dylsyd's picture

No friends at school

My daughter is almost 8 years old who does not seem to have any friends at school.  She is in a center-based program where the students stay together each year.  The latter part of last school year I noticed she did not have any friends.  No invitations to parties, playdates.  Her teachers said she tries hard to make friends and gets along well with other classmates.  

I'm concerned that she will have the same experience this upcoming school year.  I've had classmates over for her to play with and they seem to get along quite well.  The parents of the other children tell me she is a very sweet and friendly girl when they return the favor of a playdate.  However, there is never a second playdate unless I invite the children over.  I'm confused and my daughter's self-esteem has been greatly affected by this.  Suggestions?

beachmom's picture


That makes me so sad to hear!!  I know my niece went through that same situation at around the same age!!  Now she is ten years old and is having better luck with friends!!  My sister had a birthday party for her and invited some kids from her school and some other friends from the neighborhood and that really seemed to help!  All the kids played really well together, and it showed that my niece did have friends outside of school as well!  Eight years old is such a tough age, kids can be so mean and judgmental!!  All I know is as they get older they all become in that awkward stage and need to have good friends around, I'm sure your daughter is very sweet and would be right there to befriend any of the kids when they need her most!  I just hope they  do the same for her eventually!  Just make sure you keep a positive attitude around her, so she doesn't get discouraged at school and home!  I do think with time, it will get better for her.  Also, she will be starting school again in the fall I'm assuming, maybe she could get a cute new haircut or hairdue which might spark up some new conversations for her when she starts school again!!  I truely wish you the best of luck with this situation!


dylsyd's picture

Thank you, Beachmom!  I appreciate your comments!

ScrapPunk's picture

Could your daughter be more into quality over quantity and just hasn't been able to find the one or two friends in class that really share her interests? My son has grown up around mostly adults and doesn't seem to connect very well with kids his own age. Have you tried putting her with a different group of friends in an after school program or a dance class- if she isn't into dance there are tons of other options. My sister was more of a solitary soul and really didn't keep friends because she felt so different. She was also a bit more mature for her age due to family tragedy so she didn't keep friends her own age. Find out what your daughter is really interested in, be it horses or crafts- and start a neighborhood group that is into the same thing. You may be suprised at how she changes as her circle of friends grow! :D Good luck!! :D

blossom's picture

I can relate to your problem. I have a daughter that is 71/2 years old in grade 2. She is the only child I have and is as well having problems with friends. Theres one friend that she has and it seems like when her friend has no one else to play with , she is around to play. Then they would be playing and she would just tell her that she is crowding her. I dont understand children sometimes. They could be so mean.My daughter then comes home and tells me about what happens at school and it just breaks my heart.And Yes I have done the after school playdates. And it only seems like Im the only one inviting most of the time.

celiner's picture

I have such a heavy heart reading all of your posts.  I have two children, boy 10 girl 9.

My daughter is loved by all  her classemates. My son is lonely and starving for "a"  friend "any" friend. My daughter gets all the invites  and my son gets nothing.   It's so hard. I live in  a small community where there is only seventten 10 year olds in his classroom. They are all on the same baseball, soccer ect ect. He is not forming friendships .I've tried everything to help him fit in. He is such a sweet boy.  He's the kind of kid that wouldn't jump off the bridge if they told him to, but ....he'd be at the bottom of the bridge catching them all as they fall. The bully in his class gets all the glory...The bully gets all the attention and they all follow him. I have him in hockey but his team consists of all his classmates.  What can I do? I 've tried everything.

gail Hanson's picture
gail Hanson

small community--does it have other non-sport things?  I know that mine didn't, as a child. I'm thinking of opening up  the possible pool of friends to include a broader range of ages. Is there drama or scouting or -- some volunteer adult organization that you could participate in with your boy?  Do you by chance own your own business so he could participate in that with you?  My folks ran a tourist oriented trailer-court.  I had work to do that contributed to the economic well-being of my family starting when I was about 5.  I would rather see a boy with a good family and no friends, than a kid with a good friend and no family.


IkeG's picture

Sports are undoubtably the best solution to this sort of problem. As an 8-year-old, your daughter is in a golden spot where it's nowhere near "too late" for her to start a sport. You'd be hardpressed to find antisocial kids among those who do sports.
Other extracirricular activities can have a similar effect. I, however, personally belive that sports are superior to all the alternatives because they involve the development of a true "role in society" for the kids through the contribution that they make to the team, and many other extracurricular activities are more of a "let's get together and kill some time" rather than a true comradeship-based association like sports are. Organized sports teams are, for children, the closest thing available to the world of work. Unlike in class, they get the sensation of providing an active contribution rather than passively doing work "for their own sake" in anticipation of an eventual entry into a line of contributive work based on their learnings. People love the sense of contributing, and experiencing the opportunity to contribute to a team makes one social for life if one keeps at it. Furthermore, it's a fact that students who pursue sports perform better in academics as well and achieve greater physical health, but those are almost footnotes in this particular discussion.
Thanks for your time, and I hope that you consider the opportunity that a sports team may offer your daughter.

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

After school activities, sports, YMCA, or youth group are all good ways to meet people. It sounds like your daughter is a sweet, friendly girl eager to meet friends, but unfortunately she hasn't met any true friends yet. Encourage your daughter to be herself and not try to act a certain way to fit in. I'm sure in time she will meet the right people, and she'll realize who her true friends really are. Good luck.

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

Has your son voiced to you what activities he does like doing?
Like you, we've put our kids into several different things to see what they take to best. I think finding the right activity is important. If your child likes it, and excels at it, then he will feel confident in himself. I think once he builds up that confidence, he will feel better about himself, and therefore he may better relate to others.
Your son is at an awkward age where kids are nearing puberty. Many kids are trying to figure themselves out.
Help your son by building up his self confidence and finding out what he enjoys most. My oldest son has a developmental delay, and it's been really hard trying to get him to fit in w/ his peers. He has recently taken up swimming which he loves. We also try to have regular play dates at our house which has been helpful to him as well.
Talk to your son and also talk to his teacher. Find out as much as you can about the situation. Stay on top of this issue, and always keep the lines of communication open.
True friends are not easy to find, but I'm sure in time your son will find them. I wish you and your son all the best.

Anonymous's picture

Wonderful advice, "concerned..."! I agree with all you have suggested.

I do think speaking to the teacher can help a lot. The teacher can tell you what she has observed, or if she has not noticed the problem, she can be on alert for any opportunities during the day and help your child along, hopefully.