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7 Year Old Not Able To Make Friends

Discussion in 'Schoolgoers & Teens' started by SparkleSneha, Sep 3, 2016.

  1. SparkleSneha

    SparkleSneha New IL'ite

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    Hi friends

    As I write about my 7 year old daughter, tears rolling down my eyes and I am feeling heartbroken and helpless. As much I want to wrap up my little one and protect her from the world and most of all, want to ensure that she has plenty of friends. She is a very smart, sweet, kind and little introvert/shy girl who loves to be silly and naughty.
    But the problem is she is a loner in school. Noone wants to play with her or talk to her. She reaches out to kids playing and ask them if she can play with them or if they want to play with her but all of them refuse.
    Most of the days she sits alone in the playground and watches others. I went to volunteer during recess and observed from distance and it absolutely broke my heart to see her crying in the corner and she quickly ran away to restroom to wipe her tears when she saw me. I spoke to her to understand if there is something else going on . But she only says that noone likes her and noone plays with her. she has no friends.

    When in a One 2 One setting, she gets along extremely well with the other child but in a social setting , somehow noone accepts her. She is very talkative in one 2 one but not very vocal in a group.

    I read that arranging play dates is the best solution to expose the child to some kids from school so that they have a bonding away from school. But I am finding that very challenging as I reached out to few parents of the kids whom my daughter likes but all the parents came back next day with the same answer that they are busy or kids ahave classes etc. (I am assuming they checked with their child if they want to hv a playdate with my daughter and they refused). We have very frequent meetings with our friends (not from same school) and she has lot of fun but thats not helping the low self esteem she is facing at school . Her self confidence is crashing and she doesnt want to go to school anymore. Often from 8 years and onwards , kids have lot of groupism specially girls as they like to maintain same set of friends . All this is affecting her studies also and its killing me from inside to see my daughter in such a condition.

    I want to ask if anyone else has faced the similar situation ? Or is it common ? Or am I worrying too much and I should not give it too much attention as it may backfire ?
     
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  2. guesshoo

    guesshoo IL Hall of Fame

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    Hugs to you. It must be heartbreaking to see this.

    Is there a school counsellor who can help? Or can you try speaking to her class teacher? At this age, they do form groups and it is quite disconcerting.

    This does strike far too close to home for me - if that were happening to my child I'd even consider changing schools... of course without letting her kmow this is the reason...
     
    blindpup10 likes this.
  3. SparkleSneha

    SparkleSneha New IL'ite

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    Thanks guesshoo.
    I am not sure if there is any counsellor . will go and speak to her teacher next week .
    we are in US and there are lot of Indian kids in her class and changing school is not a possibility as its according to school district. I am thinking if its her shy and not very talkative nature thats the main cause that she is not finding any gentle and like minded friends. So even if we could change schools, there is no guarantee that would help.
     
  4. Rihana

    Rihana IL Hall of Fame

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    My daughter had a friend who was a boy - they were inseparable from 3-7 years of age. They were known to walk across the football field talking away about Blues Clues, Dora, and Magic Tree House - stopping now and then to pluck on grass blades and crush them between fingers. It was beautiful. Each had to get the first piece of cake at the other's birthday. The mom and I had a great rapport and a friendship beyond our kids. Too good to last? : ) Suddenly at 7 years, start of second grade, around this September time, they started to get teased since it was a boy-girl friendship, and they avoided usual activities and instead walked around the playground or basketball/football field. That's it - it ended with no notice. After that, I went through some of what you have described - volunteered in school and cried.

    End of digression. : )

    Talk with the teacher. Don't just drop by after school. Arrange a time. Keep the reason a little hazy - say you would like to talk about recess and lunch time. Do not take your 7 year old or younger one with you. Do not have them playing outside while you talk with teacher. Arrange so you can talk with the teacher without distractions.

    Rehearse what you are going to tell the teacher. Have questions that show you have given the matter enough thought. Keep your heartbroken-ness aside. Don't use the precious meeting minutes for getting empathy. When teacher starts to talk about general behavior of kids this age, gently steer it back to your child's situation and what can be done.

    Don't despair. It only takes one friend to not be alone. And trust me - it is harder on you than on child. You will never forget that playground scene. She will most likely have a vague memory only of it in a while.

    The teacher can help in many ways - may be a change of seating in class. Maybe an afterschool activity in which other girls from class are enrolled.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2016
  5. Laks09

    Laks09 Staff Member Finest Post Winner

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    I had a similar situation. My DD was older, probably 10 ish. We had just moved back from a stint in India and back in her old elementary school. By fifth grade, there are groups and there are kids who don't want an "outsider" in their group. Initially, I just gave her some strategies to help with the situation. That didn't help much. Then, I emailed the teacher. She set up a meeting with me. She involved the counselor too. The counselor being there was God sent. She gave me strategies that I use even now with my high schooler.

    Firstly, don't be discouraged with the kids moms who didn't respond. Doesn't she have recess with the entire grade? Call moms from the PTA directory with girls in other sections and set up play dates. There are SAHMs who don't mind play dates. I initially went by the kids my DD said were her friends, that didn't work out. The counselor's list of kids worked like a charm.
    Secondly, find out from other moms during pick up time if there are activities that their kids are enrolled in. Try to take your child for those classes. She may find it easy to make friends with people during activity classes.

