Hey there mamas! I have a DD who is almost 9 and is having some diffculties at school with other girls and friendships. In general she has a great time making friends with girls around her age. It seems like right now there is a lot of, "I'm not your friend anymore" stuff going on. And from what I hear it is other girls saying this to her. Is this a "normal" part of being a girl that age? Does a lot it have to do with the media and the state of our current society? Do you have any suggestions about what I can do?
One of the other moms had 3 of the girls (including DD) over yesterday to play. it went well UNTIL all 3 went outside with out the mom. And then my DD apparently went off on her own, sounded like she felt left out to me. She said the girls were asking her why she kept looking at them......she says at school they always say "Why do you glare at us".......one of the girls was her "Best Friend" but then started playing with a girl DD has never gotten a long with. It seems like this girl has not been nice DD from what I can gather. Any advice or thoughts on this? Myself and the other mom want to keep doing the playdates and trying to show them how to get along....
Having a one-on-one playdate works best. That way the group can't go and leave one person out. We also don't have space for 3 or 4 children here.
Grade 3/4/5 are the WORST. I recall horrible stuff happening in those years. I was pretty easy going as my daughter is, so I haven't had too many problems personally.
You might want to talk to the teacher, they usually have experience on how to deal with the at school stuff, if they've taught for a few years they've seen it all.
I agree, 3 is not the magic number. I usually try for groups of 2, or, 4 or more. My dd, in 2nd grade, has a group of friends and it seems that they all have occasional disagreements in the group - one is mad at the other, girl x is mad at girl y, etc. - then they make up and are all friends again. I try to look at it in terms of them learning how to be and to have friends - as long as their are no "mean girl" issues, I've decided to try not to worry too much.
I agree, keep doing the playdates and guide them on problem solving techniques/getting along, but, maybe include another girl, too. With 4 there is less possibility of one girl getting left out.
I don't think this is a new thing because I went through the same trouble with making friends when I was in school. It is a tough thing to have to see your child going through, my dd is currently struggling with this after a long time of things going well. We also do one on one playdates and I encourage her to go to someone who looks like they are also lonely to see if they want to play. My dd recently told me that she was waiting to be noticed and I told her that is what everyone is doing so it is really important to be the risk taker she is and ask if they want to play. Her school also allows kids to bring toys (something that seems to add to the cattiness) so I let her bring toys and a book so she can have something to play with if she can't find a friend. It really breaks my heart to see her so sad lately, but it really is part of childhood.
My daughter is in 3rd and she has expereince the same thing. Dd is pretty friendly and doesn't like to exclude anyone and so some of her other friends will pick her to do the excluding. Kind of like if your not going to gossip and exclude others like us then your going to get it put towards you. It seems to change every week. DD will come home saying so and so is not her friend and then the next week they are best friends again. I think this is really typical. I just try to reassure dd of the morals of being a good friend and if people aren't being kind to her to go play with someone else. Try having your dd make some friends with other girls, that way she has a bigger cirlce of friends and it won't be as big of a deal. Also, the "3's a crowd " is always the way it is with young girls, I would try to make the playdates with even numbers.
Yes to all of the above. 3 is a really hard number. It has worked well for my dd2 (7) when she was younger last year, but then one of the 3 went to a different school. They still get along really well when they do see each other, but I could see where it could go any which way if they were all in school together.
Dd1 (9, almost 10) has been the third wheel in a threesome for most of her school years, but one of the 3 is at a different school this year. There was a lot of weird stuff early in the year this year (4th grade), but we got through the rough patch.
I got a lot of books!! The one I liked best for me was called Girls Will Be Girls by Joanne Deak, recommended here on MDC. I thought she really had a pretty good handle on it and she tells you a lot of the stages to look out for.
