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to wonder why my lovely DD is so unpopular?

(131 Posts)
Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 09:53:20

DD1 is 9. In my opinion she is lovely. She has no friends. She hasn't been invited to a party in over 2 years. She has never been invited on a sleepover.

We have had problems with her fitting in at school and even considered moving her, but she doesn't want to move. I fear that if I move her against her will it will only make matters worse.

She goes to a small local school with only 1 class per year. There are about 14 girls in her class including herself. A few a 'queen bee' types with one more so than the others. The rarely acknowledge that she exists. There is a constant stream of sleepovers that she is never invited to and I can see that it is wearing her down. It's making her sad and withdrawn. She doesn't understand.

Other than not being very girly or being bothered about the latest fashion etc, she is just normal. Nice hair, pretty face, average build a bit taller than average.

What can make her so unpopular? I just don't get it. School don't see why it is, but acknowledge that it's happening.

I feel so so sad for her and want to help but just don't know how any more sad

YorkshireDeb Wed 30-Jan-13 09:57:44

That's a really tough one. Classes with bitchy queen bee girls often have one or two on the fringes who are excluded - for no other reason than the girl with the power likes to use her control to make others leave her out. I'd say either move her to another school (she might not want to but I'm sure it'd make her happier in the long run) or try to increase her out of school activities (brownies, dance classes etc) to build her confidence & give her chance to meet friends outside of this circle. X

YorkshireDeb Wed 30-Jan-13 09:58:57

Ps are there any girls in her class that she WANTS to be friends with? Have you tried inviting them to your house for a play date or sleepover? What happens? X

Catsdontcare Wed 30-Jan-13 10:00:00

Does she go to any groups or activities outside school that don't involve classmates? I would try hard to build up a social circle outside school first so that will build her confidence.

landrover Wed 30-Jan-13 10:00:46

I sympathise, i am in the same position. The only thing i can advice is to keep inviting friends over and encourage that. But it is hard. One thing i have noticed though is a lot of the girls just aren't particularly nice! and i wouldnt want to be friends with them so i can understand my she isnt bothered either! However that may not be the case with you.
It is horrible though. If anybody has some advice i would like it too!!!

Poledra Wed 30-Jan-13 10:01:30

It's a terrible worry, isn't it? About how to tackle it - is there a child she's interested inhaving over to play at your house? I wouldn't go straight into sleep-overs (I hate the bloody things anyway!) but maybe trying to promote her friendships a bit by invitations to your house could lead to invitations for her to others. Does she do any clubs outside school, like brownies? These can be great for breaking out of negative perceptions at school, and meeting other children who don't have any preconceptions about you, and take you on face value.

DD1 (who is also 9) had a few problems at school which were partly about another child but also partly about DD1 wanting everyone to do things she wanted to do. A couple of quiet chats about sometimes letting other people choose the games or (shock horror) letting them change the rules of games she'd made up was helpful.

flakjacket Wed 30-Jan-13 10:02:28

I think I'd go with moving her too. One 'queen bee' can make someones life a misery. If she has taken against your daughter for some reason then the rest of the girls will follow the crowd for fear of being victimised. A fresh start can work wonders.
Good Luck

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 10:02:55

Thanks YorkshireDeb - she plays with one boy and they do seem to get on quite well so I've been concentrating on helping that friendship along.

She has invited a few girls over but they haven't returned the favour so I don't really want to keep inviting them. I'm afraid she'll look desperate. I might be wrong though.

Last week she asked two girls if they wanted to come for tea and they said no!

HormonalHousewife Wed 30-Jan-13 10:02:57

Difficult. You are only hearing one side of the story though. Are you sure she is as lovely as you think.

Sorry not meaning to be deliberately offensive. Just speaking from experience.

missismac Wed 30-Jan-13 10:04:39

Take her to look at some other schools; get her to talk to/play with some girls from other schools; get her into an extra curricular activity attended by girls from other schools and try and persuade her to move. That school, the culture in that class just isn't working for her. She's got potentially another two years of that 'wearing down' - do anything you can to bring it to a stop.

I was that girl. I said I didn't want to move, but it was because I told myself it was my fault - a personality flaw - I didn't realise how some classes/years/groups can just have a poisonous culture. It might have been different elsewhere. With hindsight I wish my Mum had taken the reins and made me look outside my narrow confines. It won't harm to just look at other places.

NutellaNutter Wed 30-Jan-13 10:05:20

Oh bless her, poor little thing. I can sympathise as I was never one of the popular girls at school. I never had any friends! Now I'm an adult I've got loads though.

Do consider moving her to another school. It doesn't sound like she's going to make much headway where she is, and I agree with the previous poster who said they sound like a bunch of little bitches. Maybe a bigger school, if possible, where she's more likely to find a wider range of kids.

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 10:06:31

Thanks everyone. Yes she does Brownies and loves it but again doesn't seem very popular.

There was an issue with the main queen bee a year or two ago (hitting, bullying and excluding of my DD) so they are kept apart. I think this might be the root cause of the problem to be honest.

HannahsSister40 Wed 30-Jan-13 10:07:08

sometimes you need to take the bull by the horns. Who does she play with? Invite them round after school for a few hours. When's her birthday? Throw a party and invite all the girls over. Does she do after school activities like ballet etc? That's another useful way to make friends. Do you work, do you do the school run? A few of my working friends feel excluded from the playground chats (I think they're lucky to miss it, frankly!) and that's why their dc's don't always get invites to the play dates and sleepovers.

