My 10yr old cannot make any friends at school.

Archie - posted on 10/02/2013 ( 16 moms have responded )

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We are from out of this country and for me and my kids its the first time in USA. My girl has been going to school for the last 1 month and she hasn't been able to make any friends even though she is an extrovert , very communicative and pleasant. She plays all by herself during recess everyday and gets upset that no one wants to be friends with her even when they are all making friends with other new kids. Am not able to understand how to tackle this situation. I tell her that things will take time since her accent and behaviour may appear as strange to other kids. She is holding on pretty strong at times but the time when she gives up all hope and sulks is when my heart weakens. I dont want my happy child to blame herself for not having friends. Can anyone please tell me if you have any ideas on what to do?

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Suzanne Potter - posted on 10/02/2013

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Hi Archie,
I have had a lot of dealings with this having 4 kids and having had to move a few times. The worst though was two years ago when we moved from Northern California to Southern California with our youngest two who were in 6th grade and 8th grade. They are both boys, but my 6th grader is very tender hearted and takes things VERY PERSONAL! Which only adds to his stress! He is also VERY attached to me, so he was constantly worried something was going to happen to me during the day and I wouldn't be there to pick him up. We didn't know anyone else AT ALL here, and their dad was working 2 hours away with traffic!

So what I did was I talked to the School Psychologist! You have EVERY RIGHT to ask to have your child see them for ANY REASON! And part of our reason was that he was NOT making FRIENDS also.
The school Psychologist has a group of kids that she has come to her class that eat lunch with her, and they talk about things that might be bothering them, or they might just make popcorn and play games. The great thing was is that Ben started making FRIENDS!! She went around and INTRODUCED Ben to other kids out in the LUNCH AREA, and soon he was out playing Basketball at lunchtime, and he was making friends in all of his classes. He is an Extrovert like your daughter, but sometimes they just need someone to give them a "Little Nudge!"
Plus Ben really benefited from talking to the psychologist about things that he was worried that might happen, and she helped put his fears at bay.
Now he is in his 3rd year at that school, and we are getting ready to MOVE BACK up to NORTHERN California! But to a different town! We are moving to Davis, Ca… Which has highly rated schools and since he is a GATE student, and wasn't placed in GATE classes (but should have been!) the first two years he was at the school he is at now, (long story, but he would have been so much better off!) He is in GATE classes this year and will transfer to GATE classes in Davis. So he will be with his PEERS! That will solve a lot of the problems he had the first year here in Laguna!

There is no stigma with having your daughter talk to the psychologist… so please for her sake… go in and ask to talk to them! Tell them what is going on and she will have friends in NO TIME!!
You will feel SO MUCH BETTER, and SHE will feel so much better!!
The teachers real won't do anything, unless they have time. Which is rare.

Best of LUCK!! Please let me know how it turns out!

Sincerely,

SPT

OroStoll - posted on 10/02/2013

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You can watch your daughter at recess where she won't see you and see what happens. Maybe by watching you can get ideas on what she can do to make friends.
Maybe change her to another class room. The teacher seems uninterested or too busy. Maybe you can suggest that the teacher play a game in teams. that way your daughter can be involved and that would help other kids get to know her and she can get to know the other kids. Like a craft game or something fun. If I was a teacher that is what I would do.

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Archie - posted on 10/20/2013

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Hey all of you thankyou so much much for all the lovely advice...the teacher came through in this case and nudged kids to play with her more. She even invented certain group games for recess so that she will be atleast in a group in that period.

Me too came up with the idea of letting her make the bracelets she used to make with scoobiduo strings and that has been the talking point these days in her class.

All in all I just needed her to be busy during recess and not really feel lonely and upset. I dont care even if she doesnt make long lasting friendships in school, cos I am a strong believer that friendship is something like love....it just happens....no one can bribe , force or nudge u to it...so until then....this is good enuf for me and my kid...

Thankyou all once again for being so supportive and informative,

Tori - posted on 10/05/2013

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Have you thought about asking the teacher if you could do a little party kind of thing with her class showing where y'all are from. Maybe making foods / desserts that are stuff y'all ate there (if you do make foods / desserts, make sure to ask beforehand about food allergies and stuff - I almost gave a child sugar before that was a diabetic, luckily something made me ask his mom - now I ALWAYS ask beforehand) Maybe have some games that y'all played there, that maybe kids do not play in the US.... Or have a craft project y'all could make to represent where y'all lived. I think this would be so MUCH fun for her and her classmates and it would give almost like a conversation starter for her and the other kids to have. I hope my suggestions help! It makes me sad to hear kids not feeling happy and feeling upset about making friends and stuff.... I will keep your little lady in my prayers that all gets better soon!

Stella - posted on 10/04/2013

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I would talk to the teachers I had the same concern about my daughters first day I was worried she would not make friends once I got to her first day of school the teacher introduced her to a few lil girls and said these will be your friends and you will be sitting with them

Ana - posted on 10/04/2013

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Allow her to join something outside of school, karate, painting class, music class, dance class, this builds confidence and she will have something directly in common with kids in her outside of school activities. She'll definitely make a few friends this way.

