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Y7 Girl friendships 'drama'

(20 Posts)
oklumberjack Wed 22-Mar-17 16:27:15

I think I'm after reassurance from this thread that these things are normal.

My dd started Y7 knowing nobody from her Primary. Not to sound 'braggy' but she's very mature for her age both emotionally and also physically.
The first few weeks/months were pretty tough. She found it hard to make friends until she joined a few clubs etc. Eventually she found more friends in her tutor group (they have all lessons together, except Maths until Y8).

Things started to get tense a month or two ago with old Primary friendships breaking down, however luckily my dd didn't have this problem. However this past week things have been horrendous. It seems like all the girls seem to be in 2-3 cliques/groups. Nearly everyone has fallen out with each other, changed friends, not talking to old friends, freezing out people. Again, dd says although she's not a particular target she feels very tense. Everyone is snappy and on edge. Dd says she feels sick.

The school has good pastoral care and they must be very used to friendship issues. I don't really have a complaint myself, except that the atmosphere is making my dd feel ill.
I wanted to ask, is this as normal as everyone tells me? My Neices have told me Y9 was the worst for friendship problems, other girls I know say Y8. It just feels so horrible. Is there anything to do except ride it out?

TeenAndTween Wed 22-Mar-17 16:32:43

Normal between y5-y8 I think. Ebbs and flows.
Ride it out. Advise your DD not to get involved in the dramas, and not to speak ill of people behind their back as when friendships change it will get back to them. She can speak to pastoral care if it's getting to her.

Unless it tips into bullying. In which case get involved!

Submit Wed 22-Mar-17 16:41:02

Sounds very normal to me. Not a pleasant situation to be in I am sure but it won't go on forever.

Submit Wed 22-Mar-17 16:43:01

Sounds normal to me. I agree with teenandtween on all points.

It won't last forever try and ride it out.

TheDogsEatingCaptainAmerica Wed 22-Mar-17 16:49:35

Sounds pretty normal to me. I was 'frozen out' in year 7 and it felt like the end of the world. Refused to go back into school. My mum dragged me in, spoke to the school counsellor about what was going on. They brought the girls into the office, had a 'let's stop being so silly' talk and everything went back to normal. They're all competing to fit in and find their place that they forget how hurtful it is to other people. It may be worth having a word with the school if such a problem arises. Year sevens are shit scared of getting in trouble usually, so a quick word from an adult will usually do the trick.

oklumberjack Wed 22-Mar-17 16:55:05

Reassuring replies thanks.

Several groups of girls have already been spoken to by Pastoral several times. Also the Head of Y7 gave the whole class a good talking to. All that seems to happen is the warring factions that have had a talking to seem to unite and form a new clique! Confusing the hell out of the others. My dd is finding it stressful trying to negotiate her way through it.

I wouldn't know how to mention it to the tutor without sounding like a 10 yr old girl myself IYKWIM.

QGMum Wed 22-Mar-17 18:15:20

Completely normal, alas. I think at this age some of them enjoy creating the drama for the sake of it. My dd is in Y7 too and often refers to the 'dramas'.

There should be other like minded girls who aren't enjoying this either so can she find those and stay out of it as much as possible with them?

Littledrummergirl Thu 23-Mar-17 22:22:21

Dd is yr7 and I'm so fucked off with it already. When she's in the clique her work ethic drops (along with her grades), when they've excluded her again it goes back up.

It seems to be a fairly normal part of growing up now unfortunately. my boys never had this.

EndoplasmicReticulum Thu 23-Mar-17 23:26:04

I was a year 7 form tutor for many years. There'd be the initial settling in getting to know each other period, cliques would form, primary friendships would wane, and in about February or March, every year, there'd be huge fall outs.
The fact that it is almost to be expected doesn't make it feel any easier for the girls on the receiving end of crappy behaviour - usually exclusion of some sort. I spent a lot of time trying to encourage them all to be nicer to each other. OP - your daughter should talk to pastoral care / head of year. They will have strategies to deal with it.

mummytime Thu 23-Mar-17 23:34:26

My best advice is to get your DD some interests outside school, ideally without many girls from school. Just having a different group of friends separate from school can make all the difference.

