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(19 Posts)
Brighteyes27 Sun 11-Jun-17 08:56:10

Sorry wasn't sure where to post this please be kind. My very tall DD 12 is nearing the end of her first year at a large Secondary and has had no friends either in or outside of school. This has been the situation for the last 4 months when a previous friendship group broke down as the other girls ditched her to be with the girls they thought were the 'popular people'. After a bit of nastiness on their parts things have calmed down but they still scowl it her and me if we pass them in town or anything. She seems relatively ok about this and won't really talk much about it but I do worry about her. She did cry yesterday but not directly about the lack of friends but she did imply the girls her age looked a certain way and acted a certain way and she didn't want to be like that. She isn't image conscious and isn't massively confident or pushy enough to push herself into other friendship groups. She goes to guides and takes part in one team sport activity a week but none of the girls at these seem to mix outside of the activities but then she doesn't seem massively in with anyone at these either. I have tried to encourage her to take part in some after school and lunch time activities which she did briefly but I am at a loss for how to help her. Should I wait until she asks for my help or just try to remain close and occasionally have lunch out, go shopping (she is in ladies clothes and almost in tall ranges whereas her peers can still pick up 12/13 clothes) or have a day out somewhere. Any advice gratefully received.

Offherhead Sun 11-Jun-17 09:00:27

She sounds probably more grown up or sensible than what sounds like a particularly low EI group. I am guessing she has friends through Guides? Perhaps encourage those friendships with allowing sleepovers/ suggesting a friend join you both for a day out.

LedaP Sun 11-Jun-17 09:06:06

I wouldnt focus on hieght too much. My dd is fairly small and some of her friends are 6/7 inches taller. One looks late teens. It doesnt stop friendships.

The fact that she doesnt enjoy what other people do maybe impacting it more than her height.

Is she quite young for her age or mature for her age?

How big is the school? My dd is auite different. But in a huge school she has managed to find a fairly sizable group of friends that are very similar to her.

Personally i would try and gently find out what's going on and what the root of the problem is. Then go from there.

Brighteyes27 Sun 11-Jun-17 09:58:53

Thanks all she is young for age in many ways but I am proud of her in that she is not a sheep and doesn't scramble over others and their feelings in a quest to be popular. When I see how some of them are dressed I am glad she isn't too focused with appealing to the opposite sex either (she has to be reminded to brush her hair). Her school is a big secondary school. I mention her height as she is very tall as in 99 percentile tall so automatically looks different, stands out and looks older than she is (without trying). She doesn't have any friends at guides as she joined with a friend from primary who left awhile back but the girls there are from different areas and schools and already seem to be in two's or are older than her.
I think the problem is she isn't pushy enough (many of the girls seem to be), she isn't massively confident and probably isn't as mature as others isn't into make up, music and bragging on social media etc. But as she won't properly open up and doesn't mention not having any friends I am just guessing and piecing together things I do know.

carjacker1985 Sun 11-Jun-17 10:04:47

I was an incredibly tall pre-teen so I understand how isolating it can be at times- but I wouldn't focus too much on it, you thinking it's an issue will just make it seem more like an issue for her. In any event Tall clothes are much easier to come by now then they were in my day! New Look, Dorothy Perkins, ASOS, Topshop, Next... when I was 12 it was Long Tall Sally or nothing.

I think the best thing you can do is be there for her, which it sounds like you are... you can't force her to talk to you unfortunately, and it seems like a lot of the stuff she's going through is just what you've guessed and isn't necessarily actually the case.

Brighteyes27 Sun 11-Jun-17 10:11:48

Thanks carjacker yes I am also tall so had my own experience of this. I haven't focused on her being tall to her but I know growing up I got a lot of unwelcome attention from older boys (eyeing me up) and unwelcome comments from girls. One of her previous friends grandmothers said she was so lovely tall and slim that she could be a model which she said was embarrassing.

Brighteyes27 Sun 11-Jun-17 10:52:48

Just read that back and it doesn't read well. I think DD doesn't want to draw attention to herself she just wants to be herself, have fun, be young, without drawing attention to herself or be with people who care more about being popular than almost anything and who will do whatever to try to be popular at anyone else's expense.

sweetbitter Sun 11-Jun-17 11:12:22

If it's a huge secondary there must be kids in there somewhere who would be the right fit for her, it's just a case of finding them and integrating with them.

