Preserving a child’s self esteem

This evening before bed I had a chat with my daughter about friendships. It turned out that she is having problems at school with making friends and is lonely when travelling in to school on the bus and during break-time. It is hard to hear the following sentence, “I sit on the school bus and look at the window watching the fields and let my head go bump bump on the window as I sit on my own most of the time.” Then at break time, “I wasted all break-time waiting for my friend to play with me, “she kept saying she would be with me in just a minute and then a  minute went by and then another minute and then play-time was over.”

I told her that she should keep trying with other friends but she said that she had tried the whole school. All the time she reports this to me she is never whiny or tearful. It makes it more heart-breaking that she says it in a matter-of-fact way, as if she believes that it is not possible for her to have friends and that is a fact of life. What I want most from this is not that she eventually finds a friend, although that would be great. More importantly, I want her to develop techniques by herself that will help her to make friends in her own way. I want her self esteem to be preserved so that she does not take it personally – not easy but so far she is strong, confident and knows she has value. 

I threw her the question “well what if you changed schools?” because I wanted to find out how bad the problem was. She said that she loved her school and it was just friends that was the problem. “I will give it another year Mum”, she said. I l know she is not the only 7 year old girl experiencing friend problems and I know I am not the only Mum trying to offer support. 

I am blogging every day to raise money for Unicef. If you would like to donate, please visit my page on Unicef’s website.

Thanks for reading.

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