13 Year Old DD and friendship issues(13 Posts)
My daughter is in Year 8 and doesn't do anything with school friends after school or at weekeds. She used to have quite a busy schedule while at primary school with sleepovers, parties and out of school clubs. Since starting secondary school she dropped all her clubs, and now seems to prefer to be at home with me all the time. Occasionally she'll say someone from school has asked her to do something, but then 1/2 hour later she'll say she can't be bothered to go. I have asked her to invite a friend round at weekends for a sleepover, but she never does.
I don't know if she actually has friends at all ! She hardly ever goes onto Facebook, and doesn't text much to anyone.
Last weekend she asked if she coud go bowling with 5 other girls. I said yes, delighted she was actually going to do something. But later she said she wasnt going to go, and when I asked her why not, she just said she didn't want to and didn't know why. What can be going on ? She later asked me if she was weird for not wanting to go. Of course I reassured her that she wasn't, but now I can't stop thinking about it, and worry about it, but I don't want to go on and on at her incase she does start thinking she's wierd.
She's never been great at making friends nor of being part of a big group. I don't know any of the parents of any of her 'friends' now, so I can't try and arrange something for her, not that she'd be happy with me doing that anyway.
Does anyone have any ideas about what's going on, or how I can incourage her to get out and about with friends. I feel the more she doesn't do anything, the harder it will become for her, plus she'll be excluded from any future activities.
I'm a single parent and work full time, and don't have any sort of social life. Do you think that's rubbing off on her making her just stay in with me all the time ?
Any help very welcome. Thank you. Louise
Could you ring her form tutor, without her knowing, and just ask how she interacts socially at school? Has she got any interests that she would like to pursue out of school?
I agree speak to the form tutor as a first step - if dd has friendships at school but just doesn't want to go out then she may just be in a 'home body' stage - there are lots of threads here about teenagers who just don't want to go out much/at all (which, depending on the circumstances, may or may not be problematic!).
On the other hand if dd doesn't have friends at school (seems unlikely though, if they have invited her bowling), you might want to ask the school what they can do to help. If the form tutor doesn't really seem to know either way, you could suggest you call back in a week's time after s/he's had a chance to observe.
Is there anything your dd is really interested in that she could build on to develop friendships? Playing an instrument - which could lead to joining a music group or orchestra? Any kind of sport (not necessarily the obvious ones - would she like to take up something like a martial art or a particular type of dance?) It can be easier to mix with people socially if you're doing something! A book club? (set one up at school, with the help of a nice teacher?) Sorry if these ideas are way off beam about your dd's interests, but you get the idea!
Thank you very much for your replies. I do think my dd has friends at school and she seems happy to go everyday. There have been a couple of episodes of bullying in the past year ( name calling ) but the school nipped that in the bud very quickly. I know when she's having problems like that as she has trouble sleeping which always alerts me. But she's sleeping fine at the moment.
She's quite a shy and reserved character, and struggles with meeting new people. She's always been one to hang around on the outside of a group game and wait to be invited to join in rather than ask if she can.
Perhaps its partly to do with her character and partly to do with prefering to be at home at the moment. Some of the girls she knows at school are very outgoing and 'in your face' types ( they were at her primary school ) so perhaps she's stuggling to find people she can really get on with, who are like herself. She doesn't seem to mind being at home all the time. She's my only child and I tend to focus all my attention on her at weekends, so we generally have fun together and have a close relationship. Perhaps I should be grateful for that and just worry if she's still prefers my company when she's 20 !
As for joining clubs, she used to do swimming and athletics, but never made any friends there. Also she did scouts and had one particular friend there, who also goes to her school and they are still friends, but DD is not interested in doing anything outside of school with her anymore. When i suggested looking for a new hobby / interest so she could get out more, she said she didn't want to !
Sounds like she just likes being at home. My eldest son was the same. As he got older and the pub beckoned, he went out more, but would still mainly be at home. Now he's left home, he's still a bit of a bedroom dweller, but that's fine.
a different perspective, I often can't really understand why people would want me to go somewhere. I have to be careful how I write this, because I am hugely confident and happy in myself - however, I have always felt ok as just me, I have never felt that people have to like me or invite me to things - and often when I have been invited to a party etc, I have felt like I wouldnt really add anything to it - this isnt in a bad self pitying way. It is only now (as a vaguely normal adult) that people do really want me there and I now enjoy going along.
It is difficult to explain, but the few close friends I do have a get on with really well, never fall out never have any issues with them - just enjoy being friends and going out and having fun.
I get on with most people - have a laugh and banter with them, but it takes me a while before I develop a proper friendship - Hope this kinda makes sense!!
So what I am trying to say in a long winded way is: talk to her form tutor and if she says she has loads of friends at school - then consider some of the stuff I have written above.
If she says she doesnt - then I would suggest some action needs to be taken to help your DD make friends. I am a massive fan of sports clubs as a way of building confidence. If your DD is outgoing go for a team sport, if not so much then look at an individual sport - teaches a child more about themselves than any school or parental discussion ever could.
Def a phase, I remember going through it myself. Friends would knock on the door to go out and i would just say no, drove my mum mad. I just preferred to be at home, lasted about a year or so I think. Maybe it's a confidence thing for some kids, funny age.
I was like this during my teenage years. I had friends at school but really just wasn't interested in doing much out of school. It wasn't anything to do with confidence, I think I just liked my own space at home without having to be sociable. I'm still a bit like that now!
As an aside, you say that you have no social life. Why not? It would set a great example to her if you started to widen your own hobbies and circle of friends and make you less reliant on her for company at the weekends. Perhaps there is a new hobby or club you could try together- maybe a local Zumba class or craft activity ...
Hmm, the problem for dparents in this situation is that you don't know if a) the dcs are perfectly happy, and just don't like going out, in which case it's fine; or b) they would like to go out more, and it's a problem for them that they don't. It could be that your dd likes her friends at school, but out of school finds them a bit 'too much' if they're very outgoing and boisterous. As you say, perhaps she'd be keener on going out with some slightly quieter friends - are there any school clubs which might attract like-minded students for her to get to know (film club? language club?)
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Wow, thank you everyone for your replies. I'm thinking that it probably is partly a phase she's going through, partly a confidence thing, and partly because she doesn't like how some of these girls behave ( some are very boistrous ) or what they get involved in and so doesn't really want to be with them outside of school. of course i'm just guessing but from your different suggestions, they all seem to fit teh situation.
3nationsfamily - I agree I should get a social life and show her it's good to be sociable, but I'm just out of practice ( single parent, work full time, drifted away from old friends due to different life styles, and too knackered at the weekend to be bothered !). I will try and make an effort to find a new hobby/club to get involved with.
Ibab1702 your description of your daughter is very similar to my dd! She is 13yrs, second year of HS and has been having friendship problems (I have been on another thread!). This week she joined a running course (out of school) and started to help out at Brownies as a Young Leader. I have to keep reminding myself that at her age I was shy, awkward and on the edge of groups. I didn't really start to come out of myself until I was nearly 15 (fourth year of HS) and met a different group of girls at school. To be honest, the first three years of HS were pretty tough at times!
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