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How do I ? or even should I help dd make friends?

(20 Posts)
colette Thu 19-Feb-04 14:38:28

Sometimes when I ask dd who she played with at school she says "my shadow" and I feel so sad. Sometimes she plays with a few children from her class but quite often she plays with older children and it seems she is taking the role of little sister eg . they pick her up etc.
She had a special friend when she was at nursery who has gone to a different school and we have lost touch with - I know she misses this little girl but she was very dependant on her .
What I really am asking is should I help her make friends? and if so how? I feel that all the little girls in her class have already paired up or she says she doesn't like them/or they won't play with her.
I have looked into her joining Rainbows(pre brownies) but the nearby group has a waiting list and I can't realistically get to another one and back on foot easily . Dh works evenings and I would have to take ds along.
Sometimes I worry that she is young and sometimes shy for her age and that because she was an only child until recently she does not take turns etc. very well(I feel this is something I should have helped her with more). If I play with her it usually involves her trying telling me what to do , obviously I have explained that it is better if we take turns and listen to each other , but it usually end up with her stomping off. She did something like this when she was playing with her granny on Sunday . She came out the kitchen to me to complain. She is a happy bright imaginative child but I worry that if she isn't making friends now it will have longterm effects. Btw dd is 5. We did go to toddler groups and I do take her to the park and storytime at the library but I feel I should be doing more.

marialuisa Thu 19-Feb-04 14:47:41

Have you asked her class teacher about how well she mixes in with the other kids? Does she say that she has no friends and seem distressed as to me that is different to playing happily alone. Is there a beaver pack near you? The scouts are co-ed now so there should be other little girls there. Otherwise do you have a Woodcraft Folk group, or girls' brigade she could try?

Sonnet Thu 19-Feb-04 15:00:50

I think that children sometimes need a little "help" in cultivating frienships.

Maybe she could identify three or four little girls that she would like to play with and then each week invite one to tea after school. if you are worried aboutthe taking turns, listening etc maybe you could arrange for them to do a structured activity such as drawing, sticking etc.
My DD made friends at Swimming class too - so that could be moe to try.
I think that if I was worried like you I would approach it from the perspective of giving her as much exposure to other children as I could. But, I wouldn't worry too much she is very young..
Hope this helps

colette Thu 19-Feb-04 15:57:14

Thanks for your replies-
marialuisa - I haven't heard of Woodcraft folk group, are thay run through churches ? I will ask about beavers .
Sonett I think I will try and exose her to more children, especially as the spring / summer is comingIt is difficult with a baby in tow and using public transport but it will be good for the 3 of us

twiglett Thu 19-Feb-04 16:47:53

message withdrawn

colette Thu 19-Feb-04 18:11:40

I think child of our time has a lot to answer for!!
I found it very interesting but it always left me feeling guilty. I don't think she is a natural loner as she talks nonstop and talksto everyone.

Clayhead Thu 19-Feb-04 18:18:17

colette, I don't know if this helps but I was quite lonely at my primary school too, just didn't seem to find much in common with the others, as I remember. My mum did decide to 'step in' and arranged for me to play with a child she knew but I didn't, I was devastated at the time (I was about 9, I think) to think that I needed help from my mum *but* said friend is still a very close friend now, over 20 years on, so the intervention approach does work sometimes. HTH

twiglett Thu 19-Feb-04 18:19:04

message withdrawn

zebra Thu 19-Feb-04 18:59:27

I was a loner child with few friends and my parents made me feel like a freak for it.
Just to say, maybe some of these tactics would be good for your child, but if they don't "work", don't push it.
Long term effects? Well, my parents pressure sure didn't help my self-esteem.... that much I'm sure of.

bundle Thu 19-Feb-04 19:05:45

hear hear twiglett.
my dd1 has a very close friend at nursery and will miss her terribly when she goes to a different reception. dd1 also has an imaginary friend who fills in from time to time & is a big naughty...

nutcracker Thu 19-Feb-04 19:37:16

I have 2 dd's, aged 6 and 4. My eldest dd has always made friends easily, and has lots of friends at school. My other dd is at nursery but doesn't have any friends (or so she says). When i ask her who she's played with, she says no one wanted to play with her. This does worry me abit as the staff have also said that she won't approach any one to play with her, she will wait unitl they ask her. I have explained to her though that just because someone doesn't always choose to play with her, it doesn't mean that they aren't her friend. She seems to prefer dd1's friends, as they make a lot of fuss of her.

Dec Thu 19-Feb-04 19:39:36

Hi Colette, I don't know if this is much help or comfort to you, but I was a 'loner' child at school. I can still remember break and lunchtimes spent wandering around in the playground on my own while all the other children shouted and screamed around me. The comfort part is this - I was perfectly happy and had close and good friendships both in and out of school. My break times were spent in my own little world (imagination can be a wonderful thing) and I don't feel this has affected me in my 'now' life. I can remember this from about the age of 7, but almost sure it was finished by the age of 11 when I went to senior school. At that point I became part of a gang of 7 girls who are still close friends, albeit spread out around the world! If she seems unhappy then perhaps inviting a friend of her choice home after school could be an option? Or try to get in touch with her friend from nursery for periodic visits? This might spur her on to create more friendships at school. I would say again though (esp. if you think she's imaginative) that may be all she needs at the moment. Try not to worry - I'm sure she'll turn out fine

colette Thu 19-Feb-04 20:14:35

Thanks everyone I am feeling a bit better about it after reading all your replies. Nutcracker your youngest sounds just like her. Dh says he can't remember having many friends at her age. I remember it as a wonderful time with two really good friends.
she takes a figure eg. shaggy or a red indian to school and I have wondered if they are replacement friends. She is a very sensitive loving child. Somehow it doesn't sound so bad written down iykwim

nutcracker Thu 19-Feb-04 20:17:30

I have a feeling that my youngest dd will eventually have one main friend and be happy with that, whereas my eldest dd is happy having lots of friends IYKWIM. Your dd may do this too

colette Thu 19-Feb-04 20:23:26

I have just realised that I have one main friend that I have known since I was 11 and I still see even though we now live 400 miles apart.I have newer friends but they are not as "in tune" with me iykwim.

nutcracker Thu 19-Feb-04 20:25:38

There you go then, maybe your dd is just like her mom

marialuisa Thu 19-Feb-04 20:26:11

colette, Woodcraft Folk are a sort of "hippy" alternative to brownies/scouts. Definitely not run through the churches! There's a group near us and they do lots of creative activities and environmental stuff. Somebody else maybe able to explain better.

I'm sure your DD will be just fine.

colette Thu 19-Feb-04 20:44:32

Thanks dh will approve he has a church phobia

marialuisa Thu 19-Feb-04 20:50:05

Yeah, mine too. I think there's a website if you google.

tigermoth Fri 20-Feb-04 19:23:09

colette, regarding the Woodcraft Folk - I know someone who is a lifelong member as is her 70 year old mother. She really loves it and from what she tells me,it looks av ery good organisation to me. I have also had positive reports from two other people who went as children - or sent their own children along. There is a strong environmental angle and also, drama, music and generally being creative are encouraged. I'd send my sons to a branch, but there is not one near enough to us.

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