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#1 of 32 Old 01-16-2012, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.  headscratch.gif 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.  greensad.gif  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?

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#2 of 32 Old 01-16-2012, 09:25 PM
 
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get the book, "How to Win Friends and Influence People" and read it. it is *ancient* as books go, and the author, Dale Carnige, is surely long dead. yet the advice is timeless. good luck!

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#3 of 32 Old 01-17-2012, 12:02 AM
 
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I'm so sorry, OP. Your post struck such a cord with me. That was my DS at his old school. We did everything you listed and it was so heart-breaking that none of it seemed to work. DS was so sad. The only saving grace for us was that DS has a best friend in our neighborhood so could play with him after school and on weekends so didn't feel quite as left out. But school was really rough for him. :-(

 

Anyway, we ultimately moved DS to a new school in November of his 2nd grade year (he was 7, almost 8) and he's thriving. He feels like he fits in and, while he's never going to be the most popular boy in the class, he's happy and has friends.

 

I don't know if a new school (or maybe a different class in your DD's school?) is an option for you, but it's the only thing that worked for us to get DS out of the "role" DS had been put into with the kids in his class.

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#4 of 32 Old 01-17-2012, 09:20 AM
 
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I feel for you. I myself am very similar to you and I don't want the same for my children. Team sports has helped DD1 greatly but she does love them. Girl Scouts could be an option. Is she artsy? That could be something else. 


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#5 of 32 Old 01-17-2012, 09:42 AM
 
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I haven't read the other posts yet, just chiming in with a son who has similar problems no matter where we go (he was in a coop preschool, and now we homeschool and have moved to a different state). I have to say that  my ds's only friend back in our last location tended to shun him in groups (and he her sometimes), so I think that that's not that uncommon. The book The Introvert Advantage may be helpful, as may the book Raising Your Spirited Child (sensitivity is one of the topics it covers), as well as the book about Highly Sensitive Children (not sure of the title). Hope things improve, but I think 8 is a rough age for introverts.

I changed schools going from the 3rd grade to the 4th, and it did help somewhat for me (perhaps it would have even more had it been a school with a few more kids with a similar background). Even though we haven't had much luck with moving, I still suggest perhaps finding a different school for your dd so she can have a fresh start. Can you get her in play therapy? (((hugs))) to you.


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#6 of 32 Old 01-17-2012, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a sinking feeling this issue will follow her no matter where she goes.  I'm not even sure what causes it.  People seem to kind of exclude her a little bit (not bullying though).  Like they will never seek her out to play or want to sit beside her.  They never pick her for project work.  She doesn't get invited to playdates. She was excluded from a birthday party.

 

I've tried looking at this as an outsider to see if I can notice anything but I just can't.  She's young for her age, but her class covers several ages, so that shouldn't really be an issue.  This is an excellent school overall and we moved to this location to go to this school.  I would hate to pull her out and put her somewhere else only to find she has the exact same issues somewhere else.  I've tried helping her know how to ask if she can join in games and how to stand up for herself if someone says something rude to her, but she says sometimes her feelings are very hurt so she can't say anything.

 

I've personally never felt "part of the group" no matter where I've gone.  And as I mentioned, I have no idea why.  I know I'm introverted, but I have come a long way in terms of shyness.  Doesn't matter...I'm never really included.  My whole life I will have one or two good friends and that's it.  And suggestions that work for others (ex: join a group, invite someone for coffee, find a common interest) do not work at all for me.  Nobody seems to be interested in pursuing a friendship.  However, over the years I've had some very fun, cool, interesting friends so I know I'm not too strange to be friends with!  redface.gif

 

Anyway, I'll look at these books.  I just didn't want this heartbreak for my own child.  Her dad is outgoing and has lots of friends so I had so hoped she'd take after him.

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#7 of 32 Old 01-17-2012, 10:49 AM
 
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Your DD sounds a bit like me when I was a child. I think Girl Scouts did the trick for me. Most of the girls in my troop were also my classmates so that really helped to foster those friendships at school. Of course, that's just one idea. Are there other things that your daughter is interested in? A children's choir, perhaps? 4-H, maybe? I would really try to find an outside-of-school group. Also you mentioned you have tried to set up things like a skate party before, but maybe she should just pick one classmate over for a Saturday afternoon or something. My own DD is shy and introverted and does so much better getting to know someone one on one. When there is a group of more than 3 children she always ends up by herself. She starts school next year (if we don't homeschool) and I am curious to see what happens.

