Related: Lockdown Learning, discuss home schooling during lockdown.
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How to help 8 year old(19 Posts)
We moved house over the summer (for DH job) and my 8 year old DD has struggled to make friends. This has been compounded by being in a tier that means we can't mix households so no play dates - we've only had half a term to meet classmates so haven't got to know anyone well enough to take their kids to the park etc. Now lockdown and her favourite sports club cancelled.
She howls crying and screaming, saying she has no friends and in utter distress her hobby is being stopped.
She used to be so happy and confident.
How do I explain? She's only seen grandparents once in last 12 months because of COVID so it's not like I can say it's preserving them/that relationship, there's not much relationship left. I'm just so sad for her.
Oh bless her, that sounds really tough. Are there any children she has bonded with at school? Maybe you could get in touch with their parents and see if they could do video calls over the next few weeks or send each other messages? I know playdates are much better at that age but it's better than nothing. Is her sports club doing anything online in November? Does she have any other hobbies she could throw herself into over the next few weeks? I'm so sorry she feels like this, the a main thing is to help her understand things won't be like this forever (which is difficult for all of us)
Thank you for replying. Screen time makes her horrible - so short tempered - but I guess we can't avoid that.
She is very sporty/active so whilst we can take her out to play she is desperate for interaction. She did a wonderful club over half term.
I've tried the this won't be forever but ' you said that last time' and 'when will it end then?' are not easy to respond to. She gave up so much already in terms of cancelled school trips and holidays, birthday in lockdown, cancelled farewell party then we move her and she's even more isolated. It's awful.
Poor thing. What is her new school doing to help her make friends there?
I'm not sure what the school are doing. We have had feedback that she has settled well but her social interactions don't appear to be what she considers 'having friends' in the same way as her old school. No bullying so far as I can tell.
Update: DD now has to isolate due to close contact with a case in school. She is distraught, screaming 'I don't want to be alone' and saying she'd rather be dead.
Facts and soothing words are having no effect.
Any idea how I make this easier for her?
I'm so fucking sick of this year.
(I obviously haven't mentioned that if this goes through all of us we'll need to cancel seeing family for Christmas. We'll cross that bridge of distress if we come to it).
It's not easy. Its absolutely crap. They are big enough to know what they are missing, but too young to have all the social media to keep in touch with their friends.
What will school be doing regarding lessons? Is any of that interactive?
I'd be contacting any friends parents you can and setting up virtual stuff - any games you can play over the screen (I'm thinking bingo, battleships, not roblox or minecraft), or craft sets they could both do simultaneously whilst chatting. Would any of her old friends do that?
My oldest is older, but on his third set of isolation since September (10 days because that's how long it took to get a negative test, and now second lot of close contact). It's been MUCH better with more structured school work. He is also doing stuff round d the house - made biscuits with DH was working from home and his brother and I were at school. Can you give her more control of something?
Are you saying it wont last for ever, and platitudes, or are you acknowledging that is crap, you hate it too, you dont know when it's over, but asking how could we make it the least bad possible? I'd be trying the opposite of whatever you've been doing til now.
I wouldnt do it right now, but for future events, when I told the kids we were going to see my parents for the 2 days before Xmas (need to be home with DH on the 25th!), I prefaced it with it was what we hoped to do, and it was all dependant on no isolation or illness of government changes. So it's something we are hoping to do, not a definite promise. We've also talked about what sweets we should get Grandpa for Christmas, because if we have to unwrap the presents over Skype as we havnt collected them, we'd also have to eat them! So something tiny but positive about the shitte show that might come.
I know the above wont suit many families, but if what you've been doing so far hasnt been getting through to her, maybe a complete change in tactic couod work?
If she is serious about the she'd rather be dead, rather than it being a dramatic statement, I'd also contact school and see what counselling they have available.
Opportunity you said screen time makes her short tempered but there are so many things to be do on screen time..
Has she played roblox? That was our lock down saviour. You interact with other users (monitored) build apartments, work, dd often tells me she can come straight away becsuse she's robbing a bank or a police man taking someone to jail!
Others good ones are natinal geographical, animal jam.. Make friends on game, have dens, go to exotic places, adopt animals...
Minecraft is amazing!!
Could you reconnect online Zoom etc with her old friends? I know it's not the same but perhaps just talking to other 8 year olds whom she knows would help her free less alone.
What about a whole like of escapism reading? Harry potter is perfect for this if she hasn't started them or wimpy kid, storey treehouse.
Our 9 year old is struggling and is worse after YouTube. We just keep reassuring that everyone is in the same boat, it won't last forever even though some days it feels like it.
How about a keyboard for Christmas? Music can absorb you and keyboards you hit a key and it makes a sound not saying it's not hard to learn but with two fingers you can play something recognisable fairly quickly.
There are no easy options right now.
Hope something helps
What sort of outside hobbies does she like?
Riding schools can reopen on Tuesday and it’s a good activity during lockdown. Even doing a pony day / club at a riding school regularly so she is there for a few hours mixing with the other children outside.
My DD has made friends doing this and to be honest it’s been a savour. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s sociable, outside and most importantly, at the moment, permissible. If you had a part share of a pony you’d even be allowed to visit in lockdown....
Oh yes what about meeting her old friends at the park for outside unofficial play dates. Or are you too far away now? The parks are open and kids can play in them....
I’m sorry you are going through this. Your poor DD and poor you. It’s so tough on them.
Obviously I realise none of it helps during isolation...
Any spaces at Brownies/ Cubs in the area?
Many are still active on Zoom if they can't meet F2F. Not perfect for all (my 7 & 9 yos don't cope with it) but there is some kind of structure and sense of doing things with others for those that do engage with it. It's also less unfocused time feeling alone.
Thanks for all the suggestions.
The main theme of her screams and sobs is 'why am I so unlucky' - she was so looking forwards to sports clubs restarting out of lockdown and now she can't even go out the front door for 10 days. She's refusing all Zoom chats and Roblox etc is what makes her aggressive - she's just in despair about everything. I can't help her whatever I say she fights
I feel so much for your DD. My 7 year old was so unhappy and angry during the first lockdown due to the lack if social interaction. So I feel the pain. Xxx
Thank you. She remembers lockdown first time and was saying 'not home learning again! I'm not doing it'. It's awful. I'm so worried we'll be letting her down again over Xmas
Sounds like both my DC. It's really rough. We've been doing loads of family walks, garden stuff, Cubs activities / badges and family zooms. They both normally do sports ever every day with friends outside of school so they've hated lockdown 2 as much as lock down 1.
Mine play mine craft as lot and some Roblox and amoungus. You tube makes them go grumpy aggressive and violent
Oh bless her. I'm struggling and I'm 35. Can't imagine how hard it must be for an 8 year old. Poor thing.
I really feel for you.. My 9 year old was so down for quite a while. I found being her replacement friend as much as possible helped.. Playing games together, watching her telly, and films we both liked, cooking.. She wrote a diary and also listed 3 things that she was grateful for a day, that could just be a nice pudding for example. Getting out together on our bikes, though know you can't do that at mo. Also our pet sadly died at the beginning of the year, so after a few months got a new one, which has given her great company, obviously not something to rush into without a lot of thought. Also agreeing with her that things are rubbish at mo, but one day will just be a memory and story to tell.
All the best x