Re: daughter and no after school social life

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-29-2011
Re: daughter and no after school social life
Tue, 04-17-2012 - 5:33pm

Hi all. I am a mother to an eleven year old girl. Very thoughtful, very talented (singing, dancing and drawing) and does well in school. However, I am finding an extremely confusing social situation that has not, of yet, cleared itself up.

I actually used to post years ago about issues with friendships. It has not really changed for the better. My daughter has friends in school. She occasionally gets invited to birthday parties. But consistent house friends have been practically non-existent. I have helped make acquaintances in the past, but friendships have been formed and for one reason or another, dissipated. Either the girls' had an argument and the other mother cut the friendship off, or there was discord in another friendship and the girls' decided to end it. Other moms show absolutely no interest in getting their kids together with mine after school in homes. Although I frequently hear, "your daughter is wonderful."

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 04-18-2012 - 10:36am

I think when kids get to a certain age, and I can't remember exactly when that is, it's really up to the kids to make their own social activities and not rely on the moms for getting together.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-29-2011
Wed, 04-18-2012 - 6:47pm

Thank you for answering. You are absolutely right. I take no part in creating playdates. Sometimes I just give it a little nudge. Today, in the afternoon, her, me and the four walls. I told her I would like to put her in some afterschool activity, but the only thing she wants is for me to hire a piano teacher to come to our home. I would love that - but it's so expensive.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Wed, 04-18-2012 - 7:04pm

Some kids just aren't as social as others.

Valerie, mom to 3 great kids
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Thu, 04-19-2012 - 2:02pm

I know that this probably doesn't help right now, but it might get much better next year if that's when she starts middle school. My ds12 was fairly quiet in elementary and didn't have a lot of long-lasting friendships (he also has a brother two years younger with whom he plays all the time). Middle school changed that so much - three musical groups, math club, technology club, a social club and running club (no kidding- this is the kid that I thought wouldn't be a joiner!).

The best part is that almost none of these groups cost money. Is your dd in 5th grade? Can she join band, choir or orchestra? Is there a community theater where she could volunteer? Is there an "arts in the park" program? Could she be a mother's helper? One group of girls post 5th grade here did a "summer camp" for 4-7year olds - they had it at one of their houses, under adult supervision and taught art lessons and had fun activities. They just put up a flyer around the neighborhood and parents were thrilled to get a 2-hour break in their day in the summer at a low cost!

I know that these aren't exactly what you're looking for. Honestly, I don't know that my ds will ever have a "bestie" whom he calls all the time, has sleepovers with, etc... that's just not him. But, that doesn't mean that your dd can't have a really fun, fulfilling life (my ds loves all his groups and is "friendly" with tons of kids, albeit not particularly close to many).

I also second the doing activities with her if you're able to - even if you can take 30 minutes and do something with her - a walk, a zumba video from the library, watching an educational video together...Don't feel guilty that you can't afford classes for her and don't think it's the end - my dd21 never did an art class when she was younger, we did zilch to develop her talent (not that I'm bragging about this, lol, but it just happened that way). She took a number of art classes in high school, was named outstanding artist her senior year, even got a $1000 art scholarship at college. She's graduating soon with a science degree, but still loves her art and enjoys painting to de-stress. Other dd has singing talent, but did only one year in a youth choir. After that, we couldn't swing it financially or logistically (my boys were young and had to be carted everywhere then). She started really doing it in middle and high school and show choir became the main focus of her high school and her main social group. Sure, there were kids who started performing at age 3 and had private lessons in elementary school, but she did very well, caught up and surpassed.

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Thu, 04-19-2012 - 11:53pm
SHe may not want too much out side of school, for some they just need to decompress. But, I have a feeling she is mimicing what she sees you doing. Perhaps you both can step outside of your comfort zones? Join a mother/daughter book club at the library, if they don't have one, see if they are willing to help you sponser one! You may both land up with friends. Help with a school play, another great way to meet other moms and make new friends.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-20-2012
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 1:32pm

Wow, you described my DD perfectly. I wish I had some great advice but since we're in the same boat, I am looking for ideas too. I keep bugging her to get the phone numbers of the couple of girls she hangs out with at school but she says she keeps forgetting to. At any rate, you're not alone!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-29-2011
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 1:55pm

Thank you all for your responses. Theresa, you are right. I recently searched online and found some free or low cost activities for children from single parent households. These include summer camps, music grants, etc.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-27-2006
Sat, 04-21-2012 - 10:31pm
You are also describing my DD who is in MS and doesn't talk to/hang out with anyone outside of school. No one in the neighborhood so she is basically a loner on weekends and breaks. She isn't popular in school either though, so to me that explains it. MS is hard. We did scouts and other activities for a while but nothing really stuck outside of the activity. She wanted to stop Scouts but does still do sports. Yes, it does break my heart:(
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Mon, 04-23-2012 - 4:39am

>>why would other moms not initiate anything afterschool? <<

There's a number of reasons why my I don't initiate after school playdates.

1. My daughter doesn't really want them.