Friendships have always been a tricky one for big girl, she lacks the confidence to instigate friendships and the social skills to maintain them. She made a few friends shortly after they moved to their new school, and for a while things seemed to be going well, but, like all little girls the ‘fallings out’ began. The trouble is, that the average 9 and 10 year old girl has been making and breaking friendships for a few years now, so they generally know the score and have built up certain levels of resistance, however for my poor poor big girl, the whole concept of making up and breaking up with her friends is all just too new and little too much for her to cope with. With each ‘Im not your friend any more’ that she hears, her self worth and self confidence diminishes a little bit more. She’s already convinced herself that she’s rubbish so all this ‘breaking up’ just confirms it for her.
Middle girl started off school life as one of the most popular, there was always someone on the playground calling out to her and wanting to say ‘Hi’. Over the years this seems to have stopped, and just like she does in everything else, she became invisible. I met with her teacher the other day and we briefly discussed middle girls social skills. Im concerned she’s masking her loneliness on the playground by ‘appearing to be ok’, which is something she excels in. I was reassured that she has friends and perhaps even a special friend, a girl called ‘AXXXX’ apparently. Middle girl rarely talks about her class mates and when I ask who she’s played with each day, its always a different name and usually a boy. We spoke today about different things and today she told me her BFF is a boy called ‘JXXX’, again, not a name I’ve ever heard before, I’m not sure she really knows what a friend is, or prehaps she is just trying to tell me what she thinks I want to hear.
Baby girl flits around playing with various different girls from her class from what I gather, she rarely talks about boys, except the older boy in her school that she ‘really loves’ that is, anyway, like her sisters I have to base my opinions on what I see and what they tell me. Baby girl isn’t great at communicating about her day, she often fixates on a teeny aspect of her day and becomes unable to tell me about much more, so I base my opinions on what I see at the end of school each day. She often has a little group of girls from her class around her, she organises them, tells them where to stand and proceeds to instruct them in a very teacher like manner, on what they have to do, she tells them to ‘listen to me’, ‘copy what I do’ , ‘you stand there’, ‘put your hands like this’, ‘that’s it well done, great work’. Im not sure that this would be tolerated for much longer than the 5 minutes we’re waiting for her sisters, so I expect that’s why she flits from friend to friend during her ‘playtimes’ and often decides to play skipping, by herself.
Friendships present all my girls with difficulties, worries and upsets. I work really hard to tell each of them what a good friend is, what a good friend says and how a good friend behaves. All the time though I’m wondering, am I really the best role model for friendships, after all, where did all my friends disappear to over the years.