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To ask those of you with older DC, have any of yours had issues socially & then got over them?

(10 Posts)
MattDillonsPants Sat 02-Apr-16 04:23:58

I'm asking because I have 2 DC and the oldest is now 11. She was very shy and quiet in reception and year 1 and 2...but managed to make some friends anyway. Then she had to change schools and left a tiny prep for a larger but lovely village primary school....for a year she was borderline anxious mess....then slowly she began to make a small group of friends but was still awkward socially to the point that she'd not be able to greet a friend who we bumped into whilst shopping for example. the close of year 6 she was close to one other girl who had similar anxiety issues...but we were emigrating. I was worried....that she'd retreat again or have another terrible year of being alone all playtime like when we first moved schools.

But it's been completely opposite to that...she's made a big bunch of friends who are all lovely...they're all quite loud in an Aussie sort of way which isn;t very obnoxious...they're confident and kind whilst not taking any nonsense....and DD...instead of being cowed by this is sort of catching it!

She's so much more outspoken now! She holds her own.

Is this because of the change of scenery do you think or is it because of her age? Do some kids just take a bit longer? I always thought she was such a delicate flower...I see now I was wrong!

curren Sat 02-Apr-16 07:35:32

My dd is almost 12. She changed completely when she started secondary.

She was very similar your dd. Quiet and awkward. I think she saw starting secondary as a new start and could change who she was. Only 20 pupils went from her school into a school of almost 3000. I think she felt her previous friends had expectations of how she was and how she acted and she had to fit that slot.

At secondary she didn't have that and sort of reinvented herself.

OpenMe Sat 02-Apr-16 07:45:06

DS1's nursery teacher made me distraught by telling me that DS1 "didn't form relationships" when now I know that he was friendly with everyone and happy to play with anyone who wanted to do the same stuff as him.

In reception he came home after 6 weeks with a sticker because he'd been brave enough to answer his name in the register for the first time! Through infant school he was friendly only with girls which wasn't a problem except that they used to fight over him and he'd be caught in the middle of "he's my friend not yours" That did cause us issues for a while as he didn't want to go to school.

By year 6 he had a small group of 5-6 boys who seemed genuinely fond of each other and he was distraught when they all went to a different secondary to him.

But he settled into his new secondary very quickly and has a large group of friends. They seem quite fluid and he doesn't have a "best" friend but I think that's usual for boys?

He's now 15 and a Cadet which has been brilliant for him. He's just on the edge of being one of the more senior cadets and is getting opportunities to lead and teach small groups which he seems to have a great aptitude for. Firm but fair, quietly confident rather than cocky and annoying (in my unbiased opinion)

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sat 02-Apr-16 07:52:34

Ds2 is now 17. From 9 - 11 he just had one friend, who often treated him quite off handedly. 11-13 no friends really.,At 13 he changed schools and found the first year difficult making friends. From 14 - 17 he has had a large friendship group, and is always being invited out to parties, cinema, restaurants, friends houses. He's very popular within that group.,

If I could only have looked forward to the time when he was 11/12 to now! Would have saved a lot of worry.

From our experience I'd say it's down to age.

blobbityblob Sat 02-Apr-16 08:22:59

What a lovely thread, you've no idea how much hope you give to me, with my rather shy dc.

StringyPotatoes Sat 02-Apr-16 08:40:33

From a personal point of view I myself struggled with friendships all the way through school. I had one best friend all the way through infant school but we ended up in different classes when we moved to primary. Friend one day, very suddenly, dropped me in Year 3/4 and I spent until Year 9 with no strong friendships - just sort of on the fringe of other friendship groups.
I then developed a solid friendship with someone that is still my best friend today. And in 6th form she and I became part of another group of friends that still meet up every time we are in the same area. At uni I also had a large circle of friends and a very active social life.

For me, I think, because I had this one best friend that I had met because our parents were friends and we went to the same school etc I just didn't know how to make friends - I had never needed to. I also felt a pressure to have lots of friends but equally I felt lost in a large group.
Now, as an adult, I realise that I am quite introverted and that it's also totally normal to only want one or two close friends rather than a group.

MattDillonsPants Sat 02-Apr-16 08:51:31

Gosh this is interesting! I find it fascinating and think social development is like academic in that some just take longer....some kids find it simple from day one but others take more time.

curren Sat 02-Apr-16 08:56:52

Definitely. My son funds making friends easy. He doesn't particularly bend to fit what they want him to be but is popular without trying.

Totally different to dd. School is so much easier now that dds has changed. So far this school year, she hasn't come home upset over something that happened and she couldn't handle.

Stuff has happened, kids say awful stuff sometimes. But she is so much more confident in saying something back, that puts an end to it.

I did forget to put in my first post, that a year ago I signed dd up to martial arts. I do believe that contributed. She was scared of being hit (due to having been bullied) now she feels she can handle it and defend herself. It's definitely increased the confidence she has in herself.

EricNorthmanSucks Sat 02-Apr-16 09:00:15

My DS was a very shy little boy.

He liked being at home best of all and wouldn't say boo to a goose, look people in the eye.

He is now 16 and has a very enviable quiet confidence. Lots of mates, invitations to parties, social events etc.
His teachers all say he is a good combination of thoughtful analysis and participation.
He has a public facing voluntary job that he has done for almost two years now and is adored by his manager ( who goes out of her way to accommodate his other activities, exam schedule etc).

It all worked outgrin.

BillBrysonsBeard Sat 02-Apr-16 09:14:52

Aww bless her, I think it's a bit of both. I changed completely when I started secondary... The last few years of primary were rife with bullying and very closed friendship circles which was awful for someone shy like me. I spent the last years wandering around on my own at lunchtimes until I started doing playground duty etc. Then people went to different secondary schools and grew up a bit over that summer and we all started afresh. Everyone was making an effort to make new friendships and I was just so happy to be away from the old school that I came across as really smiley and bubbly! It got better from there. I have friends from every education/work place since then and found it easy, the only time I feel like that girl again is at toddler groups!
It's never too late but I imagine it's awful for a parent to see their child go through a lonely time.

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