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Not looking desperate - Play dates for an 8 yo

(13 Posts)
Walkingwounded Fri 07-Nov-14 02:36:27

Grateful for any thoughts on this one....

Dd is 8, in yr 4. Small rural school, just 6 girls in the class. All seems fine, school say she is happy and sociable, appears to get on well with peers etc. We live some distance from the school.

Dd's social life has dwindled to just about nothing this year. One of the other 5 girls does come over frequently, and dd makes return visits. Of the others:

2 I have invited over and parents have responded with a polite ' no thanks, a bit far away' even when I've explained that I'll do all taxiing etc. Have invited twice, polite brush-off both times.
One has a tight friendship and social life with one of the 'no thanks' girls, dd does not appear to be close to her
One has had a bit of an up and down relationship with dd ( queen bee type) but things now seem to be settling down.

2 sets of 2 girls have fairly tight friendships it seems to me. But dd is under the impression she is friends with these girls, and keeps asking me when they can come over. Dd herself has not been invited on play dates this year. She is desperate to have a sleepover, but I can't see it happening.

I just don't know what to say to her. Their parents don't want them to come over? Later on?

She will be changing to a bigger school next year, so I'm hoping there will be a wider social pool for her. Moving is not an option (DH's job).

Any advice? How do I persuade the parents to let their kids come over without appearing desperate? What do I tell DD so that her confidence isn't affected? She is a really lovely child, caring and sweet, and I hate seeing her confused as to why she can't have play dates too.

aroha77 Fri 07-Nov-14 09:00:14

Sounds like the parents are cliquey? Are there any groups like Guides nearby so she could make friends outside of school?

Walkingwounded Fri 07-Nov-14 11:35:06

thanks a lot for the response. Yes I suppose they are a bit cliquey, although very nice individually. I've signed her up for Brownies in the hope that it will help.

I suppose I'm just wondering how 'pushy' I can be towards the parents without sounding desperate...whether it would be totally sad to say, look DD is feeling left out, will you lend me your child for an evening! - or whether to have a bit more pride and dignity and focus more on friendships out of school, if possible.

QTPie Fri 07-Nov-14 11:35:50

Yes, I was going to ask if you can get her going to out of school activities to widen her social circle?

Walkingwounded Fri 07-Nov-14 11:39:57

I'll definitely give it a go. It's not easy in very rural area. And it's the girls at school she's focused on, poor thing.

Might just have to be that sad parent pleading for a playdate. Aargh.

Eva50 Fri 07-Nov-14 14:03:07

You have asked the other parents and they have said no. I think you have to respect their decision and leave it at that. I agree with widening her social circle. Brownies would be a good start. What about learning a musical instrument. My boys have made loads of friends through their music. A choir or sports club would also be good.

UniS Fri 07-Nov-14 23:40:36

If your year 4 is like my year four, when do you fit a play date in anyway. With sport, sport, cubs and childminder there just are not many days he could go on a play date.

BettyNettle Sat 08-Nov-14 21:36:13

The mums could be cliquey, or just feel uncomfortable taking "favours" from other parents: My thought was that if a mum offers to do all the taxiing etc I would feel uncomfortable/embarrassed to take her up on it and "burdening" her with this. But at the same time I wouldn't physically be able to ferry my child to play dates, so for us the play dates need to be extremely easy to arrange (doing clubs together after school). If you were talking to me it would help if you made it really clear that it really is no problem and that you are more than happy to do the pickups and the hosting.

Brownies etc a very good idea and the new school on the horizon is great as well.

Walkingwounded Sat 08-Nov-14 22:42:08

Thanks all. Brownies starts this week, I'm hoping it goes well.
Eva, it's a good point about respecting other parents' decisions. I just hate seeing dd so confused and unhappy. I certainly won't be asking again the two I've already tried twice.

Betty, yes I do make it clear that it's not an issue at all to do the ferrying - I expect to do it, because of our location. But even with that, it hasn't worked so far.

I think I'm going to try one last parent of the 5, one I haven't approached yet (queen bee type girl on whom dd seems quite keen at the moment). But that will be the last shot

If that doesn't work, I will need to think of an explanation to Dd as to why she isn't having play dates.....do you think it's best to stick to the truth and say it's because of our location? I certainly don't want her to feel as if it's anything to do with her, particularly as she is convinced she is actually friends with these girls.

JemimaButtons Sat 08-Nov-14 22:48:06

Hi, my kids are slightly younger, so maybe my opinion doesn't count. But if they say you're too far away, could you offer to go somewhere as a treat, soft play, bowling, swimming? Sorry that all sounds expensive, but I think if I was in this situation, I would try this...

Or what about having a girly make over party at your house for Christmas where you invite all the girls?

But yes, to making friendships out of school.

JemimaButtons Sat 08-Nov-14 22:49:34

I mean a treat somewhere closer to school. So they can't use distance as an excuse. Either they do turn up, and that way your daughter can build stronger friendships, or the patents have to be more honest.

Walkingwounded Sat 08-Nov-14 22:59:38

Oh those are great suggestions.thanks Jemima

CateBlanket Tue 11-Nov-14 03:22:03

Be honest with your DD; tell her you've invited the girls and their parents won't let them come so she should enjoy their company at school and you and she will find fun things to do until she makes more pals at the bigger school.

You say you regularly have one girl over and she returns the invite so, for now, that combined with Brownies and the pair of you doing things together should suffice. What about swimming after school? Bit of late night shopping?

My Dd is an only and she participates in a team sport which keeps her busy for much of each Saturday - is that an option for your Dd?

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