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#8 of 32 Old 01-17-2012, 11:23 AM
 
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I agree with trying other social groups, keep trying different ones till you find a fit - and that "fit" might just be one friend, but that's worth it alone.

 

I was the same as a kid, and it did hurt. Successes:

 

  • Girl Scouts - not overall but one year a particular mom was the troop leader and she and my mom got me together with her daughter, and we became friends. So Girl Scouts itself was a dud but it led to a friend I kept a long, long time.
  • Camp - I went to a lot and most of them were painful for me socially, but one academic one led to another friendship with another girl, also kept for a long, long time.
  • High School - yeah, most people say high school was the most painful part, but for me that was middle school. Elementary school sucked but middle school was a nightmare for me. But I went to a different high school that I really fit into, and it was a blessing. I was not Miss Popularity but I had friends - lots of them - and a "group" I belonged to, and even people I wasn't friends with were still nice and respectful to me. I include this to show that sometimes the right fit can be found in a group. Also, I think that larger schools are better in this regard. My middle school was tiny - so that meant it was the "in" kids and the "out" kids, of which there were 2 (and I was obviously 1 of them). I did get along with the other "out" girl but she didn't really fascinate me or anything, and it's hard to have a really good connection with a person just based on the fact that it's just the two of you. But with a bigger high school, there were lots of different groups of kids, and easier to find one that accepted me.
  • One on one - obviously you need to score a friend for this to happen, but I functioned a lot better one-on-one.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#9 of 32 Old 01-19-2012, 08:33 PM
 
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Oh my heart aches for you. I am so glad you are looking for some solutions.

 

See if you can find a copy of "The Unwritten Rules of Friendship: Simple Strategies to Help Your Child Make Friends." If you search for that on Amazon, you will also see other books that may suit you more, but I liked this one.  I also liked "The Social Skills Picture Book" and others by Jed Baker. Some of his work is aimed at special needs but is universally applicable.

 

Also, someone mentioned Girl Scouts -- that's an excellent idea. One of the GS laws is to "Be a sister to every Girl Scout" and a good leader will do a lot to make this happen. (Full disclosure, I'm a GS leader :-)

 

Also, reenlist the teacher and the school counselor (if you have one) without your daughter present. See if your daughter can get 1-on-1 counseling to help her with the mechanics of social skills of her age group.

 

Playing with younger children may actually boost her confidence, and perhaps seeing if there's an opportunity to be a "mother's helper" with a toddler or a preschooler for an hour might be fun for her. Ditto, offering to help in a church nursery or another like place that may give her confidence, if that's an issue.

 

A shyer child who skirts the edges of a group often gets left out -- 8 y/os usually don't acknowledge the social niceties of inviting kids *into* the group, so she may need lessons on what to say to join an activity. Perhaps the counselor could coach her on some appropriate "scripts" for getting herself included.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#10 of 32 Old 01-19-2012, 09:11 PM
 
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*


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#11 of 32 Old 02-06-2012, 04:03 PM
 
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OP my heart goes out to you.  When I read your subject line, but before I'd even read your post, I asked out loud "I wonder what her parents are modeling for her in the way of social behavior?"  When I read that you're an introvert as well, my first thought was "How awesome would it be if her dd could see her momma (and maybe dad as well?  Is he in a similar position?) grappling with her own introvertedness if it's been an issue for you?

 

I know that being an introvert, in and of itself, is in no way a negative. In some ways it can be very positive.  But what caught my attention in your post was where you said you didn't wish this for her, you also had a hard time making friends, and it can eat away at your self esteem.

 

Have you talked to your dd about what it was like for you?  If you learned anything about what worked for yourself, have you shared it with her?

 

Aside from the other ideas you've gotten here, in my work with parents I have really learned that probably more important than any action you can take (changing schools, getting her to play sports, etc), the most impactful thing a parent can do is model whatever it is they want for their kids.  We are their first and primary teachers, and 8 yrs old is definitely old enough to be engaging her in conversations.

 

Have you asked her how she feels about what she reports to you re: how kids treat her/dont' engage her at school?  I just think having an honest conversation about your own experience and talking to her, even if you don't have answers, but just sharing with her that you can understand, that is SO helpful to kids.


