Very sad 7yo - what to do? (long)

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2005
Very sad 7yo - what to do? (long)
5
Tue, 10-11-2005 - 10:03pm

My DD is an outgoing, happy first-born child. She goes to a small Christian school with 2 second grade classes of about 15 kids each. She always has stories from school - all fun and games, etc.

Now and again, she tells me she doesn't have any good friends at school. She will spend time crying and whimpering and telling me about how the kids don't play with her at recess, don't include her in their games, don't join her "club" she's trying to have - things like that. The one that's got her upset tonight is basketball - no one will pass to her eventhough (she says) she's a good dribbler, and it's a team sport and everyone is supposed to be included, etc., etc.

Last year, when I talked to the teacher about it, she was really surprised because my DD is always playing with someone somewhere. I have no reason to doubt anything this teacher said, and she followed up with it, too, as the year went by. She has playdates with friends, usually once a week, sometimes twice.

I don't doubt that she is having these feelings, but my gut tells me two things. One, my DD likes to be in charge, and if she isn't, I think she feels like no one wants to play with her. When, in reality, maybe it's just that no one wants to play that particular thing she suggested. The second thing is that she is very tender hearted. I tried to explain to her that, in sports especially, kids just yell at each other. They don't talk sweet and kind, and that if she wants to play in sports, she needs to toughen up.

What can I do for her? Of course, I will breach this with her teacher this year. I feel that she's too young to just muddle through this by herself. Some of the kids she has 'troubles' with I've gotten to know, and, frankly, they have pretty bossy attitudes - many of them are first born kids, which is who she has the most troubles with. It just seems that they all want to be the boss! I would imagine that the same could be said of my DD. Believe me, I know she is not the angel she's making herself out to be! She is VERY bossy and is pretty much only truly happy when she's calling ALL the shots.

So, to any of you veteran moms who have BTDT, what am I to do? This is the second year with the same issues. If she didn't have any friends, she wouldn't have playdates, would she? If the kids didn't like her, why invite her over to their house? How can I help her to not feel this way? I don't want to brush it aside, but I don't want her to dwell on it? I've mentioned it to some of the moms and they've casually brought it up to their kids to see what they'd say. None of them said anything to support my DD's claim - I feel that she just takes things so much to heart that she's got to let it go. I don't know how to help her do that.

I'm at a loss. You know how it feels when your child is hurting - just awful!! And no matter what logic I used to make it positive, she countered it with something negative. I think she wanted to cry tonight, and no matter what I said, it wasn't going to help. Is it 'normal' for a 2nd grader to be so emotional? I remember 'wanting to cry' when I was in 5th, 6th grades and jr. high and high school - maybe I did in grade school, too, but just don't remember.

I'm counting on you, ladies! Give me some guidance here.

Thanks, in advance, for sharing your thoughts and ideas.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-09-2005
Wed, 10-12-2005 - 1:33pm

Well it's my second born (my son), not my first born that is like this. I think it's more personality then where they are in the family. My son is a leader and so he always does best with followers. I remember in nursery school there was a another little boy who like my son was a leader. They always clashed because you were either with my son or the other little boy. I felt sorry for all of the other little boys because they always had to choose which leader to follow. The other mom and I even tried playdates with both of our sons and then they would fight at each other's house over what they were going to play next.

I think as a mom you just have to keep talking to your daughter and remind her that not everyone wants to do it her way. When she has friends over keep an eye on her that she doesn't get to bossy. I know with my son I have to keep reminding him that his friends don't always want to do the same thing he wants to do and they are the guest in our home. My son is also very sensitive and his feelings get hurt easily when kids don't want to play with him, but that's when again I get to explain to him that this is what happens when he doesn't listen to what other kids want too. It has been somewhat better as he has gotten older, but to be honest in the end it is their personality and that you can't change, you can only advise them.

Dana

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 10-12-2005 - 2:51pm

It does hurt to see your kids hurt. We went through friendship issues, too. The difference is that Tre wasn't feeling comfy around one "friend" but the other kids liked him so he felt pressured. We talked and he's OK, now, with minor situations to work out with this child.


I think you're doing the right thing. It's important to listen. I think when she tells you those things she is really feeling them. I just htink kids are like fish out of water....their feelings flop back and forth because they are still trying

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2004
Wed, 10-12-2005 - 5:48pm

I have two thoughts for you:

1) When she is upset or hurt because another child either will not play with her or has said something that she finds hurtful, brainstorm with her to find all the reasons why that child may have acted the way he or she did. For example, it could be that they declined to play with her because they were busy doing something else, or didn't want to play the same game that your DD wanted play, or perhaps they were tired or not feeling good or had already promised someone else that they would play a different game. Help her come up with lots of reasons for the other child's behavior so that she can see that the one reason she is fixing on - that the other child is rejecting her - is only ONE of a multitude of possible reasons for her friend's behavior and that LIKELY it isn't that she isn't well-liked. People make their choices for all different kinds of reasons that usually don't have anything to do with us.

Then ask her if she would like to invite that child over for a playdate (which it already sounds like you are doing). This will help foster varied friendships away from the social pressure cooker of school. Also the more play time she has with other children, the more opportunities for her to learn appropriate social behavior, such as how to break in to a group without disrupting and irritating everyone and how to 'sell' her ideas for play to other children in a way that is not bossy and offensive. During these playdates station yourself nearby with a book. If you see her acting inappropriately and the other child is getting upset, call your daughter out of earshot and talk about kind ways for her to handle the situation. When you notice success, make a mental note of it and compliment her on it after the playdate is over.

2) Strategize with her before school and before playdates about what to do if a problem arises. Suggest ways that she can negotiate with the other kids without getting her feelings hurt or offending the other children. You could discuss with her, for example, how she might suggest taking turns, first playing the other girls game for five minutes and then playing her game for five minutes.

Hope some of this helps - my son is the same way and this is what I am trying with him. So far it seems to be working - I do see some improvement, although whether he would have just matured without any of the above remains to be seen! :)

Susan

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2005
Wed, 10-12-2005 - 10:41pm

Wow! I knew I could count on this board! Such great advice and worthy opinions. I read these outloud with my DD. I asked what she thought that other kids/people that we don't even know have the SAME kinds of things going on - she thought it was "interesting."

Tonight, she told me that she loves school! I was so happy to hear that!!

I know I will need to continue working with her. GEEZ! What will happen when she becomes a teenager?!?

Thanks again - Lori

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 10-19-2005 - 1:58pm
I'm glad we helped! BTW, never ask what's next....you don't want to find out too soon! LOL!! *Wink*
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