My 8 year old has trouble making friends. Any suggestions?

Amanda - posted on 07/19/2011 ( 90 moms have responded )

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My daughter who just turned 8 has trouble making friends. This past school year she came home from school crying and telling me that she hates her life. That's something that an 8 year old should never feel! It broke my heart! I can't be at school with her to see if she's being bossy or if she's too shy...or why it is that kids don't seem to want to play with her. I talked with the teacher and she said that my daughter seems to get along well with the other kids and that she is always so caring, kind, and helpful to the other kids. But her teacher also got her weekly sessions with the school counselor though to try and teach her how to socialize and build friendships but I'm not sure it helped. My daughter is an only child and has always been more comfortable around adults than other kids. Every year since preschool I've had her teachers tell me that she hangs out with them on the playground rather than playing with the other kids. I've tried getting her involved in things. She's in Girl Scouts and basketball which she enjoys. We have tried other things but she doesn't enjoy them and doesn't want to go. Other girls seem to have "best friends" already and my daughter longs for that. I know she tries to interact because when we go to the park or somewhere she is the first to run up to another little girl wanting to play and they always seem to get along well. She gets along well with children in our family and friends children. I'm not sure what happens at school. She is a very outgoing girl who is not shy at all. Is it just that at this age the kids feel they can only have one friend at a time? Or maybe this isn't as serious a thing as she would have me think? I know there are times when kids do play with her. I've showed up at the school and I've watch her on the playground (she doesn't know this) and I have seen her play with other kids but I've also seen her off by herself just swinging all alone with her head down. It's very sad! My daughter says she asks to play with other kids but they tell her they're playing with someone else right now. Sometimes they're just plain mean...I've witnessed girls calling names to not just my daughter but other kids. Or saying to another girl "You don't want to play with her do you?" The girl drama amazes me at this age. I didn't think I'd have to deal with it this soon. I worry about bullying. And I worry about depression if this continues into middle school and high school. I just don't know what to do. I'm at a loss right now. I know this is a long post...Sorry! Any help/suggestions would be appreciated! Thank you!

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Jakki - posted on 06/03/2013

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Hi all....

I have been posting to this thread over the years and I always come back to it and see what other people have been saying.

As an update, we changed our son's school about 4 months ago, and then he went on to have a really tough time at the new school. He said kids were starting to bully him like at the old school. I finally spoke to a teacher who'd only had him for a couple of weeks, but who told me something nobody else had ever told me. She said "you know, the other kids are being a little bit mean to him, but nothing really bad. The problem is that he is overly sensitive and can't stand up for himself. He just falls apart at the slightest insult".

This amazed me - and made me reconsider my perspective. It made me realise we had to work on his resilience rather than complaining about the kids being mean. So we started practising responses when someone teased him.

I also stopped giving so much attention to the negative stories he told me about school - instead I'd ask him what he did when somebody was mean to him, and would congratulate him for his coping skills. I realised I had been encouraging him to talk about his bad day so much that he was forgetting all the good things that might have happened.

Anyway - things have improved somewhat. He has been invited over to play by a boy in his new school a couple of times, and we still keep in touch with kids from the old school. He's also signed up to Minecraft which gives him something to talk about with lots of other boys.

Don't know if any of this helps any of you guys, but I just want to say "don't panic... and don't put you own social anxieties onto your child". I know I was definitely doing this, so it's a subject close to my heart!

Zombie - posted on 04/08/2013

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HI there! I am so happy to find this thread, as my 9 yr old daughter is in the same situation. A few months ago we moved to Las Vegas from SWFL as my husband's company relocated us here. It was a difficult transition for us because we didn't know anyone here. LM (my daughter) was so desperate to meet new kids and make local friends, and at first she loved school and was welcomed warmly by her classmates. After a month in her new school she was telling me that no one in her class wanted to play with her or hang out.
I know my kid, and realized part of the problem was how she would approach kids - very outgoing and enthusiastic - she tends to try 'too'hard' and also being sensitive, she feels hurt when the other kids back away from her. She went from being an honor student in her old school to being in danger of failing 3rd grade this year for not handing in assignments - a HUGE difference, and I realized that the social issues at school were taking up a lot of her headspace and she was forgetting about work because she's been stressing about making friends. The teacher told me the same thing you've heard - she seems to get along with her classmates and is kind and caring. But at lunch she sits alone, and at recess she plays with a couple of kids not in her class. She made friends with a couple of kids in our complex, but they recently moved to the other side of town. With her grades slipping, we grounded her from tv and computer till she got caught up, but I know how deeply lonely she felt and I lost much sleep over worrying.

These are some things I have found really helped: I bought a copy of "Raising your Spirited Child" by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, and it gave me some excellent insight into LM's temperament as well as my own. I also reread "The Friendship Factor: Helping Children Navigate their Social World" by Kenneth Rubin, which had superb guidance for how to help kids interact socially. I figured out that I was taking things harder than she was, and by changing how I dealt with things, it helped LM to relax more.

Amy - posted on 11/05/2013

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I have a 9 yr old not an only child but close. She has a baby brother. I was reading everyone's posts. It seems to me that we have all taught our precious little girls to be kind and caring but none of us have taught them how to have some thick skin when needed.. I really didn't even think about it until this year. Two years of staring school with a bully making her miserable and girls telling her no when she asks to play.. I know all of us moms have had many tears fall because no one wants their little girl to be lonely. I have began to teach my girl that she needs to put a smile on her face and tackle that swing set .. alone ....and be happy that she doesn't have to play with such mean spirited children. Not easy to do with a tender heart but she continues to open up to me about her loneliness and I find after school stuff for her to do. And tell her every day be tough and SMILE:)

Jakki - posted on 03/14/2012

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Again - same situationfor my boy last year when he was 8.



We tried playdates - invited about 6 boys over during the year and none of them asked my sone back. Grrrr!



What to do?



I've asked the teacher "what is my son doing which is making him unpopular" - and again she says "oh nothing wrong". Then I asked a couple of mums I trust to quietly and subtly ask their kids, and got a bit of real feedback.



Turns out - my son was pestering other kids for their food at lunchtime because everybody else gets yummier food than him (OK that's probably true!) and also he was trying to dominate the group and is inflexible about games that are being played. ie he wants to be the "alpha male" but he isn't even part of the group.



This was painful to hear but helpful.



I don't know if he takes any heed of the things I tell him, but at least we're working on it.



Good luck - other people have told me that sometimes just changing schools can help this sort of dynamic, but that's quite a radical step and might not help.

Mezia - posted on 09/07/2013

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Hi..

