Girls' mums - please help, DD struggles with friendships in her school(28 Posts)
My DD is in year 2 and is a bit of a tomboy and is very sociable in general. There are only 4 other girls (who are less tomboy but more girly) in her class and they have started to form couples, so I am afraid she will be lonely as she grows. In the same time she's too shy to play with girls from the other/parallel class, and there are also not so many.
She is happy to play and be silly with the boys, of course, but they don't always include her and have their own interests, what, I think will only get worse further, as they are growing.
I feel like I need to act now, may be transfer her to another schol, but it's really hard to make a decision, as she would be very upset to leave. her current school is very good academically, it's a small, family-like private school. Have to say, we are not particularly included in this private school life and although do have some playdates and very "polite relationship" with everyone, I do feel separated. Possibly , due to the fact that we are the only international family in our class. The school is not very diverse in general.
Forgot to mention she is also the youngest, summer child , and three of the other girls are autumn, therefore more mature.
All this is very difficult for us, and I am also waiting for another child, so worry is becoming a part of my pregnancy sad. We are making every effort to help her to settle, including therapists etc.. She continues to say they dont play with her and she is "afraid to loose all her friends" etc. sad( I know she likes being silly and is not emotionally mature in games yet, but what can I do, if that's her character at the moment.
What do you think, would she become more settled and confident with time with the other girls in her school, or would the girls "couple" and exclude her even more with time? Only 5 girls, why can't they all be close friends without excluding anyone?
What about age difference, does this eliminate with time, especially in small classes (there are 14 children now)?
I am terrified of moving her in another school, as she already started to feel insecure, although has always been quite socially confident.
I've got a just turned 9 year old and she started at this school in year 1. I can honestly say I can't keep up with who's best friends with who etc. It changes all the time! I'd keep on helping her and suggesting to her that she asks the other girls to join in. If you think it's bothering her speak to her teacher about it.
I honestly wouldn't worry too much as my daughters friends change around all the time!
I really feel your dilemma. The class size and gender balance does seem very restrictive. I would be concerned too. Small class sizes were one factor that put me off a prep quite recently. Do you think she is unhappy at present, or might you be worrying /projecting your own worries about a situation that might not come to pass? If the latter, I would wait until the situation becomes clearer. I perhaps would speak to school and ask her to be placed in parallel class if there were more girls. You might find the mums more welcoming too and easier to arrange play dates. Don't worry, your dd sounds like a lot of fun, and this will all pan out.
There's no guarantee it will be better in another school but every likelyhood things will settle down where she is now over time. Friendships change etc. My son would rather play with girls and in over four years has only mentioned two girls names consistently, but he plays with lots of different children every day. All the other boys and girls are mentioned as and when. He just takes it as it comes. There may be children like that in your child's class and she'll just be part of a group who play together. In my opinion better than getting too close to a girl, then falling out, then been best buddies, then falling out...which leads to bitchiness further down the line.
I would firstly talk to the teacher - they may be able to help (class pairings, buddying up etc etc).
As another thought though, the school/class does sound very small. Despite what is trumpeted about small class sizes being the best, there is actually too small.
DD was at a school with 6 in her year group. 2 boys. 4 girls. It was stifling and socially not great for there being so few peers for her to form friendships with. We then moved when she was in Yr2 and she is now in a class of 29. Much happier - more friends to play with. When one girl turned out to be not such a great friend as they got older (now Yr5) there were other people to form friendships with.
If you have a good alternative I would seriously consider moving her.
Thank you all for your replies, it is indeed a dilemma.
Spoke to teachers many times, they do not see any problem, say DD is very sociable and academically strong, so other kids look up to her and generally like her. But I feel they do not really get (care?) the situation at the playground... they promised to mix the girls with the other class a bit more, but nothing seems to change.
The only alternative would be to move house and settle just for any reasonable good state school we'll be able to find, as we would not want again the same thing with another private prep. And here comes the big change from a small private to a big state school, what I am honestly afraid of, as she is still so young.
I might be projecting of course, but she does complain very often...
What does she do outside school? Does she go to something like Brownies and have a friendship group there?
Have you tried initiating play dates with one or two of the other girls, see if that "sparks" a relationship?
4 other girls (that she doesn't get on with now) is too few to assume that a friendship might develop later. It sounds like there are limited opportunities for socialising with other classes (or she would be naturally doing it, shy or not). On the basis that you don't sound desperately happy with the school anyway, I think I'd be thinking about moving her.
