my heart breaks for dd(47 Posts)
She is nearly 15 and friendships have always been a bumpy ride for her. She seemed to have a better time in year 10 but now a group of girls that she was part of have decided to exclude her. She has some good individual friends but now even one of those has for no apparent reason gone cold on her. It makes me so sad and I just don't know how to help her!
Sympathies, it can be so upsetting for dteens when this happens. Groups can be lethal really, i think there is always a possibility that they decide to exclude one, or continue to include but treat them badly - there is probably some anthropological explanation that it strengthens the rest of the group. Individual friendships can be easier - but then they can get dependent so you are lost when one looks for pastures new.
Hard as it is, i think the best way dparents can help is to stay calm, play down your own sadness, explain that it's not her it's to do with group dynamics, and encourage her to focus on the individual friends who do want to be with her. And maybe look at joining clubs at school, and even out of school, to meet some new people? Ditch the group now, while remaining civil to them in case individual members want to stay friends.
As for the other 'individual' girl, i think at that age they do sometimes get a desire to 'spread the net' which is fair enough - it may be nothing personal. The best thing is to accept that and concentrate on the ones who do want to stay friends, but, again, remain civil in case it revives.
All good practical advice - but in practice it can be very hard - and the emotional toll on dteens of these things can be very great. I said on another thread i think one thing dparents can do is just make home a comforting place - cuddle up and watch some comedy shows, or a gripping film. Sounds a bit tame, but i think it can help!
I struggled with a group of bitchy girls at around the same age. The best advice I felt I got at the time was from the mum of another girl who had gone through something similar. She said that age 13/14 and up to 15 is when girls are the worst, once they get towards 16 they start to grow the hell up and they don't behave anywhere near as badly. That really helped me because I felt like I could see light at the end of the tunnel, and guess what, they did grow the hell up and it did get better.
I hope so! I have always hoped that the next stage would be better for dd in terms of friendship, but no luck so far! Here's hoping for sixth form...
Will she be doing 6th form at the same school?
Agree that 16+ is when girls start being a whole lot more sensible and nicer to each other generally (mostly!)
Encourage her to be the bigger person and build her self esteem in other ways. Encourage her unique interests and help her to build independence and resilience. She'll find her own tribe and click if she is strong in herself
I doesn't help that I could cry when she's had another rubbish day!
Hi Dorothy, I could almost have written your post, my DD is 14yrs and also has always had a very bumpy ride - people generally being mean, singling out, excluding, friends being 'hijacked' the list goes on and on since primary school. I just try to keep open the lines of chat with my DD and let her know none of it is her fault, if someone else wants to be mean the problem totally lies with them, not her.
It does feel heartbreaking but I have to tell myself that they are actually stronger than we think and also feels there's a lot to be said for the old saying 'what doesn't kill us makes us stronger'. DD has not only had a tough time at school but also at home, I remember one summer holiday thinking that her only friends were her two guinuea pigs!
I think Idon'treally speaks so much sense and I applaud her post to you. I would underline the play down your stress levels (difficult but it won't help her) try to show concern but not worry/stress. Great advice to keep it civil. Yes to try to spread her wings with other interests and maybe a little part time job?
Yes to as much stability, love and enjoyment at home as possible ( I know the 'enjoyment' bit is easier said than done with teens!
You are not alone Dorothy, hope your DD soon feels better about things [flower]
Those horrible bitchy girls will probably never achieve anything and one day your daughter will be brilliant and successful and a lovely person, and they will be wishing they'd been friends with her!
(Petty I know but it still makes me feel a bit smug when I see a school bully on Facebook who hasn't amounted to anything)
6th form can change a lot i think - the students are a bit more mature, at least a few leave and a few new ones arrive, so the dynamics change. But whether it's a huge change depends - not always! The question of whether to change 6th form is difficult if you're just about surviving, with one or two friends, because making new friends at a new school or college isn't necessarily that easy either. (If it's really awful at the current school then the decision's easier, of course). It would be interesting to know whether people who have changed for social rather than academic reasons are generally pleased that they did.
Op, we haven't really asked what the girls are doing and saying to your dd - if it's actively unkind then don't rule out asking the school to intervene - though i can see you may think it's barely worth it at the end of yr 11. On the other hand if it's 'just' that they've stopped wanting to see her out of school, that is horrible for her but not really anything the school can get involved with.
another thing to mention is that gcses is a very stressful time - that may explain (not necessarily excuse!) some of the girls' behaviour.
