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7 year old lonely?

(7 Posts)
megkat Sun 03-Jul-11 11:12:57

Hi everyone

This is my first posting, please be kind!

I have 2 daughters, aged almost 6 and 7. My youngest is outgoing, social and has lots of friends. i'm a bit worried about my eldest - she is the nicest, kindest girl you could ever wish to meet, and has been since she was a baby. She very rarely has ever had tantrums, and talks constantly. At school, she gets on with everyone and never seems to be in trouble (though she does struggle to apply herslef to her schoolwork - she daydreams alot).

This is what bothers me - she only has one friend, never gets invited out for tea or to other girls parties, and doesn't play out at weekends. She gets upset because she doesn't understand why she isn't invited over (and neither do I). I have invited various friends over to play but the invites are never returned. She is such a lovely girl and I hate to think that she is lonely, or being excluded for whatever reason.

Any advice? Thanks

imadgeine Sun 03-Jul-11 18:38:59

Aah - that must be a worry. All we want is for them to be happy. Have you specifically asked her teacher about how things are socially in school? Who does she play with at playtime etc
Children - dare I say girls - can be mean and cliquey at that age. It is a subtle form of bullying (You can't be in our gang, You can't play with us if you play with her, i wont be your friend etc) and schools sometimes overlook it because it is frequent and subtle (rather than physical fights). Sometimes it centres around one insecure child in the class who is trying to make herself feel better by exercising social power. Bullies feel bad and try to make other people feel bad. Trouble is the bullies stay feeling bad so the cycle continues.
Is there any option on her joining brownies or something like that where there are children from other schools? (I know not an option if you live in a village or something.)

megkat Sun 03-Jul-11 19:21:42


There have been some times when she's come home from school and said that people are being mean to her - when I speak to the teachers they are either really supportive or downright dismissive (seems to depend on what sort of day they've had!). Other days when i ask she says everything is fine and makes no more comment. There was an instance a couple of weeks ago when she said the girls said she couldn't play with them (exactly the subtle bullying you're talking about) and when I asked her what she did she said she sat underneath a table and cried. That just about broke my heart sad .

She does play with one girl - and only one girl - at playtimes. Very rarely mentions the others although she is superficially social with everyone. If then that one girl plays with someone else then it is a disaster for my dd.

The thing that really gets me is that my best friend (who lives a couple of streets away) hasa daughter in the same year group (there's only a week between our dd's) and my dd doesn't even get invited over there, even though I know there is a group of them from the same year that play together. This is despite her dd coming here for tea etc. My dd even asked my friend if she could go over and it was dismissed straight away.

She does go to Brownies and loves it - but still has no real friends there sad .

Any help would be really appreciated - I am so sad for her.

worriermum Sun 03-Jul-11 21:13:02

I dont really have advice Megkat. I just wanted to offer some support as I know how heartbreaking these issues can be for us mothers. I think most of use have been there to one degree or another. It does sound like you need to enlist the teachers' help: ask her if she can shed any light on what is going on, and perhaps also ask her if she has any suggestions for friendships you can encourage (invites etc). And then all the usual advice: try to find activities outside of school that your DC can do, especially if there is something that interests her. When I went through this with my DC for a time, I signed him up for as many afterschool and weekend activities as possible: it sort of disguised the lack of friends for a time.

HTH and good luck. You sound like a loving, supportive mum and that must help your DS.

megkat Tue 02-Aug-11 22:30:42

bump - thanks smile

MrsBrollyhook Thu 04-Aug-11 21:35:06

Your poor DD. I'd definitely pursue the school helping he socially. My DD1 has had trouble socially at school as she's so shy and her teachers have been great finding ways to encourage her to become part of the group.

Also have you asked your friend directly if she can invite your DD over? Does she know you're concerned? I know I would actively seek to include a child who I knew needed it. My DD has been asked over often by one particular mum who knows how hard she's found it to make friends, she's been a big help in including her.

Also I'd keep on with the playdates even if she's not being invited back. Some people aren't great at them - we're all so busy. I make a big effort to do them, and definitely used to do more here to encourage friendships.

ZZZenAgain Thu 04-Aug-11 21:43:16

do you think you could ask your friend directly? If a little girl asked me if she could come to my house and I was a friend of the mother, I couldn't really imagine dismissing it unless my dd didn't get on with her.

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