4 other girls immediately available is too few. My elder, summer born, DD was in a huge YR class of 66 in a hen and chickens classroom at 4 years old (before 30 per class). Two teachers -,it was fantastic. They learnt so much very quickly. If the school is good, they will thrive. Even the shy children found friends and activities.
It is not good to have really small classes and, as you are finding, the boys separate from the girls and the girls form cliques. If your child fits into neither camp then it will be a worsening problem. For the girls it will be two's company , three's a crowd. They will not be unfriendly but they won't gel either.
There really is nothing wrong with larger classes for confident, sociable children. Larger schools can also be fun too. Better sport, music, drama etc. I would move.
I would move her. Even if later on she does form a close friendship with another girl there is always going to be an odd person out and so there will always be drama on some level.
Find somewhere with at least 10 other girls in her class if possible.
My DD is very quirky and needed to be at a girls school with 28 girls in the class to be able to find good friends, the previous school with 13 girls just wasn't enough for her to find her tribe. Your DD sounds like she wouldn't have this issue though but I'd still be aiming for at least 10 girls.
5 girls is always going to end up with two sets of 'best friends' and one on the sidelines.
I'd move her.
I'm another to say that I would move her. My DD was in a small private school - 10 other girls in her year, none of whom wanted to be friends with her. We moved her to a new school at the start of Y5 and she is now much, much happier, with a huge group of friends. There can be too small a class, and to me that sounds as if this might be the case.
The class is too small, 4 other girls is nothing!
I would consider schools with a better class size
Too small a number of girls for social stuff, I would move her.
Id move her too. I think the class sizes are way too small and that no of girls will be a problem all the way. If a couple leave it will worse too. They dont have the freedom to fnd children they gel with like that.
There must be loads of 1/2 decent state schools close by
HUGE alarm bells really rang her with me here when you talk about helping her with a therapist. Shes a normal yr2 girl who sounds like loads we know. Some girls are very girly and some just never will be. Lots are in the middle. She doesnt need a therapist, she needs the chance to meet girls like her more. The teachers will prob be very focused on acadmeic work and hence why they churn the results. School is about developing every part of the child and should be a positive, fun, happy and secure experience where children thrive and grown in confidence.
We had exactly the same thing with our DD. Muddled through until year 3 in a school with only 10 girls in her year and then moved her. She is now in a year with 30 girls and it is so much better. She is a completely different child. So much more confident and outgoing. Therw are enough girls that she can be herself and still have friends because there are girls with similar interests.
I was so worried about moving her but it was the best thing we've ever done
Have a ds but very similar circumstances, only 6 other boys in his year group. Friendships issues, nothing was being resolved. Moved him in Y2 to a much bigger school, he's now in Y5, never looked back.
I am a bit that you are dismissing her friendships with boys. I don't think it's true that things always change, dd is in a mixed y4 class and certainly up to y4 I know one girl who is best friends with a boy. Dd's very strong Y3 group has 2 boys and 3 girls. By all means move her, as it sounds restricted but she may end up with boys as friends anyway. I think that it is more accepted these days that girls/ boys can be friends as I don't remember this from my own junior school days.
IT is accepted that boy/girl friendships may not continue with any depth unless the parents are friends. Sport, clothes, chat, computer games and a host of other things get in the way of a girl having boys as best friends. Boys being part of a wider group of children the girls are friendly with is quite normal but seeing boys socially all the time, after school, weekends and for trips out is quite unusual these days. I think it was more common years ago before lots of people had cars and play was more self-directed. You played with the children on your street, boys or girls. We always had a boy neighbour round to play because he couldn't play at home on his own and his mum was ultra house proud. We were not like that.
IT is accepted that boy/girl friendships may not continue with any depth
Any friendship may not continue with any depth. You can't direct dc into who to make friends with at 6 or 7 because they may change later . None of them would have any friends either male or female . Shrugs, things may change in 5/6 but these friendships are important now and 2 years to a 7 year old is forever.....! It is also important to accept children for who they are rather than forcing friendships with one gender.
I think from watching dd and her friends it is different to when I was her age. People are more accepting of them as children, there is also more to be interested in. The girls and boys she is friends with have the same interests.
I would be concerned in your situation (I have a 9yo DD). Only four other girls in the class doesn't sound great tbh. Yes, I would consider moving her.
I would definitely move her.
Yes she may be friends with boys, but she doesn't have the opportunity to make friends with girls.
Teachers often do say "everything is fine" when actually it is not. They don't always spot the subtleties of relationships.
5 girls is too few for anyone to really have a chance of meeting someone they "click" with.
Can't she move to the other class? Even if they say no initially in a private school I bet they'd rather move her class than lose your fees although
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.