Friendship Difficulties - Year 1(4 Posts)
I'd appreciate advice. My daughter is in Year 1, and since Reception really has had some friendship issues. There are a small group of girls who she mostly regards as her closest friends - about 6 - and she clashes regularly with one of the other girls in the same group. They are both headstrong and try to dominate, although I would say my daughter is the less capable of the two and is certainly over half a year younger. They fall out all the time which often leads to my daughter being told she can't play, or that it will be her turn to play another day etc. They also fight a lot over which one is 'best friends' with one of the other girls in the group, who everyone seems to want to play with the most. Last night she came home in floods of tears asking me to find her another school with some nice friends. She has started wetting herself more, and she just seems really stressed with it all.
Now, I don't want EITHER of the girls to be dominant and certainly don't believe my daughter should be in charge or make the rules etc. Ideally they would all play harmoniously every day (wouldn't that be nice!). But what I need is some advice on what I can say to my daughter as I don't seem to be able to help her at all. I also feel I am interrogating her every day to find out what has happened, and she has started to say she doesn't want to talk about it and is closing down, rather than opening up to me. How can I change that dynamic?
I have spoken to the school but I think they see it as just typical disputes with girls. They may be right! But she is my first (2 more to come!) and I feel clueless as to how to help. What advice do you have? I have encouraged her to play with other girls, have arranged play dates with some of the other girls in the group (and also the main rival too). Just clueless.
To be honest (& this won't be much help to you I'm sure), this does sound like pretty standard playground action for yr1-2 girls. My yr2 DD has been going through similar since yr1. Some weeks they have all played happily together, other weeks it's been awful & DD is crying in bed at night.
It is now all calming down & the friendship group is becoming more stable & the girls are pairing off and making new friends. I'd say it's almost resolved itself (phew!).
One mother in the friendship group has, in my opinion, been far too involved from the start & I don't think it's particularly helped her DD. She's been into school numerous times, told off some of the other girls in the playground at school pick up (in front of their parents) and generally not really given her DD any practical help in how to deal with tricky friendship situations, because she always steps in to sort things out herself, not allowing her DD any opportunity to try out strategies for herself.
We personally took the "love bomb" approach - we did have casual chats about her day and if any problems, just gave her masses of love, hugs and attention to make her feel loved at home. We talked about strategies to deal with the nastier times, but we learnt not to ask too many questions every day.
Girls are complicated, it amazed me how young it starts - our older DS never had these playground traumas, you were either friends or you weren't! We have a younger DD too who will no doubt go through the same.
So, best advice is make her feel very loved at home (which I'm sure you already do!). Don't not talk about it, but try not to over-discuss or analyse it. Good luck!
I'm afraid it is typical girl behaviour. My daughter was in a friendship group of 3 in Year 1 and every day 1 girl would come into class crying because the other 2 wouldn't play with her. The alliances were continually changing so it would be a different girl crying each day.
Luckily it settled down as they got older.
Thanks very much for your comments and thoughts on this. Much appreciated. I like the 'love bomb' approach and that feels like a good 'strategy' to adopt. Thank you for suggesting that - I'd not heard of it before - though we do of course do lots of love, just hadn't heard it called 'love bomb' and I really like that!
Also good to have a heads up warning on not becoming the nightmare parent who over thinks / over meddles. Is definitely a risk I could fall into that category if I'm not careful - so I appreciate that.
I've 3 girls - I've got no chance of coming out of this unscathed - just have to try my best for them.
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