Left out and lonely(10 Posts)
DD has been saying that she doesn't like school for while, which I thought was fairly normal for a 13 year old. However she was in floods of tears at the weekend and again today saying that she has no friends and is lonely. Apparently the popular girls are being horrible calling her names and doing lots of whispering/giggling. She does have friends and at times has had best friends or been a part of a big group but at the moment shes on the edge of her friendship groups. She doesn't do anything after school and spends lots of time in her room listening to music.
I want to help her but other than listen and tell her to ignor the mean girls I don't know what else I can do. She doesn't want me to talk to school. Is there anything I can do?
This is really sad for you - to watch your dc unhappy.
I would really suggest encouraging her to do clubs at lunch time and clubs after school to try to make other friends and widen her friendship groups.
Also outsdie of school look for clubs that she may enjoy so she is mixing with others in her age group - drama groups, sports of all kinds from table tennis to shooting, judo or tennis - anything to get her out of her room and into a group setting where she will meet others
Really feel for you I had this with my DD for the whole of lower secondary school. She is now flourishing with a new set of friends and interests after going to high school (15plus). I spoke to her about it recently and she says that although she felt lonely and isolated whilst she was in lower school (11 to 14) she is glad that she had that time to herself to evaluate/understand friendship and "not so much friendship". She concentrated on her own interests - music and art - and learnt to ignore the pressure to belong. I must admit it was very hard for me as a parent to "let go" - I tried to encourage her to like what her "friends" liked and pushed her into inviting people over - she resisted and now I am so glad that she stood up for who she is and what she believes in. It's hard and I would not wish this "stage" on any child but they learn and grow from it - far more than those children who have never faced this problem. My daughter is now 15 - and has the confidence and self worth to face many situations and she has a truer sense of who she is, how she fits into "the world" and what she looks for in a friend. She has her own group of friends now who probably have been through similar experiences and are far happier and settled. She refused to be moulded by other's expectations of her and as such I am very proud of her - let your DD find her way and it will work out - I promise!
It is sad, but I think it is also really normal. I can remember feeling just like this at 13, and I bet a lot of us can. 'Mainstream girl culture' at that age is pretty horrible - driven by hormones and insecurity - and anyone who doesn't want to 'play the game' will feel (at best) left out. I'm sure that sid is right, and although it's miserable at the time, girls who experience it can often grow from it, and develop more self-confidence - a much clearer sense of who they are and what they like. Perhaps it would help to tell your daughter that?
sidandlinus- your DD sounds lovely! OP it is so hard to see your DD go through this- my DD had very similar problems aged 13-16. She just didn't fit in with the cool group of girls- no-one was really nasty to her, but thoughtless and she felt excluded. I too tried to encourage her to "join in" but it wasn't really her. She found a few hobbies she really enjoyed and pursued those. She then found a friend on an exchange who really valued her for who she was- someone else who was also a little "quirky" and it transformed her. She moved schools at 16 to a boarding school where she has found a lot more like minded friends and she is who she is- found a lovely b/f who is also like her.
Try and encourage her to find a hobby she can pursue where she might meet friends away from school- other posters on this site are right- she will come through it a better person and with great resilience.
Girl Guides? Great for making local friends outside school, new experiences, fun and responsibility. Good luck!
OP, you are talking about my own 14 yr old DD. In fact I logged on to get some advice for this very thing. The other posts are very encouraging but I worry that the longer my own DD spends isolated in her bedroom the more depressed and isolated she will become. She doesn 't want to join clubs, if I do manage to persuade her to try anything new then she wants to quit after 3 weeks. Sometimes I just want to shake her but I know deep down that is the wrong thing to do. Am thinking of sending her to the local 6th form college to jolt her life up a bit.
sidandlinus Everything you have said is exactly what I would wish for my DD - to plough her own furrow and find herself. Unfortunately she is not at that stage yet. She is in Y8 and we have just received a letter from school to say that she has won a prize for Y7 - and she is not pleased. She is worried that the others will think she is a 'nerd'.
OP - I can only recommend that you find something outside of school that will interest your DD, if you think she needs it. Guides has been great for my DD, and she does lots of other activities as well.
Just as an add on - I spoke to my DD about this at the weekend and she said that although it was difficult for her at the time she worried more about me "worrying about her" than the actual stuff she was experiencing in her day-to-day life. We often forget that this is a two-way streak. If you can be there to listen and support her that is the most that you can do. There will be peaks and troughs in the nastiness but they do subside and often, as a parent, we are worrying about something that our DC have long ago forgotten or dealt with.
One thing that did help my DD at the time was having interests and being able to take those interests "away" from her immediate surroundings. She went for a week course about 300 miles away and that gave her confidence to be on her own and make new friends. Moving out of our comfort zone for a short time - eg: different town/city etc.. can really help them see a wider picture.
One suggestion I would make, though you know if your child is ready or would want to, is if they have older siblings, cousins or other relatives in a different place then a long-weekend on her own can really help her grow.
I also found that by tuning into her interests (she's a bit of a geek as well) then she found strength in numbers - eg: she didn't like the music her peers listened to, but instead of pretending she did or making excuses through FB and other media she became "friends" with people who "liked" the same stuff. It helped her feel as though there were others out there like her but she just hadn't met them yet (hope this makes sense).
I hope this helps - remember that she isn't alone in feeling like this - probably half her peers are the same, but you are lucky in that she can talk to you about it. Be there for her just don't try to fight her battles for her.
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