaster our fallout from being outstanding. Sen mentioned as lacking so they've put things in place to support her but ds couldn't handle this school at all and failed to attend after three days. She can't talk to the teachers and would be reliant on those she knows to help, yet they just aren't there for her. I know she could meet others like her, but as a selective mute she struggles really badly with strangers.

Flyingpompom Wed 08-Aug-18 23:52:04

Can you not invite the girl to yours for a sleepover?

Fanjango Wed 08-Aug-18 23:53:16

Sadly not possible. We have 7people in a small 4 bed house...and three more coming for a week soon, it's bedlam

Flyingpompom Thu 09-Aug-18 00:00:39

If you have 3 more staying soon, then why can't you fit 1 more in for a night before or after your visitors? We live in a small house, kids friends go on airbeds. I just don't think you can complain about lack of invitations if you're not willing to host.

NonaGrey Thu 09-Aug-18 00:07:31

If you can’t do sleepovers that doesn’t mean you can’t invite the other girl to dinner and the cinema. If it goes well perhaps the other girl will organise a sleepover another time.

Don’t fixate on the activity, focus on the relationship.

Fanjango Thu 09-Aug-18 00:21:42

The three are my stepdaughter, her son and husband. And I have no idea where they are sleeping as we planned to have a caravan in the garden and haven't got one yet. I'm on the verge of throwing the towel in.

Fanjango Thu 09-Aug-18 00:26:56

I'm totally skint as we have to pay for the food when the others come and it comes out of my child tax credits. I have no extra to pay out.

Oohmetoometoo Thu 09-Aug-18 07:02:47

For the sleepover do you have a tent/could you borrow one and the girls sleep in the garden? They could watch a film in it and picnic/bbq outside?

MrsAidanTurner Thu 09-Aug-18 07:07:08

I think you may have to find a away to invite people to your house. I don't find sleepovers etc cost us any extra most dc love pasta. Asda, large supermarkets do it very cheaply, cheap source.

Howmanysleepstilchristmas Thu 09-Aug-18 10:38:02

There’s 6 of us here in a 4 bed. If dd asked for a sleepover we could accommodate 3 or 4 kids on the lounge floor. DVDs on tv there, sweets for midnight feast, ice cream, frozen pizza and garlic bread- cost about £5 max for 4 dc. It’s doable!

ABottleOfRum Thu 09-Aug-18 12:07:40

Hi,

I know this is something a lot of people say, but I honestly could have written your post.

I also have an 11 year old dd in the same boat.

The stepping back and letting things happen or not happen, is incredibly hard.

There was a similar thing which happened just before the end of term with my dd. One girl started talking to her, but only via text and didn't want anyone to know about it. She actually asked my dd not to tell anyone. I was fuming, but as awful as it is, my dd was just grateful for the contract. I still discouraged this 'friendship' though and explained to my dd that she is worth more than that. She doesn't need to settle for half friendships etc, but it's hard. That constant drip feed that you're not liked or if you are, it needs to be a secret, is absolutely crushing and I'm so worried about what effect this is having on her self worth and confidence.

There really is only so much you can do, other than support and really encourage her to explore her talents. I don't have that much advice, as I'm currently seeking it myself.

What does your dd enjoy doing? What is she good at?

Fanjango Thu 09-Aug-18 22:57:49

Hi ABottleOfRum she's very confused over friendships. She even tried to hug her therapist. It seems anyone who is nice to her suddenly becomes her best friend, until they let her down in some way, like playing with someone else. She's doing more arty stuff right now, partly due to the art therapy and party,e as her big brothers girlfriend (her best friend or her enemy depending on how the day goes) is an artist. To be fair she now spends time either making slime, watching YouTube or drawing. She's stopped going out to the park and came home upset from the local shop, she won't tell me what happened but I guess a child said something either mean or tongue in cheek that she mistook for meanness. She seems more relaxed and less down on herself than she has been, she's not gone on and on about being fat (she isn't) and has been crying less. But I'm sad because I'm fairly sure it's because she's simply given up hoping she will make friends.

Fanjango Thu 09-Aug-18 23:02:14

These are the reasons I sought help and why I'm so worried about seniors. The seniors have put small group support in place, thrive approach time, traffic light cards if she can't, or won't, talk so she can let the teachers know not to ask her to speak if she's not okay and a mentor from the year above who also struggled with confidence. All that without the full diagnosis isn't bad, but the proof is in the pudding. They are even doing a presentation about selective mutism to all the teachers prior to her starting to explain the condition and to ensure that no one forces her to try and talk at any time. It's so hard not knowing how she will cope, and lack of firm friendships to call on makes it all that much harder.

GreenTulips Thu 09-Aug-18 23:07:09

Is there a FB year group for you to join?
You could sling anyone's new and free to join you in the park (natural)
If she's selectively mute could have a form of pen friend help?
Is she in any clubs locally?

MyOtherProfile Thu 09-Aug-18 23:11:30

I think she needs help in making friends and you are the best person to help her. It sounds like you don't have a pattern of inviting people over to play so I'm not really surprised she hasn't been invited to other people's houses. How do you make friends? You need to model it to her. I would do whatever it takes to invite a friend or two over.
Do it quick before the 3 other people come to stay.