ExitPursuedByUser54321 Thu 23-Mar-17 23:45:56

Y7, Y8, Y9. From memory I think Y10 was ok. Rough start to Y11.

Now Y12. She has learned to deal with it.

myrtleWilson Thu 23-Mar-17 23:48:46

Still a little bit of it happening in yr9 here OP - I think its completely normal and can only assume I've blanked the fall outs from my own teenage years from my memory. I think where it is different is the use of social media which means fall outs can take on a 24/7 life span and can pull more girls into it if you see what I mean.

That said most of the fall outs I've seen with my DD have been relatively short lived and friendship groups do seem to ebb and flow and bygones are left in the past.

I hope you and DD can ride them out flowers and wine

oklumberjack Fri 24-Mar-17 08:03:21

Thanks everyone. It's reassuring to know it's 'normal'.

As I say, it's not particularly my dd whose in the thick of all these fall outs but she's caught between all the cliques and finding it stressful. She's off with a migraine today 🙁.

She does have other friends in different tutor groups which helps. Also her closest friend is 2 years older and at a different school so they hang out when they both want to chill. I really wish I could encourage an activity outside of school. She's learning the guitar and likes drama, but has only developed these interests within school (which has a great music and drama ethic). It's early days I suppose.

I will contact pastoral if she is still anxious next week. Thanks.

TranquilityofSolitude Fri 24-Mar-17 08:16:23

A friend shared this article the other day which I think is really helpful.

smceducationblog.tumblr.com/post/150629869120/girls-and-their-frenemies

There is something in there about realising that excluding people helps you to feel included and that seemed to be the theme of Yr5-Yr9 for us.

oklumberjack Fri 24-Mar-17 08:21:40

Endoplasmic that's really interesting. The exact timescale of dd's tutor group! I'm pretty sure their form tutor must spend lots of time on this too. I really feel for her!

In Y8, they start to do more subjects with a bit more mixing between those groups (at the moment it's just Maths). I'm hoping this will help a bit. Dd says it's like siblings who have spent too much time together squabbling grin

oklumberjack Fri 24-Mar-17 08:22:06

Tranquility thanks. Great article.

Blackbird82 Fri 24-Mar-17 08:23:10

I don't have a teenager but very vivid memories from my own childhood.

Years 7-9 were great, I had lots of friends.

10 & 11 were a living hell. Everything changed, girls were incredibly bitchy. I completely lost my place and didn't fit in with anyone. It was a really awful time and I couldn't wait to leave.

It's such a tough time

WafflingVersatile Fri 24-Mar-17 08:24:57

I went to seniors school with just one other girl I knew and she didn't even end up being a good friend. I don't think not knowing anyone from primary is overly disadvantageous. Just think of it as a fresh start and there will be ups and downs until your daughter finds her group. It's not pleasant seeing your child upset but this too shall pass.

AChickenCalledKorma Fri 24-Mar-17 08:29:17

Totally normal here. And there's a year 7 disco tonight which I suspect will involve open warfare. Emotions are running very high. My youngest daughter is a total drama llama and is right in the thick of it, so thank you for reminding me that she's not the only one!

On the bright side, I am going out tonight with DD1 who is in (much more stable) year 10, so it will be DH that picks DD2 up. And any drama will just sail right over his head!

Notafish Fri 24-Mar-17 17:38:18

DD had it a bit in Year 7 In year 8 she hated being stuck between 2 warring camps. Year 9 she's best friends with another girl who can't be bothered to get involved with the drama. They have a lovely, mature, uncomplicated friendship. My DD woulsn't take sides so she also has good relationships with all the girls she's been friendly with through Year 8 and 9. It's been bad this year - maybe because they change forms again in Y9 - but it's had minimal effect on my dd. Hopefully your dd will find like minded friends.

My DD2 is completely different. She's a magnet to drama and I dread her starting secondary school.

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