As a mother to a 7 year old boy,I am over protective too.We moved to a new country and the culture here is so different from back home.Please know that children become confident and strong knowing that their parents are there for them no matter what.I checked with my son and got the names of the few children he talks to in class and then went ahead and invited both the kids and the parents for a tea party..on a convenient day and time for all.The parents felt comfortable.children had fun and it was the start of new friendships for all.Even if children aren't friendly because their parents are there,they adjust..do it 2-3 times.This gives you a chance to know the parents and children too..Some of them might invite you over too and the kids could find themselves meeting often.Also don't force anyone on your child just yet..Best friends need to be carefully picked out because they are for life.just friends can be many..

Now remember not all parents will reciprocate the same way but in the long run the ones that do,it could be the start of new bondings.

My son knows that we always look out for him and that's what makes him adjust to a new place,a new school,a new church anything new.....

Go ahead mum...take the step..Plan a party. Get your little one involved in the planning...maybe arranging the plates and drinks and snacks...and don't forget to talk about it with her after the party...You express yourself and she will too..It works with my son..He can't wait for me to plan something else.

In the last year,I have had cycling get togethers,Park get togethers..please note it could be just 2 children with my son..but that's enough..once in a while I let him invite 1 friend for a movie (they just went for the movie planes and loved it).


I hope this helps..Remember Mum----you are your child's first and best friend.

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LALA165 - posted 5 days ago

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It's me again with the same daily issue.
My daughter is always welcomed by the same group of boys, but seems like no girls wants to join their play.
One of the high school kids I know told me that it is better not to be in a group with fake friends who will bring up problems, but as a mother, I wish she gets welcomed by everyone.
I'm trying to have this girl come over and let her to be her friend, but in front of her, she is always nice, but my daughter said she ignores her most of school days at school, that shows her true color.
Today, I said to my daughter it is okay not to try to ask other girls to hang out with you, but in stead maybe she could start interesting things - skipping ropes, throwing bowls (sorry if they don't sound interesting), so others can join her.
I wrote on some other conversation and other moms said it is no big deal, but I even made her an art bag, so she could color or play with clay, but she said she didn't want to buy friendship over her stuffs since it is a magic bag that thousands of kids jump to her asking her stuffs.
When I am at work, every time when it is about the recess at her school, my heart just aches over thinking about how she would feel, what she would do.
She is very charming, can talk to anyone she sees outside of her school, but I don't know why she is in this situation at her school only.
I also feel very sorry for her to be a half Asian and half Spanish which can lead her not to be included either groups.
Very sad night, but she loves to go to school every day, loves her study which she is very good at, so makes me less worried.

LALA165 - posted 6 days ago

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I will definitely start to teach my daughter how to lead the plays and how to stand up for herself when someone treats her badly. I will go over this tomorrow rather than asking who she hung out and how she asked them to play with her..and so on. Thanks for your post.

LALA165 - posted 6 days ago

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I don't know if changing school will work for our girls.
I also thought about it, but than it will be hard for her as well, because she will be the NEW one who doesn't have any familiar faces around. I just wish I can be with her during the recess and play with her..if it is possible.
All the best for you.

LALA165 - posted 6 days ago

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Please let me know how your daughter is doing now, I see that you listed this in 2011, so already your daughter is 11.
My daughter is exactly same as your daughter used to be, and I thought I was reading my story.
I don't know what kind of advises should give, how to approach other kids to let them hang out with her, it is so hard, and my heart is breaking every day.
I'll look forward to hear from you.

Kristin - posted on 09/20/2014

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I found this site by this post from a search engine. I could relate to this straight away it was almost as if the words and been right from my mouth. My daughter is almost 7 and in the first grade. She is like a loaner she doesn't exactly have that one best friend, but she will socialize with all the kids. She doesn't really fit in with me and she doesn't know why. She is an only child and when she speaks many say she speaks like a mini adult. I guess it's because she is so mature and the other children aren't as mature as her. She just signed up for girl scouts (this I made her do) and I hope this will help her become more sociable. Even though she flutters from kid to kid at school to play with she wants so badly to find that one special friend she can relate to and share everything with. When I was her age I had a best friend and I have such fond memories of all the things we did. I want to badly for my child to have this. Since my daughter has a weight problem it seems to effect her in the friendship aspect also which is hurtful but the other kids would rather make fun than play. So since we have started a new healthy regiment we are hoping by next year she can participate in other sporting events to help her make close friends. With her weight issue and wearing glasses the other kids seem to target her for bullying which is horrible. Since she stands up for herself they don't bully to long, but they don't want to be friends either. I'm really not sure what to do since everything I try seems to not work and since she is has so many opinions anything I give her advice on she doesn't agree with. I hope by next year she will be less socially awkward, our healthy regiment will have worked and she will find her place to fit in. She really wants to cheerlead, but I tell her we have to prepare ourselves since all the kids on the squad are really skinny I don't want my daughter to be a bull's-eye for being picked on by being a bigger size. I'm almost glad to know I'm not the only parent going through this, but I also wish all of our children could find their place in school and find at least one friend they relate with very well.

Cynda - posted on 04/28/2014

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There seems to be a common characteristic that appear in these posts and that has to do with sensitive children. After reading "The Highly Sensitive Child" my daughters personality traits began to make sense. Those who are described in this book can be social or prefer to play alone;.but what is common to them is that they observe, feel and internalize stimuli at a deeper level than the average child. I believe that most of what I'm hearing from this post relates to this sensitivity.
I began to see that my child who is social and enthusiastic, reacts to the mean spirited kids. What I have noticed is that the playground is a place of power. There seems to be cliques dominated by one girl who dictates who is in the club. So she has had to manouver in this environment. I would say that she has made good friends, but it has been outside of school and with girls who are only children.
Her teachers have all considered her to be kind,and empathic; but it has been a struggle to deal with the exclusion in the playground that began in Grade 1.

A point to consider is that the school is limited to a small number of kids that do not necessarily have the same interests. Since my daughter is active she finds herself in games involving running and and now avoids the mean girls that sit and gossip.

Another consideration is that the problem may be that the other kids have their own problems with attachment. That is they don't form friendships based on trust but on being in a group and following a domineering leader.

This might be controversial to say, but are the other kids having problems of their own(that is they don't form close attachments to their parents and therefore have their own problems being close to others. So are kind and enthusiatic kids are rejected. And the friendships that are formed at school are superficial and emotional detached.

it would be interesting to hear other readers perspective on this theory.
And I would like to assure those parents that eventually their kids will be recognized for their sensitivity and compassion.