The ones my dd1 liked best were the ones put out by American Girl, A Smart Girl's Guide to Friendship Trouble, which is a little more late elem/middle school age and Friends, Making Them and Keeping Them, which is a little more early elementary aged. I think they both normalized it for dd1. She was really kinda blindsided by it because these were girls she had known ever since Kindy and now their was this weirdness and she didn't know what to do and was feeling rejected and desperate at the same time. It was tough. The books really did help at least emotionally support her and maybe, just maybe, helped her realize some of the things that she does that are a big turn-off to other girls and some of the stuff that they do that's inappropriate. Right now we're in a good place with it all so I'm really grateful about that. I also got her some New Moon magazines that had articles about friendship, etc.
I think kids this age are starting to feel the looming shadow of puberty/middle school/growing up and it's hard. I also got dd1 some training bras during this rough patch and I think that helped her feel more grown up and special. She said all the other girls had them (I have no idea if that's true) and she was having some other issues with her body and growing up and although I didn't think she physically needed them at all I just felt like emotionally she did. I am so not a girly girl and put off getting bras for myself growing up until the last possible moment, but boy was dd1 thrilled beyond belief!
Sooooo, my vote is for normal phase that sucks and actually can last a really long time. Arm yourself with some good parenting books and support her as best you can!
"All you fascists are bound to lose" — Woody Guthrie
So far for us 2nd grade and 3rd grade was full of a lot of drama. It just changed daily. I didnt get too involved in it though because it was constantly changing. Ive found girls at this age are quite bossy and would drop friends constantly. I have witnessed that they like to run around the playground looking for mini dramas. LOL. Like if someone spoke rudely to someone else, they will then all run around telling all the other girls that "omg did you know Lily just spoke rudely to Sarah and Sarah didnt do ANYTHING wrong to deserve that" Then Lily will get glared at and even confronted for the rest of the day. But the next day all is good with Lily again. My dd is quite sensitive and didnt have a lot of drama herself, but I just had to teach her to let it roll when she did. Always speak pleasantly and be a kind friend. Over and over and over. It also helped to point out to her that everyday is a new day, and to show her examples of how their relationships/friendships are constantly revolving. That just cause everyone didnt like Kayla yesterday, that today they do, and wasnt it all silly of them to be that mad at Kayla in the first place. Ive pointed out to her that even her true friends will have a bad day occasionally as will she and to just move on from it, and again tomorrow is a new day.
To Patch Child, what is your advice as a 3rd grade teacher for all of this? What do you think the odd girl out should do? You are like the insider to all of this drama. What do you think the best solution is? Thanks!
Have a 3rd grade girl who is new to the school as of last year. Made lots of great friends in her 2nd grade class, transition from moving was seamless. This year she has an aquaintance from her old class and is a bit let down that the girl from her old class wnats to hang out with people she has known previously. I explained that this is ok, and that she will need to seek out other girls in the class instead of latching onto this girl just because she is familiar. That there may be another girl in class who is just as fun and she is and may be looking for someone to play with etc. Do you think this type of advice will work?
When it comes to media, music and social experiences w/o parents involved, my 8 yr old dd1 has lead a fairly sheltered life. I think my dc have a very enriching, fun and age appropriate life. Although we secular home school, they have over 18 hrs a week of classes, group lessons or sports, plus play dates where parents are "around" each week. If you were to put my dd1 into a group of "typical" 3rd graded schooled kids, she would probably not fit in. I firmly believe that kids this age still need positive role models for behavior. Not just thrown into a unsupervised mass of kids who role play what horrible behavior they watch on TV. Although I do personally know schooled kids who can be very polite and a pleasure to be around, and also some hsed kids who can be little monsters, in general I would say the kind of behavior the OP is describing is common, but should NOT be tolerated and kids can choose not to act this way.
My dd just started 3rd grade and is going through the same thing. Starting last year she complained that the girls were excluding her from lunch and activities. . This year she is in a good class (she had a problem last year with one 'mean girl' in particular); the girls are not cliquey so I am encouraging her to get to know different people. She does however want to hang out with a 4th grader who she was friendly with last year and is not interested in her much this year...but that's another story! I'm relieved to hear that this is common!
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