Advanced search

What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbook - now under £10

Find out more

Looking for suggestions to build her confidence

(8 Posts)
Mummymusic Wed 04-Jan-17 11:38:38

Hi all. This is my first post, as I'm not sure what to do about my daughter. She is 5 on Friday, and naturally an introvert. She has some good friends at school, but they are pretty much all outgoing, strong personalities. My daughter can be outgoing and fun when she feels safe and comfortable in a situation, but recently the stronger characters have been dominating the play, and leaving her out. She try's to join in, but they don't notice her as much, and eventually she stops trying because they run away from her or just don't include her. They're all very little still so it's not done on purpose, but I'd like some ideas on how I can help her develop more confidence and not just sink into the background as she gets sad and lonely. I've told her to tell the others how she feels, and ask to join in, but yesterday in a play with 2 friends, they ended up focussing on each other, and she just stayed with me as she didn't feel like they wanted to play with her. I try to encourage her to find other friends if she's azt school, or find a teacher to help her join in a group but I'm not sure what else I can do... do I just let he find her own feet, or are there ways I can help her so she doesn't feel so left out? Thank you x

Loopsdefruits Wed 04-Jan-17 11:43:19

After-school activities? I'd suggest Rainbows (youngest section in Guiding) because it does wonders for self-confidence, also something like gymnastics or dance, or art if she's into that. Somewhere she can meet more people her age, who maybe go to her school. At five it's hard to help her understand why she's being left out, but just keep encouraging her as much as possible smile

thegirlinthecar Wed 04-Jan-17 11:51:11

Dd is only 3 and a half but she's very much like this . She goes to a "drama" class every week where the main objective is to build confidence in kids. Maybe something like that might help? My dd really loves it and seems to be coming out of her shell a (tiny) bit more because of it. It's really difficult to watch them feeling uncomfortable .

user1470997562 Wed 04-Jan-17 12:00:42

I was going to say after school activities too. My dd is shy/quiet and struggled in the first year or two at school with friendships. Her confidence grew with doing judo, brownies/guides, swimming, gymnastics, music and getting better at some of these things. Each of these clubs had a few from her class in, so it was easier for her to make friends with them as they tended to flock together.

I would just keep encouraging her, invite people she gets on with home for tea, join some clubs.

My dd struggled at this age. She gradually made some good friends, it jus takes more time I think if you're one of the quieter ones.

SarfEast1cated Wed 04-Jan-17 12:30:16


My daughter was just like this - and after months of angst and painful play dates I realised she just needed new friends. Expecting her to change to be more likeable wasn't real fair on her. At 9 she does still struggle a bit with her old nursery friends but we do Brownies (amazing as it's so structured but fun), gymnastics (also structured) and she has now got a nice group of like-minded friends. My advice would be to make sure your play dates are really structured too - make something or paint - be prepared to lead the activity and only have one child round.

Mummymusic Wed 04-Jan-17 15:56:01

Thank you all. She does gymnastics and swimming at the moment, but obviously they're directed time and usually individual activities- done alongside each other as opposed to together. She loves her friends and in a 1 to 1 she has no problems being liked or played with- it's just when a group play together that she gets pushed aside as she's a bit quieter. It doesn't help that her best friend seems to be the most popular child in the group so when she's with him the other children focus on him... they arrive at school together each morning and those in the playground seek him out but sometimes ignore her.

user1470997562 Wed 04-Jan-17 16:25:52

She will learn in time not to get pushed aside. It took my dd a while but she got there eventually. In those early days the loudest, most entertaining ones seem to be well liked. But that changes as they get older and qualities like sharing, kindness, listening become more important. It's highly likely she'll have a new best friend by the end of the year - most of them do. Group dynamics took dd a while to fathom but she got there. It's just a bit of a painful ride, the learning process. And even more painful to watch as a parent.

SarfEast1cated Fri 06-Jan-17 09:15:10

My dd just wasn't really robust enough to deal with her extrovert nursery friends, they all liked each other, but she wasn't enjoying the interaction. She now has some much more kind and considerate friends thankfully, but it took a while. My advice would be to widen her friendship group until you find some. By 7 and 8 they seem to get into very exclusive friendship pairs which are difficult to change. Also conversations about what makes a good friend are helpful, but you will find that the class teacher will be doing this too.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: