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Help me help my 6 year old be less annoying around friends

(29 Posts)
Anothernamebitesthedust Tue 15-Sep-20 09:46:07

That sounds means...i don't mean it do be.

My 6 She's a lovely, thoughtful and affectionate little thing. She's pretty bright and fairly advanced academically, but not exceptionally so. But socially, she's kind of...I don't know, just not as street smart as a lot of other kids her age. Maybe just a bit immature?

She can and does play nicely with other kids but particularly when she's out of her comfort zone or overexcited, I can see she starts to be a bit annoying to other kids - she's in their faces or trying to give them over-exuberant hugs, or dong this weird manic laughter thing. I can see other kids start to back off or wander away from her. It happened at drop off this morning and it broke my heart to see her look really crestfallen when a couple of girls didn't really want to engage.

She really wants to join in, and I know that sometimes she does. But it's like she doesn't always get the rules of engagement. And I can understand why other kids might find her being in their face annoying.

She has lots of friends as school but hasn't really formed any special friendships. She had to move schools last year as we moved house but she settled brilliantly. Hasn't had any special friendships in either school, though. In both schools though, she often has a new friend for a few weeks and then it drifts off. I think she mostly plays with the boys at lunchtime, which is obviously fine, although it does concern me it's because she struggles more with the interaction with the girls.

Anyway, thoughts on how I can help her with this? I've tried to discourage the manic laughter thing but I don't want to knock her confidence by telling her she's annoying!

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Anothernamebitesthedust Tue 15-Sep-20 11:28:50

A hopeful bump. I really want to help her but not quite sure the best way to start.

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Newkitty Tue 15-Sep-20 11:34:44

I would recommend a drama club outside of school - something to build her confidence in social situations. It sounds like she gets over excited and doesn’t read social cues very well. Something like Perform, which is focussed on wellbeing?

Oly4 Tue 15-Sep-20 11:39:38

Oh this is so hard and I think it happens to all of us at some point. In many ways it’s just because she’s 6.
Covid rules make this tricky but could you invite the girls one on one for a play in the garden so she can be more herself. You can monitor things and offer helpful suggestions etc without it being a lot of kids. If she gets to know the girls individually the. She might relax a little.
But I’ve definitely been there and it does get better in the next few years. Don’t make too big an issue of it like you say but you could say gently “I think X would prefer it if you didn’t hug them all the time” etc

Anothernamebitesthedust Tue 15-Sep-20 11:44:00

Thanks. Hadn't thought of drama - that's a fab idea. Will look into that now. Yes, I think she just doesn't quite get social cues yet, and also she just doesn't seem to be quite as assured/ confident and streetwise as some (though I don't think all) of the girls in her class.

Yes covid doesn't help, we moved and that kicked off and though she's settled into her new school it obviously has made it harder to make those bonds. (And for me to get to know other parents to make links.) She's definitely much better one-to-one.

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forrestgreen Tue 15-Sep-20 12:00:36

Right, completely off the wall and feel free to ignore but you pretty much described my dd. Her difficulties were down to autism, level 1 used to be Asperger. Only diagnosed as an adult but I saw it from high school. Every teacher we ever saw said no, but she was awesome at masking. Girls present completely differently to boys. Sorry if I've offended.

Anothernamebitesthedust Tue 15-Sep-20 12:08:34


Right, completely off the wall and feel free to ignore but you pretty much described my dd. Her difficulties were down to autism, level 1 used to be Asperger. Only diagnosed as an adult but I saw it from high school. Every teacher we ever saw said no, but she was awesome at masking. Girls present completely differently to boys. Sorry if I've offended.

Not offended at all, and I’d be lying if I said it had never crossed my mind. Though she can play well with other children so I’d discounted it. Maybe I should revisit it - although I guess at the moment a child who is otherwise performing well at school is (understandably) not going to be an NHS priority.

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Connieston Tue 15-Sep-20 12:11:37

Is she a summer baby? They can be a step behind their peers I know my son was a bit like this. Having said that he just got his autism diagnosis at age 13 so it could be that. It's the inability to "read the room" but some little kids just take a while to learn those cues.

Anothernamebitesthedust Tue 15-Sep-20 12:13:35

Thsnks Connieston, no she’s precisely midpoint in the year.

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GypsyRoseGarden Tue 15-Sep-20 12:22:17

Highly recommend:

1. Getting a book like this one below which has age appropriate role play exercises you can do with her to practice how to react / act in certain situations - that will give her real skills she can use at school to help her - put the time in - 10 minutes every day - make it fun - it absolutely makes a difference

2. There are special groups that help teach kids social skills run by qualified therapists - this also gives a safe space to practice and learn how to navigate social situations - not sure in your area but your gp should know

Can’t stress enough how much investing in this now will help later

Anothernamebitesthedust Tue 15-Sep-20 12:29:13

Thanks GypsyRose, that book looks great. I’d guess that group sessions might no be happening at the mo but will definitely explore it.