It's not about making them your friend instead of your child... it's not about laying your troubles on them.  It's about helping them understand that they're not alone, that mom who she adores and probably thinks the world of has struggled with similar things... it can really help kids to get permission to struggle and to know they can talk even more openly than she already does with you about how she feels and what she wants.

 

What do you think?

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#12 of 32 Old 02-06-2012, 06:25 PM
 
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Quote:
 I do NOT want this for my child.

 

 

Why does this matter?

 

I really get with the PP said but is this really about the DD here?

 

 

Is the child happy? or is it the mother that is not?

 

How much of this is being reflected on the child? How does she really feel here? Is she depressed about this or you? Is there some issue that the teachers see here? Does she not want to go to school? Is this effecting her or really you?

 

If it is the DD- how is this effecting her? (I didn't see that in the posts)

 

One thing that I never fail to get is the issue around "how many friends"? how many is it? how many do you need in life? are you living life for yourself or at the expectations of others and how they view you based on your FB friend amount? 

 

 

 

isn't it the true friends that count not the quantity? this need for "group" belonging, more than one friends-why? what message does that sent?

 

 certainly feel it sends the complete opposite of what is intend. The thought that the mother has to find friends via a team, group, etc to me is a bit much--if it's brought up and the child expresses interest-fine, if not, no.

 

 

why not more emphasize here on valuing who the child is and perhaps she is fine to be not in the groups

 

 

MANY go through life with few friends ------------AND are happy, content and fulfilled------why must this child live up to the mother and society here?


 

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#13 of 32 Old 02-07-2012, 12:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenheart View Post

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.  headscratch.gif 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.  greensad.gif  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?



 

Ummm . .. Serenbat . .. Did you actually read the OP's post? Because from your rather stream-of-consciousness and grammatically shaky response, it seems you didn't! Furthermore, your response is unkind and unhelpful. I've reposted it above so you might go through it again and reconsider your own response.I've also commented on your response in italics below.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

 

 

 

 

Why does this matter?

Um . . what woo-based universe are you living in? Of course it matters! As parents, we all want certain things for our children ..  including for them to be loved, happy, and develop good social relationships. Now .... if the OP were saying, "I want my DD to play professional basketball so I'll have my dreams fulfilled." it would be a different thing. But she's not!

 

I really get with the PP said but is this really about the DD here?

Yes, it is. And the OP's post states this. OP writes: "Sometimes she is sad.  She often asks me to help her get friends."

 

Is the child happy? or is it the mother that is not?

See quote above! The child is sad. She wants friends. This, in turn, makes the mother sad. It would make any mother sad if her child is unhappy.

 

How much of this is being reflected on the child? How does she really feel here? Is she depressed about this or you? Is there some issue that the teachers see here? Does she not want to go to school? Is this effecting her or really you?

 

Once again, Serenbat, you're not reading the OP's post well. Of course the OP is upset because her DD is unhappy.

 

If it is the DD- how is this effecting her? (I didn't see that in the posts)

Because, apparently, you didn't read it well!

 

One thing that I never fail to get is the issue around "how many friends"? how many is it? how many do you need in life? are you living life for yourself or at the expectations of others and how they view you based on your FB friend amount? 

 

How is this helpful? The OP's DD wants more friends. READ the post!

 

isn't it the true friends that count not the quantity? this need for "group" belonging, more than one friends-why? what message does that sent?

 

I think you've gotten lost in some rant about society in general, rather than focusing on this OP's real problem and question. Although that can happen to us all, it would be very tough for the OP not to take your remarks personally and read into your rant that her efforts to help her daughter socially are somehow buying into an artifical societal norm. They're not. They're helping a kid who wants some friends. It's not complicated, it's not about the ills of society. It's about a lonely girl who doesn't fit in. Also, it's "what message does that senD?"

 

 certainly feel it sends the complete opposite of what is intend. The thought that the mother has to find friends via a team, group, etc to me is a bit much--if it's brought up and the child expresses interest-fine, if not, no.

 

I'm not sure what you mean here because your spelling and grammar are so bad. Do you mean to say that the mother's effort to help her daughter -- efforts the DD has *asked* her to make (if you read the OP) -- are bad? Once again, you've gone off into rant-land against some strawman rather than focusing on the OP's question and situation and, thereby, are hurtful.

