Social anxiety in 12 year old Dd.(9 Posts)
I am getting worried about Dd and her lack of friends at school. She was always quiet at primary school but did have a small group of friends (mainly male as the few girls in her class were girly girls and Dd is not like that). Now she is in first year of high school and was split from her male friendship group and doesn't seem to have made many new friends. She says she finds it impossible to speak to new people and often sits alone at break/lunchtime
She's not into brands, make up, boy bands, etc and prefers minecraft, gaming, etc so I feel she is isolating herself further. Ended up in tears today as I just don't know what to do to help or what I can suggest for how to overcome her extreme shyness. I don't want her being lonely and excluded and my heart is breaking for her.
Any suggestions/strategies to help?
My daughter had very similar problems. It really does break your heart. Have you considered that there may be an underlying issue behind this? Perhaps you could read up on Aspergers Syndrome, particularly how it presents in girls? If it is that, then understanding the difficulties this leads to, with some relevant strategies will really help. If you rule it out, then perhaps approach your GP for support.
Talk to her form tutor and/or raise this with the head of year!
They can suggest buddies or school clubs she could join.
Ds is painfully shy, too, but has finally managed to find people he gets on with. It took a long time, though!
Any sports clubs at lunch she could join. Doesn't have to excel at the sport to join a lunch time club if she doesn't think she is a natural sports woman
I'd phone and talk to the pastoral/learning mentors at the school and also ask to see a list of lunchtime clubs to see if they have anything of interest.
Also don't stereotype girls. I've a 12yo nearly 13yo dd - not into boybands, brands or make-up. Not a gamer though. But in a friendship group of 6 similar girls. She needs to be herself. They bond over being a bit quirky and having a laugh together.
Is she showing signs of selective mutism? (When a child who is capable of normal speech is unable to speak because of anxiety in certain situations)? Have a look at the SMIRA web page. If she really can't speak to people, school should help her with a programme of some sort, even if it's just starting a Minecraft lunch club so she can meet like-minded people. You will probably have to be very assertive though, especially if she speaks to adults. Look up low profile selective mutism.
How does she say she feels about it? You say that you were the one crying but dont mention how she feels. Has she said that shes very upset at not having friends or is it just something she has mentioned to you? It took me a long time to make friends after i moved school when i was young and i did used to sit by myself at breaktime but that was because i was more interested in reading than anything else. Some people are just naturally less sociable than others and take more time to make friends. If shes not that upset about it i wouldnt force the issue. Try and look at the positives, you obviously have a sensitive daughter whos more interested in gaming than going out covered in makeup and getting pissed! Im sure other mothers iwll be very jealous of your daughter in a few years and im also sure that in that time she will find some friends who are interested in the things she likes and they will be better friends for her than any she could make by pretending to be into things that she wasnt xx
I wasn't stereotyping all girls, just the ones she was at primary school with. Dont know what they have at Scottish secondary schools (maybe guidance teacher?). She was crying too btw so we made a right pair today! She says she can only really speak to people she has got to know so wouldnt approach or speak to anyone she doesn't know.
She is very intelligent (won the dux at primary) but is very out of her depth in social situations and will avoid anything that puts her at the centre of attention
Defo have A word with the school. They have probably seen similar before. Good luck
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