My daughter is having trouble making friends

(6 Posts)
loopyloo72 Tue 09-Feb-16 11:03:43

I feel as if I'm the only person this is happening to, but I know I can't be. My 10 year old daughter is very sociable, out-going, funny and kind. The teachers tell me she is very popular across the year group and yet, quite often, she has no one to play with at break times. She is in an all girls school with maybe 100 girls in her year and no one to play with. Outside of school she plays for hours with friends, effortlessly but in school she just hasn't been able to 'crack' this friend making business. She asks to join in games and is often told no. She tries to set up games and few girls want to play - it seems they are more interested walking about talking I hate to think of her alone at break times because it bothers her - she can't wait to get back into lessons! Can anyone offer some advice?

TheWanderingUterus Tue 09-Feb-16 13:54:08

DD is very much the same, but it is a little bit easier as there are a few boys who will play the running about games that she still wants to play. The girls have sole use of the basketball court two days a week, but often she is the only girl who actually wants to use it.

Most of the girls in her year seem to be into sitting down and chatting, the breaking and making of best friendships etc and also they communicate outside of school with their phones/Facebook etc which DD doesn't have. Because DD is friendly and chatty to everyone she hasn't been able to move on to a closer relationship with any of them, because being friends with one often means excluding another and drama of some kind.

As mentioned above she plays with the boys or children in lower years. She helps the teachers, helps run the tuck shop, reads, makes up imaginary games to play whilst she walks around by herself. She also attends clubs and youth groups outside school where she has made some fantastic friends who accept her as she is. It's not possible for everyone but I also set up an after school group that matched her interests, which has attracted some likeminded souls she gets on fantastically with.

loopyloo72 Tue 09-Feb-16 15:21:30

Yes, I've tried Brownies but found it difficult to fit in with all the homework she gets. I guess she has to find her own way, as my husband keeps saying. He thinks I fuss too much - said I should stop asking what she played when I pick her up. It just seems as if her peers are so fickle - best of friends one minute and then off with someone else the next. I suppose they're trying to find their way, too. Maybe primary school is not the place real friendship is made - my lifelong friends came from secondary school.

bojorojo Tue 09-Feb-16 15:31:26

I think you are discovering that "play" changes for many at this age. The playground games get left to the younger children. If an older child wants to run around, options become limited. The boys at my DDs school weren't that keen on girl interlopers either. Maybe just walk and talk with the girls. Shame that homework is stopping Brownies though.

Also, definitely stop asking! New friendships are made at secondary but do you not have children round to tea? Could she join lunchtime clubs? Yes, girls are fickle and we found friendships are formed by parents and the children slot into their groups. The children are not really choosing their own friends but they do at secondary. My DD1 had few friends until year 6! One really. Years later they are still in contact but regarding the others, we were glad to move on and leave them behind.

loopyloo72 Tue 09-Feb-16 15:58:19

Yes, Bojorojo, I think you're right, the games are petering out, by my dd is still very much in playful mode.
I really do need to stop asking but then run the risk of being out of touch with how she's feeling. What with the pressures of school - tests seemingly every other week - she has two today!
Used to do teas when there was less homework in former years but now there's so much going on socially there seems to be less opportunity. Lunchtime club's a good idea, though. This does seem to go in phases - next week she'll probably be having great fun and I'll be wondering what I was fussing over!!

Bryt Wed 10-Feb-16 20:16:00

My 10 year old sounds very much the same. She's in year 5. I think there might be a little bit of relational aggression going on too - she's used as the back-up 'friend' when it suits and excluded when she's no longer wanted. I don't think my dd is able to recognise it for what it is. On the whole she is popular with lots of people but not so that she has ever had one or two special friends. Definitely there is a huge amount of friendship orchestration that goes on between the parents and we moved to this area and school as newcomers, so I don't have many parent acquaintances at the school.

I really hope that her experiences of primary school aren't indicative of how things will be at secondary school, as, like your DD loopyloo, she is a sociable, funny, kind, outgoing girl.

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