 

why not more emphasize here on valuing who the child is and perhaps she is fine to be not in the groups

 

UMM. .. . how do you know the OP isn't doing that? What a hurtful assumption!

 

 

MANY go through life with few friends ------------AND are happy, content and fulfilled------why must this child live up to the mother and society here?

 

Hurtful, offensive, and untrue, in my opinion. Pull yourself together, quit ranting, and read the OP's post before you answer.


 

 

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#14 of 32 Old 02-07-2012, 05:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Did you actually read the OP's post?

I read a post mostly about the OP and her struggles and very very little about the DD

 

Parents often project there fears onto their children, we should keep this in mind.

 

Parents desires often are not those of their children.

 

We have no way of telling if this child will feel the way the mother does regarding this. There are those who are like this child and later in life, they are not unhappy and really resent the push made to live up to others expectation. It's great the child ask for help in making friends (very normal) but that does not mean she is not happy and content. How many friends is it again that one needs to have? 

 

I didn't see that the child is "struggling", I didn't see lack of desire being in social settings, no fighting to not attend school, etc. I also do not see that anyone else sees this but the OP- the teachers don't and it seems like a small type setting, so I would really wonder about this.

 

 

 

where is it the child is sooooooo unhappy here? there is very little that indicates that and a lot about the unhappiness of the mother


 

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#15 of 32 Old 02-07-2012, 06:03 AM
 
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Damn you Serenbat.  I kind of agree with you.  My parents were slight idiots.  They actually pushed things like popularity in school as being important.  The number of friends you have was what made you.  My Jr. yr I didn't get homecoming Queen... My mom told me it was because people probably didn't really like me.  I walked around thinking people didn't like me.  She always talked about how mean girls were to her and how she never had friends and she hoped I would have friends.   And if I didn't talk about friends I obviously was on the road to loserville. 
 

For the most part I was happy to be friends with the nose picking neighbor girl.  She was fun and interesting.  She always talked about things I didn't know about and she wasn't concerned with her appearance.  Her parents were the type that didn't care about what others thought.  All they cared about was what they thought and they thought their little girl hung the damn moon, while my mom thought I was a hopeless little unpopular twit.  She would go so far as to compare me to other kids.  So and so has boobs already, that's probably why the boys don't like you.  You still look like them. 

 

The things I'm saying sound harsh, like you as the OP would never say those kinds of things to your kid.  However we can put those feelings there without meaning to and without trying to.  If she doesn't fit in with the girls at school... good.  Go there and you'll see you don't want your kid to be like all the little girls there.  I'm happy my DD1 is different.  She doesn't do well with other girls and it doesn't faze her.  She's happy to play soccer and football.  She has numerous friends who love the stuff she loves.  You just have to let them be and they'll find their niche.  They'll find who fits with them.  It wouldn't hurt to get her more involved but only if it's what she wants to do. 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

 

 

I read a post mostly about the OP and her struggles and very very little about the DD

 

Parents often project there fears onto their children, we should keep this in mind.

 

Parents desires often are not those of their children.

 

We have no way of telling if this child will feel the way the mother does regarding this. There are those who are like this child and later in life, they are not unhappy and really resent the push made to live up to others expectation. It's great the child ask for help in making friends (very normal) but that does not mean she is not happy and content. How many friends is it again that one needs to have? 

 

I didn't see that the child is "struggling", I didn't see lack of desire being in social settings, no fighting to not attend school, etc. I also do not see that anyone else sees this but the OP- the teachers don't and it seems like a small type setting, so I would really wonder about this.

 

 

 

where is it the child is sooooooo unhappy here? there is very little that indicates that and a lot about the unhappiness of the mother



 

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#16 of 32 Old 02-07-2012, 06:19 AM
 
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WHY does some thing have to be wrong with this child if she only has one friend?

 

 

OP states she plays with others (mixed age group at school) and does not seem to be suffering anxiety, depression, etc----why can't she just be OK? 

 

 

She is 8--how many friends equals making a child happy in the eyes of the parents (and other poster apparently)?


 

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I don't think there is anything wrong with the OP's kid.  Maybe the OP should consider that fitting in with the crowd does not necessarily mean happiness. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

WHY does some thing have to be wrong with this child if she only has one friend?