Queen Of My - posted on 10/03/2013

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Does your daughter enjoy doing any activities the school has a program for? I was a bit of an outcast in school butLyly onto afew teams and going making friends easy! Anything - drama, art, chess, sports, math club - what ever she is good at or enjoys doing. If not, try to get her involved in something in the community to make friends - even a friend from a different school is better than no friends. Poor thing! Good luck!

Suzanne Potter - posted on 10/03/2013

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That is so funny that you are just over in Orange! And your mom is in MV! Ha! We could literally go have coffee if we wanted to! :D
Sounds like you are doing all of the right things with your daughter as far as her language learning!
I think it's great that you are teaching her spanish as well as english! It is so much easier for them to learn more than one language when they are young! I have a lot of friends who are bilingual, and my daughter in law speaks fluent spanish, and my oldest son took spanish in High School and can speak it pretty good, especially now that he's been married to Brittany and has heard her speaking it to people. I wish I would have retained More than I did from 2 years of Spanish in High School!

How did your husband like Berkely? What was his major?
My husband was accepted into Berkley, but went to Chico State instead. He went into the Navy when he was 20 and went into the Nuclear Power Program. He went to Nuclear Power School for 2 years, and went on to be a "Electrician's Mate" in the engine room on a Nuclear Submarine for 4 years.
Instead of doing anything with all of the Nuck technology he knew, he went into Construction Management!

Davis HS is ranked 69th in California! They have Gate programs at 2 of their Jr Highs. Their standards to get into the program are higher than anywhere else I have ever seen! I guess there are some pretty competitive parents in the district that have their kids STUDY for the TESTS!! OYE! I just want Ben to be in the classes he isn't bored to tears in! That way he doesn't get into trouble for telling the Teacher's when they are wrong! lol

Well, have a great day!

[deleted account]

One month is not a lot of time. Since she is an extrovert she might have a lot of friends in the future. But for now I am sure she just needs at least one friend. If you can be involved in the class and keep an eye on someone who could possibly be her friends. She might want to share something with them. My son brings a soccer ball to school so they all play once the school is over. I feel with you because although he was born here we do look different besides he is shy.I was concerned about that a few years ago. Now he has his circle of friends. Hopefully she will find that special friend soon.

OroStoll - posted on 10/03/2013

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Davis does have great schools from what my husband tells me. His Aunt lives out there and works in one of the schools out there. He went to Berkley so he lived out there for a bit. I live in Orange now. I lived in Laguna Hills a few years ago. My Mom still lives in Mission Viejo. It's nice over in that area.

I talk, read, count and do the ABC's but she doesn't talk yet. She say's mama, dada, book and ball. She knows what things are like airplane, outside and a few other words but she won't say them. She will be 1 on the 11th. I am bilingual and speak to her in English and Spanish. Mostly English. Not sure if that is confusing for her.

Have a wonderful day!

Suzanne Potter - posted on 10/02/2013

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Yes, I do live in California. I am in SoCal, Laguna, South Orange County, right now, but we are moving back up to NorCal in a couple of weeks. We are NorCal Natives and moved down here to SoCal 2 years ago for a job my husband took. All of our family is in NorCal, and my husband ended up hating the job, so he got another job back in the Sacramento area so we can live in Davis, Ca again. We lived there 19 years ago and loved it! The schools are Awesome, We love the community, and we are about an hour away from each of the older kids and Steve's folks. Other family members as well are about an hour away.
The City is an hour and a half away, and Tahoe is about the same, maybe a little longer depending on the weather. (I grew up in Vacaville, Ca, which is about 15 min. south west of Davis, so I am very familiar with NorCal.)
I LOVE it down where we live now though! We are a mile from the beach, a mile and a half from Laguna Beach, (my favorite place in the world, so far!) And a 1/4 of a mile from Dana Point. In fact my 15 year old goes to Dana Hills High School, in Dana Point. So when I take him to school in the morning the fastest route is to take the PCH south, to the street we need to turn on, so we get to see the Ocean every morning. (Well I could see it whenever I wanted to, It is just nice to see it on the way to taking the kids to school!) i LOVE the Ocean and Beach, and I am going to MISS IT!! I should have spent more time there while we were here!! ARG!

So do you live in California? You're so sweet! I would love to be friends. I enjoy talking to people that are older than me who can give me advice, or tell me about their experiences. You never know what you may gain from them.
How old is your mom? She is probably about my age or younger… Does she go on the internet?

