Dear Coleen: My daughter is struggling to make friends after moving schools


Dear Coleen

We moved to a new area at the end of last year because of my husband’s job, which meant my six-year-old daughter had to change schools.

It wasn’t good timing as she’d just finished her reception year and had made some nice friends.

Her new school has a great reputation and the parents all seem nice, but my daughter has found it really hard to make friends.

It’s been nearly six months now and she hasn’t been invited on one playdate or to any parties.

My heart is breaking for her, but when I try to talk to her about it, she just clams up.

Any suggestions?

Coleen says

Oh, it’s so hard as a parent because you just want to make it all better for them.

It sounds to me as if your daughter has been a bit unsettled by the move and it might just take her a bit of time to find her feet and click with other kids in her class.

I think you can do lots to help. You can’t force kids to be friends with each other, but you can arrange playdates with other mums after school and see which kids your daughter gets on with.

She might feel more relaxed having schoolmates over to her house to play.

You should have a word with her class teacher about your concerns and they can help to foster friendships.

Improving social skills and showing children how to treat friends should be part of what they’re teaching at this age.

Also, after-school clubs or sports lessons are a great way for you both to meet other mums and their kids.

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