Vicky - posted on 12/11/2013

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I just found this site and this post and identified straight away. My daughter is almost 8 and has the same problem. She just cant seem to make friends. Its not like she isnt a friendly and loving wee girl, and everyone, adults included seem to know and like her but she feels she can only have one friend.
Her teachers decided at the beginning of the school year that she had physical and emotional issues and so arranged special activities for her, while they did help her self esteem briefly they more set her up as "different" in the eyes of the rest of her classmates. And as we all know, being different when you are at school is not a good thing. I was told by one of her teachers that she is a "very unique child" which I always feel is a good thing but apparently not. she is a square peg that wont fit into the nice round holes expected at schools these days and that marks her out to teachers and pupils alike. It has got so bad this year that I have decided to change schools for next year. (I am from New Zealand and the end of our school year is mid December) I can't stand to see my normally happy good luck wee girl so sad and lonely. She has big brothers but they are both in their 20's and although they are always happy to spend time with her they have their own lives.
She has no interest in joining clubs or doing sports because she feels she wont be good at them.
I just dont know what to do, it breaks my heart to see her unhappy.

Amanda - posted on 11/11/2013

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Thank you Catherine! And yes, please keep us updated. I hope things get better for your daughter! :)

Catherine - posted on 11/08/2013

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My daughter is age 7, in Grade 2, and has had the exact same trouble all of you are describing since she began Grade 1 -- she doesn't quite fit in, doesn't really have real friends. But she's a great kid - inquisitive, funny and independent. A few months ago when some of the girls weren't being nice e.g., telling her to go away or that they didn't want to play, I suggested she speak to her teacher about it and ask for some advice before I intervened (which I realise doesn't always work -- and by the way, I tend to get the same line from teachers that the rest of you seem to get, that she's well-liked and gets along with everyone). Anyway, my daughter was too shy to actually explain what was happening to her teacher, so she wrote her a letter (truly heartwrenching). The teacher, to her credit, spoke with the kids who were causing the problem and it actually stopped for a while, and my daughter was much happier. But of course it resumed after a month or so. Now I am doing a few things, some of which your posts have helped me with -- thank you all for this! 1) I will speak to the teacher to ask how she thinks I might coach my daughter, or guide her somehow, and hopefully she will offer to help out, too. Teachers have a lot of influence in a classroom, and most of them try to do what they can. It can't hurt the situation for them to be involved or at least know what's going on. 2) I have stopped getting so upset myself when my daughter tells me what's happening at school (I've been in tears too, with my heart breaking, and I realise this isn't helping and very likely making it worse, as some of you have pointed out) 3) I have started to tell her not to worry about the kids, and -- in a very calm and "neutral" voice -- tell her that it's better to play by herself than with kids who are mean or not nice, and I remind her how independent she is. This seems to make her feel better. It has also produced the unexpected result of her tying to figure out ways to improve the situation (eg, she said, "So-and-so is nice when we do X together. Maybe I will try to do that with her more often"). 4) As some of you have suggested, I'm trying to get us both to focus on what's good at school each day -- and there's lots! -- rather than what's bad, and I listen openly, trying to stay calm and neutral rather than getting upset myself (this is hard!), and giving her constructive advice where possible. Anyway, I'm sure this will be an ongoing problem for us, judging from her history and your posts, but I hope we can get through it. Like you, I worry about it progressing into bullying and worse. If the teacher says anything useful when I speak to her, I'll post it here.

Amanda - posted on 11/08/2013

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It's ok Sheri. My daughter still struggles somewhat but not like she used to & I still like to read comments because maybe someone has a new suggestion or encouraging words. :) Also, maybe someone else is having the same issues & this thread will help them! Thanks for posting!

[deleted account]

Just noticed this was posted in 2011. Why does Circle of Mom highlight stories from YEARS ago!!!

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I have an only child. A son, which I am aware is different. He too goes thru things at school. He is VERY popular too!! Has tons of friends! BUT - at times, he will come home and tell me that they didn't want to play with him, or play what he wanted to play. That a friend only wanted to play with "this one" or "that one" and not him... I said - that is ok. Friends get jealous of other people and sometimes do not like to share, even people just like sharing a toy. Tomorrow, they will play with you. Did you find something else to do? Yes? Ok then. When friends get mad at him and say "I'm not your friend anymore" - my saying is "that's today.. let see tomorrow" and sure enough, friends the next day. You have to teach them to let things roll off their back. I try to teach him to look past the words and look more at the situation. Thankfully we have a very open relationship, where he feels he can tell me anything. Mind you, my son is the first one to help a hurt friend. Care for a sick animal, he even helps volunteer at an animal shelter.
When I was younger, I moved around a lot. Not an only child, but I was left out of a lot at school because I was always the new kid. I know what your daughter is experiencing, which made me make sure my son would never feel that way. It is a very hard feeling to overcome. Can she bring a toy to school to make her feel more popular? That can help get her the attention she craves from the other kids. I know my son can bring in a ball, or toy to play with on the playground. It can REALLY help.

Karen - posted on 10/10/2013

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Hi Tammy,

I am new to the circle of moms and reading this thread I see that alot of us have one child and they either have no friends or only a few. I feel so guilty for having only one child we also waited about 10 years to have her. I had her when I was 38 and then 2 years later got divorced so never had an chance to have another child. Now its too late I'm way too old. I blame myself for her always being alone and not having a sibling to do things with. She has friends but not many. For the last 3 years she's had at best friend but that friendship died off, I saw from the start this other girl really doesn't care who she is friends with as long as she has someone over all the time. I tried to warn my daugther about her but she sees it for herself now. The other girl always had a ton of friends but her mom is not really accepted in the group of moms and I was the only one who was close to her mom. That's the only reason her daugther and mine even stayed friends as long as they did. But the woman's son was soooo disrepectful to me and others and she would do nothing to correct it so I finally had enough, told the woman I had a issue with her son disrepecting me and my daugther and that the next time he disrespects me and you don't say anything I will. Since then I keep my distance, don't text her anymore unless she texts me for something. She doesn't ask my daugther over or do things all together like we used to and her daughter doesn't even notice that we don't hang out with them anymore because she is busy inviting anyone who is there at the moment to come over and play with her and they do. But she really doesn't care about them as a friend she just wants to occupy her time always to doing something because that's how she was raised. The mother never spends a single night a home alone with her and her son she always is going somewhere, like she don't know what to do with them if she is alone. I feel sad that my daugther doesn't have a best friend now but I just couldn't take her friend's brother who is 9 telling to shut up or I'm a dumb a** and have the mother sit there and say nothing!!!!!!!! Can you imagine!

Christina - posted on 09/11/2013

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Hi I am a mother of a 7 yr old girl she is also an only child. Kids can be very cruel and hurtful. I'm so sorry that ur daughter is going thru this. We have kept my daughter active since she's 3 she started dancing now at 7 she's a cheerleader plays soccer and is a brownie in the girl scouts. I have talked wit my daughter about how cruel kids can be awnd how important it is to stand up for yourself and be a leader not a follower. She is a very strong minded little girl she's sweet and befriends almost anyone. I think the more involved they are with after school sports or activities helps open them up more as individuals especially if they are an only child. I hope and pray things get better for.ur daughter.

