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DD started secondary school - friendships

(17 Posts)
Monkeytree Mon 25-Sep-17 11:51:49

Hi, I'm just wondering if anyone finds themselves in a similar situation?

DD has just started in Y7 in an all girls grammar school where the children live miles apart - all across the county and out of county too.

DD seems to be doing well in that she is getting along with most of her peers, always seems to have someone to hang out with and has developed one particularly good friendship.

The difficulty is that we live a 40 minute drive from this friend -so it would obviously take a bit of organising re lifts etc. Has anyone else found themselves in this situation where friends live quite a distance away? No other girls from our village have managed to get into the school, leaving DD a bit out on a limb. At the moment she is coming home from school (between 4 pm-5 pm, tired) and doesn't seem to be too bothered about mixing with others, she has also recently quit guides which means that apart from horse riding and piano lessons - more or less solo activities, she does not really participate in a group activity (football seems all the rage around here but she has never really gotten into that). Am I worrying too much about her social life? To be honest after she has finished her homework she just wants to chill out and watch TV etc. Weekends she swims and goes horse riding so does activities but is not really mixing with her peers as such outside of school.
She has not complained so far that she does not have company and is obviously getting use to a new routine. She also seems to be o.k company wise when she is at school as far as I can tell. I was quite isolated as a pre-teen/teenager (inside school as well) and I think I am letting some of my anxiety spill out onto her. I would like to encourage her friendship with this one particular girl but have been hanging back (I am also pregnant and have been experiencing nausea etc. so have not been until very recently, up to socialising much myself) and I think it is often down to the same old thing - if you want to see people you have to make the effort, they don't tend to come to you. Do these things tend to work themselves out over time? Any advice welcome.

MrsOverTheRoad Mon 25-Sep-17 12:11:51

Don't worry. Even when they live near others, they often tend to stay in a bit whilst they're getting used to their new routines.

She sounds like she's doing very well OP!

It will level out and in a few years they'll all be getting buses and trains to meet up...or is there a town between your home and her friends where they could meet on Saturdays?

Ginorchoc Mon 25-Sep-17 12:15:18

Sounds like my daughters school. What we end up doing is they arrange to meet up in one of the towns and us parents tend to confirm via text and then drop off and pick up. House meets are rare due to the large catchment area and so many villages the girls live in.

Monkeytree Mon 25-Sep-17 15:06:07

Thanks for your replies ladies. At what age did you permit your dc's to meet up in town? I think I am very cautious on this front and only just comfortable with her catching a bus to school and going to the local shop, let alone wandering around town (albeit with another girl etc.) She has not long turned 11, yikes this is a big learning curve for me too.
Is it best that they choose an activity - cinema, mooch around the shops, I just feel dd is a little too young for this but it would be lovely for the girls to meet up together.

MrsOverTheRoad Mon 25-Sep-17 15:14:23

My DD is 13 and just starting to go into town to meet her friends.

She has had a couple of very quiet summers prior to this! I do think it's fine at 13 plus but agree 11 is a bit young.

Some parents on MN will say 11 is fine but you know your own child....I wouldn't have let mine because I doubted her coping skills for example, if she lost her bus pass or something!

She's fine now but still needs a reliable friend with her!

christinarossetti Mon 25-Sep-17 15:16:16

What about girls going to the cinema in town, then a parent or both parents picking them up afterwards, giving them enough time to go for a soft drink or coffee somewhere?

If she texted you that she was at cinema and with friend, would that be enough.

If not, give it a bit longer. I think Y7 is alot about getting through the first winter, with its dark mornings and evenings, and then they flourish with independence in the spring and summer.

Monkeytree Mon 25-Sep-17 15:20:59

Hi Christina, yes that was my thoughts - that the first term is more about settling in but didn't want dd to miss the boat with forming friendships, its an altogether different ball game isn't it when friends live outside the immediate area - we live in a village and have been use to girls just walking/cycling to our house etc.

purplecollar Mon 25-Sep-17 15:23:49

I travelled a long way to school and we used to meet up, often travelling to different places in the middle. But probably when we were a couple of years older.