    The counselor took this very seriously. She felt this was some kind of bullying situation where a few kids were trying to get the whole class to outcast my DD. I'm sure she spoke to a few kids and some parents. It helped my DD. She never told me back then that someone was preventing kids from playing with her but in middle school she told me the entire story. I'm so glad I went to school and spoke to the teacher/counselor.

    Btw, it's a very good strategy to make friends with Moms of kids in class. I didn't do it initially but I soon learned that those friendships are invaluable. I might not connect with them at a BFF level but I attended every pot luck for moms starting in grade 5 and made sure I take something really nice. Sometimes moms pot lucks are a great place to find friends for the kids. These days I'm on every whatsapp moms group and am going out for moms lunches(kid is in high school) and generally doing the gossip rounds but back then I found out about activity classes, the teachers and how to win them over and so much of information! Make mommy friends, if your school doesn't have a pot luck group, start one. The moms group here started in Grade 1 apparently and its still going strong!
     
  6. zales

    zales Silver IL'ite

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    Great suggestions above. I came here to suggest pretty much Everything that has already been said. Dont be shy to reach out to other moms to set up play dates even if they have said no in the past or have not shown any interest!

    Adding to the above, does your daughter have any activities outside of school? If not, try to find out what she is intersted in and Let her explore her talents. You will also find a fresh set of people you can have her make friends with.
     
    Hopefulheart likes this.
  7. SparkleSneha

    SparkleSneha New IL'ite

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    Thanks Rihana, laks , Zales

    Yes, I have volunteered to be Room Parent for my daughters class. I think that would give me a good start to get connected to other moms. I will speak to teacher / counselor towards the next week when I am officially RP. She is enrolled in swimming and Music. She is a chatterbox in home or in one2one situation but trust be she does not speak even 5 words when in a group or even if she speaks she speaks sooo softly that noone can hear her so I think other girls don't take her seriously at all. I explain her that she needs to open up and speak and not be shy - they are same girls whom she knows for last 2 years. But she says I don't know what to speak .... i am kind of lost.

    At this point I am pinning all my hopes on being able to connect to few moms by becoming Room Parent....
     
    Laks09 likes this.
  8. sbonigala

    sbonigala Platinum IL'ite

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    Hi Sneha,
    First things first - You are not alone, Believe me you are not alone.
    My daughter has been through this and it BROKE me apart to see her like that. She had this issue from 5 years till she turned 8.
    Now she is a completely different person.
    And she accepts that she was not so happy earlier and was not confident earlier. She laughs at her old dull self.

    Often she would come home crying and grumpy and was very much depressed to go to school.
    Daily she would tell me about how she wants to play with her friends but how nobody wants to play with her.
    I wrote to her class teacher and said that my daughter feels, rejected and does not find school interesting anymore because no one is ready to play with her or eat with her during breaks.
    The teacher was very kind and immediately called me for a meeting.
    When I met her I told her everything that my daughter says and feels about her not being made a part of the group.

    DD was a different person at school - Moody and shy. She is pampered a lot so she was unable to take joke as a joke but would end up crying of someone pulled her leg or made a joke about anything concerning her. I used to explain to her why is it important to be bold and take things easy and why is it important to master the art of making friends in any situation. Now she's getting there.

    Anyway, teacher then said they have this special vouchers for those kids who behave well and that she would give my daughter some vouchers immediately but in a way that she believes she earned it by her hard work.
    So teacher gave the class some drawing work and my daughter draws really well for her age and then teacher showed it to whole class and then presented vouchers.
    With these vouchers, the kids get access to special play area in the school. So generally the kids with vouchers are considered "cool".

    This she did couple of times and soon my daughter started getting party invites and parents began calling me to ask if they could take her for a movie with their kids or tag along for a picnic.

    Soon we moved to a different city. I freaked out because as soon as she settled well with friends she is being moved to a new school and we had no idea what to expect from the new school.

    It was very surprising that within couple of weeks, DD made friends with 2 girls and they used to say hi and bye every day. One day during term holidays we went to a mall. There was another girl (3rd girl) who came to the mall and she saw me, came running to me asking for DD. Her mom came too. She was saying how much her daughter likes mine. And when DD came both the girls hugged each other.
    At the end of term 1, DD has been chosen unanimously as the student Rep for this academic year.
    She got selected for a reputed choir and has been chosen for school singing group.
    She's happy than before. She laughs at how she failed make friends.
    She had issues when she was 6-7. Now she's 9-10. She is confident and knows that she can make friends anywhere.
    I am not saying its a simple issue. Its just that kids spend more time in school so the teachers know them too - not just us. My DD was very shy but now she's a pataka - she has loads of friends.

    Talking to teachers helps a lot. Keep telling her that you love her come what may and keep encouraging her to take things easy. Keep reminding her that she is capable of anything and She can achieve anything. Buy her good books that keep her company while she is yet to make friends. With good books its easy to talk to people.

    Hope I made some sense.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2016
    shobhamma likes this.

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