 

 

OP states she plays with others (mixed age group at school) and does not seem to be suffering anxiety, depression, etc----why can't she just be OK? 

 

 

She is 8--how many friends equals making a child happy in the eyes of the parents (and other poster apparently)?



 

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My heart goes out to you and your dd.  There is nothing more heart wrenching that watching your child hurt.  I have been in a very similar situation that you are in now and i felt so helpless.  My dd is a very social little girl and wants to have friends and be included but for some reason she just isn't.  I went to teachers and got the same line you would that I was worrying too much and that she is part of the group.  Yet anytime i would be in the class i would watch her trying to break into little groups of kids and not being rejected but just being ignored.  Luckilyshe hs never been bullied except for one time when someone gave her a note on the bus that read 'Abby is stupid".  Thank God she couldnt read yet.  Other than that its just like she is the invisible kid.  Something that I have found that has been helping her are gymnastics and dance.  They are group activities but allow for some one on one time with other girls and coaches yet is very structured so that no one can be left out.  She looks forward to the days she has classes all week.  To those saying that she is projecting her own issues on the dd and that being popular aren't being unkind and are trying to help but are missing the point slightly.  I am sure this mother and myself would be THRILLED if our dd's had just 1 friend at school.  Just 1, thats all I'm asking for.  I don't want my kids to be "popular"  too much trouble comes along with that but it is hard on these little girls going to school and just floating.  They float from group to group hoping to find somewhere to land.  That is a very hard way to spend every day.  So sorry that your little girl is going through all of this and i sure hope she can find a good friend soon. 

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to the PP, now that your child is in classes she still is having problems not having friends?

 

that is what I read from your post-so is this lack of confidence?

 

it is unfortunate you are effected by your child not having friends-you didn't state how the child is effected yet you state she is social

 

I guess I don't get when someone says their child is "social" yet they have no friends? What exactly do you mean by social? Does you child not play with other-they don't interact? lack of engagements? others just run away? 

 

 

if this is happening how is it the school / teachers do not see any of this?

 

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I went to teachers and got the same line you would that I was worrying too much and that she is part of the group. 

I find this baffling. If you trust (assuming you do) the teachers (and entrusting your child with them) and believe other things they say-why are they lying here?

 

there is a great difference between being popular (the "it" one) and having friends but how many and with the OP we know her DD is 8, what is the number needed here?


 

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I really feel that Serenbat is missing the point.

 

My DS is very social -- he can immediately start playing with other kids, even kids he's never met before, he plays nicely with others (shares, takes turns, etc.), likes people, answers appropriately when spoken to, etc.  I'm guessing that's more or less what the OP and mom2qts mean when they say their child is social, too.

 

In the case of my DS, despite how social he was (and is!) and the fact that he does have a best friend outside of school, school itself was a disaster until we moved him to a new environment. He was systematically excluded. Did it hurt DH and me? Yes, of course! But it hurt DS far worse! He did everything in his power to play with other kids and it just didn't work. That was painful for him. He started to wonder what was wrong with him. Despite all our efforts to say that nothing was wrong with him, that it was ok not to be the most popular kid in his class, that he had a good friend outside of school, etc., etc., when he was rejected daily at school, the wounds ran deep.

 

What I think you're missing Serenbat, is that these parents can and do (I'm guessing) reinforce that it's ok for these kids to be the way they are. This isn't coming from the parents! It's coming from kids who, naturally, want to have at least one person with whom they can fit in at the place they're spending a significant amount of their time! Is that so very hard to understand or sympathize with? It's not about a magic number. My son said, "If I'd just had one friend at school, I would have been ok." He didn't even have that! Happily, at his new school he's happy and has friends and feels like he fits in. He'll never be the most popular boy in the class and he doesn't need to be! But he's not systematically excluded anymore like he was in his old school.

 

As for what teachers say . .. I don't think any of the teachers were lying. They have 25-30 kids to deal with. There was no overt bullying going on and their time and energy was limited. Moreover, if they admit, even to themselves, that a child is being excluded, they have to find ways to get that child included. Now, I think the vast majority of teachers are caring, amazing people. DS' teachers all were, even at the school where he was excluded. But there's really only so much a teacher can do, especially given the massive demands on them, to get a child included. Or the things that they can do take lots of time, energy, and resources they may not have.