It's been so interesting to read a recent thread about an adult group excluding an op. I think that Not a single poster has not understood or sympathised with the op's hurt - it's obvious that people really understand how emotionally devastating it can be when your friends boot you out. If anything i think it is worse for dteens and dcs because it is much more the focus of their lives. So no wonder the dparents get upset! But as another poster says, best to play that down - kindly concern, but try not to show how upset you are on their behalf, i think is the name of the game.
I could have written your post as well. DD had a horrible time in year 10, but things are a bit better for her now (year 11). I have told her that a lot of the thoughtless and bitchy behaviour now is just due to exam stress.
I, too, am hoping that 6th form will weed out the nasty, bitchy ones, and that DD will build some self confidence and shine.
for you and your DD.
Yes they are not including her in outings, and one of the girls she is friends with individually but who is part of the group said that at a get together it was said "don't mention DorothyL's dd whatever you do!"
Dd said that one lunchtime she tried to say something to one of the ringleaders, but her and the other "leader" just went silent and stared at her
Im hoping very much that those two won't be there for 6th form!
I remember having a crappy time at your DD's age. Bit like Darcey, I kind of see/saw it as them "peaking too early" - most of the people who were really really popular at school and "cool" didn't go on to do a lot. Some people came into their own in the nicer environment at uni or work.
Sometimes the long summer break from each other after gcses means they come back slightly changed and that can also change dynamics. Though not necessarily that much! Is it quite a large 6th form, op? If so it may well be possible to avoid the girls in question anyway.
Well, i would drop all attempts at trying to initiate conversation with the silent starers if i were dd - nothing to be gained from that - while remaining civil if approached. A good rule of thumb is to focus on the people who do want to know you, not those who don't, i think - at all stages in life! It must have been very hurtful for your dd to hear that from her friend, but i suppose at least it has given your dd useful info. Have you got any family friends and relations you can arrange to meet up with - it can be a nice way of socialising out of school for a dteen? Not necessarily with their own dteens - just meeting other people of any age can be a welcome distraction, i think.
I feel for you & your DD as sounds similar to mine, although in year below. She has never found it easy to make friends - nowt wrong with her, she's not very girly (wasn't into make-up at age 10, but I now for example)but has got more so since puberty, she's lovely, got a good SOH & loyal, but she's also quite reserved. Recently she has got more friendly with a couple of other girls, not from her 'group', which she's been trying to extricate herself from for ages so am hoping this is a good change. She will never be the 'cool' one, but they are often not the nice girls anyway. We have already spoken about sixth form and we'll def see some next year (beg of year 11 I think you start looking) to see if she'll fit in more. I have told her to focus on friends who are more interested in her, even if she doesn't feel they're 'bffs', they may development into closer friends as time goes on.?
My dd sounds similar. She is changing schools for 6th form - I'll report back in September and let you know if there's been any change!!
my lovely DS 14 is in exactly the same boat, and I keep on waiting for these kids to grow up. Your DD sounds lovely. So many happy, lovely wise Mnetters say they went through this. There is hope that things will get better, but it's so sad to see them left out of the fun. I'm so proud of what a lovely kid DS is, but just sometimes I think that if he were a callous, spiteful arse more people would want to hang out with him.
I was your daughter, I was so unhappy in y10 and y11. 6th form was great, I had close friends who were boys for the first time and that completely diluted the bitchiness and excluding. Uni was even better!
Mud did you change school for 6th form, or was it just that things improved at your school once you got into 6th?
I stayed in the same school, but a few of the really bitchy girls left. I can just remember sitting in the common room talking to one of my male friends about a book we had both really enjoyed. It was a revelation that boys thought about stuff I thought about and there was more to life than bitchiness, clothes and make up. I also had some really good female friends too but male company definitely helped.
That's interesting mud - i think it's true that there can be a change of 'mood' in 6th form, which is why it can be hard to decide whether or not leaving is the answer.
Op, even if the current girls don't leave, the groups can shift and fluctuate - so don't be too down hearted either way!
Can you do something fun this weekend to take dd's mind off it all - nothing major, but maybe go shopping somewhere different, have a burger?
Thanks for all your responses, helps to know that others have survived similar experiences!
This weekend dd is meeting up with one of her "individual" friends, which should be nice.
DD struggled with friendships throughout ks3 -(bitchy, cliquey girls) -a new 6th form gave her a fresh start and a mixed friendship group of really nice teenagers. She's at uni now and really happy - good uni friends who all look out for each other and when she is home she catches up with her 6th form friends.
It does get better but it is heartbreaking when it is happening
Dorothy, is she/could she go to a different sixthform? Are you living somewhere where there is choice and you could visit sixth forms and find one which feels right for her? Then she is likely to meet other girls who she clicks with.
Even if not, once she chooses her A'levels she is hopefully going to be with others who like the subject and therefore they will have that in common.
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