My dd has just started secondary. Due to catchments here, all her friends live within a mile. She's not really seeing any of them after school or at weekends at the moment. She's shattered. They keep in touch via WhatsApp, often chatting in the evenings.

Lily2007 Mon 25-Sep-17 15:34:05

DD just started at a grammar which takes from 190 state primaries and similar number of privates, only one from her school and one of three white kids despite area around school being predominately white. We live about a mile from school but almost all the kids are coming from another area about an hour away.

She's made a group of 5 good friends so has adapted very well and all the girls seem to want to be her friend which is lovely. We also haven't met up after school yet partly due to the 2 hours a night homework. I'm not concerned as we go out all weekend and its nice to be a family in the week, she also does a couple of clubs. I wouldn't worry too much about it. One of DDs friends is only a couple of streets away but others are 30 mins drive from us but she has other friends around here. Tbh we are too shattered in the week at the moment and there's plenty of school holidays and weekends. I find people offer to come to us when they want to be friends. She will be fine, its just finding a new normal, clubs may help.

Monkeytree Mon 25-Sep-17 16:37:48

Hi Ladies, yes there is a general shattered theme going on isn't there and dd does keep in touch over the net, which is something I think I prefer with the dark evenings drawing in (versus roaming around). One of her old primary school friends in the village has been in back in touch but I think as been said, the dc's are finding their feet a bit at the moment and dd certainly isn't rushing out to instigate a meet up.

Fluffysparks Mon 25-Sep-17 17:04:49

A little older, but exactly the same situation (in fact could even be the same school). I think 11 is a good age for towns etc, but remember she does spend hours socialising in school, and I wouldn't worry too much until she presses wanting to meet out of school wink

SpikeGilesSandwich Mon 25-Sep-17 19:19:47

I grew up with this situation, no friends nearby, it's fine, you deal the life you have. I used to get the bus to see friends when I was older and my dad would pick me up. We'd meet up in bigger towns or go into the city to shop but not in year 7.
It is different now as they have mobile phones and chat online too so it's probably a lot more sociable than it used to be. I wouldn't worry.

gluteustothemaximus Mon 25-Sep-17 19:25:55

Similar issues here. TBH DS is so tired from long school day and homework, he just wants to chill.

He keeps in touch via Snapchat with friends. He's happy at home. Plus plenty of time socialising at school, so he's really not bothered come the evening/weekend.

overnightangel Mon 25-Sep-17 19:28:52

Hi Monkeytree
I would maybe leave it a while, perhaps until Christmas , and let her form her friendships, then maybe after that let her get the bus to town to maybe meet her friends for a burger then cinema , then arrange to pick her up from cinema .
Sounds like she's doing really well smile

Ginorchoc Mon 25-Sep-17 19:31:07

My dd has been meeting in town with friends since year 7. Although only post year 8 have I actually left town to pick up later. In year 7 I stayed in town in Costa with a book and lots of coffee and they knew where I was and they checked in every now and then with a brief visit to show me what they had bought. I was the only parent who stayed though. Now I do leave her but I'm not far away to pick up.

crazycrofter Sat 30-Sep-17 18:57:23

Our dd is now year 9 in a similar situation (although city not country). We've got into a rhythm now - term time is very busy and her days are very sociable anyway, with lunchtime and after school clubs etc. She then spends lots of time outside school chatting online to friends.

In the holidays she'll usually have a sleepover with her best friend who lives 45 mins away. Other days she'll meet friends in the city centre to shop/watch a film etc or she'll go to a friend's house for the day. They don't need any meet ups in term time - the days are longer and busier and they have lots of homework to fit in too.

Brighteyes27 Fri 01-Dec-17 22:26:22

She sounds fine. It depends on the child and where you live. We don’t live in a big city both my two were in town at 11 with friends. They had to keep their phones switched on, they both have old iPhones and I used find my friends so I could track where they were at etc. They weren’t allowed up town late when it was dark etc.

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