Should I be concerned about dd (year 7)?(13 Posts)
Dd started last Sept in a school where none of her primary classmates were going (we had moved away). She met some girls at the induction day who she hooked up with again in the first week of term so all looked positive. I had been concerned on the induction day as the kids in her form seemed to mainly know each other (large feeder school next door) and she was the only one on her own. Plus they all seemed very loud and confident whereas dd is a bit more reserved and quite sensitive.
After a week the girls from induction day started drifting off and she made friends with another girl. They seemed to be getting very close then 3 week later this girl dumped dd (shouting at her to leave her alone). Dd was very upset as she had no idea what she'd done wrong. I encouraged her to join some after school clubs which she did and she met some other girls from different forms and houses. She is still friends with them now which is great although she only gets to see them at break and lunch. They are all a bit geeky (into role playing etc) which is fine but dd isn't into that stuff. One of them is an oddball and dd seems to be spending the most time with her. This girl gets bullied a lot and the school is trying to deal with it. She is quite loud and says odd things and puts on this ridiculous posh voice all the time (I know I'm being mean but she sounds stupid). Dd isn't getting bullied but it does worry me that she might eventually just because she is friends with this girl. Dd also gets very annoyed with the constant drama of being friends with this girl (she keeps lying saying people have pics of dd on their phone and have shown it to others and laughed or everyone is gossiping about dd behind her back - both not true). Also constantly creating dramas where she says she is schizophrenic or that she's going to kill herself that night. It's making dd anxious and she already struggles with that.
Anyway dd says she hates everyone in her form. She says they all keep breaking the rules and act like wild animals. At parents evening one of the teachers mentioned to me that they are a particularly lively class (I assume that's code for pain in the arse). She has no friends at all in the whole class and says they think she's weird. One of the clubs she goes to means she helps set up every morning for assembly so she gets to avoid form room. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing! I'm just concerned she's missing opportunities to find someone she likes in her form but she's adamant she won't ever like any of them.
I doubt they'll let her change class and to be honest I'm wondering if she'll have problems wherever she goes. She was fine in primary school till the last year or two when the girls started acting more mature and she started struggling with friendships. She ended up hanging out with a slightly odd girl (see the theme here!) who was very immature for her age and had no friends. Dd is finding the growing up thing a bit hard (periods etc) and really just doesn't get the whole fancying boys and wearing designer bags thing that so many girls in her class are into.
Anyway my question is do I leave her to it? Encourage her to spend time with other people? Get her moved to another form?
If she is friends with girls in another form and has no friends in her form and is struggling with friendships then it would be reasonable to ask for a change of form groups if the school can accommodate it. My school would allow it, we don't want children to be miserable at school!
However I think you also need to talk to your DD about healthy friendships and how she doesn't have to be friends with people who annoy her, hurt her or make her sad or anxious.
I think I'd also ask for a change of form. Its worth asking. Certainly at my DCs school they're on the ball with children who start as an "only one" from their primary school.
If thats not an option, could you organise some get togethers for her - also have DC in Year 7 and have
pushed encouraged them to invite people for tea, meet up for ice cream at the weekend. A friend with a Yr 7 in a different class did a "mums and daughters tea party" one Saturday lunch time, so the girls all came to play / hang out for a couple of hours and the mums have a glass of fizz coffee. You'd also get to see the girls / how they interact that way??
You've said a lot about what your dd isn't in to, what is she "in" to? The way to friendships at that age is shared experiences / shared time together.
Re form - yes it sounds like her "lively" form is a PITA. Is she with them all day every day? Do they get taught in form groups? Will this change next year? Will it ever change? If not, then yes get her moved but not with the girl you don't think is great for her.
I would speak to the school about social difficulties and ask to change form groups
You need to speak to her house head, or tutor ( depending on how their pastoral SYS stem is set up) and get get form changed. It will be known in the school that her form is "challenging" , ( if not involve form teacher) and it should be possible for her to change.
Firstly, does the school allow moving forms?
Two local secondary schools: one will let the children move if they discuss reasonably with the head of year and their parent agrees for reasons much less than your dd.
Other won't let them move for any reason whatsoever.
My dd1 is a little like your dd. She really didn't totally find her feet until she got to year 10. She's now in year 11 and seems to have a group of mostly nice girls she's friendly with. not really friendly, but happy enough.
I would talk to the school about changing forms. I totally echo the sentiment about Y10. When my DDs moved into GCSE groups, friendships changed and firmer friendships developed as they were taught with more children on the same wave length as them. They had not really struggled with friendships, but the GCSE groups gelled more effectively. I can seem like a long time to wait though if she is unhappy in Y8 and 9.
Thanks all. I think the issue is the form she would want to move to is in another house and I assume they prefer not to move between houses? The other issue is she worries about how her moving classes would be perceived by the other kids and if she'd get a lot of stick because of it. I don't think there is a right answer here. Glad to hear it may eventually get better even if it is in year 10! I think we'll give it until the next half term holiday then go and talk to the head of year if she's still unhappy.
Definitely ask to change forms. I have a year 7 and a year 8 child and have heard of several changes for all sorts of reasons. Also worth asking if school offer ELSA support. It's a course of counselling sessions and in our local comp loads of the kids have been through it with absolutely no stigma attached. In fact my 13yo DD requested it as she knew a few girls who had done it and recommended it to her. My DS was also due to do it before we withdrew him from school (home ed for him now ).
I have known students more be form and house (one girl at one school did this twice before she settled). I would definitely talk to the Head of year or pastoral head. My DD doesn't really get on with her form, but from year 8 saw less and less of them, her friends are all in other forms.
Thanks all. I think the issue is the form she would want to move to is in another house and I assume they prefer not to move between houses?
I wouldn't assume they can't move houses. I'd speak to the tutor/HOH now about your concerns. They might have some good advice.
I could have wrote this (except DD isn't new to the area) she is also year 7 and has. I friends in her form. The various friends she has had have always seemed to want to be grown up before she is ready so gradually she's been dropped or left behind. She is lovely but is young for her age. She isn't overly image conscious (prefers comfortable clothes), isn't interested in boys yet and definitely isn't into throwing herself at them, isn't into music or make up. She loves dogs art being comfortable and being herself she also isn't into nastiness dramas or doing whatever it takes to fit in and isn't desperate to be popular at all costs.
I asked for DD to move forms in October time when DD told me she was on her own every lunchtime. The school refused any just as well as the girls in the form she wanted to move into have now moved away from her as she wouldn't go to watch a fight between two 12 year old boys with them and all the 'popular people'.
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