 

I guess I ultimately am just not getting why you seem so confused and unsympathetic to the idea that it can be painful for parents to see their children not fitting in. Yes, it's all wonderful and great to say that kids shouldn't have to fit in and it's all about society and The Man and blah blah blah. However, when your child comes home sad and confused because no one wants to play with him/her at school, as a parent, your heart breaks and you want to help him/her. Speeches about societal norms and The Man and fitting in go only so far in helping a hurt 8 year old!

 

Oh . . and punctuation helps us all understand each other better, Serenbat. Try it! smile.gif

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Originally Posted by brokenheart View Post


 

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. 

 

 

 

OP, I agree wtih the idea about Girl Scouts or another group activity. I also know a lot of little girls who take marital arts and I've seen the benefits of that in their confidence levels.

It doesn't sound like she is being picked on or anything, just not being sought out. I have been an introvert all my life and I definitely blend into the background pretty easily. Funny, I was just talking about that with my husband and we half-jokingly talked about reading the How To Win Friends book.  Best of luck. My heart goes out to you, it is hard to hear your child say no one likes her.

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I'm an introvert too, with an introvert DD, and can really empathize with your situation. 

 

Are there any activities your child really likes?  Dance has been great for my DD.  It's calm and structured, with moments between to slightly connect with other kids.  Church has actually been very good too.  Connecting with kids of different ages. 

 

If you haven't read about introversion, it could be helpful to feel better about some aspects of what is going on.  And your DD might gain from insights you can share with her about an introverted personality.

 

Sorry you and your DD are struggling with this.  Having her be a mother's helper and/or leading playgroups of young kids could be a real source of joy for her.  It sounds like an excellent idea to pursue.  It feels good to be respected and listened to and successful.

 

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Dariusmom, Yes you hit the nail on the head!  I was going to quote you but I would have had to highlight everything.  When I said she is social I meant she is outgoing and eager to make friends, sadly this wish is often ignored.  Then to clear up any confusion, not that my childs emotions are anyone business but yes this does affect her.  She closes herself off and cries.  I may not be the expert sociologst that some are but this tells me she is less than happy.  I reassure her constantly that she is better than that and how she doesnt need other kids to be happy because she is so clever and creative.   To say anyone is putting this hardship on their child is unkind inmy opinion and in my case atleast untrue.  I for one have 1 best friend, my dh.  I am not a social butterfly and am totally happy this way.  That is not to say I am not a social person.  When out I enjoy being around others, chatting, meeting new people.  But in general I enjoy my own company and that of my family.  So as far as the some other posts have said having hoards of friends is not the be all end all in my eyes.  Being happy with yourself is.  I am appalled at some of the harsh generalizations that have been made to the contrary.  Then with the teachers you nailed it again.  I never even insinuated that the teachers were lying and didn't get the impression the OP was saying that either.  I for one just feel since the child is doing well in class and not being bullied all is well.  Ok now I am just rehashing.  I just had to give your post a here here! 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoopin' Mama View Post

What exactly about these words is Serenbat not getting?

 

OP, I agree wtih the idea about Girl Scouts or another group activity. I also know a lot of little girls who take marital arts and I've seen the benefits of that in their confidence levels.

It doesn't sound like she is being picked on or anything, just not being sought out. I have been an introvert all my life and I definitely blend into the background pretty easily. Funny, I was just talking about that with my husband and we half-jokingly talked about reading the How To Win Friends book.  Best of luck. My heart goes out to you, it is hard to hear your child say no one likes her.

I quoted that exact same passage, as well, Hoopin' Mama!

 

According to these posters, trying to help our kids negotiate difficult social situations and feeling sad about those same social situations on behalf of our kids has suddenly morphed into being Tools of the Oppressive Man, forcing free spirited kids into some conformist mode  . . . [insert eye roll!]
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2qts View Post

