11 year old and friendship(5 Posts)
My 11 (nearly 12) year old has always been happy-go-lucky in terms of friendships. In her Primary School, she was quite popular. Now she has joined Secondary, she is starting to flag a bit.
It's an all girls' school. It has a good academic reputation but also has one for bitchiness at times, though many parents who've had girls there have found their daughters to have risen above the groups famous for this and got on and made good friendships. I really thought my DD would be one of them because she is quite extrovert and she can fight her corner if need be although she doesn't look for trouble.
There are a couple in her class who will completely ignore her if she speaks to them directly. DD is a friendly girl and would never do this so she finds it completely baffling and upsetting. One girl who does this started off OK then changed, the other was at her Primary school and was a friend, although I thought she looked a bit of a madam as I saw her do this to her way back then.
A lot of the girls are growing up, getting into hair and make-up. DD is still fairly tomboyish. She is physically very immature as she is small for her age. She has not developed at all. Sometimes she says she feels like a little kid. Other times she has said she is a weirdo. She is so not a weirdo. Everyone who meets her says she is a lovely girl.
So far, I've told her to rise above it and focus on those who are friendly to her (and there are some) and ignore the snooty ones. I don't think she really feels she's fully got into a group yet. I don't know if it's too early but I think that would really help her.
Any other advice?
Hi gandalf - reassure your DD that Year 7 is messy for many kids - new school, new friendships, more expectations on them organisationally, puberty kicking in etc. Pity there's no Monopoly card for 'Pass year 7 go straight to 8'! Both of my DDs experienced very similar to your DD at different times and it did feel rather like a roller-coaster ride at times! Sounds like you're doing all the right things to reassure her - the fact she's talking to you is the most important thing.
Encourage her to keep broadening her friendship groups (trust me, things will remain fluid for a long time yet) by following her interests. Joining clubs at school will help her find who she's truly comfortable with. Something I found really helpful was to have them join a club outside of school - gives them a broader perspective on school life - and some different friends too.
Snipey behaviour, cold shoulder etc is so common at this age - but I understand very hurtful too. Ignoring is by far the best option (unless it escalates in which case absolutely rope the school in and nail the little blighters!) and remember it's THEIR problem, not hers. And remind her that very often these kids are acting that way because of their own insecurities - not worth her time.
As for her own development, as she finds her own interests and a good set of friends, any worries she has about herself will start to fade - it's all very much inter-linked.
And if it's any reassurance, one of my DDs, whom we were thinking of moving during Yr 7/ early Yr 8 as she was struggling so much socially, has absolutely blossomed. Now in year 10, fully engaged in school life with a broad range of decent friends and so happy, I simply would never have believed it.
Hope that helps!
Thanks. That's helpful. I am just seeing her confidence going and it's not like her. Today was a good day and she has a party tomorrow . I'm hoping it will help forge new friendships.
She does Guides with some of her old friends. She was wanting to move to join her new friends but, actually, I think it's better to stay. She also goes to a youth club with another primary friend and it has children from different schools.
Gandalf your daughter sounds much like mine. She is also in guides is in year 6 (it's started much earlier here). Her old BFF is suddenly heavily into make up on a weekend, is always dressed up in new clothes, is obsessed by handbags and shoes and is always posting and posing on Instagram etc.
I don't think my DD is cool enough these days she's honest loyal friendly and probably young for her age and seems much happier in comfy old clothes and shows no interest in make up hair or posing etc. My DS only seems to be tolerated when the popular girls aren't around so she's basically being used and picked up ignored and dropped at whim. It's really upsetting but just encouraging her to be herself, be clean and keep on with guides and to find other friends. Good luck.
My secondary school days were a very long time ago, but I rember that it wasn't until the second year that friendships really gelled for me. The first year was very much a process of settling in, finding my way around, getting to know the other girls in my year. I didn't meet the girl who became one of my best friends until quite late in the year. We were in different forms and our paths hadn't crossed until then.
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