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Am completely lost for ideas

AmumAmum Member Posts: 5 Listener
This discussion was created from comments split from: Hello my name is Hannah and I'm an educational psychologist.

Replies

  • AmumAmum Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Hi,

    I have an 8-year old daughter and she is having friendship problems. There is a girl in her class (Verity - I have changed names though :) ) who she has known for years, who has a very bright personality and is very popular. However, she also has a bit of a mean streak in her (so has my daughter!) so they often fight. We are friends with the girl's mum so try to resolve the problems as they come. The main problem is when there are other girls involved. As soon as somebody else wants to be friends with Verity, my daughter and the new friend start fighting. It was pretty awful last year when my daughter fell out completely with another friend. This year that third girl ended up in another class so situation calmed down a bit.

    However, an old school friend of Verity's who was away for a year returned to school this October and naturally wanted to be best friends with Verity too.

    And this is where it spiralled out of control again. When there is two of them in any combination, it is all fine. But in school when all three are together, something happens. My daughter came home with two red cards recently for fighting with Elizabeth (the third girl). My daughter keeps saying that she hates Elizabeth, then immediately wants to invite her for a sleepover. I tried to confront my daughter today but she started crying and shaking and saying that the teacher was unfair because both of them were fighting, and Elizabeth is mean to her and so on and so on. So I did not manage to get any sensible information out of her. Since it was bed time and my daughter can get hysterical and then get sick, I let it go.

    I do not know exactly what is going on in school but am very reluctant to involve school as had some issues with SEN coordinator before.

    On the other hand, I just cannot get through to my daughter. She does not seem to be able to face the reality and assess her own behaviour, and I failed repeatedly to even get information out of her, let alone try to discuss it.

    Am completely lost for ideas, maybe you could point me in the right direction. Might be useful to mention that have a reasonable relationship with Elizabeth's mother too so could discuss things but at the moment feel rather ashamed of my daughter's antics and do not have any sensible plan on how to tackle this behaviour...

    Regards,
    Lana
  • EducationalPsychologistEducationalPsychologist Member Posts: 119 Courageous
    Hello Lana, Friendship difficulties, jealousy, etc are very common, especially in girls. Unfortunately, as the difficulties are taking place at school you are most likely going to need to work with the school to address the problems. Perhaps there is a member of staff you are comfortable with that you could talk to? It would be helpful for the school to consider the social dynamics of the whole class and use PSHE sessions to explore friendship issues. The Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) materials can be used. For at home you might like to use some books... Try searching 'A Smart Girl's Guide to Friendship' on Amazon. You could also consider arranging play dates with some girls from your daughter's class that she doesn't usually socialise with. It might help if she develops friendships with some more girls so that there is less pressure to only play with the one girl she likes best? It's great that you are friends with the other girl's mother so keep working together to address the issues as they arise. Though, as mentioned before, this really needs tackling at school as that is where the social interactions are mostly taking place. Ask the school to include you in discussions so you can support and reinforce what they are doing at home.
  • AmumAmum Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Hi Hannah,
    many thanks for your reply it gave me some ideas and some confidence as well. We have talked with Elizabeth's mum and tried to reconcile the girls a bit. I had a firm chat with my daughter concerning physical fights and it seems to have had an effect. They still argue a lot but on the whole the situation seems to be better at this point. I am still reluctant to involve the school but will see if I feel I need to talk to them. Am planning to buy the book you mention as well. Fingers crossed the girls will outgrow their problems soon...
    Regards,
    Lana
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