Daniella - posted on 09/11/2013

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Hello, im a mother to an 8 year old girl. She went threw the same thing, In 1st and 2nd grade she had no friends, I felt so sad for her. At first she was so excited about school and how she met this girl and they played and another girl played came over and she was so happy. After a while the friends stopped coming over and stopped playing with her at school. She has 1 "best friend" still to this day. Her best friend would tell me that the kids were making fun of her and didnt want to play with her, and why "her best friend" was playing with her still. Like really these kids are so horrible. No matter what the age. As soon as i would pick her up from school she would cry in the car, and shut down and not talk to me about school, she would just tell me stuff about her teachers and how they did this and did that,and they were so nice and how she hung out with them at recess. It was like what kid (s) don't have friends at that age they should have a bunch, just as i did when i went to school. Well I told her that it was better to have "1 best friend" than to have 30 fake "friends" She focused on her school work and on her being happy and having fun after school, and at girl scouts. She stopped Trying to friends with every1 and just focused on herself and her best friend. After 2nd grade i pulled her out of that school and sent her to a different one. She has just started 3rd grade and she loves it,im so happy for her that she has become so much stronger as a person and she is an awesome kid. I don't know if this will help you but i couldn't stand seeing my daughter unhappy anymore. The bullying was crazy, how can these 6,7,8 year olds be so cruel. It seemed like everything was a competition. Just have fun and play thats what kids are supposed to do. I really hope your daughter will be happy and have a fun filled life. :)

Esra - posted on 09/10/2013

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Thanks for your comment Amanda. After this event I offered to have an anti-bullying campaign at school. All the teachers have been getting trained to get aware of bullying and how to prevent it at school. In fact, I have already taken a big step forward not just for my kid but for all the victims of bullying. We are going to educate the victims, the bullies and their parents.
However although I'm an educator, it is really hard for me to make out this problem. The school starts on Monday. I will let you know if my daughter and I can handle this problem. :) Cheers!

Amanda - posted on 09/10/2013

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Wow, Esra...that breaks my heart. How devastating for your daughter to receive a letter like that and for you, her mom, as well! I wish there was a way for us to get these kids together...if only they had others around who understand what they are going through. I know how you feel as a mother. I feel helpless & wish I knew what to do to help her & like you said, build her up. I try my best but I think it would mean so much more if it came from her peers...if she had a friend to build her up. I wish you and your little girl the best & let me know if you find anything that helps.

Esra - posted on 09/10/2013

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I have read all the posts about this issue and all of the problems seemed so familiar. My daughter is almost 8 and last year she was bullied by her close friends at school. Although she is always very kind and helpful to other kids, her close friends wrote a letter to her saying how terrible, how stupid, how ugly, how rude she is. When I saw the letter, I started crying. (my daughter was not around) Then the teacher sent the bullies (twins and another girl) and my daughter to the school councelor to solve the problem. However the bullies' mums went crazy as they thought sending their children to the councelor is a punishment (!?) and they blamed the school for taking the incident too seriously. I am a teaher at my daughter's school so the parents thought that I sent their kids to the councelor to punish them. These mums were also my friends. We used to see each other at the weekends very often. However, they do not want to meet me and my daughter anymore. So both my daughter and I have been excluded from the group. I really can't figure it out. I'm so sorry for my daughter as she still loves her friends and she wants to be with them. As a mother it's very difficult to explain these events to her. She seems to have forgotten her getting bullied. She misses the good old days but the other kids must have been warned by their mums not to play with her any more. Before this incident they used to get on well with each other. This is really so sad. I reckon I have made a mistake. I have always tried to teach my daughter to respect and value other people, to be nice and kind, to obey the rules, to apologize when she makes a mistake, to forgive people when they make a mistake. I have never taught her to be selfish.
Now she's trying to make new friends but she doesn't know how to behave as I think she is afraid of failing to build up a friendship. I invited one of her classmates home. (a new friend) My daughter wanted to hug her and she didn't want to let her free though her friend was annoyed. She wanted to make jokes but the other girl seemed quite annoyed. And sometimes she becomes quite shy among her friends and she can't find anything to say. She wasn't like this before and I'm quite sure about it since I can see her even at school.She is very tall and looks 2 years older than she is and she is the youngest in her classroom. She is a sensitive and warmhearted kid. She sometimes looks as if she feels diffident I don't know what to do and how to teach her to make new friends. I don't know how to build her up.

Ariana - posted on 09/03/2013

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I would have you get your daughter to ask other girls over to play more often. Sometimes kids do better in one on one type situations with other girls.

Having another girl over will also give you first-hand experience with how she interacts with the other child. Is she doing something to irritate the other girls or doesn't handle conflict well? Maybe she just needs the right group. You're basically throwing a random bunch of kids from the same area into a classroom, that doesn't mean they're all going to get along.

Just make it a thing to have your daughter call up another student or have playdates with other students. That way she can develop a relationship with them one on one and you will be able to get a better idea on the dynamics of their relationships.

I'd do this now as it's still acceptable to invite girls you don't totally know over at 8 but won't be once she's 11/12.

It's great that she's in girl guides and other activities though, that will definitely be good for her in the long run.

Barbara - posted on 09/02/2013

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Going through all this over the past several years with my 8 year old son. We have sought counseling and this is the information they have come up with so far.

Although there are many possible symptoms of Asperger?s syndrome, the main symptom is significant trouble with social situations. Your child may have mild to severe symptoms or have a few or many of these symptoms. Because of the wide variety of symptoms, no two children with Asperger's are alike.

Parents often first notice the symptoms of Asperger's syndrome when their child starts preschool and begins to interact with other children. Children with Asperger's syndrome may:

Not pick up on social cues and may lack inborn social skills, such as being able to read others' body language, start or maintain a conversation, and take turns talking.
Dislike any changes in routines.
Appear to lack empathy.
Be unable to recognize subtle differences in speech tone, pitch, and accent that alter the meaning of others? speech. So your child may not understand a joke or may take a sarcastic comment literally. And his or her speech may be flat and hard to understand because it lacks tone, pitch, and accent.
Have a formal style of speaking that is advanced for his or her age. For example, the child may use the word "beckon" instead of "call" or the word "return" instead of "come back."
Avoid eye contact or stare at others.
Have unusual facial expressions or postures.
Be preoccupied with only one or few interests, which he or she may be very knowledgeable about. Many children with Asperger's syndrome are overly interested in parts of a whole or in unusual activities, such as designing houses, drawing highly detailed scenes, or studying astronomy. They may show an unusual interest in certain topics such as snakes, names of stars, or dinosaurs.
Talk a lot, usually about a favorite subject. One-sided conversations are common. Internal thoughts are often verbalized.
Have delayed motor development. Your child may be late in learning to use a fork or spoon, ride a bike, or catch a ball. He or she may have an awkward walk. Handwriting is often poor.
Have heightened sensitivity and become overstimulated by loud noises, lights, or strong tastes or textures. For more information about these symptoms, see sensory processing disorder.

