My DD, 8 attends a very small school and has been in the school from pre-5. She has a very high IQ and has an educational psychologist monitoring her. She talks freely about her feelings and maintains eye contact etc, but is feeling guilty that she prefers her own company and has difficulty maintaining friendships within the small number of classmates. There is one little girl in particular in the year below that she is finding very difficult, who won't take no for an answer, and when DD tells her she wants to be left alone, she tells a teacher on her (according to DD). I know I should encourage tolerance, but does she really need to feel under pressure to play with someone she has nothing in common with? WWYD?
Oh that's a tricky one !
I would probably seek to have a chat with your DDs teacher. No I don't think she should have to play with someone she doesn't want to play with , and has the right to play by herself if that is what she wants.
Perhaps your DDs teacher can speak to the younger girls teacher and they could address it somehow.
Couple questions - how is your daughter telling the younger girl she doesn't want to play? Without meaning to is she coming across blunter than she means to (if she is annoyed or upset) which is why the other girl is telling the teacher ?
- is there any reason that you know of why she is finding it difficult to maintain friendships ? I understand she is saying she likes to be by herself but is this due to these difficulties rather than her just wanting to play alone ? I am a teacher and haven't often come across kids who want to be totally by themselves at this age ? Not saying that she shouldn't want to be alone if she does then she does and that's valid ,but just flagging up your comment that she has difficulty maintaining friendships . Does she have any friends in her class ?
If she is under an ed-psych could you mention it to them? This is something that they could help with ? You could also mention it to the teacher in case there is anything going on within friendship groups that could potentially be upsetting your daughter or making things tricky for her. It could be she would benefit from any activities or lunchtime clubs with some older children if she is more mature intellectually than her peers but you say it's a small school, perhaps this isn't possible.
Thanks so much Justme3 for your advice.The little girl in question is incredibly bossy according to DD. I know DD does try not to be blunt with other kids, but can just run away from them if she feels she isn't making headway and this has caused some to think she is "weird" in the past.
The psyc ed is aware and I think the key could be as you say - making friendships in the years above. She does have one close friend in her year, but her best friend is 10 and in another school.
She says she was happiest in P1 and P2 when playing with her imaginary friends, but feels guilty about this. Bless :-(. I think she just can't be bothered with the drama of social positioning in school, but this is something we all have to confront throughout our lives and I think she realises this.
In this case I would definitely speak to school. There may be things they can do, at the very least address it with the younger girl to help hee understand and back off a little.
If it isn't possible to resolve in school could you look to any extra curricular activities out of school with older kids , so she does have some opportunities for interactions with kids she might get on with? It wouldn't be in school but I do think it's important for her to have social aspects as well, even if she prefers it's not in school
If they could facilitate your daughter playing with older kids that would be great
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