7 Year Old Who Says She Has No Friends-but I See Differently

Updated on December 24, 2006
M.S. asks from Saint Paul, MN
6 answers

I have a 7 year old who is in first grade and I love her new school and her teacher (this is not where she went to school for kindergarten). She has always had a lot of friends, invited to birthday parties all the time, etc. Well, I went to her conferences and the teacher told me that other parents have called and said that their kids are scared of her; that made my heart just sink-I couldn't believe my ears-I asked what she does that makes them "scared", she said she tells kids to stop staring at her, to stop copying her, and hounds them when they get to go to the prize bucket. To me it sounds like she is expressing herself,but I just don't know why kids are saying they're scared of her-it makes me feel like such a bad mom or something.She is taller and a little more mature than most seven year olds-so I am wondering if that could be why other kids are saying this, but I hate to make excuses. Now I just found out she is meeting with a behavior specialist at school once a week (mostly because on occasion she doesn't follow directions or complete her work), and she told the behaviorist that she doesn't have any friends and no one wants to play with her. I talked to her about it and she said her friends in her class always want to play with someone else. Is anyone going through anything like this, or have you in the past? What to I say to my daugther or how do I help her keep friends-or is this just a phase that maybe seven yearolds go through? help!!

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answers from Minneapolis on

I would request a meeting with the teacher and behavior person that she has been seeing. Then I'd ask for their input on what do to next. Lots of kids need help knowing what to do to make friends. Then talk to your daughter about the things she's doing that aren't friendly and why.
I'd also ask your daughter who she thinks would be a good friend for her and give her some ideas of how to make friends with that child - draw her a picture at home and give it to her, write her a note, ask her to play at recess, invite her for a playdate, give her a sticker or gummy worm, smile at her, etc. 1st graders are very forgiving so even if your daughter did say or do some things she shouldn't have, it doesn't mean the kids will never like her.
I'd also give her some ideas on what to do if someone isn't responding the way she wants - like if she wants to play with a certain person at recess and the person isn't being nice, walk away and make a new friend.
I teach kindergarten and this is VERY common. I know it is probably heartbreaking for you to have your daughter struggling...don't worry, it will pass and she will have learned a lot! Make sure to connect with the teacher about it...he or she really can help to encourage friendships especially in first grade. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Green Bay on

Hi M.. This is a heart breaking situation for a mom. Every mom wants their child to be happy and have good friends. I have four daughters and every time one of them would tell me of their friend troubles, that "momma bear" in me wanted to roar.

Her feeling as if she has no friends is pretty common. It may be true, but then again, it may just be insecurity talking. I know it's really difficult to face behavioral problems in our children because we feel it reflects on our parenting. However, doing what's best for our child sometimes means swallowing our pride and facing the problems our child has.

My youngest, 5, has been my greatest challange. She is bossy, opinionated, far to smart for her own good, and can be mean spritited. Over the summer and fall, she kept crying that none of the neighborhood kids would play with her. I told her that "no one wants to play with someone that is bossy, rude, or mean." I tell her that frequently. I never say "you are being bossy, rude, and mean". I say, "no one want's to play with someone that is bossy, rude, or mean." That way she can come up with her own conclusions. It has made the biggest difference over time. Now I am talking about 6 months of gentle reminders and encouragement to be a good and sharing friend. She's FINALLY starting to modify the bad behavior and realizing that you make friends by being friendly.

Like others have mentioned, the kids in her class could very well be misinterpreting her behavior. If that's the case, talk to her about it. Tell her that some people mistake shyness or insecurity, for being stuck up. Help her to understand their behavior so she can make some adjustments.