A child with one or two of these symptoms does not necessarily have Asperger?s syndrome. To be diagnosed with Asperger?s syndrome, a child must have a combination of these symptoms and significant trouble with social situations.

Although the condition is in some ways similar to autism, a child with Asperger's syndrome typically has normal language and intellectual development. Also, those with Asperger's syndrome typically make more of an effort than those with autism to make friends and engage in activities with others.

Mary - posted on 08/30/2013

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Hi Teresa...I have just joined the group after I saw all the wonderful postings but yours jumped out of me with it's brilliant idea of a pen pal! My daughter is also eight and we are a bi-lingual family (living in Europe) and my heart breaks every day I pick her up from school....in fact, I'm crying now as I write this! Only this morning I took the opportunity to go into the playground (after leaving my son to his part of the school) to ask her to invite a school friend home. She subsequently asked a girl she likes (who is also bilingual) if she's like to play but that girl quickly asked another girl if she's received a message that morning (presumably from her mother) asking her her to play with the girl my daughter asked. I don't think it was a deliberate decoy but it was painful to see my daughter standing there waiting to see if the first girl could possibly ingratiate her with with her company! I know the family of this girl and they are nice but I'm finding that parents leave it all up to the kids to organise their own social lives here where we are so no matter how many times to invite a child back unless that child wants to play with your child, a return invite will never happen. My son has just turned 7 and he is in the exact same situation although he can be abit immature. On reading the posts here, I am actually thinking my daughter is trying too hard. This morning she met a girl on the way to school and tried to hold her hand; as most girls in her class have turned 9 by now, I think they will feel this is too old. I am beginning to think I am being over-protective and this is impacting on them socially. I make them cross the road holding my hands even on a crossing which is just my years of living in an extremely busy city showing itself. Parents where we live now are very laid-back about safety including road safety. My argument to this is that there is a strong chance is that they will not always stay here because of their mixed culture background. I actually would hate them to stay here if I'm really honest! There is another side to the situation which I wonder if anyone has any experience of and that is my children's father works away from home up to 4 days a week (staying over 3nights max). This has been going on for 4 years now and as I don't actually come from the area we live in, it is becoming more and more obvious how insane the situation is. We have had the offer to move to where my partner's work is but it would mean starting all over again for me in my adopted country. As a consequence to my partner being away from home so much, my 7 year old is very clingy when he does get home...asking every minute where he is even when he goes to the toilet! We live in a nice family friendly area where kids can play out in the street and there are lot of activities for them to choose from in the town and we have something nearly everyday planned; even three things on one day! Each activity, like the school is always the same....the other kids are friendly but not not inviting or getting close. My 8yr old has never been on a sleepover even though we had one girl here for one....her mother said she went on lots of sleepovers! I know the kids in her class meet each other at the weekends whilst my two kids just sit on the sofa watching tv. On a further note, my eight year old is always moaning about some sore or bruise which can't even be seen to the naked eye...everything seems to be so dramatic that you just switch off and don't listen anymore. I wonder if this could be a problem at school; like one poster saying that things are 'dangerous'. I definitely felt a chord with this as I was similar when I was a child; I eventually grew out of the fear of danger and even tried a few too many 'dangerous' things myself lol! I really like the idea of the pen pal and I think it's the perfect deflection from the emphasis on friends having to be made through school. Thank u for the idea :D

Jennifer - posted on 08/18/2013

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I enjoyed reading thru these posts because obviously they all have a similar theme...seems like with all these kids who can't make friends, they would find each other! Lol! I have a 10 year old dtr,only child, going in to 5th. She gets along with kids at school, but is just not like the other girls, I guess. Everyone likes her, but I guess not enough, because like someone else said, they always pick other girls as their partner, and she feels left out a lot. They seem to form these loose cliques that she is not a real part of. She complains about how immature the kids are, she is pretty quiet and just doesn't know how to do all the boy banter, etc... Like someone else said, sometimes...ok, lots of times, I get sucked in to her emotions and may over worry about things. But I just find it unusual for her not to have made a good friend or two by now at school. Like this summer there was no one from school I could think of to. Call and invite to do something. On the other hand,there are some girls in our neighborhood who she knows and I tell her she can ride over and see if they can play and she won't. She does have a couple of friends who go to different schools but it seems like people are so busy or whatever. Basically she doesn't have another girl who really wants to be with her. That's what it comes down to. I had quite a few friends by 5th grade , and I wasn't anything special! Lol I think too that times have changed,families have changed.

Karen - posted on 08/18/2013

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My family has been dealing with this off and on for a long time. My girls are 9 & 10 and in 4th & 5th grades. My 5th grader is most of the time very catefree and never meets a stranger. She does not see difference in other people & just accepts them for theirselves. However, she does have the silly, goofy side and I think the girls get turned off by this and think she is immature and annoying. She's also very intelligent and sometimes I think that contributes to her making close friends. My 9 year old wears her heart on her sleeve and came home crying last year everyday that no one would play with her. She got put in a class last year with none of the same girls from 2nd grade and that was awful for her. Both of their teachers always tell us that they both play great with others, are kind and great girls. When we are out in town girls from their class are always coming up and seem excited to see our girls. But the girls will come home upset because so and so was having a sleepover and they never get invited. We have talked endlessly with them about how to be a friend, give and take and with the 10 yr. old about being less silly (although part of me thinks I'm trying to make her someone's she's not-if that makes sense. The kid has a huge/funny sense of humor). We also have a slight problem with family friends-just last night in fact. My hubby's best friends each have daughters my 10 yr. olds age. They have all grown up together. However, the other two girls have spent more time together and their moms have been BFF's since grade school. Every time as the night ends the other two end up asking each other to spend the night and do not include my girls. I cringe because I know they have delibertly left my two out and now that they are older my girls pick up on this. So, then my 10 year old will invite herself and her sister to spend the night, too. When I pull them aside and explain that you can't invite yourself I get instant tears, then your a mean mom and why weren't they invited, too. This breaks my heart into a zillion pieces!!!! I remember having lots of girlfriends in grade school, a best friend and going to sleepovers all the time. My problem with friends didn't come until middle school when the girls become catty and snobby. I guess it just comes so much earlier now. My hubby says to stop stressing about it and that they will find their way. But it makes me so sad that they are soooo young and feel so stressed about friends. He says when he picks the girls up from school other children are always hugging them and saying bye. I do know that the girls in their class our very cliquey and they have the I can only play with one friend at a time thing going on. I just wish they each had just ONE little friend to be tight with, enjoyed the same things and feel special.

