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To be upset for my DD that she doesn't get invited to children's parties?

(42 Posts)
Mittens1969 Fri 22-Sep-17 11:11:05

Just that, really. DD1 (8) thinks she has friends then they don't invite her to their parties or to play dates. It's made harder because DD2 (5) is extremely popular and is invited to lots of parties.

It's not that she isn't invited to any parties. But they're ones where DD2 is also invited, for example our NDN has invited them both to her DD's party, as they play together regularly. They also used to be invited to their cousins' parties, and to sleepovers but they have moved far away so that obviously doesn't happen now.

I do understand it on one level, as DD1 is hard work, as she doesn't relate to other children all that well, having Attachment Disorder.. She has much less social awareness than her 5 year old sister and thinks children in her class are her friends because she chases after them and gets over excited.

She does have one best friend who has invited her, but we've known the family for some years, having used the same nursery and we've always exchanged party invitations.

I'd be interested to hear from people who have faced this and what they've done to try and help their DCs with this? I have tried arranging play dates but it hasn't come to anything sadly. The child in question has complained about DD1 following her around. They have come to her parties, but that's as far as it's gone.

MiaowTheCat Fri 22-Sep-17 12:11:45

We get it with DD1 who isn't the best socially - hurts like hell on her behalf but all you can do is smile and keep upbeat about it really.

Mittens1969 Fri 22-Sep-17 12:20:49

That's what I do, it probably wouldn't be such an issue if DD2 didn't get invited to lots of parties. I don't begrudge her, obviously. She's very sweet actually, she said yesterday that she'd ask her friend if DD1 could come, too, I had to explain that it's not appropriate as the birthday girl's mum can hardly be expected to invite siblings as well.

Tanaqui Fri 22-Sep-17 12:24:27

Have you tried social stories/ asked for support (e.g. A nurture group) at school? Or possibly camhs via gp if you have serious concerns? Or could she understand if you explained social norms to her? flowers for you and her.

Mittens1969 Fri 22-Sep-17 12:29:40

Thanks, Tanaqui. Yes, she's been in a small group at school to help her with friendships. It's better than it used to be, when she used to switch off and play with her 'invisible fairies.' But she actually tends to hang around with her little sister and her friends now.

We're waiting for therapy through Post Adoption Support, as the issues relating to adoption are quite specialised. We're having an appointment quite soon now.

Babyblade Fri 22-Sep-17 12:45:57

YANBU to feel upset, but I don't know what to suggest flowers

My DD isn't one who is over-run with invites but she's happy with her small group of friends and is happy on her own. I guess you just have to encourage that individual resilience rather than force the friendship issue.

Perhaps look for clubs and activities outside school?

AprilLady4 Fri 22-Sep-17 12:50:25

flowers

Raver84 Fri 22-Sep-17 13:15:12

I'd keep trying to arrange play dates and maybe park meet ups after school? I think once parents get to know you and see how lovely your girl is the invites will start coming back your way. Also round here there are regularly party nights at soft play for Halloween etc as well as Xmas. Book onto these so she can still experience parties and discos with her little sis.

Badbadtromance Fri 22-Sep-17 13:29:30

Op we never get invited anywhere. I'm v v shy and my dd is an outrageous extrovert who you hear coming a mile off. I think she's just too much for most kids

2014newme Fri 22-Sep-17 13:31:42

Doesn't solve the parties issue but brownies another way to do fun activities out of school. Also they go on fun trips and have parties for the pack.

Mittens1969 Fri 22-Sep-17 13:46:38

She goes to Brownies and loves it. In fact, she has a friend there and I'm planning to speak to her mum and arrange a play date. She also does gymnastics and her one good school friend goes there. Her family are very busy and play dates are few and far between though.

She does go to a couple of the neighbours' houses to play, and they come to us, but she's a bit in her sister's shadow then.

The times when I've supervised play dates, it isn't easy, I have to admit, as she does sometimes throw a hissy fit when they don't want to play the game she wants to play. (It's easier when DD2 is somewhere else but it isn't always possible to arrange.)

2014newme Fri 22-Sep-17 13:49:18

A shorter play date perhaps at the park? Or somewhere they aren't playing games? Macdonalds isn't brilliant but could suit the purpose of inviting a friend along without scope for games that may go bad

MadamMinacious Fri 22-Sep-17 13:52:37

Normal for you to feel upset. I feel a little burn of upset whenever one of my children has a problem like this.

My eldest was socially awkward for quite a while and my youngest is a social butterfly who could makes friends very easily. This was commented on at a couple of schools (when we moved).

Youngest gets a lot of invites and always has, eldest didn't really and he noticed and commented on it and I felt so bad for him. What I did was do something special with him when my youngest was away; baking, watching a film, playing a game with him on the computer so he had fun too and was distracted about the fact his sibling was away.

These days youngest still gets more invites and has more friends BUT eldest has his own little group and does get invites with them. It has improved as he has got older and I have encouraged him to compromise more and listen more to his friends.

So OP I'm not sure if there are more issues with your eldest but I would read her books about how to interact with friends and have chats about it and plan something special to distract when your youngest is away and hopefully this will get better in time.

fannyanddick Fri 22-Sep-17 14:30:42

It's so hard. I think just keep dd2's parties quietish. Eg mention last minute and go somewhere nice with dd1. Try not to talk about them too much. Just focus on family time, after school clubs etc.

