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DD difficulty making friends

 
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amother




Slategray


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 4:49 pm
DD has just started high school (age 12 so yes, I’m not in US obviously). I know I’m her mother but she is a pretty, put together, sweet, friendly girl, not loud, not quiet, just average.

I can’t work out why girls would not be interested. She had a couple of invitations early in the year and neither amounted to friendship, in fact she says in school those girls are completely uninterested in her now. She called over a girl once but never invited back. There is a particular group that she would like to get into, all nice, similar girls to herself but they are not interested. She is very perceptive and can tell when someone is ignoring or not really interested. I’m trying to encourage her to call girls over but she is selective because if someone has been acting uninterested then obviously she doesn’t feel comfortable initiating.

I can only presume that somehow in her interactions with them she is doing something wrong but I don’t know how to pinpoint it and coach her? In primary she took some time to make friends also but eventually ended up with a nice group. I just feel bad for her that she’s being left out.

I don’t even know if anyone can help me here just maybe looking for some chizuk for her and understanding.
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wife2









  


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 5:57 pm
You need to invite them. She has to call them to talk, walk over there shabbos afternoon. They'll be happy to have her but she needs to take first step.
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amother




Slategray


Post  Tue, Nov 14 2017, 12:27 am
But this is the thing. She’s not feeling that they will be happy to have her.
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RebekahsMom









  


Post  Tue, Nov 14 2017, 1:47 am
My daughter is like that. She has some issues, and would never reach out to anyone, expected that if they wanted to play with her, they would ask. Eventually, they all formed their own friends, and play with them, leaving mine alone. (No one is mean to her).

I usually think parents should let kids reach out by themselves. But in this case, as my own daughter’s, it’s beyond their ability. Instead of trying to join the group, single them out, and get closer that way. Call 1 girl’s mom. “Hey, I’m bringing (daughter) to the local ice cream parlor and said she could bring a friend. Is (other girl) interested?”

If they have all spent a day with her, they’ll all be more accepting when she tries to squeeze into the circle.

My daughter doesn’t get the normal give and take of socialization. For example, we went out with 5-6 girls and their moms. She sat with them but didn’t interact. They were all fooling around a little, and she dipped her nose in the ice cream. They all laughed. She liked the attention, so she did it at least 5 more times. Now the joke isn’t funny, and everyone except her knows how foolish she looks and doesn’t want to be friends with someone like that.

In other cases, they share interests that she isn’t into. They like teen stuff, and she is still very much into little kid shows and toys. While I don’t want her to change for anyone, it’s very hard when there’s no common ground. But she also has certain expectations of a friend, that they’re best buddies and can share anything, and can’t find that in anyone yet. I’ve told her that takes years. I have told her several times that I don’t always have a perfect relationship with my friends. Some don’t let me get a word in edgewise. I don’t like some of their decisions/ habits. But part of being a friend is accepting someone for who they are.
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weasley









  


Post  Tue, Nov 14 2017, 4:06 am
Op I truly feel for your daughter as I went through exactly that coming into high school. (Also at that age)
Having gone through it myself I can say without a doubt that there's a very good chance it's not her social skills to blame.
In my experience the girls at that stage are creating there social groups and most don't realize that they are excluding girls in the process or the pain they can be causing by it. I can imagine as a parent watching it play out can be so difficult but I wouldn't advise you to get involved. Definitely try to empower her so that she does not give up!! That is SO important. These situations can automatically lower a kids self esteem and the other kids sense that and unfortunately it only plays at a disadvantage in choosing and creating friendships.
Unfortunately I did kind of give up and looking back it definitely impacted my future years in a negative way socially.

There's a very good chance dynamics will change as the year progresses so try and empower her out of school to continually raise her self esteem and hopefully she will feel confident enough to keep trying.

Many times I look back and wonder how things could have been different for me then, and unfortunately I can't really think of any intervention or anything that could have changed the dynamics. I definitely can say tho, had I had more confidence in myself (the experience crushed every bit I had in myself) I may have given myself more of a second chance instead of being buried from the experience of that first year.
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FranticFrummie









  


Post  Tue, Nov 14 2017, 4:16 am
RebekahsMom wrote:
My daughter is like that. She has some issues, and would never reach out to anyone, expected that if they wanted to play with her, they would ask. Eventually, they all formed their own friends, and play with them, leaving mine alone. (No one is mean to her).