Carlton - posted on 08/13/2013

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Wow...I can't believe you replied so quickly, Amanda! I saw the original post was over 2 years old, but I also saw some fairly recent activity, so I thought I might add my comment and thoughts. It is hard to keep things inside all of the time, especially as a stay at home dad, which is quite a bit different and isolating compared to being a stay at home mom....or any mom really. It seems most of my attitudes and worries are more akin to those that moms feel and write about, as compared to the dads I know. I think my daughter must get her sensitivity from me, which is good and bad both. I just wish I could toughen her up more for the world she has to face. My daughter is also one to want to "play by the rules", so to speak, and sometimes tries to tell other kids if they are doing something dangerous, or something we've told her she shouldn't do. She always says things like "that man isn't wearing a helmet on his motorcycle, and that's wrong", and hesitates to join kids on the playground who are doing things she thinks might be dangerous or wrong, even if they really aren't. I have no idea how to get her to loosen up. I also see her looking depressed at this age...she is just 5....and then she can't seem to tell me why! This just doesn't seem good to me. We were not able to have a child for a long time and a lot of trying, through multiple miscarriages, and my daughter was a surprising miracle. We are in our 40's as parents now, and can't give her the brother or sister she often asks for. I just want more than anything for her to be a happy child and person.

Amanda - posted on 08/13/2013

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Wow, Carlton...that all sounds so familiar! I wish I had some advice but it sounds like we're doing the same things and what we feel is right. I wrote the original post 2 years ago and we still struggle with this. My daughter is now 10 and going into 5th grade. This is her last year of elementary school. I can't believe she will be in Junior High next year! I just pray that things get better and not worse. I wish you and your little girl all the best and feel free to comment anytime & keep us updated!

Carlton - posted on 08/13/2013

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Hi....The original post by Amanda just makes me think my daughter is headed the same direction, and it upsets me a lot. My girl is 5, and is also an only child. I have been a stay-at-home dad to her, since my wife is a medical professional and needed to keep working full time. We thought it would be better to have our girl raised at home rather than in day care. Now I'm not so sure we made the right decision. My girl is smart and kind, and went to Montessori for 3 years, including full day for the last year, but she is so sensitive, and a quite goofy. Now she's changing schools to public kindergarten this year, and she keeps telling me how worried she is. Its not like she hasn't been in camps or sports with kids she doesn't know before. We have had her in gymnastics, swimming, soccer, and some summer camps to keep her socializing with other kids. She always seems to be on the fringe of groups of kids or friends, and doesn't have a best friend. We live in an isolated area, not a neighborhood, so she doesn't have ANYONE to play with other than me, unless we go to the park or make play dates, which I try to do as much as I can, but I think this has stifled some of her self-reliance. My girl is also very tall and looks like she is almost 2 years older than her actual age. When we go to the park, other kids will start to play with her, but then leave her behind after a bit. She also cries very easily over slights perceived or real, like during soccer, or on the playground. My heart is breaking over these things, thinking I've done something wrong in parenting to have made her this way. She is my baby, and maybe I've just babied her too much? Its so hard not to do it. I have been guilty of saying things like how cute she is in her baby pictures that are around the house, and picking her up and holding her, but maybe I've given her the impression that I want her to still be a baby, and she thinks she should act baby-ish? I try to tell her how great it is that she is getting bigger, and how smart she is, and I try to encourage her not to act like a baby, but maybe I'm not getting through, or maybe she sees conflict between the two and is confused on how to act? Her dialogue and vocabulary is advanced. She is beginning to read, and do math, and knows a lot of science concepts. She just seems emotionally behind, or different from most of the other kids I see, and her interactions with the other kids don't seem right. Like I said, it just breaks my heart.

Jakki - posted on 06/08/2013

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Thanks Amanda... Good luck for your daughter...

it's definitely been an interesting new angle for me to start to look at myself and wonder how I might be contributing to the problem by a) making the situation worse by giving lots of attention to negative stories, and b) over reacting when he tells me stuff and believing a situation is "catastrophic" when it might only be "unpleasant".

We also have been lead to believe that our kids must be happy at all times. This is unrealistic and shouldn't even be our aim in life - periods of being depressed or just grumpy are perfectly normal, acceptable, and even, they might be good for you because they help you to develop as a fully rounded human being.

I just heard a guy called Hugh Mackay talking about this kind of thing in his book "The Good Life". I recommend it!


Not saying this applies to everyone else, but just something to consider...

Amanda - posted on 06/03/2013

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Jakki, thank you for your encouraging comment. I have often wondered if this was the case with my daughter. She recently started going to counseling sessions outside of school, not just for this issue but a couple of others and this is something that the therapist suggested too. She wonders if she is just focusing too much on the bad things that happen throughout her day and not the good. She was also speaking negatively about herself. When the littlest thing went wrong she would call herself stupid. So that is one of the things we've been working on...it's been her "homework" from her therapist. Think more positively...about herself and what's going on around her.

She also confirmed something that I had said earlier...she doesn't really know how to act around other kids and needs to learn social skills. She gets excited and acts a little crazy and it scares kids away...she did this during the first session with the therapist and I told her "this is how she acts around other kids" (and adults too obviously, lol) and she agreed that it is something she needs to work on.

As I've said before...I do think 4th grade was a little better. I'm hoping 5th is even better than 4th...it's her last year of elementary school before she goes onto Middle School. That really worries me because all 4 elementary schools in the area merge into one school in 6th-8th grades. I'm hoping it's actually a good thing & is easier for her socially because maybe she'll find a great group of new friends! Open up new horizons and a whole new world for her...hopefully for the better! See...Mommy's trying to think positively too! :-)

Shannon - posted on 05/28/2013

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I am going through the same thing, my 9 year old son has had such a hard time keeping friends. he also wants a best friend so badly! I took him out of school for 2nd and part of 3rd and did k12, but felt so isolating, so I put him back in the last quarter and he did great at first, but is now having some trouble again. The kids in the neighborhood dont want to play either. How do I help him with socializing? I am lost! I am so glad I found this thread!! thank you