Remember it's not as if she's been friendless all year, it's only the last few months. I think there's good reason to believe that with a bit of patience and time she might naturally find new friends.

Do you know what happens next year re: the classes she's in? Will she be with the same children for every subject, or do they start to stream them / shuffle them around for different subjects? The obvious hope would be that she would find herself with some new faces in classes that she might make friends with.

When I joined a new secondary school I was "put" with a group of girls who personality-wise were just really different from me, and I felt pretty friendless for about 5 months. A chance event of sitting next to someone on a school trip propelled me into a new friendship group and I was so much happier after that and really felt like I fit in at last.

Brighteyes27 Sun 11-Jun-17 11:51:04

Thanks sweet bitter this is what I thought it's just encouraging her to find them before she is too jaded.
Next year I think they stream them for some things but they do rotate the dinner time periods so by now she has spent some time with all of them in one way or another. The other friends were girls from another class in primary who lived round the corner from us. I have tried asking about different girls I know of from primary, girls at guides, girls at sporting the activity but she says they are all 'like that' (bossy, pushy, overly interested in boys) or too quiet and don't talk.

sweetbitter Sun 11-Jun-17 12:27:52

I feel for her, I also moved up from primary with a group of friends who then all became really interested in boys and I just wasn't at all, also they did that kind of awful bullying while supposedly being your friend that girls are so good at. But she can't possibly know what are the people in her school are REALLY like, I think you should definitely encourage her to keep an open mind and not judge people too quickly. Lots of kids present a certain "front" in school, but at this age they're experimenting and finding out who they really are.

Arya2017 Sun 11-Jun-17 12:33:31

I was the tallest in my school from middle of primary upwards. By the time I was in secondary I was 5ft 10in and towered over everyone. It was isolating and made me so self conscious. I had few friends and hated going on girl's shopping dates as they were all buying skimpy size 8 garments from trendy shops and I was having to buy size 14 stuff that wasn't half as nice. I didn't have a boyfriend until I was 17 either as I was taller than all the boys and it put them (and me!) off.

No advice (as I'm still self conscious about it!) but I hope she's ok. Her confidence is the most important thing here, it must be maintained and/or boosted.

Brighteyes27 Sun 11-Jun-17 12:38:03

Thanks sweet bitter I know it's her perceptions. I have persuaded her to give one of the after school activities a go this week.
As all the kids from school go into town on their own with friends now (as she did up to February). Apart from school if she doesn't go into town or out with us or anything she doesn't leave the house all week or weekend apart from a trip to guides and for the sporting activity (both will be finishing for the summer soon). Hopefully things will pick up soon.

PeaFaceMcgee Sun 11-Jun-17 12:47:38

I'd give her some tips on how to strike up conversation with the 'quiet ones' - showing an interest, using humour etc. They're probably feeling the same as her x

PeaFaceMcgee Sun 11-Jun-17 12:49:19

And also she can be friends with boys too!

Brighteyes27 Sun 11-Jun-17 13:30:05

Thanks all Arya I was the same I had some friends but as I got through secondary school I felt like I was on the outside or towards the outside. Even now when someone suggests dressing up fancy or a fancy dress or a spa day as a bigger tall person I think aw god what am I gonna wear what am I gonna look like in the tiny knee length robe which is past the knee on everyone else but a mini which won't fasten on me.

winobaglady Sun 11-Jun-17 14:30:55

maybe you could start any activity with her?
archery, local amateur dramatics, volunteering to walk dogs at local rescue? Then, leave her to get on and go herself? Will raise her confidence and give her more opportunities?

Brighteyes27 Sun 11-Jun-17 18:38:23

Actually dog walking she would love also probably archery and she has been pestering about horse riding for quite awhile (but need DH to start his new job first as he was made redundant a couple of months ago).

Leeds2 Sun 11-Jun-17 18:47:54

I would certainly encourage her to talk to the "quiet ones", as they may also be seeking friends and not know how to go about making them.

Does he have any hobbies? Things she could pursue at school, or afterwards/at weekends? Could you look at the school clubs list to see if there is anything she might be interested in, but overlooked.

Brighteyes27 Sun 11-Jun-17 19:39:13

Yes she does guides and plays a team sport. She is going to give the rounders after school club another try this week.

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