4Th Grade

Updated on May 31, 2011
M.N. asks from Charlotte, NC
9 answers

For those of you who have switched schools, how can I help her make a positive impression? She is very shy so we are working on smiling, but she knows how to introduce herself to kids. I asked a couple of moms I know about a playdate and they are open to it over the summer. Should I make it super fun like a pool party or just let the girls play?

Also, how do I get her to not talk about being bullied at the other school? Some people think badly of her now that we have shared what happened, like she must be doing something to deserve it almost.

She is going into fourth. This week we have attended a coed sports party, a bowling party, and a coed pool party. She had zero problems. One girl was rude, she chalked it up to the girl have another moody day and didn't let it bother her. At bowling, she taught everyone how to throw strikes when they asked her. At the pool she was the only girl who can do flips off the board and only two boys can so they were all giving her compliments. It was such a nice change!

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answers from Pocatello on

Being gifted and talented, unfortunately can make it harder to have friends and relationships when you are a kid. I was "gifted" and I think that expected other kids to act more fairly, more "rationally" - and I just didn't "get" other kids, and they didn't always "get" me. I always seemed to interact better with adults and older kids, than I did with my peers.

My only advice is that as a parent it may be wise to take a step back when your daughter is having a socially "awkward" time with other kids... rather than stepping in. She IS smart... and in time that will probably help her to build lasting friendships that have a great deal of substance and depth. I know when my mom tried to fix my "issues" with other kids, it usually backfired, making things more stessful at school.

What did help was joining structured confidence-building groups and activities. Martial Arts helped me build the inner strength to be able to brush off the teasing, bullying and downright nastiness that unfortunately is just a "part of life" during preadolescence. Girl Scouts gave me the opportunity to learn leadership skills and apply my talents in a way that I could "prove myself" to my peers (and myself) and I actually made great friends there.

I am much more outgoing today, and time helped a lot. That said I still don't have "bucketloads" of friends... but I am ok with that. At some point your daughter with either become a "less is more" type of person when it comes to friendships, or she will choose to overlook the less idealistic aspects of social "drama" and will probably have tons of friends.

Unfortunately at her age it is SO hard to accept the fact that the world doesn't work, and won't work, the way it "ought". The best thing my mom ever told me at that age was that "people are sometimes cruel, sometimes they are mean, and there is nothing you can do to change that... what you can do is be the most compassionate, and wise person that you can be, and if you are diligent, someday you will reap the rewards of it." She was right.

Good Luck to you and your daughter!

PS.... did you change the question? It seems like it is completely different! I hope I am not "off my rocker"... hehe!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

trust your child. let her develop her own way of dealing with social situations, don't try to over-coach her. be positive and encouraging, but not a cheerleader. she can't ever learn her own coping strategies if you're right in there *fixing* everything for her.
a playdate over the summer is a great idea. low key. no pressure. no eagle-eyeing the girls to see if they're playing 'right' with your daughter.
trust her.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We have moved a lot and I too have a very shy daughter. I am not sure how old your daughter is. In elementary school, the best way to handle it is let her know that since she is new most kids are going to want to be her friend in the beginning. Then she will fall into a comfort zone with certain kids and she will then have a group of friends. My daughter still has so many kids saying hi to her in the halls and she barely looks at them and says hi. I told her, after observing this, that if she does not say hi back then they might think she is being rude and they will eventually stop saying hi to her. She needs to hold her head up and say hi. I have told her to walk tall and be proud of who she is. We are still working on it, but she now has a group of 5 friends and they are all going to middle school next year. We are planning on keeping the friendship going over the summer with sleep overs and pool parties. Even a few trips to the movies and other outings!

Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I read your question before it was edited and I read some of your other posts. You seem like someone who likes to be in control of things. You don't let people get the best of you or take advantage of you. Don't take that as an insult. That's not a bad thing but it seems like it frustrates you that your daughter is shy and reserved. You are NOT helping by taking control of this issue. I know you are upset by the way kids have treated her. I would be furious too but you need to give it a rest. Stop talking about next year. Stop talking about the bullying. Stop telling her how to be a friend. Stop trying to control her. When you constantly discuss this, or bad mouth other kids, or talk about what has happened to her, you make her feel like a weak victim. She is an intelligent child who knows how to be a friend. Tell her just to be herself. Some of us, including me aren't comfortable approaching a group of people. I have a small circle of friends and I'm fine with that. If you want her to be strong, be positive. Who cares if she played with younger kids. Praise her for making the effort to get to know other kids. If she comes home next year and says so and so was mean, ask her how she handled it. Encourage her. Talk about what she could have done. TEACH her and then let her handle it. Don't blame her. Don't ask if she told them about her previous experiences. There will ALWAYS be mean kids. You are going to be hypersensitive, as we all would be after her previous experiences but you are going to have to learn when to jump in and when to let it go. If you don't, she will constantly struggle with this issue which will affect her as an adult too.
As far as this summer is concerned, let your daughter have some control and tell you what she wants to do. I would even let her plan it.
I truly hope she has a wonderful year at her new school!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Owensboro on

Just say, sweetie I know you want to have friends, and i want you to have friends to but, i dont want you to be rejected or bullied again so keep it to yourself and be true to yourself!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Have an informal party. It'll help a lot when school starts to see familiar faces in the halls.
you dont say what age so its hard to be much help.
One thing I taught my preteen daughter is to start with a compliment. Not to walk up and say - hi my name is sarah, but - hey, i like your sweater, im new here. my name is sarah. If you start with a compliment the answer is thank you. if you just walk up and introduce yourself the response is ....so? and they just stare at you blankly. It's a terrible feeling! But girls love compliments, so it's a good ice breaker. Also, make sure she has something they might like and give her a compliment on - like a new juicy backpack or something. It really helps the confidence level to have something pretty and new that she can be proud of.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

I recommend the book " The Power of a Praying Parent" by Stormie O'Martian. It has every prayer you can imagine for your children, including the type of friends they have.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lexington on

Going into 4th grade, I'm assuming she is around 9. This age is almost as difficult as the teen transition. Try not to over parent her right now. Just let her know that you are there for her if she needs to talk (which you seem to have already done if there was a previous bully problem and you knew about it). She may need you to just hang with her or to back off. Ask her what she needs. They understand more about their own needs than they let on.

Good luck to you both!

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