Mittens1969 Fri 22-Sep-17 16:14:45

@fannyanddick, thank you, yes that's good advice. Yesterday DD2 was excited about the first party invitation of the school year, so that's why this has come up now. Then today I found out that her best friend has been invited to the party of one of the boys in the class, and DD1 considers him to be her 'boyfriend'. So she'll probably be upset that she wasn't invited, it's yet another example of her thinking that she has a friend when she doesn't.

The other thing DD2 has been known to tease her when she's invited to a party and DD1 isn't. Obviously I tell DD2 off and remind DD1 that the friend in question isn't in her class and doesn't really know her.

On the day of the party thankfully DD1 will have choir practice at church so it won't be an issue. That's great advice to try and do something nice with her, she loves one to one time.

MissEliza Fri 22-Sep-17 19:18:08

Are other parents aware of your dd's issues? My ds had a little girl in his class in infants who sounds very similar. People were very understanding and she was never left out of whole class parties. Then again, we were very blessed to have a nice group of parents. It makes all the difference.

TheVoiceOfTreason Fri 22-Sep-17 19:42:13

This post has made me so sad! 😔 bless your daughter.

I wasn't the most popular kid at school either, I had periods of loneliness at primary school and not being good at making friends. I think by secondary school I was better though.

You're not unreasonable at all to be sad about it, it would be unreasonable to be indifferent! Better for her to have a few good friends, even just a couple, than to have loads of shallow superficial friendships.

Hope things get better for you. Sounds like she has a fab family anyway 😊

MuddlingThroughLife Fri 22-Sep-17 19:42:47

I can totally relate. Ds now 10 has always been difficult behaviour wise and has very little social skills. He has always been behind his peers and very rarely has been invited to parties/tea. He only has a couple of friends and only gets invited to their parties. He doesn't see anyone really after school apart from one boy. He has been particularly isolated this year as he has been in and out of hospital since January being treated for a brain tumour.

I tell him not to let it bother him and that he will hopefully make new friends when he goes to high school next year.

Isadora2007 Fri 22-Sep-17 19:44:59

It could also be that age 5 lots of kids have while class parties as they've not really got a friendship group yet and tend to have bigger hall and bouncy castle free for all. Older kids tend to have smaller more expensive per head activities like the cinema or bowling and stick to a smaller circle of people.

So it's maybe not personal.

Witchend Fri 22-Sep-17 19:55:38

There may also be a situation that at 5yo mine were going to all the girls or large parties. By 8yo most were down to closest 4 friends.

For one of mine that meant she dropped down from having about 15 parties a year to 2, and the other one who had never had so many parties still went to about 4.

Madwoman5 Fri 22-Sep-17 20:08:23

How about taking her to a group on her own outside the school clique. There are youth groups run by church, guides, brownies, also support groups where kids with non neurotypical issues get together. Make these her special times. My eldest dc was an outsider til he discovered, at high school, the sen kids. Finally he found kids that got him and made friends.

Mittens1969 Fri 22-Sep-17 20:48:32

Thank you, everyone. Yes, one of the reasons why it's hard for me was that I was also one of the kids who found it hard to make friends. So I relate only too well.

I hear what you're saying, Isadora2007, I know it's not personal. It's just that she isn't close to any of the children in her class, apart from that one friend. She was invited to a few parties in reception (about 3) and year 1 but not nearly the number that DD2 has been invited to. Whole class parties don't really happen all that often anyway. There was a group who showed up at all the parties, DD2 being one of them last year.

I haven't told the parents in the school about her needs, apart from a couple of friends, because I try not to talk too much about her being adopted. She may well not thank me if too many people know about it as she gets older.

milliemolliemou Fri 22-Sep-17 21:09:51

Agree for one to one time and get them in before DD2 accepts invitation if you can - that way DD1 feels she's having a really special time and was doing something great with you while poor DD2 had to go to a party. Not quite that, but do you know what I mean? I have a friend with a DS with attachment disorder ... great with younger kids at a certain stage (say him 6 and children younger) because they were learning social ropes too. After that it became trickier as the younger kids picked up social ropes .. and he was still learning slowly. He did do great at coding club and wall climbing and very very gradually made friends that way. Go DD1!

junebirthdaygirl Fri 22-Sep-17 21:39:13

Agree with building excitement around dd2 being asked to a party. So as soon as invitation comes have routine. Dd is off to party so where are we off to? Yes your favourite place! Whereever that is. Cinema or coffee shop or park etc. Often dcs with attachment issues like routine so build one around you and her ..alone time.
Makes me sad other parents knowingly leaving her out.
Also animals can help so could she do horseriding as so therapeutic . But expensive, l know.

Mittens1969 Fri 22-Sep-17 22:18:03

@junebirthdaygirl, thank you for your suggestions. Yes, horse riding is something she loves the idea of doing, and we have been planning to buy her some lessons. We also have 4 cats, who she loves.

She loves going to museums with daddy, so that's something we could arrange as well.

I have taken her to the cinema as a one tovone activity and it's been enjoyable. We've seen Star Wars Rogue 4 and Beauty and the Beast.

Re the parties, I don't know about them until DD2 comes out of school waving her invitation around so there's no way to plan in advance what to do with DD1 before she knows about the party. It's good this time that she has the choir practice.

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