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Year seven girls and friendships

(26 Posts)
abr1de Fri 12-Nov-10 08:42:09

Help! My 12-year-old hasn't been wanting to go to school for the last ten days. She has always been very happy at school, both in her primary and in year six of the junior dept. of the senior school she's now in.

She seems to have fallen between a couple of groups. She has been invited to a number of parties so people obviously like her but she says they all assume she's playing with another group. At lunchtimes where she hasn't got an activity she says she just sits in the classroom alone.

I know that she may be feeling a little hormonal, though she's still very undeveloped and hasn't started periods, and this may be making her see things in a particularly doom-laden way.

Is this normal for year seven? I'm just not used to her being so sad and lonely. Obviously I'll be in touch with her teacher if it continues to worry me, but I was just wondering what other people's experiences had been? I had a vile time at school at this age and don't want this to colour how I view my daughter's 'issues'.

Butterbur Fri 12-Nov-10 08:52:14

My daughter is in year 8, and year 7, especially this time of year, was just like this for her. The friendships made in the first flush of a new school are beginning to unravel, and new friendships have yet to be made. There's also IME an unhealthy jostling for position in the pecking order, which can lead to girls being downright bitchy sometimes.

I found these spells of loneliness didn't last long. However, if your DD is cutting herself off by sitting in the classroom, she may miss out on making new friends. Perhaps you could talk to her about who she gets on with, strategies for chatting to people who aren't yet friends, etc. Failing all else, certainly for my DSs, I found their schools helpful in pairing up loners for work in classes like science.

abr1de Fri 12-Nov-10 08:54:33

Thank you, Butterbur. That is reassuring.

DurhamDurham Fri 12-Nov-10 08:58:56

My two girls (17 and 13) both went through similar times. My yougest is v sociable and has loads of friends and flitted from group to group, becasue of this she sometimes got missed out at the weekend as friends assumed she was always busy with other friends.

It does calm down as they grow, my 17 year old has brilliant friends and they've all worked out where they are in the scheme of things so there's no more jostling.

I'd hate to be a teenager now with all the stresses and complicatins it brings!

abr1de Fri 12-Nov-10 08:59:45

, Durham.

cantdecidewhattodo Fri 12-Nov-10 09:00:25

Op, it sounds like your DD does have friends, but perhaps needs to make a bit more effort to connect with them.

She says each group assumes she is with the other group. She needs to make more effort to approach her friends and positively ask to join in. It does not sound like they would turn her away.

My DD in yr6 sometimes has this problem. She has a lot of friends but they are in several "groups" who do not have anything much to do with each other. At times she has been upset that she has been left alone because each group thinks she is with another. I have advised her to just approach her friends and ask to join in. It has worked.

Sounds like your DD just needs to make it known that she wants to join in. She has friends who want to spend time with her, but they assume she is busy with someone else.

abr1de Fri 12-Nov-10 09:03:21

Yes, perhaps she needs to be a bit more assertive, cantdecide.

Hassled Fri 12-Nov-10 09:07:23

I agree that sometimes an element of pushing yourself into a group is required - not easy if you're a bit shy. You just have to appear and join in with a group rather than risking rejection by asking if you can join in.

I do sympathise - my DD had a horrible time at that sort of age. All those hormones everywhere.

cantdecidewhattodo Fri 12-Nov-10 09:24:06

abr, your DD has said her friends "assume she is with the other group" so it would seem they are just waiting for her to approach them.

I would be amazed if they turned her away if she did this.

welshie10 Fri 12-Nov-10 09:38:19

Having almost EXACTLY the same experience-in fact i could have written yr piece. My child is struggling! Only wants her family around her, no one from primary and no one from the new secondary. Very hard to remain positive hen she is glum going to school and the same coming home. I am worried to within an inch of my life and am desparate to get her sorted-have even looked at other schools altough dont really think this is the answer
Has anyone out there moved their child after only weeks at secondary and how did it go???

abr1de Fri 12-Nov-10 09:53:39

Thanks, everyone. Welshie, have you spoken to her teacher?

welshie10 Fri 12-Nov-10 09:58:40

yes several times in fact waiting for yet another call back from them this morning.the school have been v good to be fair and have tried to instigate a buddy system-but D seems to be finding this difficult ie. doesnt want kids to be feeling forced into friendship with her-kind of see her point .

abr1de Fri 12-Nov-10 11:33:35

Yes, I can see her point, too. It's sooooo hard, isn't it.

cantdecidewhattodo Fri 12-Nov-10 11:57:34

welshie - this may just be a settling in issue - she feels a bit overwhelmed by the new environment at secondary school so retreats into the familiar and safe when she can, ie family.