Dariusmom, Yes you hit the nail on the head!  I was going to quote you but I would have had to highlight everything.  When I said she is social I meant she is outgoing and eager to make friends, sadly this wish is often ignored.  Then to clear up any confusion, not that my childs emotions are anyone business but yes this does affect her.  She closes herself off and cries.  I may not be the expert sociologst that some are but this tells me she is less than happy.  I reassure her constantly that she is better than that and how she doesnt need other kids to be happy because she is so clever and creative.   To say anyone is putting this hardship on their child is unkind inmy opinion and in my case atleast untrue.  I for one have 1 best friend, my dh.  I am not a social butterfly and am totally happy this way.  That is not to say I am not a social person.  When out I enjoy being around others, chatting, meeting new people.  But in general I enjoy my own company and that of my family.  So as far as the some other posts have said having hoards of friends is not the be all end all in my eyes.  Being happy with yourself is.  I am appalled at some of the harsh generalizations that have been made to the contrary.  Then with the teachers you nailed it again.  I never even insinuated that the teachers were lying and didn't get the impression the OP was saying that either.  I for one just feel since the child is doing well in class and not being bullied all is well.  Ok now I am just rehashing.  I just had to give your post a here here! 

Thanks, mom2qts. smile.gif

 

I, too, am appalled by some of the harsh generalizations in a few of the responses. I feel, as I've said before, that a couple of posters have gone off into Rant Against Evil Society squashing special sparkly children mode rather than really bothering to read what other posters are saying.

 

Ultimately, a little sympathy, reading comprehension, and punctuation skills go a long way!
 

 

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#25 of 32 Old 02-10-2012, 03:59 PM
 
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Hi,

 

I am an introvert and my dd has just started school. I am a little worried as well. I get to know parents when picking up dd because everyone is there chatting with each other. I've not found it hard to get to know them in such a situation. I probably won't be their best friend or who knows I might make a v. good friend, but I think it helps when kids see their parents know each other. I also hosted a birthday party for her for this reason. I thought having her classmates in a non-classroom setting might help now and hopefully in the future years. Is this an option for you? - getting to know parents at pickup/drop off time.

 

 


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#26 of 32 Old 02-10-2012, 05:30 PM
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Hey folks, let's get the topic back on the actual topic and off of other people and what they may or may not "get".  Discussing other posters doesn't do anything but derail the thread and make it hard to continue.

 

Back on topic.  If you have posted something that may be construed as a personal attack (and I suggest you do reread and double check) please edit.  Thank you

 

 


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Quote:
- 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.
 

 

 

regardless of what the issue is, 3 times may warrant taking this a step beyond, perhaps a meeting with the teachers and the school counselor

 

as I stated prior, if a teacher(s) did not see something that I felt was there I would wonder what else is being missed (I realize other have different opinions on this) - maybe the school is not a good fit if the teachers are not seeing what you see

 

maybe you will find these helpful - http://www.infj.com/INFJ_Introversion.htm

http://ideas.time.com/2012/01/26/dont-call-introverted-children-shy/ 


 

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OP if you feel this is something that is going to follow your dd around all her life - apart from finding social groups to join as others have said - the most important task is to talk to her (indirectly) and show her that she is not defined by what others think, but by what she feels who she is.

 

we are sorta kinda in your boat. dd is 9. very social. everyone knows her. but everyone finds her weird. for all sorts of reasons. because she chases the boys and makes sure they play together - not just in boy groups adn girls groups. they think she is weird because she eats salad for lunch when the closest thing to green in others lunches are the jellybeans. 

 

i have not gone looking for help.

 

social groups may help - but not really. dd is in girl scouts and she works well with the kids but she is not good friends with them. some invite the whole group to their bday party and leave dd out. 

 

for me i dont feel bad for dd. she is full of confidence but also sometimes sad. and i share with her my life story. i led the same life. my beliefs, philosophy way of life has seperated me from the usual social group. dd interests and philosophy has kept her apart from the other kids around her. many of them are in awe of her, many dont know what to do with her - but over all they dont want to be buddies with her. 

 

to add further confusion the two girls who adore dd and worship her - dd does not want to hang out with them anymore. dd has very high standards and i've tried to tell her if that is what it is then be prepared not to have too many friends. thankfully she has one really good friend. 

 

8 is a difficult time for all kids. its conscience developement time. its existentialist thinking time. 

 

i think its really important to help her define who she is and not let the other kids get to her - that something is wrong they dont want to be friends with her. 


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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenheart View Post

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.  headscratch.gif 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.  greensad.gif  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?


Your DD sounds exactly like someone I know... Oh, wait, it's ME!

