My 9 year old girl is having trouble making and keeping friends
My daughter entered her elementary school in 1st grade and made some good friends. Unfortunately, as they grew older, 7 & 8 they started growing apart and no longer played together. She started making new friends in second and third grade but for some reason these friends started playing with other kids and my 9 year old always was left out. Because she is older shes finding it hard to approach other kids to be friends with because shes afraid she will be perceived as "annoying". When I have asked her why she stopped being friends with these girls/boys, she comments that they "Don't want to play the same things at recess as her", "Two of her friends became best friends and ignored her". So it seems that other kids have bonded but my daughter has not yet found that special friend she can call "Best Friend". In comparison my 6 year old has two best friends that call every weekend and they make plans. Nobody calls my 9 year old nor does she ask to call anyone after school or on the weekend. She does play on a town Soccer and basketball league and is in the towns' Girl Scout program yet this has not helped. My husband and I work full time therefore she is in a after school program at the school that keeps her in school until 5:30 4 days a week. I'm not sure if this contributes. We also live on a busy street with no other children around. We are looking to move to a bigger house and both my girls are adament that they want to stay within their existing school district, however I'm wondering if moving to a new school district would help my 9 year old. Your advice on how my 9 year old can make and keep new friends would be greatly appreciated.
The key thing is to 'stay in the mix' - i.e., keep up the involvement with age-typical peer group activities. The move will likely have little or nothing to offer by way of your daughter's peer relationships. It won't solve the problem and it won't hurt either. It does appear that something is occurring that makes it hard for her to establish herself with peers. Nothing you describe indicates what might be going on. You might check in with the faculty at school and with parents of other children she knows and see if they can offer you some insight. Especially with girls, the second and third grade years are challenging some of the time because the kids tend to have problems sharing friendships. That is, they do well in duos but start to have trouble with trios or triangles. Their friend who then makes another friend is threatening because such children tend to see the peer's new friendship as a threat to their own friendship. If this is the case with your daughter, development takes care of the problem most of the time.
Don't worry Mom. I have two daughters also. When I was pregnant everyone thought I was crazy, but it was like I knew what they were going to be like. It was easy for me to pick out names. I knew with my first she needed a "cool" name everyone would remember. My second was different, I could see her more layed back and quiet. I was right. In out town there is a primary school k,1,2 then elemantary 3,4,5. When my oldest started 3 she wasn't nervous or anything. A week after school started I went to the school for something and was standing in the hall. classes were changing and I told one of the teachers I was looking for my daughter. they asked her name and 4 of the 5th grade students knew who she was and took my right to her. After a week of school my daughter knew everyone in the school!!!. My youngest on the other hand stays in her own little world. She has the same friend she has had since kindergarden. She's not even wanting to be in the "cool" crowd. she is more into why she is in school. to learn. All kids are different. It's hard as a mom to think your child is not making friends well, or is being picked on. Kids are cruel. I know my youngest still likes to play dolls (she's 9). A lot of the girls in her class are into the electronic games and music, but she could care less. She still likes starwberry shortcake stuff. At school she would get picked on for it, but she just does her own thing. I teach my kids that being yourself is what makes you special, it doesn't matter what the other kids think. Everybody is different. She will make friends in her own time. You might call one ofthe mothers of a "old" friend and see if she will ask her child what the problem is. I have done that,I know we are supposed to let the girls figure things out on their own, but it's hard sometimes. Try calling a mom, you'll find out that way. Sorry for the book I wrote, once I get started, I can't stop. Good luck
Hello Mother of 2.. Thanks for the advice. Its nice to hear about other girls in the same age group and how they are developing socially. With my 9 year old, she is a straight "A" student and loves school. She does say she has friends in school, just not any "best friends". She is not introverted or unusual shes just a normal 9 year old without a best friend. When I ask her about it, sometimes it seems that this bothers her and other times she seems fine. I'm not going to pressure her about it, just keep an "eye" on the situation. I put alot of weight on social development because #1 I want my girls to have good friendships but also I want them to feel good about themselves. As a mother of girls, I'm sure you can relate to some of the concerns a mother would have if they felt their daughters had a bad self image. Luckily I don't believe my nine year old does, but I'm afraid if she doesn't bond with girls her age a bad self image could develope. Thank you again for your comments, they really helped. Good luck with your girls...
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