Tr1skel1on Thu 09-Aug-18 23:30:40

I was in exactly your situation a year ago & tearing my hair out worrying about secondary school. Huge hugs, I know how you are feeling.

What worked for us was DD joining every lunchtime club going that she had a vague interest in (apart from anything sporty!) so she could meet children that liked the same stuff as her, plus she got to avoid the canteen. DD always loved her school dinners at primary but insists on a pack lunch now so she can eat it at clubs.

It has worked wonders, DD is a bookworm, so joined the book club. The school librarian spotted her Aspergers & so DD, when she has a spare lunch hour, goes to the library & lines up the books in order on the shelves.

Such a small thing, but helps the librarian hugely & DD has a guaranteed quiet safe space to go to. Maybe suggest something similar to your DD?

The other club that was a huge help was drama, although I have since found out that girls with HFA are often good at drama.

The best thing for us was completely letting go of all the primary school drama & DD has found having a wide range of aquaintances that she sees depending on which activity she is doing far better than dealing with the social interactions of a small class of Y6 children.

The only extra curricular activity she has kept up is swimming. As she says, you can't talk to people when your head is underwater smile

I hope this helps. I was a complete nervous wreck before DD started high school but it has been the best thing that has ever happened, and this time last year I never would have thought that. PM me if you want to talk more

Fanjango Thu 09-Aug-18 23:32:07

She goes to a local youth club and talks to the friends of her older sister but simply glares at the kids in her age group, she says they are all mean. We don't live in the small town she went to primary in and she hadn't made any friends locally, now seems to have given up. She's not confident like the others, they go to the park or go round town together, she wouldn't cope without an adult, she only just manages to go to the local shops in our village. The girls have all formed groups from her primary, and she's just the "if we had more room" or the "she's number 6 and we only can take 5" sort of friend. We had parties and people came, but she stopped being invited to any unless they were whole class ones two or three years ago I guess. She knows others are going to parties, she just looks sad but pretends she's fine. I've even spoken to other parents but ey say their child "has tried"she just can't seem to get on with them that way

Fanjango Thu 09-Aug-18 23:38:52

Thank you Tr1skel1on that's really good to hear. She's quite a little actress in her own way, enjoyed doing the leavers play. Despite being SM she can talk in front of people, just not too them if that makes sense. She's not good with unstructured times at school so clubs may well be the way forward, if she can join without the SM getting in the way. Her older sister says she's going to hide so she won't have to put up,with her. I totally get it, they fight so much and since my dd1s twin left mainstream she's blossomed and made so many friends she doesn't want little sis to look after and put her friends off, she spent years looking out for ds2 before and I wouldn't expect her to do it again. I guess I'm terrified she will go the same way my son did and fail to attend. It was the most stressful year (well a bit longer) ever!!

goforthandmultiply Fri 10-Aug-18 02:05:45

My DD was exactly like this. I could have written this post a year ago. The transition was rough but we've come through. She got shat on by her "best friend" who basically dumped her within days. Started saying she was going to school early and couldn't walk with her etc. Now she even blanks her in the street. I think this has been good for DD ultimately as previously I suspect her friend controlled her a lot. There were a few incidents but nothing provable and DD wouldn't give me enough info in case I told her not to see her friend I suspect. The dumping thing she couldn't hide as suddenly they weren't walking together.

I thought it would break her but she's coped really well. She still spends a lot of time in the library drawing, reading etc but she's managing to find friends. She stands out as very different but the people who respect that have started to find and talk to her.

She doesn't go anywhere outside of school much but we are slowly working on that. She's found her own path. I've just supported, consoled and encouraged her. I hope your DD finds hers as well.

The school support you mention is similar to what we have. The mentor thing makes a massive difference.

goforthandmultiply Fri 10-Aug-18 02:08:45

She also loves drama. It's been a saviour for her and amazing for her confidence.

ABottleOfRum Fri 10-Aug-18 08:52:56

MyOtherProfile, I think you may be missing the issue slightly. It almost sounds as though you're putting blame on the OP for not helping her make friends. As a parent, you can only do so much. You can't force other dcs to be friends with yours. If, as you suggest, OP just kept arranging play dates, it doesn't mean that those dcs will keep coming. If they've decided that they only want to play with the kids like them or the none quirky ones, then that friendship will more often than not, fizzle out. It's a very hard lesson to learn as a parent. It doesn't mean you give up, but you slowly realise you need to put your energies into more effective ways of helping your DC.

LucyFox Fri 10-Aug-18 09:09:36

What about joining something like Guides? They do loads of small group activities and learn to include everyone...

MyOtherProfile Fri 10-Aug-18 09:12:41

ABottleOfRum i dont think im missing the point at all. If the op had tried all those things amd was still getting nowhere then maybe but it doesnt sound like she has. I know that it's not necessarily going to solve the issue but it does sound like the OP is understandably sad that other people haven't followed up with play dates while not suggesting any herself. If she did it would raise the profile of her daughter with the other friends and help them all connect.

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