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Just had a phone call from DDs headteacher

(65 Posts)
angelinterceptor Thu 15-Nov-12 14:16:30

My DD is age 9 this weekend - and really struggling to fit in socially at school. This time last year we spent months worrying about whether to move schools or not for a fresh start etc.

Finally decided yes, she would do better in a smaller school, fresh start, all girls - moved about 6 months ago.

I thought everything was OK, but it seems not now that I have had the call from the head.

Other girls dont want to play with her, or sit with her in class etc.

I have tried with her, I know she is impatient and we have worked through books on speaking to others nicely, and treating everyone with respect.

Is she doomed, will she ever grow out of this - or is it just going to get worse?
Her dad will go crazy if he finds out - its costing us ££ to send her to this school and he will think waste of time.

Does anyone have any practical advice, or just something new for us to try with her?

Like should we withhold extra-curicular stuff, like use it as a reward - or is this the completely wrong thing to do?

Really worrying now, as she has invited half the class to a birthday party this weekend - and I hope they haven't been sent under duress from the parents, and dont really want to be coming.

thanks if you have read this far - just want some advice please

confusedperson Fri 23-Nov-12 19:21:17

Btw do not stop sports. And probably something like martial arts could be beneficial.

ParyMortas Fri 23-Nov-12 19:30:31

I would be asking the HT for a behaviour specialist to go in and observe.

This is what we did for DS2, he was very unaware of why this person was in the class/playground and it gave an outsider a chance to give his feedback without being on one side or the other. It helped immensely.

Because DS2 was a bit of a class clown, whenever anything went wrong he always got the blame and stood up and took the punishment whether he was in the wrong or not. This was observed on a few occasions.

We worked together with the behaviour specialist and the HT (who IMO was a bloody witch) and things got better.

God, I used to dread the phone calls and emails from her.

RosemaryandThyme Sat 24-Nov-12 19:34:53

Is it possible that she might be picking up tone and attitude from either TV or from attempting to emulate adults around her ?

I'm not having a dig its just I know when I'm a mardy old bag it comes out exactly the same from my eight year old.

angelinterceptor Sun 25-Nov-12 09:37:22

Thanks everyone again I met the HT on Thursday. - I am now convinced they are intervening in situations where the girls need to learn how to work it out themselves.

They have a no blame approach so things this week seem to have been on a group activity, role play or discussion rather than focusing on DD or the girl who is now the one who reports her for not being her friend today!

It does seem to have boiled down to this- DD being new and all the others being there since pre-Sch are in little friendship groups already. DD has tried to join some of these groups and according the the HT now is very popular which. Is half the trouble. She can't split herself into many pieces an break time - so it would appear that girls will run to teacher and say DD wont be my friend today.

DD is unaware that this might hurt anyone's feelings so that is what we are going to be working on.

Looks like school are keeping a watch on her - but I hope they are also watching some Of the others because they were no Angela at the birthday party.

Sorry for typos ( on phone with fat fingers)grin

ohfunnyface Sun 25-Nov-12 09:52:18

Riggght- this makes a bit more sense- and a lot more straight forward than an AS diagnosis.

So she just needs to work on balancing her friends and playin with everyone to make sure everyone feels happy?

That isn't as difficult/bad. And I think the teacher is spot on- your daughter is more mature (doesn't see the issue with multiple friendship groups) an the others don't like it (still very young in their emotional age and attachment to friends).

I'd continue to work with her about positive relationships and how to say 'no' in a nice way. My DP is like this! Lots and lots of friends and would upset certain ones when he was younger (and some even though they're adults!) and had to learn how to manage people's reactions and be able to move in and out of groups.

lljkk Sun 25-Nov-12 19:07:13

Everything OP wrote in this morning's post is what I was suspecting (not happy to see it confirmed, though).

Hope you find a good way thru.

I think if she had social problems before she probably still sees herself in that way, with low self-esteem, and this manifests as social clumsiness. I sent DS to a school with a good rep for pastoral care when he reached a similar place.

Lougle Sun 25-Nov-12 19:11:35

That doesn't really gel with what the class teacher told you last month, though, does it? She didn't say 'ooh my, DD is so incredibly popular that everyone is fighting over her.' She said '4 or 5 girls have said they don't want to sit next to your DD.'

You also moved her school because she was struggling socially.

This doesn't sound at all like your analysis of the HT meeting fits with that, sorry.

angelinterceptor Sun 25-Nov-12 19:23:08

Yes she has very low self esteem and we will work on that along with the other methods of keeping the other girls happy.

I'm confused too, one minute she is unpopular and the next everyone wants to be her friend!

Anyway hope things improve over the next few weeks as we reach the end if another term.

lljkk Sun 25-Nov-12 19:37:51

Very volatile friendships at this age.

learnandsay Sun 25-Nov-12 19:39:35

lljkk, that may be true. But should the head be getting involved? Sledgehammer to crack a nut, if you ask me.

lljkk Sun 25-Nov-12 19:53:18

I agree 99%... yet I needed DS private school to get hands on to help him socially. And doubtless OP told HT from outset that she wanted her DD to be supported socially. I don't really know what DS school did right, but by having a very small class they could quickly spot & calm many social problems.

Perhaps DS school had so many oddballs that DS found his own way (perhaps).

So maybe I think OP's HT should be hands-off but then again I think that HT also needs to help OP & her DD to see how up and down friendships and social status can go. To learn to ride with it, a bit.

I would have thought if she was truly unpopular, OP, nobody would have come to the party.

learnandsay Sun 25-Nov-12 19:55:52

But a head getting involved gives a serious impression to what appears to be a trivial matter. I can't see why the teacher couldn't have sorted it out, (if it needs sorting at all.)

lljkk Sun 25-Nov-12 19:59:08

Private school, OP paying parent, small school (is HT the proprietress?), keep the customer happy, OP may have impressed on OP before enrolment that she wanted close attention. Personal call from HT to impress OP that they are taking the potential problems very seriously (not dismissing OP's concerns).

Could be practical issues, too, teacher may not find it as convenient to phone.

learnandsay Sun 25-Nov-12 20:04:28

hmmm. Do I really want the head of my private school phoning me every time a girl loses her hockey stick? No. I want them to educate her and look after her. That's what I pay them for! Not for phoning me with trivial nonsense.

angelinterceptor Sun 25-Nov-12 20:30:33

I'm back with some answers.
The school is not private like I imagine the prep schools are in England. I don't want I give too much info - fees are low and it's not a school owns by the HT

I agree that I don't want a call about something as trivial especially since at the start it was as if my DD was at fault. The HT is really nice but she knows how to say what you want to hear sometimes too.

I have at last made a few friends myself with some of the other mums and I think this might help us both to fit in with their ways.

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