|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Feeling Left Out

Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: My ten-year-old daughter feels like the third wheel among her friends. She's only been at her school for a year so she still feels somewhat new. How can I help her self esteem? She has several groups of "two-somes" that she bounces back and forth between, but she is always left out when it comes to pairing up for something. Is there any help I can offer? I remember having friend troubles at that age, but I always had that one special friend who was there for me.

A: It's always difficult for friends at school when there is an odd number of children. Talk with the school counselor and with your daughter's teacher -- they could plan some activities for the class on being friends and on making sure that no one is left out. The teacher can help steer children together at lunchtime and at recess as well. Suggest that if a new student (especially a girl) comes to the class, your daughter could be paired with him or her to be a buddy and help that child feel welcome.

Make sure that your daughter has opportunities to make friends away from school as well. Joining a soccer team, a Girl Scout troop, or a church group can help her have friends who would be hers alone.

Fifth grade is a tough year for friendships, especially for girls. As they approach puberty, fifth grade girls go through lots of hormonal changes and experiment with independence; girls who have been close friends for years suddenly don't want to be around each other anymore. It sounds like your daughter may be seen as the friend who will always be there when others are unhappy with each other.

More on: Expert Advice

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.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Gift Ideas Sure to Please
Find the best gifts for girls, and everyone else on your list! Visit our Holiday Shopping Headquarters. Brought to you by Monster High.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Print this free holiday wish list for kids, so they can tell you what they really want this year! Brought to you by Monster High.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!