I hope things get better for you and your little sweety.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Your daughter could be trying to hard and scaring kids off. Now she has a reputation and noone wants to give her a chance. So she's being mean and rude for a shield it's a self mechanism thing if they don't like you give them a reason ya know. I think your daughter needs a fresh start something obviously went wrong fromt he start she would probaly do better in a differnt classroom with different students where she could start over and make a better impression. I switched schools in 3rd grade and was so extremely shy they took it as if I was rude or mean and I wasn't and that was the hardest year of my life. I cryed everyday at school. There was only 11 3rd graders in the entire school so they had their best friends and noone would give me a chance. They picked on me and tormented me and by 5th or 6th grade when I had my best friend another new student they finally left me alone. I would seriously think about putting her in a new classroom with new kids she doens't know or a new school the problem is gonna get worse and the kids that already dislike her have their minds and opionions set on her and it would take ALOT for the kids to think of her as any other way. You could also get in involved in sports and activities outside of school to make friends and then you could judge and see if her behavior still happens outside of school or if it's just a school thing.

I know I am raisin by myself a only child too. Mine is 5 in kindergarten and she is so use to hanging out with me and adults she sometimes is stuck up or rude. She cares way to much about clothes, fashion and talks about this one girl at schools ugly shoes and stuff. I keep trying to teach her to keep making lots of friends and be nice to everyone and keep her thoughts and comments to herself and try and teach her how it hurts others feelings and to be nice to anyone that is nice to her no matter what and if someone is mean to her to stick up for herself. It's hard though being a girl.

A friend of mine once told me her mom would tell her to make a new friend everyday. That way you always have friends and are always meeting new people.



answers from Rochester on

Hi M., I had a similiar situation last year when my daughter was in 1st grade. I would ask her everyday how school was and what she did at recess and she would tell me about her day but when it came to recess she would say she did nothing and when I asked her if she played with any of the girls she said "no, I don't have any friends". It broke my heart. She had a friend all the way through Kindergarten and was always so social at day care but then at the beginning of 1st grade she moved away and just couldn't seem to make any friends after that at school. She said she would try to make friends but they would just run away from her or they would want to play on the jungle gym and she didn't like to play on that because she said she was to scared. So we talked to the teacher and told her she was having a hard time making friends so she kept an eye out and when the opportunity arrived she would coax her to do things with some of the other girls in her class and we would keep coaxing her to try the jungle gym and she slowly made friends and has kept them through this year. The teacher should have helped and send her in the right direction to help make friends rather then just turn her over to someone else. If you don't get satisfaction with the teacher then I would go to the principal that is a teachers job to not only teach them book studies but to help with their social skills. Good Luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi M.,
I had this happen to me too. My advice is to call your daughter's teacher...ask her who she plays with (if she says nobody, then ask who she sits next to, if she just sits by boys, then ask hr to move her next to some nice girls). Then...get the parent's phone number of these children, call and ask if that child can come over for a "play date". Arrange a different one over 3 or so days. During the play dates...make sure they have fun and make a fun snack and let them bond without you around. You'll know if this is the "one" that will be your daughter's best friend. Be sure to have her play with 2-3 girls separatly so in case there's a falling out...she won't feel friendless.

Good Luck!
J. N



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi M.,
Did anyone talk to about the problems before they sent her to see the behavioral specialist? Did you give them permission? The teacher made it seem like a big deal then why didn't she call you at home when the problems started? It is very normal for children to say they don't have any friends at that age. Everything is new to them. Sometimes they feel confident and then sometimes they are unsure of themselves. First grade is a big transition from kindergarten and some kids have a harder time making the leap. Following directions and staying at task affects all kids at some point. Sounds like your daughter just needs to be explained about boundaries. You can do role playing in a very positive way with her. Ask her simple questions but don't put her on the spot. Lots of love and hugs. See if she can come up with reasonable solutions. Maybe she feels like her personal space is a little invaded. It is hard when you get news like that but please don't beat yourself up. It is a learning curve for all. I would also meet with the teacher and the specialist and find out what they are telling your daughter. Sometimes molehills can be turned into mountains. Is there something the teacher can do to handle the situation immediately? My daughter had a hard time adjusting to kindergarten. She has always been a sweet loving and easy-going child and she knew everyone in her preschool class and became a bit of a helper to her teacher. Kindergarten started and then problems started. She was moody, had no friends and hated school. Finally I asked her what was bothering her and she started to cry that there were too many kids in her class and she didn't know everyone. She felt overwhelmed and unsure of herself. She just let it out and then things seemed to turn around for her. I hope this helps. L. B.

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