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How can I help dd feel happier at school?

(3 Posts)
Dancergirl Fri 07-Feb-14 15:10:37

Dd2 is just 11, Year 6. She has quite an intense personality, can be quite serious and often takes things to heart. Very sensitive and finds it hard to brush off innocent comments or normal banter.

Last few years have been difficult at school for her with friendships. They have a high turnover of children at her school due to lots of forces families so she's seen lots of friends leave over the years. Some she keeps in touch with but it's obviously not the same as having them around every day.

The main problem at the moment is that she's academic and hard-working and often finds it hard to concentrate in a busy classroom. She's just one of these people who needs quiet to concentrate but I know that's not always possible. Whenever there's chat, jokes etc on her table she feels left out as she tells me she doesn't find whatever it is funny. She feels very unpopular and thinks the other children think she is uncool and has no sense of humour. For example, they expressed surprise that she was making a rainbow loom bracelet as they wouldn't expect her to be 'into' current stuff.

She doesn't like pop music but other than that, I don't think she's SO out of touch with pre-teen culture. She has an iPod, plays games, watches the Disney channel etc. She paints this picture of herself as a really geeky girl but whilst there is some geeky element to her, it's not as much as she thinks.

Also, they have their own tables in the class but can sit where they want on that table. There seems to be a lot of 'I want to sit next to such-and-such' (I would have thought they'd grown out of that by now!), usually no-one expresses a wish to sit with dd and she notices that. It's like sitting next to her is the booby prize. She's actually not that bothered who she sits with, but she's obviously upset that they wouldn't choose to sit next to her.

Apparently yesterday they were all begging and pleading with her to change seats so x could sit next to y. Even though dd wasn't bothered, she refused to move. I suggested to her that she tries to stay out of it and just move seats for an easy life. But on the other hand, I can sort of see why she didn't - they hadn't been very nice to her so why should she do something nice for them?

She says the boys in particular are immature and she's fed up of their messing around and silly jokes. She also says they mock her.

I know ideally she needs to lighten up a bit and probably lots of this is normal school stuff. But she can't change her personality.

I don't know how much to intervene or not. She is often upset after school and off loads to me, I listen and try and be sympathetic. I've spoken to her (excellent) teacher a few times when there's a specific issue but I feel at 11 years old I shouldn't be running to the teacher for the slightest thing.

Sorry I didn't expect this to be so long!

TheKidsAdvice Fri 07-Feb-14 18:07:13

Hi Im a kid in year 7. If I was in your daughters class it would probably be natural for me to be curious about why she didnt like certain things. But because of my personality I would treat her the same as I treat everyone else. Maybe she needs a little bit of help, you could explain the situation to her class teacher and maybe ask if the teacher could ask another student to look after your daughter because she was poorly the following day. This might be a chance for your daughter to make a friend, from there I would give your daughter advice on what to say to her new friend. You should invite the girl over to play at your house and once she sees what a lovely normal girl she is it might make things better for your daughter at school and she could make new friends. When I joined high school I met lots of new people exactly like me so i wouldnt worry too much. Soon shel make lots of new friends! Its very normal for her to be shy right now.
Hope it helped smile

sicily1921 Tue 18-Feb-14 12:17:54

Hello Dancergirl, your DD sounds very like my DD who is just 12yr. She can be very serious and take things to heart and she has never been into a lot of the things other girls are into so is often the outsider.

The table/sitting thing sounds a very uncomfortable situation to put a child in, I can remember these sort of situations myself and it hurts. You say the teacher is excellent so I you spoken to her about this one? Could she not organise it so that certain people sit together thereby avoiding this situation?

How does your DD get on with trying to strike up a conversation with someone? I have given mine a few pointers about asking people a few questions about themselves and telling them about yourself, try not to be afraid to tell them what you are into (I still find this difficult for myself!) Does she have anything she does out of school? Some sort of hobby where she can meet others? Gently tell her to try and not take things too personally, boys, esp of this age will always mock other people, it is their default mechanism unfortunately. I have tried to give my DD examples of 'cool/funny and wise' retorts she could give them, just to build up a bit of an arsenal I suppose!

I hope this has helped a bit, I worry no end about my DD so I do feel for you.

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