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DD having concentration and friendship issues

(3 Posts)
diplodocus Thu 03-Apr-14 10:30:55

Sorry if this is long. DD is 8 and in year 3. She is bright, and generally probably a bit above average across in her ability across the board. However, her work is extremely patchy because of concentration. She often needs a lot of encouragement and reminders to keep on track - other days she'll produce great work with no problem. The teacher is supportive but getting increasingly frustrated - she certainly seems to think it's something within DD's control. She's tried giving her a timetable (her organisation is poor) and also a report book where she's graded for her concentration which have had little effect. She's the same at home - needs constant chivvying to do homework or other task - the only difference is she gets angry and rude at home which she doesn't do at school.

I really don't know what the underlying cause it - it seems if anything worries her (however trivial it may seem) she can't concentrate. She is quite unhappy about friendships - she doesn't have close friends at school and the children she plays with blow hot and cold which she finds upsetting. Attempts to help her on this have also been unsuccessful - it's a very small school with a very small pool of "possible" friends. She's certainly frustrated and angry much of the time at home, and I feel her friendship concerns are certainly exacerbating the concentration situation. On a one to one she gets on very well with most children, but is much less comfortable in groups and finds it difficult to "get into" friendship groups. She does plenty of activities outside school and gets on well with the children there.

She can't tell me what the problem is. I lurch between thinking the concentration is some sort of attention seeking (it means the teacher focuses much more on her), lack of confidence (she thinks she's not as clever as her peers) both of these or something more deep-seated. Whatever it is she's not happy and not currently fulfilling her potential. She's quite immature and sensitive and we've tried to encourage activities to improve her independence and confidence. It doesn't help that she has a sibling who is very academically able and popular.

We will be having a meeting with class teacher and SENCO shortly to discuss her issues. Any ideas of what they could / should be providing for her? I want them to take the issues seriously - because she's not a "failing child" at the moment there's a tendancy not to, but she really is unhappy.

sugarhoops Thu 03-Apr-14 10:57:58

Sorry to hear about your DD's unhappiness. I don't have any experience or advice regarding how to help her in school, but I do have a friend in a similar situation with regards her very 'quirky' daughter at a tiny village school and therefore a tiny pool of possible friends. Her daughter was unhappy and un-confident, but above average in terms of academic ability.

My friend remedied this by literally immersing her daughter in many out of school activities (thereby making new friends outside of the school environment). Her daughter's confidence hugely improved, and she didn't feel tied to just the very limited pool of friends at her school. Her school life & academic achievements improved as a result.

Not sure what you do outside of school with your daughter, but potentially worth looking at some clubs / interests that are completely independent of the school?

diplodocus Thu 03-Apr-14 12:54:44

Thanks sugarhoops. We do quite a bit outside school for exactly the same reason as your friend, and then I worry that I'm overloading her as getting tired seems to make the concentration much worse! She has one hobby she's good at and I think which gives her confidence and we'll certainly look for further opportunities for this. She also does a sport she enjoys and brownies, where she's very happy.

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