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12 year olds and friendships(7 Posts)
I'm socially awkward and have few/no friends and had none growing up so I don't know if what my kids are facing is normal or not.
They have phones on the proviso we can go through them whenever we choose without warning to keep an eye on messaging etc.
My 12yo dc presents as very self confident, gregarious very friendly very kind individual but is also very cautious fragile and is a people pleaser. Since starting senior school they've not consistently mentioned the same group of children or individuals when discussing school and friendships. They have been invited to a couple of birthday parties but all class jobs (small school) more worrying though is when they had their birthday earlier this year not one child wanted to come to their celebration. Dc tried to shrug it off but I could see it clearly hurt them. Now to the phone. I've just looked through it and the group chat on WhatsApp is quite hurtful to read. They're all trying to meet up in town to loaf at the park and asking who can do what times, until my dc chipped in with the days they can't and can do. Almost immediately after they all post they can ONLY do the days my dc cant. It seems petty but as a parent this really hurt me. I don't know how dc feels but I know recently friendships etc or the lack of a good friend is really getting to them.
What can I do to help? Being social isn't something that comes naturally to me.
I think year 7 is very hard and all their friendships are in flux.
The what's app message thing worries me and I think you should go in to the school and talk to someone about it. Does DS have a Head of house or pastoral person at school?
Is it upsetting them?
Can they have one friend at a time to come round/cinema/bowling to get to know each other a bit better?
I prefer having lots of friends rather than one or two close ones. I did at school too. It's fine.
It is so hard and I completely empathise being socially awkward myself and my 12 yr old is also like me. What's app is hard I think and should be avoided as much as possible. I would maybe chat with their tutor or head of year about your concerns. I'm also a teacher and you'll find that year 8 things do change again as they move into different teaching groups and hopefully that might help
Year 7 has been a tougher year than id imagined. My daughter was very outgoing at primary and she still reverts to wanting to see primary friends more than new ones. She goes from one group to another, no solid friendships. She has had some run ins with what she calls the popular girls and is now in a school run club for those that need confidence building. I just chat when she is In a chatty mood and if she tells me something that sounds not nice I ask "are you worried/upset about that?" Sometimes the things I think would bother her don't at all. Feel like it's a massive learning curve for me as a parent.
My DD Yr 7 seems to flit from one group to another group and consequently isn't fully accepted into either group. She's only been invited to one party all year and although she seems happy enough I feel sad for her when I see photos of everyone at a party apart from her. I'm hoping there may be a change in time tabling next year and she may settle down a bit.
Have you had any of these 'friends' over to yours in the recent past for a meal or a sleepover? Just wondering if there are one or two of the group who your dc have a closer bond with. If so, perhaps they can focus on that person.
I've just suggested this on another thread - I found it extremely valuable for dd to have several groups of friends. One in school, and the others related to activities she does outside school. If things are not going well in school, the dc can always spend time with the these other non-school friends who will hopefully treat the differently / better.
At that age, when you are 'on the outside' at school (for whatever reason), it can be awfully painful to be made to feel you're the loser/outsider/insert-word-here by the 'mean kids'. If you are getting positive response elsewhere (outside of school) it is much easier to discern that the school group is being mean rather than think you're not likable.
I haven't expressed that very well, but I hope you get my point.