Year 7 Friendship woes(9 Posts)
My DD started Yr 7 this year, and has lost all her confidence it seems with making/keeping friends. Bit of background - she went to 3 primary schools, the last one for 15 months, and none of her school friends are in her tutor group now (although plenty in other groups). My marriage ended last August (hence the moving schools) and it has been very hard for DD to deal with, especially as her D is such a twunt. He hardly ever sees her, or contacts her and missed her junior prom, first residential, open eve at new secondary (to this day he still doesnt know what her school is called or where it is), and even cancelled seeing her last Christmas! (aside from the fact that he is happily avoiding the CSA which makes finances obv worse - but thats another story!).
So my problem is, DD made what appeared to be a great friend the first week, exchanged mobiles and little gifts (which I advised to leave until Christmas for, but the other girl was really keen!) but this did DD head in after a while, I think the other girl was trying too hard, and she asked me how she could spend time with other girls in her class, particularly a group of 6 of them that had pretty much met at their new school. Other girl was a bit upset, but DD just said she wanted to make lots of friends and that she still liked her etc. Now two weeks into the new "group" things are becoming a bit off, and last night DD was in tears, and very upset. She said "I knew this would happen, they are all starting to ignore me" apparently, the main girl in the group is phasing out my DD and the others are all pairing up, (one of the girls told my DD this). Ive tried to tell DD that there is nothing wrong with being on your own a little, and that if she is just herself that she will make friends, but her confidence is on the floor. Shes joined a couple of clubs, and Ive told her she will have friends from different things at school. She was so happy the first two weeks too . I feel shes had a rough ride at school before, and it breaks my heart to see her so upset. What can I do?
It's so hard isn't it. Just keep listening to her like you're already doing. They're all shifting around all over in year 7. Tricky time.
Oh you have my sympathy, it's awful when they are having friendship issues and unfortunately there is no magical solution. All I keep doing is listening and offering words of wisdom (that I make up as I go along). It is only very early days yet so I'd try not to worry too much.
My DD was thrilled to meet 2 girls in her tutorial on the first day, everything was honky dorey until day 3 when she realised every time she went to the toilet the girls disappeared and she could not find them anywhere. The penny then dropped that they were hiding from her.Thankfully she has now met a new group of girls, but how long this will last remains to be seen. The clubs are not yet operational but I have told her that joining will open up her opportunities for meeting new girls.
Going to other activities is definitely the best thing to do. Also,friendships are volatile at this age and they do tend to fall in and out with each other. It is very hard and she has a lot of stuff going on outside school too. In a secondary school, there are lots of opportunities to make friends and she will. Don't try too hard and be discerning.
Encourage her to join a lunchtime club each day if she can - we have over 20 clubs at my school and it's a really good way for your dd to meet new friends. We have things like choir, craft, gardening, chess, ICT, plus various sporty ones. It makes the lunch hour pass quickly as well!
You could mention it to her form teacher if she's really feeling lonely and they might buddy her up with a Y8 girl for a week or so.
Keep up the TLC - we've had lots of Y7's in tears this week and it is really normal (it's all a bit overwhelming for some of them - especially if they come from a small primary school)
Thank you everyone, TheHappyCamper your post made me cry! I know it happens to all of them, even just for a little while but she's so much older than her years somedays especially after what she's been through that I forget she's only 11. On the other hand, I need to get a grip and encourage her to be responsible and make her own choices, as long as she is true to what she knows is right then all will come good.
She's much brighter tonight after the main girl in the group annoyed some of the others, she also spent time with the girl from the first week so she knows she has friends, I hope! Thanks again
Oh I'm so sorry for making you cry!
Hope things perk up a bit for her - don't hesitate to call her form teacher (I honestly would be glad to help one of my tutees)
I understand exactly how you feel. It's still early days though.
My daughter actually had problems in the second term and it was hard to know how to help her. I did tell my daughter always to keep her options open, ie don't spend all her time with one person until she's sure it's going to work even if it's not easy fitting in. I know it's not easy at the moment, but things do get better. A year on, my daughter's main friends are one old best friend, two new girls she met at comp and one girl she couldn't stand all the way through primary!! She had what used to be a lovely best friend who made lots of trouble for her with the others, but luckily they've seen through this and don't want to be friends with this girl themselves. It might be the girl in the group whose trying to exclude your daughter will go the same way as my daughter's friend did.
I did say to my daughter if ever she found herself on her own to go and look in the library (and I think that's how she got to know the girl she didn't originally like as they kept seeing eachother there). Also, they might have a homework or other clubs at lunchtimes and she could get to know others there.
Once she has been put in sets for everything, she will probably find she starts to come across certain girls a lot more. For example my daughter is in set one for most things, and I think that's how she kept in touch with her one close friend and met another one as they are both in all the top sets and tend to move around together in the day.
HappyCamper thats ok, you sound a lovely teacher/tutor! My dd's one is also really nice and welcoming, we have a tutor eve in October to see how theyve all settled so I know I can mention it then if I still need to. Hopefully things will settle down soon.
Lottie I told DD the same about keeping her options open, especially regarding the one friend as I said she could isolate herself from other friendships that may not get the chance to start. This is how she ended up with the group. Apparently yesterday the main girl (who was trying to exclude dd) was really quite rude and grotty with 3 of the others in the group, so although unpleasant, dd felt reassured that it was the girls behaviour not hers causing her to be mean. I actually used the phrase "shoot herself in the foot" and "cook her goose" but then had to explain what I was jibbering on about lol
I told her this morning that as long as she comes across as happy and kind then other children will work out who isnt so friendly and decide for themselves. I think some children try way to hard to make friendships work and are too ott putting others off, when they just want to be liked.
Library and dd are getting on very well!!
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