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

Amanda - posted on 07/19/2011 ( 1 mom has 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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Katherine - posted on 07/19/2011

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Maybe it's not as serious as you think. My daughter is 5.5 and she says the same thing to me but has playmates over and always makes friends. I think she's so used to it that if someone rejects her she feels slighted.

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