Parent Overreacting??

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2008
Parent Overreacting??
3
Wed, 07-02-2008 - 8:29pm
Hi - we have a bright, athletic, energetic 8 yr old girl - she has an older sister who is 13 - they get along fine even though the 13 yr old has definitely turned the teenage corner and is now much more interested in fashion and clothes and such. But here's my dilemma - my 8 yr old has always had friends and still does - her two best friends are ones from her pre-school days but they now all go to different schools but still see each other a lot on weekends and with play dates - but this school year that just ended (2nd Grade) she never really "clicked" with anyone - now she truly herself did not seem that upset about it - she still got invited to most b'day parties and a few sleepovers - but my wife has become VERY worried about all this and is insisting that our daughter must have some kind of physical nerve problem where she can't "read" the other kids and her social skills are lacking and she needs occupational therapy immediately. Now this troubles me - because this one classroom was the first time it happened - even her teacher told us that the popular cliche was a bunch of Queen B's who even devoured their own throughout the year so who cares if she didn't "fit in" with these mini-evil queens? She plays girls basketball and is one of the stars of her team, her grades were all A;s - she reads two levels above her grade - I just feel that my wife is overreacting and evey kid might have a rough patch with friends and socializing. I do talk to her about her energy - she can be a bit "on" at times but nothing ADD like (in fact she was tested for it in pre-school and doesnt have it). I just don't think we should focus on it in the sense of "you didn't make school friends this year so lets make sure you do NEXT year." I feel this draws a red circle around the whole thing and then the poor kid feels this unsaid pressure - man, I better make a good friend at school asap! I'm not putting my head in the sand at all - I feel this is part of parenting - you help them, talk to them, guide them - let them know that everyone goes through times like this but as I said, it's not like she's lonely or shy or doing poorly with school work. Sorry to ramble but advise would be appreciated. Anyone else go through times like this with their girls?
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 07-03-2008 - 12:36am

My daughter is only 5 and so I have not dealt with it as a parent yet. However I was a bit like that as a kid. I really didn't play the popularity game. I was very independent and didn't feel the need to do things because my friends or classmates were doing them. I didn't get involved in the drama that some girls thrive on. If I was told I couldn't be friends with someone, I'd ask why and the majority of the time I'd respond with you can't decide who my friends are and you're being silly. I went all the way through college having lots of school friends but I didn't always have a close friend in individual classes and I was okay with that.

Some bonuses of being like this were that I was rarely singled out. I was rarely picked on or teased in mean ways. I was rarely put in a spot to chose between friends even when those friends were mad at each other. I was never picked first for a team but I was never picked last either. Twice when a new kid tried to cause trouble by saying I had said or done something, it was immediately discounted because everyone knew how I was. If I had a problem with someone I wasn't going to go around complaining to other people. I was in leadership in high school, I was in clubs and on committees. I wasn't a leader (not class president or any elected officer) and I was never prom queen or even in the court. I had no desire to be those things but I had a great educational experience. I had good friends and I had people I could socialize with if my best friends were not in my class. I had the confidence to take classes that interested me and I knew I'd be fine even if none of my best friends wanted to take them. So despite not always having a close friendship in all my classes, I was very social, well liked and enjoyed my time at school.

Has your daughter's teacher giving you or your wife any reason to be concerned with her interaction with the other kids? Has your older daughter said anything about her being out of sinc with the other kids? It really is okay not to have a close friend in your second grade class. It's possible that next year she will have one in her class or she'll have someone she hangs out with at recess only. But again, its okay if she doesn't.

dawn200608.jpg picture by cariadlawn


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2007
Thu, 07-03-2008 - 2:16am

My daughter's going into fourth grade, and I've found that every year since she started school, the social scene has changed completely depending on who gets assigned to what class. Some years she's in a class with kids she "clicks" with and they're best friends, and other years she plays with various kids, but never really makes that close connection. I've learned not to worry too much because I know it's all going to change in September anyway.

In general, I would say that as long as your daughter is getting invited to birthday parties and sleepovers, and she doesn't seem upset about her social status, then it's probably just a case of not clicking with those particular kids in that particular class. I would wait and see what happens when the new school year starts -- if she's being ostracized or feels like she has no friends at all, you'll hear about it at home. Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-15-2007
Thu, 07-03-2008 - 11:09am
FWIW, I think you are 100% right in your assessment of the situation; why create a problem when there really isn't one? If she seems mostly happy and well-adjusted, is not being "bullied" or left out or hurt feelings-- it sounds to me like she is doing great!