Wednesday, March 22, 2006


My First Grader Has No Friends

When your first grader has no friends (like mine) there are ways as a parent to help out.

The obvious tips...speaking to your child's teacher about the situation, or setting up play dates with kids from the class is always recommended. But my belief, (at an early age) is kids need to learn the art of "how to win friends and influence people."

Here are some strategies I try to give my first grader...who at this moment is 'friendless.' And, not a day goes by when I'm not reminded of that fact.

1) You can't always be the mommy when playing house. Rotate that job.
2) Telling on everyone in the class is NEVER going to win anyone over. My daughter tells on kids if they look at her, or someone else the wrong way.
3) Stick with kids in your age group. If you're playing with the 3rd graders during recess, (like my daughter does) what are your own classmates to make of it?
4) Bring games to school that involve not just yourself. Jumprope is fine but kids should bring in longer ones for everyone to play with.
5) Lastly, try being nice (and not just to the teacher). Explain to kids that a little charm goes a long way and lasts a lifetime.

Good advice -- maybe even for some of us adults!

It would be so easy to just go in there and "fix" things for her, but all she would learn from that is that someone else can solve her problems for her if she makes enough of a fuss. While she may not know it at the moment, she is lucky to have you helping her become more independent!
I too, experienced this first hand. I have also had to work with my own children through this. Unfortunately, it doesn't change much.

You can teach your children that they cannot affect others but they can affect how they respond to others. The child who is often sensitive to others is the one who is invariably more hurt and more picked upon. Those who like to leave others out pick on those who give them the response they want, whatever that is.

I have had to teach my children that they CAN control their feelings. To invent something fun. I like to send something super cool to show and tell or do something super cool with the class that helps my child shine.

Also, encourage relationships with children who have parents of a like mind with you about discipline, etc. Meet for play dates at Mcdonalds, etc. It helps.

And remember, some kids are happy playing alone. If she's happy, don't make a big deal about it or she'll think something is wrong!
Thanks Nancy and Vicky for your thoughts and insights.
Girls, I'm finding, are vastly different from boys. My son has never uttered "I'm friendless." Although he may be...but it's probably pride. The GAL on the other hand...whew, an entirely different story. Thanks for sharing.
Yes, girls are 100% different from boys. However, my son had a difficult time. They have this "king of the hill" mentality from the moment they are birthed that takes some getting used to!

Good luck and God bless!
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