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Dear David Coleman: Our five-year-old daughter doesn't seem to know how to make friends

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How can we help our little girl make friends?

How can we help our little girl make friends?

How can we help our little girl make friends?

Q Our five-year-old girl has just started big school after four years in creche. She was very happy in creche but, curiously, always talked about her minders as her friends. In the few short weeks since starting school, we now realise that she doesn't seem to have the skills for making friends. She is standoffish and doesn't engage. She doesn't seem to have the language or the tools to make friends. Consequently, her classmates are ganging up on her and being mean. How can we help her?

David replies: There are a few different things you might want to consider. Some relate to your daughter directly and some relate to her experience in school.

With regard to the school, I think you may need to arrange a meeting with her teacher as soon as possible. Aged five, your daughter will not have the capacity to be able to respond to a group of other children "ganging up" on her. That kind of group dynamic needs to be addressed, swiftly, by the teacher.