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Shy teen - being bullied or am I overreacting?(3 Posts)
Looking for some advice. My beautiful awkward 13 year old has struggled all her life to make friends but has bravely soldiered on with her hobbies and little steps towards enduring friendships. Tall blonde and pretty, genuinely sweet and sensitive I think she falls just beneath the autism spectrum and the ways of other teenage girls seem to be something she occasionally tries to emulate but which are outside her capabilities. An avid reader, and an obsessive fan girl, over the last year she has made great progress and has found her place in school with (in her words) a small group of nerdy bookworms who seem to genuinely like her and lunch and break times are spent with her friends hanging out in the library. There's also a couple of girls who she's done dancing with since a toddler who are good friends and although not part of the hard core inner circle there's some long lasting friendships there. So all was looking good until this week.
She's never had anything to do with boys, never had anything common with any boy really and avoided any one to one interaction with them. I still don't think she's genuinely bothered about them but at age 13 a boyfriend seems to start to become something to aspire to. She'd mentioned a couple of weeks ago one boy she liked who until very recently had been dating the prettiest nicest girl in the year. I think my daughter liked this boy (he's called Noah) mostly because he's apparently a bit camp and very approachable. However he's also very much an a-lister with a bunch of confident sassy young teens in his inner circle. We gently advised that declaring her interest in him to anyone might not be wise just now if his recent ex girlfriend was the prettiest most well liked girl in school. She kind of nodded but did mention to a couple of people that she liked him. I think it was mentioned to him with not a great deal of rrsponse. However, today, the day before Valentine's Day, she found a note in her locker... gushy heart covered 'the moment I saw you I knew you were perfect, you dance so elegantly, your golden hair shines like dandelions ' etc. Bless her she was so excited and another girl was building it up saying it was from this boy Noah. Sadly the words, writing, etc were clearly done by a girl as a joke and when we went to her dance class there was a fair bit of giggling at her expense. I encouraged her to laugh it off at this stage and we chatted about it afterwards. My husband and I both thought it was from a good friend who is known for pranks and at this stage though disappointed for her I wasn't worried. However later on the girl who had been encouraging her earlier sent her a text saying. 'The letter was from Noah and Cali (one of the cool girls) who were sending fake love letters to a few people. Sorry if any of this has upset you'
Ok sh*t happens but I'm really unsettled by this. Why her? She mostly stays out of this groups way and off their radar probably. Ok her own naive way she doesn't think this is particularly personal but I'm troubled by where it might go next as clearly she's someone earmarked as an easy target for the cool kids. Should I be as worried as I am? Do we advise her to laugh it off or confront the senders?
Sorry for the length of this post. Just want to do the right thing for my girl here and nip anything in the bud that I can.
Kids do shit like this ALL the time. Your previous advice of laugh it off it spot on. She hasn't been exclusively "targeted" as her friend text her saying the notes were sent "to a few people". Help her be the kid who doesn't get wound up about it, they're more likely to repeat this behavior if they get a reaction.
Encourage her other talents & hobbies with her select group of friends. It's entirely possible the "cool" kids are intimidated by your daughter, especially if she's tall/blonde/academic & are palming their insecurities off by being mean.
My sister has/had ZERO interest in boys through secondary school (currently Y13), obsessive about sport & her hobby (neither of which would be mainstream "cool"), we were so worried she was an easy target for "cool kids" when she started, she also has Aspergers & struggles hugely with "jokes" & "sarcasm". She had a few bumps along the way, nothing major, she kept on at her sport (where she has some cracking friends) & now in Y13 she's the cool kid as she's been selected to the National Junior squad & she can outlift most of the boys in the gym!
Make like Taylor Swift- shake it off ;-)
Thanks for your calm and practical advice. She seems to be taking it in her stride and I was very proud of her yesterday for apparently going up to the boy in question and saying "by the way Noah, it's d.a.n.d. "E". l.i.o.n"
Neither she or I are remotely convinced that any letters were sent to anyone other than her but I guess the main thing here is whether anything else happens and how much return the kids get from this. She did say quietly to us last night "I'm a bit sick of having to tell people I knew it was a joke" but hopefully it will be yesterdays news today.