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6yo DD infatuated with confident friends

(5 Posts)
jessia Mon 17-Aug-09 14:17:30

Would love some ideas on how to give my nearly-6-yo DD a little self-confidence.

Her own lack of confidence is combined with a desperate need to be part of things, "in with the crowd", and so she fixates on confident leader types and clings to them, trying to force one-to-one friendships. At first I was pleased that she was making friends (she is very popular with her group at kindergarten, where they are about to go into the last year before school, kids are constantly coming up to me asking to come to our house to play or for her to go to theirs) but now I'm beginning to see that these infatuations are stopping her interacting more fully.
Her KG teachers say that in teaching time she is withdrawn and takes no part in the class work, yet I know she is fascinated by things like dinosaurs, nature and the natural world, as well as all the dolly, princessy, love-heart, rainbowy things that 6yos are into. What worried me in particular, though, was when her best friend was off for 3 weeks, the teacher said she saw an immediate difference in my DD - she started contributing to the group's work, putting her hand up to give answers, etc.
Other kids' mums have told me that their kids often want to play with her but this same "best friend" won't let them. I thought it was a problem with this girl being controlling, but at the moment I have a kind of play scheme at our house for the summer, because KG is closed for 2 months, and the same thing seems to be repeating itself but with a different girl (best friend is not attending playscheme as her mum is a SAHM). My DD has latched on to the most confident of the other kids here and wants to play with her one to one. I have overheard the other girl talking rather nastily to various of the kids (not mine), and when she goes off to play with others, my DD is terrified she's going to get left out, so tries to force her back, then starts crying that they're leaving her out... Lots of it is just normal little-girl power-struggles, I'm sure, but my DD seems to be consumed by the need to be in with the top dog.

She is painfully shy in group situations, where all the attention is fixed on her, even small-scale ones. For instance today three of them were giving their dolls haircuts and makeovers (with glitter glue grin) and then the childminder suggested that they do a fashion show and introduce their dolls, say a bit about them, and about their new hairstyles, "makeup" etc. When DD realised this would involve her saying something while other people (3: 2 friends and the childminder) listened, she suddenly started shouting that this was a stupid game, boring, she wasn't going to play any more - all that spoilt pouty child stuff that is just a big cover-up because she can't admit she's scared.
For the same reason at the age of nearly 6 she is only just beginning to be able to say "hello" and "goodbye" to people (e.g. when she walks into KG classroom, when people come round to our house, etc.) - and that only when I'm there holding her hand and have reminded her that she has to.
I know where it comes from - both DH and I were/are very shy, but the difference with us is/was that we were never that interested in what other people thought of us, we were much more loner types (I was on a differnt planet most of the time I think grin). But it's making her unhappy and her reactions are not going to win her friends. I'm also worried that this kind of dependence will lay her open to getting in with the wrong sort of friends for the wrong sort of reasons when she's older.
If you get this far(!) and you think this is all PFB and I'm over-reacting, do say so, but otherwise any advice very welcome. SHe hates talking about her problems, and says things like "I want a cuddle but don't talk about it" and I don't really know how to handle it... sad

Mamulik Mon 17-Aug-09 16:57:05

I think if you invite her friends home after school is quite good idea, or go to swiming pool together on the weekend.

jessia Tue 18-Aug-09 08:25:09

Mamulik, she has friends over at least once a week, and she goes to other friends also at least once a week. And at the moment she has 3 or 4 friends here 9-4 everyday (playscheme).

Bumping for more ideas

Mamulik Tue 18-Aug-09 11:28:27

Or may she need friends outside school? some dance classes or drama ?

Pushingonthrough Wed 26-Aug-09 22:05:10

Hi Jessia,

My daughter is exactly the same as yours. I'm also finding it hard to deal with and worry about her future.
I'm sorry I can't offer any advice, but thought a bump may help get more ideas.

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