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DD, aged 6, struggling with social skills

(3 Posts)
Campaspe Tue 09-Apr-13 10:12:46

DD is in year 1. She is bright but has always been a shy and anxious child, and clingy. She has a couple of friends in school, but is usually on the outskirts of the group, and does not seem to mix well. We do playdates, an after school club and swimming lessons to try to boost her confidence. DH and I are both quite outgoing.
One of her two friends in school has recently deserted her for other friends. All typical stuff for 6 year olds I guess. However, DD is upset and tells me she now plays alone and has no one to sit with on the mat. I suggestedtrying to make new friends, and inviting more children round to play. DD rejects this, saying she likes to be alone, and refusing to join in with others on the basis that they don't like the same things, or are a little bossy etc etc. basically all spurious reasons.

I have observed DD with other children, and am upset that she does appear stand offish, nervous and does spurn gestures of friendship unless she is in the right mood.

I have discussed with her teacher, who is concerned about her lack of friendships, and tells me that DD's friend can be quite mean to her. Other than encouraging DD to make friends, I am not sure there is more the school can do. It is breaking my heart to see her alone, but I don't know what more I can do to improve her social skills, and make her see she needs to speak up a bit and join in if she wants more friends. I'm not sure I do believe she is happy on her own.

My husband and mum trek me to relax, that DD will make the effort when she is ready, and that she might have to take a few knocks on the way. The also tell me she is picking up on my anxiety and this is making her worse. They advise me to step back, let her get on with it, and only intervene if she is being picked on. They also think she needs to take responsibility more, eg today, I forgot her show and tell. DD wanted me to tell the teacher. I told her she had to do this herself and basically pushed her into the class in years and left her.

Any support, advice, kind words gratefully received. I am really worried.

Lovestosing Tue 09-Apr-13 11:30:47

Didn't want to read this and not reply. DS (6) is in year 2 and he has always been slightly eccentric shall we say. In some ways however, he is a pretty average boy. He will never be the most popular boy in class but he did have a nice group of friends and was very happy in Reception and Year 1. This year he is in a class with just one of his friends who is a nice boy but has AD and who basically will only play with DS. This means that DS is now completely isolated from his other friends as he is not in their class and won't play with anyone else as he doesn't want his friend to be alone. There has been a few parties which he hasn't been invited to and he has been very upset about that, although I have pointed out that he hasn't played with these children for months so he shouldn't expect to get an invitation. It's tough and it breaks my heart but apart from encouraging him to play with other friends and arranging play dates there is not much else I can do. I think you should back off a bit and see what happens. Sorry I think you're doing all you can but if your DD is reluctant you can't push her into it and it could make it worse. How about activities outside of school? Anything she would like to do? If she makes friends outside school it might encourage her to make friends at school. Good luck!

Chockyeggpants Tue 09-Apr-13 22:48:40

Hello OP
My DD is 6, year 2 so one of the youngest. We are having the same no friends issue. Will watch this thread for any advice!

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