Dianna - posted on 05/04/2013

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Hi! I am new to the "Circle of Moms" and this is my first post... I am having similar problems with my 6 year old (1st grader)... He reminds me so much of myself as a young girl trying so hard to make friends... He sometimes tends to "overdo" it and gets a little too close (when a friend has a game or a book) he has a hard time with personal space. He also has a hard time understanding that sometimes kids don't want to play. He is super smart (not autistic spectrum, at least not that I am aware of) He tries to play (while waiting for the bus in the AM) with kids that you can tell don't really want to play with him he has a "HOT/COLD" relationship with another boy (K) age that sometimes plays with him but sometimes again doesn't really want to play... It breaks my heart but doesn't seem to phase him he just tries harder... I want to watch him at recess sometime and see how he does (without him knowing)

Connie - posted on 04/06/2013

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My daughter has the exact same issues. It breaks my heart and truly feel at a loss of what to do. Teacher doesn't see it. In class she seems to be fine socially. At the lunch tables she can't seem to fit in and the playground is really hard for her. I get the feeling my daughter is a nervous Nellie...so if the kids do something wrong or outside the rules she will quickly tell them what they are doing wrong. That's my guess...the girls don't want to be parented by her. Lol. I try to explain she has to go with the flow more but I think GOD has made her this way from birth and its very hard to change her. I feel your pain. My daughter breaks down every so often and its REALLY hard. How old is your daughter? I heard the idea of pen pal. Maybe they can email each other. Just a thought. Good luck.

Eric Serge - posted on 03/24/2013

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Hello Theresa!
I am sorry entering the circle of mum. I am a dad and have worries for my little girl who is in similar situation as yours. I was looking over the web what advise I can get to help her. My daughter will often go very shy and quiet when other little girls around. We went swimming birthday party yesterday she end up crying in the pool because no one wanted to play with her. She woke up this morning crying that at swimming no one ever play with her and the same at school. I have spoken to the teacher who say she is trying hard but my heart keep sinking when she tell me the way everyone avoid playing with her. I am looking how to help I am sure been around mum like you and other we can find the right solution. Please if any advice or tip available I will be gratefull to try them
Eric Serrge

Tammy - posted on 02/25/2013

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Well ladies it sounds like all are children are acting the way a 7 or 8 year olds is suppose to act. I think maybe my daughter is over reacting, because she is an only child. Her need to have a best friend is so great, that she doesn't pay attention to the somewhat friends.

I wonder if I'm contributing to these feelings. Maybe not, her life is going to be different then mine, because I had two sisters. All though we never got along, and too this day we are not close, Ill just keep positive for my daughter and remind her that God has a very special friend for her, and they will meet one day, but in the mean time just have fun.

This of course is a work in progress!! )

Jakki - posted on 02/25/2013

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Ladies ladies! We are all feeling the pain :(

JOanne I feel so bad for your daughter too.

We have had the worst couple of weeks ever. Due to my son's social issues we decided to change schools two weeks ago - it was such a hard decision. He is now finding the new school really hard and every night he cries and cries about it. I have had so many sleepness nights and keep wondering what to do. He is seeing a counsellor but it makes little difference.

Gah>....

Joanne - posted on 02/24/2013

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I have just read this and I feel relieved. I'm sorry about your daughter and how upset you are with the situation, but you have just described my daughters life! I have had a n hour of her sobbing tonight about going back to school after half term. You are right I think girls at this age want to play one on one, my daghter tries to join in but they are not interested. They make promises who they sit by at lunch and my daughter ends up sitting alone! It breaks my heart. She came to me the other day and said mum I havnt got a best friend and I'm not in a group, I had to fight the tears, I told her I was her best friwnd.

Hope this gives you some comfort that you are not alone, and that there are other mums and daughters going through exactly the same. X


.M

Janet - posted on 02/10/2013

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Hi I have a similar problem my dauhter is in year 5 and has a friend in year 6 but she does not always want to play with my daughter she has other friends my daughter cannot get her head around that I have told her to play with girls in her own class as this girl will not be there after july anyway I know she is infatuated with this girl which can be common in girls aged 9 to 10 but i believe it is affecting her friendship with other girls so like yourself i get a lot of picking her up from school saying upset very angry things like hadno one to play with today I was walking around the playground on my own and I think to myself oh my god my poor girl I do think that at this age they make things bigger than they actually are but I will mention this to my daughters teacher as I have in the past. You can only do what you can do they do have to find things out for themselves a lot of the times and it sounds like she has other interests that she enjoys try not to worry to much. From one worried parent to another : )

Teresa - posted on 02/06/2013

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Hi,

I'm new to this group. I have an 8 year old girl in 2nd grade. I was reading about girls having trouble fitting in with other girls at school. My daughter is also having those same problems. I spoke with her teacher this morning and was told that my little girl is trying too hard to fit in and find friends. Her teacher says that she is not the problem and is constantly playing what the other girls want, but that is not good enough. the girls are demanding and mean. These girls are welcoming one day and rejecting her the next. My poor little girl feels that she needs to buy their friendship. She has asked me to buy BFF bracelets for them all (which I won't do). One little girl seems to control them all. She tells them when, where and who to play with. I just ordered the book "The Care and Keeping of Friends" - An American Girl Book. I have read other American Girl books with my daughter and they seem to be geared towards self confidence and have good advice for girls. Hopefully it will help a little. I'm at a loss.

I like the idea of a pen pal. If anyone has a girl the age of my daughter, maybe we could arrange something.

Thanks,

Teresa

Amanda - posted on 02/04/2013

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Tammy, I know exactly what you mean. I wish my daughter would find that kindred spirit too because I know she longs to have a best friend. I'm not sure what advice to give you because we still struggle. As I've said before, it has seemed to me that things have gotten a little better in 4th grade but if I ask her about friends or the way kids treat her then it's usually negative & she tells me she doesn't have any friends.

Jakki...that sounds like my daughter too. I can see her beating her head against the wall as well trying to be friends with other girls. She finds out that these girls are invited to each other's birthday parties, have sleepovers, go to the movies or other outings together, even something as simple as calling each other on the phone, but she is never invited. No one has ever called my daughter. I know a lot of parents are probably thinking I'm lucky because their phone is ringing off the hook! LOL Actually, it's probably all texting now & instead of wishing they'd get off the phone, they're probably wishing they'd put their phone down! :-) But I would love for her to feel like and know that she has friends that care about her and want to talk to her and do things with her.
And I know what you mean about not knowing how much is their fault, their friends, or what because I wonder the same thing. Her teachers tell me that she is kind, caring, and helpful to both her peers and adults. They never seem to notice a problem. But I can't be there at school and I don't know if she's being bossy or doing something else to make them turn away from her. I really don't see that happening but I have tried to tell her "just in case" that is the problem that she needs to go with the flow sometimes and play what the others want to play, etc. but also to not be walked on and used. I've tried to tell her that good friends take turns, and think about each others feelings...it's give and take just like any good relationship should be. I really think a lot of her problem is that she gets so excited & tries too hard when she is around other kids that they think she's crazy! LOL I do think that has improved somewhat and maybe that's why this year seems a little better? I don't know. I wish I had the answers.

