My 14 yr old (only) DD is so lonely and finds it almost impossible to make friends. She does have mild dyspraxia and is very shy. I have tried everything I can to find activities - you name it I've done it - and make contacts - which worked ok at primary school, but not any more at secondary. There are no friends outside school and weekends and holidays are very lonely and empty. It has had an impact on me too - mums who were friends have 'dried up' as their DDs don't seem to want to be friends anymore. I have read a lot of posts by people in the same situation and I know some teens grow out of this phase. I feel quite desperate about it - and worry that this will affect her badly in the future too. She is missing out on so much and I feel powerless. I dread her birthday and she doesn't get any invites at all now, poor soul. Just at the time when everyone else seems to be having a great time. She will have a go at things and is quite sporty and I wondered if anyone has sent their teen off on an adventure- type break as a confidence booster? Does anyone have any words of wisdom - or ideas? Thanks!
Daisysuetoo, many sympathies to your dd and you - that sounds horrible! i agree the school can't make girls be friends, but it can do things to try to promote 'likely' friends - class seating plans, project groups, pairs in science, 'please could you two go and get x y or z'? Lunch alone is a 'new' ordeal since my day - we had fixed seating plans, but i doubt any school does that now, and it would be practically difficult as people need to have lunch at different times to go to clubs and so on. Could your dd at least take a book in so that she appears engrossed? - though that is double-edged, as then people won't approach her..
I admit i wonder whether in the long run the engineering works - thornrose may be right! - but it is worth a try! So yes i would contact the school, discreetly - may help, and unlikely to harm. But (in italics) you may have to push it - with the many issues schools have to worry about they may not make this a priority unless you emphasise your concern.
School can also run lunch time clubs that give the currently lonely somewhere to go - can your dd try these? May mean faking an interest in learning italian, russian, chess or whatever - but who knows, it could even be enjoyable!
And i totally second those who recommend out of school activities - drama is another good one, and for the shy can be a real confidence boost. There are non audition youth groups, which can be good if school drama productions are more selective!