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Niece at new school can't make friends

(6 Posts)
DebbieL Fri 18-Jan-02 10:16:42

I wonder if anyone could give me any advice for my sister, who is worrying about her 9 year old daughter.
Daisy has always been an outgoing gregarious child, and had lots of friends at her first primary school. My sister has recently moved house and as a result her daughter had to change to a new school. She has been there for 3 months and is having great difficulty settling in and making new friends. She is miserable most of the time and keeps asking her mum if she can go back to her old school because 'nobody likes me here'. She walks around the playground at breaks by herself and cannot break into the cliques that have formed with the girls in her class. There are only 20 pupils and 8 are girls. She is desparately unhappy and we don't know what to do.

Should my sister invite one or two girls back for tea after school, or organise a party? She is worried that no one would come and Daisy would be even more depressed.

Any advice greatly appreciated

winnie Fri 18-Jan-02 10:32:54

Debbiel, I think a party would be a great idea, but be sure to invite everyone in her class. Children love parties and their curiosity (as well as their parents curiosity) will probably get a good attendence.

When my daughter changed schools I was very concerned about the impact it would have on her but her teacher paired her off with one girl in the class and she quickly settled in.

I would definately contact the school. They should have noticed how unsettled Daisy is but they need to be told that there is a problem too.

Could I also suggest that Daisy gets involved in afterschool activities - not necessarily linked with the school. If she gains some friends in the area outside of school that will help too.

I can't think of anything else but I can understand your concern. I am sure other Mumsnet users will have other ideas.
Good luck & best wishes to Daisy

Copper Fri 18-Jan-02 10:55:18

I think your sister should talk to the school - class teacher first, if no joy the head teacher. She needs to make it clear that she is seriously worried, that the unhappiness is affecting her daughter's education, and that the class seems to have got into a habit of ignoring her - the habit won't change without some action by the teacher/head to alter it.

II think asking some of the kids back one at a time would be a better idea than a lot in one go. It would be awful if they ignored Daisy in her own home. Are any of the boys nicer than the girls? Can your sister offer to help in the class for a couple of hours a week to see how things are? I did this and it helped my son a lot - took a half-day off every week to do it, and it was worth it.

TigerMoth1 Fri 18-Jan-02 11:47:37

My 7 year old son recently changed schools, and, according to him, he is having a the same sort of rocky social start as Daisy. The school is much smaller and so are the class sizes, so I thought he would soon find his feet. He is a naturally outgoing little boy and has always made friends easily, on holidays, at the playground etc.

I do think it's harder for children to move schools and make friends as they get older, and I do feel mean about taking him away from his friends at his former school.

We have already spoken to his teacher about this, and we now have two versions of this story. According to his teacher, he was in with a crowd of little boys from day one. He knew some already from Beavers. He certainly does not stand apart in the playground at lunchtimes. Quite the opposite. My husband, who collects him from school in the afternoon, tells me he always has a smile on his face and plenty of children talk to him.

I have asked my son about this. He still maintains he has no friends. He has only had about 6 weeks of schooling, so it is early days. I am hoping what he means is that he has no 'best' friends as yet, not that the class is unfriendly. It takes time to get those special friends, so I am being optimisic. I would love to be a fly on the wall for a day to see exactly what happens.

I think you've been given lots of good advice, so I won't repeat it here. I think it's very important to talk about this to the class teacher, so that she is very aware how Daisy is feeling. If the teacher can find a mentor for her - one of the other children in the class to pair up with her - this might help.

Also, to help her settle, don't let Daisy think there is any chance of her returning to her old school, even if she is still in contact with her old friends there. If she sees her mother waver on this, it might raise her hopes and make her more unhappy in the long run.

Hope this helps

DebbieL Fri 18-Jan-02 12:33:38

Dear Winnie, Copper and Tigermoth
thank you so much for taking the time to reply.

I have told my sister your thoughts, and she has arranged to see Daisy's class teacher. I have also suggested that Daisy joins Brownies or a swimming club and she loves Karate, so my sister is investigating classes for her in the area. She also attends after school club, but no one in her class goes.
I think Daisy would die from embarrassment if her mum helped out in the class, plus sister doesn't have the time, so that option is out really.Lets hope she'll be get busy with these activities and make plenty of other friends

thanks once again, Debbie

Copper Thu 31-Jan-02 11:56:08

DebbieL
any news on how Daisy's settling in?

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