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Year 4 girls and their friendships

(23 Posts)
perceptionreality Mon 05-Nov-12 10:30:24

Parents of year 4 girls - do you find that friendships have become more divisive this year?

In reception everyone plays with everyone. But I am surprised at how spiteful some of the girls are in year 4 and I am wondering if it gets better or worse??

Bluebell99 Mon 05-Nov-12 10:39:39

My dd is now in year 6. In year 4 she had a difficult term because one of her friends decided to exclude her from their games, and wouldn't let her play. It was a sad term for my dd. the girl in question mum had just had a new baby with her new husband. Looking back, I wish I had tackled the teachers about it as it was bullying to an extent. My dd is much happier now. She is still friendly with that group, but also has two closer friends. My dd tells me that the original girl is still upsetting her current best friend by saying things like you can't play, I'm not your friend.

perceptionreality Mon 05-Nov-12 11:26:30

Yes this seems to be common - excluding someone. And also, Dd has a friend who is nice one day and spiteful the next - she never knows where she is with her. I have told her to act like this girl can't do anything to upset her and to play with other people and not get involved in games with her.

vjg13 Mon 05-Nov-12 12:16:20

My daughter's class became really bad for this sort of behaviour at the end of year 4 and then year 5 just carried on where they had left off. Some of the girls even fight now! At the parents' evening the teacher said it is the worst she has ever seen it.

The teacher is now making a note of all the rows so that the girls can later see how petty they are. We are also do a chart at home for each day she stays out of the arguments. I don't want her thinking that this is 'normal' behaviour.

Elibean Tue 06-Nov-12 09:49:43

I've heard it starts in Y4 and peaks in Y5....

dd1 has a lovely bunch of girls in her class, and has never had a problem mixing with all of them. This term (now Y4) there are a lot more friendship problems, game playing, top doggishness, etc sad

Luckily, dd is fairly resilient - but even so, its getting more complicated.

perceptionreality Tue 06-Nov-12 10:07:20

Yes, same here Elibean. My dd used to play with everyone and she doesn't understand the need for game playing. She's sensitive so I've had to coach her on how to cope with it.

vjg13 Tue 06-Nov-12 11:54:47

Really hope my daughter's class has reached the peak stage and won't get any worse!

mumofthemonsters808 Tue 06-Nov-12 12:02:34

Yes this is when all the nastyness starts, it peaks in year 5 and reaches boiling point in year 6,to the extent that you can not wait for your girl to get to high school to meet new people.How it works out from there on I am yet to discover.

perceptionreality Tue 06-Nov-12 15:00:00

Oh dear! I suppose hormones are partly to blame. I've bought my dd some books about how to cope - what to say etc. In the hope that she'll be able to see it happens all over and not just to her.

KTK9 Tue 06-Nov-12 15:51:38

Dd is in yr3 and we have had a little bit of this 'excluding' going on. What did you find the best thing to say to them to help them deal with it? I know dd gets very sad somedays and I try and encourage her ignore it, but it isn't easy!

maybeyoushoulddrive Tue 06-Nov-12 22:54:16

I'd love some ideas as to how to help dd to deal with this too please! I was bullied at school. I worry that I didn't handle it very well then so I might be saying the wrong things to dd now...

perceptionreality Tue 06-Nov-12 23:04:27

In my dd's class there is one girl who seems to feel the need to control others - walking up to people and telling them to shut up and go away, tripping people up, spoiling their games and trying to exclude people. Although my dd says she is perfectly nice some days and horrible on others so it is confusing.

I have told dd that she must try not to have just one best friend but to play with as many people as possible so that if someone is unavailable or goes off with someone else she won't be left alone. I told her not to trail around after someone who promised to play with her but to act like it doesn't bother her. I also told her that if the girl says mean things to her to totally ignore her and to not react at all or to say something like 'tell someone who cares' and above all not to rise to it.

I've had a look at the American Girl series of books on Amazon and have bought her the one called 'A Smart Girl's Guide To Friendships' - she seems to have found this helpful. It also has a page in there called 'clever comebacks'.

perceptionreality Tue 06-Nov-12 23:05:24

In cases where there is sustained bullying the teacher needs to be brought in though imo.

OddBoots Tue 06-Nov-12 23:08:51

I can really recommend the book Bullies, Big-Mouths and So-Called Friends - it's really helpful for children in these situations and not too long winded about it.

perceptionreality Tue 06-Nov-12 23:15:20

I bought that one too OddBoots - dd found it less relevant to her specific situation at the moment but there are lots of different scenarios in there.

perceptionreality Tue 06-Nov-12 23:17:51

Just to say as well, when I was a child if I had problems with people my mum used to be very quick to intervene, with the result that I couldn't handle these situations on my own and I do think it's an important tool for our children to have.

Woozley Tue 06-Nov-12 23:21:31

Boys have issues with friendships & bullying too...

perceptionreality Tue 06-Nov-12 23:32:17

I am sure they do. People often say that girls are generally worse for this sort of thing though. I don't have any sons and my dd goes to a girls school. They had a male head who admitted to me that he found working in a girls school harder because girls don't make up as easily as boys, who generally could be encouraged to shake hands and forget all about it. He was at the school for 2 terms before he promptly disappeared!

hairbearbunch32 Wed 07-Nov-12 10:22:21

When my DD was in primary, she stayed out of all the cliques and never took sides. She has a mind of her own and has never been a follower.

However she would be excluded by various girls for not choosing a side or being bitchy behind others back .For this reason she was unpopular. The mean girls were invited to all the parties.

Her teacher one parents evening told me she was far more mature than other girls her age.

I used to think sometimes that if she was more like them she would fit in and perhaps school would be easier for her.

All i know is that girls can be very mean and spiteful. Not sure what the answer is though!

vjg13 Wed 07-Nov-12 11:13:01

Thanks for the book suggestions, I have bought the Bullies etc one and may get the class a copy if it's good.

Elegantlywasted Wed 07-Nov-12 11:22:50

I think it's hard wired into their brains that in year 4 they have to start getting into cliques and excluding what were once friends. It seems to wear off towards the end of the year and by year 5 they have gone back to normal, there are always going to be ups and downs in relationships but it seems to peak in Year 4.

bunnybing Wed 07-Nov-12 11:23:26

From my (admittedly brief) teaching experience it carries on till y8 and then improves because they get interested in boys instead ...

Interesting what you say about your mum being too quick to intervene - I think it would always be my instinct to intervene, but is not always the best way.

Hairbear - your DD sounds like a lovely person!

hairbearbunch32 Wed 07-Nov-12 12:00:52

Thank you Bunnybing.

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