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Daughter Wants a Best Friend
Q: My six-year-old daughter is unhappy about not having a best friend. She was new to her school this year. Though she is involved in Girl Scouts and other activities, she often feels left out. It seems that in her grade there are about 25 girls, but many of them have already formed cliques. She tries to ask if she can join them during recess and quite often is told no. In fact, one girl even said she doesn't want to be friends. In addition, there is another girl who is also new to our neighborhood and the school. On weekends and sometimes after school, the two play together well. But back at school, this other girl either ignores my daughter or does not want to have her included in things during recess. What can I do to help my daughter become friends with the other girls? I've talked to the teacher and she says my daughter is sociable and seems to get along well with the other girls.
A: Talk with the teacher and the school counselor. Ask them to plan some activities for the class on friendship or on working together in teams. They can also encourage children to play together on the playground or to sit together at lunch.
You may also want to talk with the counselor about giving your daughter some individual time or including her in a small group on friendship. The counselor may be able to help her do some things differently so that the other girls will want to be friends. Sometimes children are so worried about having friends that they try too hard and need to relax a little.
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Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.