This could all resolve once she finds her feet and gets used to the school.

I don't think moving her would help as she would then have yet another new place to get used to - unless there are specific issues at this school that she has not told you about yet?

welshie10 Fri 12-Nov-10 13:24:34

No I feel that she needs to find some mates who are into the same stuff as she is and you are right then things ill fall into place! I hope! School are fab I must say.Am going to remain positive what else can I do eh!

abr1de Fri 12-Nov-10 14:54:22

My sense is that the initial euphoria of arriving in senior school has gone. But the groups still haven't entirely settled. It's like a pond that someone's thrown a pebble into. My daughter is quite broad in her interests: she likes sport, shopping, reading, dogs, FB, and all the rest, so there MUST be people she'd get along with. I think there's a degree of hormonal darkness falling around her. Little slights that wouldn't normally bother her are getting her down.

ShrinkingViolet Fri 12-Nov-10 15:02:26

hate to be voice of gloom, but I've found it gets a bit worse before it gets better - Year 8 has the same hormonal fallings-out, plus the workload isn't especially stretching, so there's no particular need to put in much effort workwise, and there's lots of trying to be in with the "cool" girls. Improves from Year 9 onwards IME.

welshie10 Fri 12-Nov-10 18:45:07

uh oh we have some way to go then! never mind onward and upwards thanks for all advice.

LaydeeC Fri 12-Nov-10 20:44:57

gosh, op and welshie - have you taken my dtr smile
it is exactly the same in my house also - I often wonder if it is exacerbated by the fact that my little one is a mid-aug baby and always seem to be struggling on the friend front because they are often up to a year older than her.
she is sociable, bubbly, LOUD, attractive etc but really craves the kind of one to one friendships (she loves having one special best friend to share everything with) but in her new school it is groups (cool groups and not so cool groups!) and my dd refuses to jostle her way for a position in the groups but then takes it very personally if, one day, she is not invited to sit with a particular group at lunch for example.
I have seen her looking very glum (and coupled with the burden of both homework and the organisation that she is now required to do) I have considered moving her to another school.
We have parents eve next week and I can't wait for it to come round - although the feedback I have had from her tutor is that things are fine.
Sheesh, it never felt like this when I was at school.

mummydoc Fri 12-Nov-10 22:23:27

my dd in yr 6 - much the same , she is 1 of 4 girls in her class, things have been upset by new girl arrivign this term who hs jostled for top dog slot and her and other 2 niggly nastiness towards my dd, so bad we have asked school to move her the other class which has 5 girls where the girls seem more mature and she does have 1 particulalry close friend. gkw i will do if that does't work out.

abr1de Fri 12-Nov-10 22:54:43

It is reassuring to know we aren't alpine. Thanks for posting. I hope things work out.

Things seem a little better today. A new alliance has been forged. We will see...

abr1de Fri 12-Nov-10 22:55:39

Alone, not alpine, that should have read. blush

welshie10 Sat 13-Nov-10 09:20:13

going to visit a new school nxt week-but in my heart and head i dont want to move her.

abr1de Sat 13-Nov-10 11:50:44

You're not bound to anything yet. Perhaps just going to look will reassure your daughter and help relax her? And then things might get better? I think that if they know we are taking this seriously and looking for solutions that does boost their morale and they don't feel as alone.

My daughter seems more herself now. Has found a new friend. Thank you all for the support.

DELHI Wed 01-Dec-10 11:20:35

My yr 7 DD likewise is in this position. Best friend from primary has hooked up with a new mate, and poor DD hasn't really found anyone she 'clicks' with in her tutor group, so feeling seriously left out, and thinks that everyone apart from her has made crowds of great new friends. . I've encouraged her to join drama, sport etc at lunchtimes and just to take very opportunity ( and there are plenty) to meet people in other tutor groups. he's trying hard so I just hope she finds a new 'bezzie' soon, as she's quite unhappy about the situation.

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