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Alonelonelyloner Tue 15-Sep-20 14:18:53

Im another one coming along to suggest ASD.
My daughter is and was adorable as a youngster but utterly full on.
My daughter joined numerous choirs even though she can't sing to save her life, but it gave her voice in a way.

CrystalMaisie Tue 15-Sep-20 14:36:04

I’m thinking asd too, the lack of social clues and playing with boys resonates here. My dd high functioning too, we had a private dx at 12, more for her our own knowledge and strategies to help her. It was a shock when I first realised (with the help of mn).

GypsyRoseGarden Tue 15-Sep-20 17:15:55

@Anothernamebitesthedust just to let you know, you are not alone - there are parents who have navigated this and know the heart ache that goes with watching your child not quite fit in, or not quite understand, or be completely obvious to those subtle language and body queues that others seem to instinctively understand

the really positive thing is that you've picked this up early and can put therapies and skills in place now to help her as she gets only - you've been a great mum to watch and observe these things (well done!) and now you can help her by getting the right interventions, therapies, tools, etc

GypsyRoseGarden Tue 15-Sep-20 17:17:13

"gets older" (not "gets only') - doh

GypsyRoseGarden Tue 15-Sep-20 17:19:02

ps. I meant to point out that clearly she's too young to do the activities in the book herself - I meant it as a resource for you to take her through it - there are other books too, I just wanted to give you an example

Emeeno1 Tue 15-Sep-20 17:22:49

Sorry but your daughter sounds like a normal six year old from what you have written.

She sounds interesting, communicative and excitable. All wonderful traits in a child.

Children are not small versions of adults. Anyway, lots of adults are annoying, it's not an autistic trait its a human one.

MazDazzle Tue 15-Sep-20 17:25:37

Similar situation here. Sounds like my daughter. She was diagnosed with Asperger’s last year after a private diagnosis. She’s now 12. She’s affectionate, sociable and is very able at school, but deep down I always wondered if there was something. Looking back, everyone else was making close friends, but no one really clicked with her. I suppose the other kids knew there was something different about her, even if I didn’t. It’s heartbreaking to watch your child struggling with friendships and being left out. The eye opener for me was when her little sister came along. I know no two are the same, but it really showed me what your average NT kid is like.

tempnamechange98765 Tue 15-Sep-20 19:08:15

I'm leaning towards agreeing with Emeeno1 and she doesn't sound unlike me as a child. I don't think I ever did the huggy thing etc but I was definitely annoying to others. I did have friends, but was always the one left out in a group of three for example. I'm not autistic, all personalities are different.

Superfoodie123 Tue 15-Sep-20 19:22:50

Isn't that what's so great about parenting, getting comfortable with those difficult feelings? Learning just to accept them. How about making her feel comfortable with the fact that some kids don't 'get her. Thats OK, not everyone has to get her. The main thing that matters is that you do. Maybe she can be a bit annoying, so what. Does she have to fit into a box for society to accept her? The right people will

forrestgreen Tue 15-Sep-20 19:35:42

I moved my daughters school to one which focussed on being socially aware as well as academics. The making of the remainder of her primary years was that she was allowed to come into school early and spoke to the teacher in charge of that assembly. She did a power point, interactive, sounds, words etc and found the slides for the morning sing along. Massive responsibility, it was supposed to be for a term but she was so good the teachers didn't want to let her go, so she mentored other children in her class on a six weekly basis.
Find her niche and build on it.

forrestgreen Tue 15-Sep-20 19:36:36

As I said in my pm, her niche has been the making of her, she has a well paid IT job and has moved out at 19.

Anothernamebitesthedust Tue 15-Sep-20 22:37:02

Thank you so much all - so much to think about and some stuff we can do right now to help her right now, regardless of whether she ends up with an Asperger’s diagnosis one day.

Because of Covid she’s not actually been at her new school much, but it is a fabulous school. I think for now we’ll let her settle a bit more, try some of the suggestions upthread and see how she gets on. But the possibility that this is more than just a slightly awkward kid is definitely on the radar.

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Bettyboop82 Wed 16-Sep-20 22:11:00

I’m a primary school SENCO and thought ASD as soon as I read your opening post. Girls are Typically very good at masking traits. Might be worth raising with the school so they can keep an eye on things and maybe put some low key intervention programmes in place -friendship groups, Social skills activities, Talkabout programme etc?

Dee1975 Fri 18-Sep-20 00:55:28


Right, completely off the wall and feel free to ignore but you pretty much described my dd. Her difficulties were down to autism, level 1 used to be Asperger. Only diagnosed as an adult but I saw it from high school. Every teacher we ever saw said no, but she was awesome at masking. Girls present completely differently to boys. Sorry if I've offended.

This would be my reply. You have described my DD. She is 8 and we got the ASD diagnosis last year.
Girls do mask it very well.
I dismissed ASD at first too. DD plays, makes eye contact, was an early talker ... but there is so much to the spectrum.
I advise keep a diary of behaviours. That help ms when talking to a GP.
Does DD have meltdowns at all?

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