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7yo DD confident at school, struggling elsewhere

(7 Posts)
swizzles Wed 26-Dec-12 13:26:18

My 7 year old (young for year, July bday but tall and looks similar to September birthdays) had no problem making friends when she started in reception. She s now in y3 and a confident a popular member of her class.

We have tried to open other things up to her over the last few years. She went to Rainbows for a year but none of the other children were from her school ( we couldn't get a place at the more local rainbows) and I noticed when I collected her that she looked a bit lost and lonely. Eventually she didn't want to go anymore and we dropped it. She made the decision not to go anymore and told me she didn't really have friends there.

She has now been going to a drama class for 18 months. She seems to enjoy the drama ( it's a small local thing, nothing big like stagecoach) but recently got quite nervous because she had two lines in a play - it was fine on the day but she has asked me to make sure she is not selected for any 'big' parts, which I don't think she would be anyway. I approached the drama teacher because I thought it was odd that she didn't talk about any of the other kids in the group. Teacher confirmed she tends not to mix well with the others and suggested I had some of them back for a play. So far we've had one girl back, it went well and we are having another in the new year. The kid who came back for a play stayed twice as long as we had planned as they were having a great time, but there's been no return invitation and they are not local.

I am a very social person and she is obviously different from me and perhaps more like her dad. It would be helpful if I could work out how to help her, what to do or even to just understand why she is such a popular member of her class but can't make friends elsewhere. I have asked if she wants to give drama up and she is adamant that she doesn't. When she appeared in the play last weekend she looked really a bit lost and was at the back of the stage dancing behind much bigger children. In fairness it wasn't especially well organised and a little under rehearsed but I was really worried about her. At the end of the show she told me she had been looking upset throughout because somebody had sung her line in a song.

Any experience of children like this?

lljkk Wed 26-Dec-12 16:23:51

What you're describing is entirely normal, ime.

fwiw, ime, they rarely make close friends at any clubs. More likely to make good friends at clubs when much older (age 11/12+). There is just nothing about a 1-2 hours/week club that compares with the intensity of friendship nurturing at daily school. So that's why she has friends at school but not elsewhere.

Ideally she'd go to drama/clubs with a few friends from school, get some cross over going.

Invites back: very rare thing anyway, either from school or club mates.

I wouldn't worry about it.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 26-Dec-12 16:40:52

Its probably quite good for her to do something she enjoys for itself even if its not particularly social, given that she is fine at school. Invite the same girl round again if they enjoy each other's company and don't worry about whether your DD gets return invitation, it may just not be very practical for the other family.

lisad123 Wed 26-Dec-12 16:45:24

Tbh my little girl is the same. She goes to gymnastics and swimming but no real friends there but it's only one hour a week anyways. School friends are fine in school but no one really comes back to play. I'm not worried as I believe children need to learn to be in their own company and we have lots of friends as a family too.

swizzles Thu 27-Dec-12 09:20:11

Thanks for your replies. Makes me feel slightly better that other kids are the same. So we will continue with the drama class!

TBH I always put myself out and have other kids home for tea and a play, I've tried hard to make sure she's had a range of kids from school home for tea and it does become quite exhausting. I guess this contributes to her being a popular kid, I just really hope she develops a bit more confidence as she gets older.

Cheesemonkey Thu 27-Dec-12 09:36:11

My DS1 would refuse to go to any activites unless his friends were going as well, so he only did the occasional football club. He as always been a popular, bright boy and is now 15. He has loads of friends, is always busy, doing brilliantly and school and mixes easily with people of all ages.
I never went mad on having kids home, one night a week max. was enough for me.
As long as she is happy and secure in her existing friends then you really don't have anything to worry about.

swizzles Thu 27-Dec-12 12:39:20

Thanks cheese, that has made me feel better!!

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