GooseyLoosey Wed 30-Jan-13 10:07:37

Ds was similar and is 9. Lots of similar issues, few party invites and loads of things not invited to. I have moved him, despite him saying he wanted to stay (there were other reasons too). He said to me before Christmas that he understands for the first time ever what it is like to have real friends. He got 2 christmas cards that said "to my best friend" and I wept.

I am not sure what you can do in the current setting, you cannot make them be friends with her. However, I think I would consider moving a bit harder.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Wed 30-Jan-13 10:08:12

Small schools can be soo miserable. I spent eleven years in a school with 44 people in the year where I kind of failed to find a group of best girl friends for a good part of that time, relying on people outside, and it is NOT an experience I'd want my children to have if I could avoid it. There was a tight group of girls that I just couldn't seem to penetrate and if you don't 'gel' with anyone else - and the numbers are stacked against you! - it's really hard.

Your DD may be reluctant to move but wouldn't look back, so to speak, if she found the right place. I would definitely look around at other options and consdier it. It's not HER but she may well spend a couple of years thinking it is, which isn't healthy.

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 10:09:06

Hormonal Housewife I hear what you are saying and I have considered this. I have repeatedly asked at school if she is doing anything that would make the other girls not like her i.e. bullying, being nasty etc and they have told me over and over again that she isn't.

She is lovely in the main at home, but like any 9 year old she has her moments.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Wed 30-Jan-13 10:09:08

Re Brownies, her confidence may also be slipping which is affecting that environment.

My DS is similar...he has a couple of good friend but that is about it. He doesn't really gel with the boys in his class - he isn't into football at all and they are all footie mad which alienates him and I could count the number of party invites he has had in the last few years on one hand.

However, he seems happy enough, I think I find it harder than he does to be honest.

Does your DD seem happy enough?

literarygeek Wed 30-Jan-13 10:12:05

I'm sorry about that, it sounds not fun.

If it helps, I was that girl for a bit. I think it was partly because i was a nice, sweet girl- not one of the queen bees you describe that enjoy wielding power over others. I did brownies and things like gymnastics so I made other friends outside school, which helped. It got much easier in secondary school where there's a bigger pool and more people are likely to be fun. Uni was even better- I was so excited to find there were so many cool people there from all over the world (not just a tiny town where everyone is from a similar socio-economic group). Now I have a great group of friends and a wonderful job/DH/family. It sucked while it lasted but I think I am a nicer person because of it. And maybe more determined to be happy and succeed...

On another note- Sleepovers at 9 sound a bit early? Or am I behind the times? I guess I wouldn't want my dd to stay overnight at someone's house who I didn't like.

Toughasoldboots Wed 30-Jan-13 10:12:28

Could you have a frank talk with her teacher? They often have quite good insight into what's going on.

WhoremoaneeGrainger Wed 30-Jan-13 10:12:40

My DD is 11 and is still going through something similar. She is in a much bigger school, but has been bullied by other girls in every school year. She is also excluded a lot. People are always keen to come here, and to her parties, but she doesnt get invited to other people's very much. She is quite pretty, has nice hair, average body six but she is already over 5ft 6 tall. The school think this is why she is the target all the time, because she is soo much taller than ayone else. The only person in the school taller than her is a Year 7 boy.

You must just be as supportive as you can, keep telling her how lovely she is, encourage her to do things outside school and make other friends that way too. My DD has a couple of really good friends at her drama school, and also at her swimming group.

The thing is, the Queen Bee's dont like anyone who doesnt conform to their way of thinking.

Sometimes i regret encouraging her to be an individual, and not a sheep! sad

literarygeek Wed 30-Jan-13 10:13:32

goosey I almost wept reading that!

Astr0naut Wed 30-Jan-13 10:14:45

How about kids in the street? THere were only 6 girls in my year in school and like your daughter, my face didn't fit. THere was most definitely a queen bee there who would pass commens on what you wore etc, and I was bullied by the girls in the year above. Luckily, I had a sister and there were other kids on our street who weren't in my school. In hindsight, I would have probably been better off in the same school as the kids I lived near.

High school, with many more people, worked for me. ALthough I do fear that I'm transferring my fears onto my kids because I am terrfied that they won;t have any friends in primary school when they eventually go.

Theas18 Wed 30-Jan-13 10:16:09

Do something away from all the kids at school, anything , but with a completely new group of kids. Year 5 is when DS became really unhappy at school. We slightly engineered a move to a hobby that took a lot of time with " boys like him" . He had low level (but serious to him) bullying as the class boffin and no real friends. This was also an issue at cubs- same boys.

He became a chorister and never looked back. I shall never forget the way it was " magical" -a small boy , under a winnie the pooh black cloud would storm out of school. I'd take him to choir, he'd have toast, tablet tennis and singing with his new mates and come out, my little happy chap all restored.

slatternlymother Wed 30-Jan-13 10:19:11

In my experience, the coolest thing she can do is not care. Let her be different and play with the boy. I did and we are still in contact now. He had the best imagination, and playing with him made me feel accepted. We played outer space games together, he was my partner at PE and we knocked about together for years. Him, and another little friend we accepted into our circle (another boy actually), shared this fab sense of humour and I remember sharing the first times I laughed till I cried with them.

I did get invited to sleepovers with girls, but I hated it. Honestly. I just wasn't really 'into' it.

If no one wants to play; screw it, tell her to whip her book out and read. The best thing she can take from this is to not care what other people think, and be strong and independent.

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