Karen, thanks for the advice. This year during fall basketball they had to combine the 4th & 5th grade teams and my daughter told me that she was sitting with the 5th graders at lunch and they really welcomed her. I thought that was great but my only concern was that those kids will be gone next year and will go to the junior high school and she'll still be at the elementary school. But I didn't discourage it, I just told her that was great but to also to continue to try to build friendships with the 4th grade kids too. Eventually she told me she was back to sitting with the 4th grade again but it's nice to know that she was welcomed by them and made friends with them. :-)

Thanks ladies! Feel free to chat with me anytime. It's nice to know we're not alone in this & it's great to bounce ideas off of each other! Hoping things improve for our kiddos!

Karen - posted on 02/03/2013

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Something that I have learned this year with my 4th grader is that expanding her horizons of friends has been very helpful. Her BF is the same age but goes to another school. We get together as often as possible. At school her closest friends are in the grade behind (if they are girls) but honestly she plays with the boys mostly. She asked me why and I said that that was because you like being with people who like doing the same things that you do (playing a pretend "fort" game with DD and another girl) rather than being concerned about appearances or where people shop, etc. She also joined Cheer with a squad that is mostly 5th graders and some 6th graders and has been very accepted by the older girls. So, maybe the children are so focused on friends having to be kids their own age or gender that they are missing out on some pretty cool people. Once she expanded her horizons it seems that the social thing got much easier.

Tammy - posted on 02/03/2013

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My daughter is stubbron as well, and boy does she like to be heard. I think i expect to much out of her for her age. with that said, i know that her being my only child, I have to watch trying not to have too much "adult size " conversations with her, trying to get her to understand her socialization problems. It is heart breaking to watch this process, but I try to keep our outlook, and conversation positive, since she likes to dwell on he negative things that happen at school.
I have also notice she is a deep thinker, with a big heart. I be talked with her teacher over the way she has meltdowns when she doesn't make 100,s on her spelling tests. Just last week a note came home, saying Ayla refuse to complete her test, because she forgot how to spell one spelling word. After that she told her teacher that she just wanted mommy to be proud of her.

I don't know what's more frustrating, your child not thinking your proud and happy with her or her being stubbron with perfection. I,
I'M at the point that I let her tell me a little about her negative day, so she can get it off her chest, and then I make her tell me some positive things about her day and the kids in her class, ven though that takes the longest.

I think I would remind myself, if I where you that our 7 and 8 year olds are still babies trying to make since of this world. I also remind myself that kids can be crul, exspecially when they dont understand each other. im also coming to an understanding that my daughter feeds, thinks,reacts, and models my behaviors and how i react to what she is telling me. I have to watch myself to not react to harsh with this stage she is in. I also try to combat her negativity with something funny to say right when she starts complaining, like "look at that dog drinking a milkshake" she looks then laughs and tells me I'm crazy. I then have her tell me something positive about the day.

It seems to be redirecting her thinking process a little at a time :)




ilSent from my iPad

Jakki - posted on 02/03/2013

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Hi guys - I just reread this thread all the way back to 2011 when it started. It was a very interesting read...but a sad one too. It is really amazing how many of us feel terrible about our children's social problems.

As I already said back in 2011, my son tries soooo hard to make friends - he would do anything to make it happen. I see him beating his head against a wall trying to be friends with a certain couple of boys at school - and then find out that they are having sleepovers at each other's houses and signing up to activities together etc etc, and he is always being left out. We have been tackling the stubbornness thing which I think is his problem (ie not wanting to give way on issues and arguing about rules etc) and I have been getting more direct with him. Just yesterday I told it to him straight - "you can make the choice - either carry on being stubborn and argumentative and having no friends at all, or start to lighten up, give in more, and hope that you'll get some friends". It sounds mean, but I think if I'm too subtle he won't change.

The hard part is knowing how much of his friendlessness is "his fault" or the other kids' faults, or just bad luck. Is this a problem for you guys too?

Tammy - posted on 02/02/2013

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Hi amanda,
My daughter acts the same way as yours, I'm a mother of a seven year old beautiful girl. I feel very guilty not having a sibling for, buti'm 39 now and don't think my periods are up to it. We waited 12 years before having our daughter, not because I didnt want to start earlier, but because my husband never seemed ready. Now all I hear is how he regrets we never had another baby. My question is, my seven year old is a prefectionist, and is always trying to make us proud. She has it in her mind that I wouldn't love her as much if she doesn't get 100 on her spelling tests, to the point that she asked her teacher to change her score. We are a very loving, open, active family, and Ayla is told all the time how proud, we are of her no matter what the scores are. She doesn't seem to relate to any kids in her first grade class, and has a hard time being friends with girls it seems. Ayla has a big heart and wants to fix everything and everyone. She is on the bossy side, but in her eyes she is trying to help. We have her in basketball, which she loves and daisy's. I wish she would find a kindred spirited friend. She seems so sad :(. any advice, I just don't know what to do, I may be trying to fix something that only time can do, but my heart is breaking.

thanks Tammy

Paige - posted on 01/24/2013

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It is so hard to see the having a difficult time. We recently moved and my daughter gravitated to one little girl who is demanding and very bosses and it has caused issues with her making new friends. The girl she is friendly with is the "odd girl out" and has some issues and the others then make fun of my daughter for being friends with her. My daughter is such a sympathetic soul that she feels bad - but let's her dominate. And when we moved - by chance- the girl lives doors down...

I put my daughter in Girl Scouts, gymnastics and violin - but still no progress. In the last school my daughter was outgoing with a range of friends. Now she seems withdrawn and sad.

I work full time with a long commute and it's hard to socialize.

But I made a big effort to know more moms and set up multiple play dates and it has gradually worked. I had a party for girls to make projects and then invited the parents at pick of for munchies and adult beverages. The more I made myself friends with the families the more she was invited to other events and the more one on one playdates she had.

It took a bit but did work. Good luck to you - so sad to see our little ones struggling.

Sarah - posted on 01/12/2013

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@carole - my daughter is 9, she goes to Scouts, learning to ski, on school council. Likes reading, drawing & writing. Also likes One Direction! If your daughter is interested you could send me your email & I will send you our address.

Sarah - posted on 01/12/2013

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@Amanda. Hi, My daughter has similar problems in school making friends and is very unhappy at the moment. She spoke about wanting a penpal. I thought this might help. She is 9 and we live in Italy, though she is English. Do you think your daughter would be interested?

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