I usually think parents should let kids reach out by themselves. But in this case, as my own daughter’s, it’s beyond their ability. Instead of trying to join the group, single them out, and get closer that way. Call 1 girl’s mom. “Hey, I’m bringing (daughter) to the local ice cream parlor and said she could bring a friend. Is (other girl) interested?”

If they have all spent a day with her, they’ll all be more accepting when she tries to squeeze into the circle.

My daughter doesn’t get the normal give and take of socialization. For example, we went out with 5-6 girls and their moms. She sat with them but didn’t interact. They were all fooling around a little, and she dipped her nose in the ice cream. They all laughed. She liked the attention, so she did it at least 5 more times. Now the joke isn’t funny, and everyone except her knows how foolish she looks and doesn’t want to be friends with someone like that.

In other cases, they share interests that she isn’t into. They like teen stuff, and she is still very much into little kid shows and toys. While I don’t want her to change for anyone, it’s very hard when there’s no common ground. But she also has certain expectations of a friend, that they’re best buddies and can share anything, and can’t find that in anyone yet. I’ve told her that takes years. I have told her several times that I don’t always have a perfect relationship with my friends. Some don’t let me get a word in edgewise. I don’t like some of their decisions/ habits. But part of being a friend is accepting someone for who they are.


Forgive me if you've mentioned this somewhere else on Ima, but is your DD on the autism spectrum? If so, there are social skills classes that can help.

My DD is not on the spectrum, but she has other issues (rigid, bossy, controlling). 3 years of social skills classes did her a world of good! She still has struggles, but she's found a little "squad of nerds" who are also not in the cool kids clique, and she's happy.
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amother




Slategray


Post  Tue, Nov 14 2017, 5:03 am
Thank you for the replies. I can totally see a scenario where she would just give up and you have given me encouragement to keep pushing her to try.

I also agree about building self esteem outside of school. I need to look into clubs or extra curricular classes (she does art but I think she needs more). She is dying to do gymnastics and initially I didn’t encourage it because she is not a natural in that area and I felt like she wanted to do it only because the cool kids were but now I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be a bad idea - for self esteem not for the cool kids!

Any other advice or encouragement is greatly appreciated!
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crust









  


Post  Tue, Nov 14 2017, 6:59 am
amother wrote:
Thank you for the replies. I can totally see a scenario where she would just give up and you have given me encouragement to keep pushing her to try.

I also agree about building self esteem outside of school. I need to look into clubs or extra curricular classes (she does art but I think she needs more). She is dying to do gymnastics and initially I didn’t encourage it because she is not a natural in that area and I felt like she wanted to do it only because the cool kids were but now I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be a bad idea - for self esteem not for the cool kids!

Any other advice or encouragement is greatly appreciated!


I only came here to give you some encouragement to continue encouraging. Clubs, extra cirricular classes and gymnastics all of them are great ideas but she will still need your insight to learn the ins and outs of making having and being friends.

As a mother of more than one teenaged kid- I can tell you that being a sounding board for encouragement empowerment being fearless of rejection and helping them see what they can do from thier part- is a full time job!!
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creditcards









  


Post  Tue, Nov 14 2017, 9:52 am
There's will always be some who will advise you not to get involved. For a lot of kids that's ok. But if she is still struggling you do need to get involved and help her out...like the ice cream suggestion previous poster mentioned. (Talking from my own experience)
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Chayalle









  


Post  Tue, Nov 14 2017, 10:08 am
I have one child who is more shy and had a harder time adjusting to high school. It took time for her to build up a social circle of friends, but B"H once she did it was smooth sailing. Tell your DD not to be discouraged, even if it takes all year - bottom line, she needs to get the message that she's NORMAL.

At that age, the girls tend to buddy with those in their social venues, so I signed her up to go to camp with some girls. She ended up shmoozing with them about the upcoming summer, and even though she didn't end up staying in that particular group, it gave her the confidence to make new friends and join with the girls she liked. See if you can sign her up for something that everyone else is doing, or at least a couple of girls in her grade...

Lastly, don't rule out sending her to a social skills therapist. I've known some who worked wonders with teens. You would want someone who has an actual program for initiating friendships - like your daughter would have to report back that she called 3 girls on the phone, and joined a conversation twice, and things like that .

Hatzlacha!
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