9 year old dd, no friends(17 Posts)
don't know if anyone can help, or has a similar situation. sorry if this is a bit long winded.
my daughter is friendly with all in her class, seems ok in class, but unhappy in playground. she has no particular friend, never has since p1, and finds the playground tough. she will ask to play, and other girls will say yes, but then will seem to drift away or have private talks. she is never invited to play at others houses, or to birthday parties and the like.
we have tried v hard to have people round here, and she invites people to her birthday parties and seems to get on well with all. i feel gutted at seeing her like this, and try to hide that, but wonder if i make it all a bit worse by wanting to talk to her about it, although she does bring it up a fair bit too.
she as v upset yesterday after first day back at school, and to be honest i feel gutted too.
any advice really appreciated.
May I suggest that you speak to her teacher about it. Are there any lunchtime clubs at school she could join.
Does she have interests or outside activities. If not then try to get her involved in other activites as another way of her making friends.
I would second the advice about getting her involved in outside school activities. If she attends something she's good at - and perhaps with none of the school crowd there she could start with a 'clean slate' and hopefully make friends there. Which will increase her confidence at school too.
We had this problem with DD around a similar age. One year she had NO birthday party invites for a full 12 months. Yet the other girls were all happy to come to her party and were reasonably pleasant to her. They didn't dislike her, they just didn't particularly like her either.
Definitely agree with looking for activities out of school. But keep plugging away with invites to tea, sleepovers, cinema, etc, so that she has the opportunity to interact with the other girls from school on a one to one basis. Also boost her confidence by showing her how great you think she is, how you really enjoy being with her, how good she is at [something], and keep repeating this.
Also try reading The Unwritten Rules of Friendship which I found very interesting and useful with my DD.
Has useful tips about help to help your child make friends (including NOT asking a group if you can play with them - which gives mean kids the opportunity to say 'No' - but just sort of quietly blending in instead).
Thanks so much for your replies. She loves gymnastics, so I am upping that, and it has nothing to do with school which is good, builds her confidence as you say.
There are no lunchtime clubs, and have spoken to the teacher many times, I guess there is only so much they can do. Thanks anyway, it makes me feel I'm going about it the right way, I guess I need to just hang on in there, and hope it turns out in the end. I'm hoping at secondary things will get easier for her.
Thanks for the book, will look at that.
What does the teacher say?
Does she do anything to foster friendships/inclusiveness with in the class?
Your poor DD. I am glad she has the gymnastics.
Thanks. Teacher basically gives kids a general talk on being inclusive in the playground, looking out for each other and those who may be alone etc.
Works for a short period of time, but then things revert. Only discovered the gymnastics about 3 months ago, is turning into a bit of a godsend!
Thanks again for replies.
Hi Milly. Excuse me for saying 'your poor daughter', it sounds awful especially as she has such a lot going for her, especially her mum .
re the teacher I was wondering do the class ever pair off for coursework or projects or anything like that, and could the teacher do some gentle nudging there.
The gymnastics does sound excellent. And it's quite recent too so has plenty of time to work it's benefits.
Sorry I have no advice to give.
Thanks. I think your advice has been great! and to be honest, I kind of feel better just writing it down!
Think I need to speak to the teacher again re group work. May also suggest a pizza/dvd evening with a couple of the girls from her class.
Not a couple - ONE. If she invites two girls who are already friends, they will be nice to her but they are already a pair.
Point taken, thanks for that. 1 it will be. Thanks.
You could be describing my DD (10). I don't have any advice for you, just wanted to sympathise-it is very difficult and sometimes I feel really for her especially as her brother DS (9) is very popular and the house is often overun by his friends.
My DD loves horses/horseriding but unfortunately we live a fair distance from the stables so she can only really go once a week (can't afford any more often anyway). She is becoming such a solitary wee thing-reading and writing stories are her main occupation at the moment.
At school she tends to spend her playtimes with the little ones and likes to come home for lunch now as she has no one to play with.
Thanks for the message. Yes, she also has younger brother, who seems to make friends no problem! she would come home for lunch every day if she could, and has gone through periods of doing so. I began to wonder though if that made things worse, further isolating her. I wonder is it a case of being cruel to be kind?? unsure.
I agree, this is hard. My DD has similar problems, but not to quite the same extent. She has one good friend who does want to play with her and invite her back - but beyond that, she doesn't seem popular. I worry that she shoudld have a wider circle of friends and we often invite others round to play. They always seem to have a good time together - but dde nevere gets invited back.
To be honest, this upsets me for her but also annoys me. Surely parents should encourage children to return invites? I would always do so. I find it difficult to explain to her why this happens as I don't understand it myself. Are their any parents eho can I expelin this?
Sorry Milly, this isn't really an answer at all - but perhaps it helps to know that you ar not alone. I really sympathise. Perhaps it is something that will improve when your dd moves on to senior school and has a fresh start.
Regarding not being invited back: I find I do alot of hosting because dd is an only, and I work from home. My life is busy, but not chaotic and I have the time/inclination to help dd's social life outside school.
We have hosted several girls multiple times, with few (if any) reciprocation. But, I find if I call the Mums and ask if dd can come play (usually I make the excuse that I have an appointment, commitment etc), then the other Mums are more than happy to oblige and dd goes to theirs.
It is not that they dislike dd (or don't like her enough), it is that these Mums are often dealing with the essentials and don't get around to planning playdates (especially if they have more than one child as they then have to be 'fair' and invite friends for siblings too).
Hopefully I haven't completely rationalised/justifed dd's lack of invites, but I tend to view it this way rather than feel sad/rejected for dd.
Long way of saying - maybe call one of the Mums and ask if/when your dd can come to play?
Think I'm a bit late finding this really, but wanted to comment, as you could be describing my dd's situation exactly. It's really helpful to read the positive suggestions and advice - she's been upset, I've been worried, and it makes me feel a little less hopeless to know it's something other people can find difficult too, rather than feeling like she (or I) are doing 'something wrong' to be struggling. I feel as though we've pretty much given up, and are holding out for a new start at secondary school, as it's got to the stage now where I no longer feel comfortable suggesting invites to other girls who've been in her class for years but very clearly don't want her at parties / their house / included in the playground.... Let's hope that this stage gives way to something a bit more settled soon, eh?
I hope things get better for your dd soon. Like a lot of the other posters have mentioned - this sort of thing is really quite common - girls of that age often do leave particular people out (unfortunately it probably continues for the next 5 yrs at least).
I remember this sort of thing from school well - especially the lonely feeling when I was the one left out. However looking back I realise that it happened to a lot of people over the years (different people being left out) and it wasn't those girls fault at all (the ones being excluded), more general insecurity amongst other girls and wanting to stick with the herd and not be singled out themselves.
Please try to help your dd by having out of school activities as that can really help and also by helping her to make friends with individual girls.
Another thing to bear in mind that never occured to me when I was at school but does now is to consider your dd in comparison to the other girls in her class - is your family particularly well off (or not) in comparison to the other girls'? Or is she cleverer (or less bright)? Or do they all have siblings but she doesn't? etc etc Sometimes these things might make a difference to how easy she finds it to bond and might be worth bearing in mind when she goes to secondary school. Of course in an ideal world differences should make no difference and in many cases they don't but I know lots of cases of children being bullied/left out at school for being "boffins" etc, but who then go on to have no problems at grammar school/ university etc when they make friends with people who are perhaps a bit more like them.
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