You are so lucky to be just starting out! You have all the Wonderful years ahead of you! Happy Birthday to your little one! The first few years are such fun years!! Even with all of the Tantrums! You will never get all of those "Unconditional" kisses, hugs, I love you's, and every other sweet thing they do out of the blue again… Well you will get them, just not as many of them in such a short period of time!
So enjoy every little thing you can! :D
I talked all the time to my kids, and said the ABC's over and over again. Ashlea knew her ABC'S at 12 months! And she talked up a storm! (it made my sister jealous, because Ashlea talked more than her daughter did! She asked our mom why Ash talked so much and mom said, "Because her mother talks to HER!" Hehe! All of my kids talked very well at young ages. They are all very smart… I think talking to them and reading to them had a lot to do with their great language skills.
Now they crack me up because If I start to tell Ash a story she will say, "You already told me this story about 10 times!" Andrew will play along and chime in! And Jack will tease me! Mostly about Karma, and he calls me a "Hippy!" lol Ben sticks up for his mommy… for now… :O

I will check out the Mom looking for help with her 17 year old girl. I come from a family of 3 girls! Maybe I can help her out!

Thanks for listening, and chatting!
Have a great night!

OroStoll - posted on 10/02/2013

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Thank you!
Do you live in California? :) You seem like you would be a great person to be friends with. You have been through so much. I like talking to people like you with life experience. Especially with kids. Mine is only going to be a year old this month so I am just starting.

I wish my Mother had a person like you in her life.

There is a mother asking for advise on her 17 year old daughter. Maybe you should comment. Since you have some insight on that as a mother.
It's under, Respecting house rules by Claire McNabb

Have a great day and thanks for the chat. :)

Suzanne Potter - posted on 10/02/2013

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Hi Nancy,
You did help just by giving her some ideas she could bring up to the teacher! Just because we may not have experienced the exact thing the person is going through, it shows how much care and compassion you have for others when you put yourself out there! You are a wonderful, Courageous, Caring, Compassionate Woman and you should feel Proud of yourself for that, and obviously if you are trying to help someone you don't know on a website, you are a GREAT ROLE MODEL for your kids! Showing and Instilling all of those traits in your children!

We don't all have the answers! I certainly don't have all of the answers, I just have a lot of experience with having had 4 kids! haha! When someone asks what my Occupations is I say: Therapist, doctor, teacher, slave, taxi driver, mechanic, handyman, pharmacist, coach… ect, ect… I have been lucky enough to stay at home with my youngest two their whole lives, and my older two I stayed home with them until they were 3 & 4. (I got divorced and had to go to work, but when I remarried I stayed home again)

I've dealt with my 13 year old being in the hospital for 12 days when he was 6, having 3 operations, and me making our local hospital transfer him to a CHILDREN'S Hospital, after 5 days and 2 FAILED operations!!
I've dealt with searching for my 18 year old daughter at 3 in the morning knocking on strange doors waking these poor guys up who didn't speak english and probably thought I was INSANE because it was the WRONG HOUSE! I found her & she KNEW it was me when she heard the "BEEP" lock from my suburban before I ever got to the door! lol!! She was 18, but SHE DIDN"T CALL ME like she was supposed to and she wasn't WHERE she was SUPPOSED TO BE! I EMBARRASSED the HECK out of her! haha!
My oldest son was screwing off in Santa Cruz instead of doing what he was supposed to be doing, so he and his roommate got a 3 day or quit notice from their apartments. I went to U-haul rented a covered trailer, drove like a VERY MAD MOTHER to his apartment an 1 1/2 away, SURPRISED him, told him to "Get your s***, We are going home!" And he did! The roommates parents were NOT HAPPY! They didn't want their kid back home! OH WELL!
Oh and when my 15 year old was in 8th grade, one morning he was REFUSING to go to school… I called the school and asked if they had a POLICE OFFICER that could come to my house and MAKE HIM GO… THEY DID!! He came, talked to my son… Said he could either go with me or HIM in the Squad CAR!!
These are just a FEW of the little tidbits of experiences I have been through!! HEHE!!

I LOVE the saying… "You Can't Compare the Beginning of Your Life to the Middle of Someone Else's"
Or you can put "Journey" instead of "Life." I'm 48 years old. My oldest child, my ONLY daughter is 28 and she just had my first Grandson on the 21st of September!
So She has been ASKING ME questions the last TWO days! I didn't know if she would this early or not. We're very close, but sometimes her husband thinks I think I am a "Know it all" If the shoe fits… lol

Well, enough from me! I hope you know how much I respect you, and what a great person I think you are!

Take care!!

SPT

OroStoll - posted on 10/02/2013

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Thanks Suzanne this is great advise. I wanted to help but I do not have experience like you. Best of luck Archie!

Archie - posted on 10/02/2013

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Hey Nancy

Thank u for the reply!!

Yes I have mentioned it to her teacher and she said she will tell the kids to play with any classmates who are by themselves during recess. But I checked with my kid, and she said teacher never made that announcement in class. Maybe it skipped her mind. And when I personally met the teacher and told her , she said new kids will take a while to make friends. I even suggested that my kid be given a levy to read in the library during recess so that she doesnt feel sad, but its apparently not allowed in the library without she having a companion. The kids are all sweet not mean. Just that they have friends of their own since they are in the school together for a long time so they may no be interested in making new friends.

OroStoll - posted on 10/02/2013

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Have you mentioned this to the teacher? My heart breaks thinking about this. I feel for you and your daughter. Has she asked the other children to play? Are the other kids mean to her or just unfriendly?

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