 

I'm a total introvert, and had a VERY hard time all through elementary and high school. I stayed in my room and read, because I never had anyone to hang out with. I was tolerated by all, but loved by none. I had teachers and peers alike attack me for various reasons. My mother spent tons of time trying to get the schools to do something to socially protect me.

 

Turns out, it was the BEST THING EVER.

 

I learned how to observe people. I learned to not base myself on others' attention. I learned to entertain myself. I eventually learned how to make friends, but, by then, I just didn't care to try. Now I am able to maneuver through any social situation, but not get hung up in them.

 

The problem isn't with your DD. The problem is that she likely has a quality that is not entirely understood by the others. I had someone say that I was "ethereal" once. (BTW, I will NEVER be described as "delicate".)

1
a : of or relating to the regions beyond the earth
2
a : lacking material substance : immaterial, intangible
b : marked by unusual delicacy or refinement <this smallest, most ethereal, and daintiest of birds — William Beebe>
c : suggesting the heavens or heaven )

 

How do you bolster her confidence? Let her be herself. Give her the freedom to be herself. But really, give her the freedom to fail. If you make her friends for her, it may SEEM that that is what she wants. She might even believe that. But it will always be in the back of her head that you did this FOR her. Unfortunately, this is truly a "what doesn't kill you" situation. SHE will learn to deal with social interactions, or she won't. But failing would be the lesser evil compared to someone doing it for her.

 

I'm not going to lie. It SUCKS. In my own situation, there were suicidal thoughts, cutting, the potential for risky behavior (which, thankfully, I didn't act on), and more... My parents were completely lost as to how to deal with me. I got NO support there. But there is nothing I would change about it now, after the fact. If you support her, let her be her, she should turn out just fine.


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#30 of 32 Old 02-17-2012, 10:12 AM
 
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How is she doing at school academically?  Is she significantly ahead or behind?  Quicker to understand concepts?  Prefer kids who are older than her?  Have more mature (instead of less, as you wonder) social skills?  What does she like to do?  Is she a talker and a thinker?

 

I realized that my own dd(6)  doesn't fit in often because she acts and thinks more like a 12yo.  Her older cousins adore her, and marvel at how she just fits right in with them.  She's obviously lacking in worldly wisdom, and, well, puberty, but otherwise, her social skills are on par with them.  I used to think that she was behind, until I really watched her one day, and realized that she wasn't behind, but actually interacting more like adults do.  The other little girl couldn't relate the same.  Dd has always, at parties, sought out adults or the older teenagers, and would only play with the other kids a little bit.  She's not been tested, but apparently is quite a big "ahead" of her peers academically, as well.

 

I guess what I'm trying to say is that you might come to a different conclusion about what your dd needs if you frame your thoughts in terms of what does she do right, instead of what might be wrong with us, what do we need to learn to fit in.  My dd does seem to want to play with kids her own age, but it just doesn't seem to go well, usually.  She needs the older kids to relate to, and who have enough grace to bend for her childishness at times.  Maybe your dd could benefit from a similar arrangement?



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenheart View Post

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.  headscratch.gif 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.  greensad.gif  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?


 

Oh, brokenheart, you sound just like me :). My dd is in 2nd grade and is going through the same. She is a kind, sweet girl with an outgoing personality, yet the other girls exclude her. She often says no one played with her at recess or the girls walked away and it made her sad. She gets along very well with others- especially older children (as per just1more's post) and when we get together with friends she gets along with their children wonderfully. I have a younger ds and she plays with him...I think since she is usually in control with him maybe she applies that to her peers? And no one can be the boss all the time. I think she also comes across as needy sometimes...she wants to be liked and the other girls (and their moms) are very cliquey...it seems they have known each other forever. We moved to town right before K started so it's not like dd is the new girl. I have always been introverted too and was never part of a group. I always had a few good friends. Now I am trying to reach out socially and have met a few nice women (not in the same town/school though). DD is in brownies (with the same girls) and we put her in various weekend activities. She will play softball in the spring (with the same girls). I do think this is a hard age, other than that I have no answer, but I understand your worry. Someone posted about projecting ones own insecurity onto their children and for me that's true. My daughter is strong...she doesn't cry about this (yet) and she has fun when she does play with others. I just don't want her to go through all I went through. I still am insecure around these cliquey women and I don't want dd to be the same but rather her own confident self.
 

 

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