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My 5th grade daughter is having trouble making friends at school.
Family & Parenting / 12:56 PM - Wednesday May 25, 2011

My 5th grade daughter is having trouble making friends at school.

My daughter has been enrolled in an all girls school for 7 years now. For the past couple of years she has been wanting to leave because she has no friends. She has aquaintances but nothing meaningful. We have spoken to her teachers time and again and really have not been able to pin down any one reason why she has such struggles. She is an only child and both my wife and I are very close with her. She is very bright and has been labeled as "very mature" for her age. I think there must be something more. We have gone out of our way to invite class mates over. They always seem to have fun, the parents often comment on how much fun their child had, but they never reciprocate. My daugher rarely gets invited to play or for a sleep over. My heart is broken. We went to visit the local middle school and my daughter is just dying to go. She wants a fresh start so badly and frankly I cannot blame her. I guess I am just wondering if there is anything else I can do to help her? We talk a lot about how to be a good friend. I see her do and say all the right things with friends when I am around. I don't hover, but there are instances I hear thing. My daughter seems like a pretty happy, well adjusted kid. We as a family are very close. We do a lot together. The only thing she really wishes for is that one good friend her own age. We are going to let her change schools. She has been at this one school so long, she has stopped trying to make in roads with these children. We are not close to any of the parents either so that does not help. They all seem so disinterested. Any parenting advice would be greatly appreciated.

Update: May 25, 2011.
Wow, I am amazed at the responses so far. Thank you. Some follow up to questions. Our neighborhood is very small unfortunately and has only a couple of kids. One is a girl who is a year younger and my daughter has been pursuing her friendship and things seem to be going ok. My daughter REALLY REALLY wants to leave her current school, which is a private school. She is the one who has been pushing us to change schools. There are a couple of queen bees in the school who are queen bees in the making who are not all that nice to her. Unfortunately, one of them is beloved by the faculty which further enables her elistist behavior. I have mentioned this to the faculty at the school. There is no overt bullying but bullying by exclusion has to be part of the equation. My daughter plays violin. She is pretty good and belongs to a group that performs at festivals around the area playing irish music. So she does have that. Most of the kids are older, but she really enjoys it. I definately agree that being a loner is not necessarily bad and generally, my daughter is very happy. She is not very athletic, which surprises us because my wife and I are very athletic. I requested that if we allow her to change schools, she should try out for a team. I guess my main concern that I will voice only here, is "could there be something wrong with her developmentally". Are we missing something? Are we too close to see the reality of who she is? she never gets in trouble at school, she is generally very well mannered with us and she has a really good attitude. I just want answers, my biggest fear was in one response. What if she goes to this new school and she still finds no friends. What then. Will it devastate her self esteem? I think I cannot allow that fear to prevent us from trying. I appreciate everyones insights. Thanks you!

- Asked by concerneddad01, A Father Figure, Male, 36-45

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Be there for her as a parent let her change schools but don't do it so much that she thinks she can run away when something not right. It is possibly difficult for her because she is more mature than the other kids. In time the other kids will reach her maturity and thank god that in the time being she is so well adjusted. A friend will come.

- Response by troym123, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 36-45, Who Cares?

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It sounds like you are doing all the right things. I would let her have a fresh start. I think she might be trying too hard and kids as well as adults sense desperation.
Get her involved in sports, dancing, extra curricular activities of her choice. Sometimes bonding comes with common interest. Tell her to have a friend you have to be a friend. Also not to concentrate on just having one friend..become part of the group. Rosey

- Response by roseytalks, A Thinker, Female, Who Cares?, Tampa, Who Cares?

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I don't know what anybody else wrote, because I posted as soon as I read this.

Here's the missing link,and THIS is what you and wifey need to discuss with the child.

SHE IS BEING BULLIED. MERCILESSLY BULLIED.

There is ONE GIRL in her class that is the queen bee, that everybody likes, and nobody wants to cross.

And that girl, whomever she is, for some reason, has decided to hate your daughter and make her life miserable.

That's why she's so anxious to go to another school. She'll have FRIENDS at another school, because THAT GIRL doesn't GO there, so nobody will be scared to be friends with her.

I KNOW I'm right. I just KNOW IT.

TALK to her. Ask her outright, WHO IS BULLYING YOU BABY?

She's being bullied. BET on it.

Good luck daddy....don't kill nobody.

- Response by hnygrl, A Career Woman, Female, 46-55, Managerial

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That she is more mature, as you pointed out, is probably the "problem", but not a bad one to have.

A friend's son had this issue. No one picked on him, he just didn't have any good friends. He simply didn't have anything in common with the kids at his school, but when a county-wide gifted student club was formed, guess what? Lots of friends.




- Response by trawna, A Career Woman, Female, 46-55, Toronto, Consulting

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I think the problem is the school. I get along with guys WAY better than with women and I have been like this since I was 5! I always played baseball etc with the boys at recess and just relate better to them. The same thing could be so for your daughter. I would put her in a co-ed school. I knew this lady who homeschooled for the simple reason she did not want her 13 yr old daughter meeting guys.....You know this girl is gonna rebel some day and it won't be pretty or she will end up an old maid. Ask you daughter if she wants to go to another school.

- Response by kmf1, A Life of the Party, Female, 46-55, Minneapolis, Who Cares?

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Also, why aren't you close to any of the other parents? After all you've been there 7 years. Kids use their parents as examples and if you haven't made friends in seven years,why would your daughter make any? Did you sign up for committee work- invite families cover-up familiarize yourself with the students? So often people are trying to male friends with kids. Hey I signed up all sorts of kids for karate and swimming and made it easy for other parents to send their kids as mine were excelling so much.it is important for you to male the effort too and to not dump it all in your daughters lap

- Response by patresi, An Intellectual Guy, Male, Who Cares?, Who Cares?

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It will help her alot if she joins some extra curricular activities. That will allow a forced, yet natural circle of people for her to be around with a common interest which is perfect for making friends. It will costs you some money but it will be worth it. She'll also become a more interesting person since she'll have more things/hobbies to talk about with others at school. In addition, it will help her try new adventures, develop new schools, and find her niche.

- Response by fallleaves, A Cool Mom, Female, 36-45

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Are you guys black? No one likes black people.

Better not reveal my screen name with this response, otherwise the hate mail will fly.

- Response by inotnuts, A Father Figure, Male, 36-45, Newark, Retired

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