DD is 8 and for the past several years she has been having social problems. I want to help her but I don't know how.
She is a bit shy (off and on), she can come across as alternately standoffish or needy (depending on how shy she might be feeling at the time or who she is with). She is also sensitive (overly so at times). However, other than that, I don't notice any real "problems" with her behavior any time that I have been around to observe. She is kind and fair.
But she has a real problem making friends. I've noticed that she seems to be the "target". Other kids do not seem to like her much. She's been in the same school all along yet she only has 1 friend. And that friend often wants to play with the other girls and for whatever reason, DD is never included. She says she asks to play but they either say no or they will tell her she can play if she is the dog (they play house) and then laugh at her. I take everything with a grain of salt, but the overall theme is that she is not part of the group. I can see this because any time I'm at the school I either see her alone or playing with the much younger children. In fact, lately she's been playing with a 5 year old at recess.
She matter-of-factly says that nobody at her school really likes her. Sometimes she is sad. She often asks me to help her get friends. It is heartbreaking. Here's what I've done:
- I've talked to her teachers 3 times now. Each time I'm told they don't see an issue and that she IS part of the group. It isn't like she's being completely shunned or anything, but the other girls seem to ignore her most of the time (from what I can see) or they will be playing a game that does not need more players, etc.
- I have tried inviting the other girls (both as a group and separately) for playdates, to go skating, swimming, etc. It isn't very successful. A couple of them do come, but my DD almost never gets invites back.
- I've tried to get to know the moms, but this has been a dismal failure. They are not interested in going for tea (or they are maybe too busy, I have no idea).
By the way, if I could see something that was causing this (for example, if she had a real problem sharing or she was rude), I would definitely have something to work with. As it is, I have NOTHING. I do not know why she is not accepted.
I am an introvert and I have always had a very hard time making friends. I truly don't know why. I do NOT want this for my child. It eats away at your self esteem. I should mention that (at least from my point of view) there is nothing wrong with us. People don't even know us, so they couldn't be put off by anything. We are average people, dress normal (lol), we are not loud, we don't drive something obnoxious. Our home, while very modest, is clean. My child is dressed like everyone else (uniform) and I make sure she is clean. We make a point of showing up to all the school events and we volunteer. We are friendly, but not in anyone's face (ever). I try to set up something fun once in a while (ex: little skating party) so we can get to know people (doesn't work though). I don't get it at all.
I am thinking if I could find her a team environment she could get some confidence. But she's not interested in sports. Any suggestions?