Does anyone have any advice please? I have 2 children 18 months apart in age, nearly 13 and 14. My son (13) is very sociable, gregarious and one of the so-called School 'populars', and my 14-yr old daughter is quite shy and reserved and desperate to be more included at school. She seems really intimidated of 'the populars', doesn't attract any interest from the boys (although she genuinely is beautiful and has the sweetest and kindest personality), attracts bitchy comments and gets called a 'neek', gets constantly let down by so-called friends and never gets asked to events, shopping trips, parties. I know this is affecting her confidence terribly and it's compounded by her brother being so popular. She just seems to be invisible. She gets very tearful and I just don't know what to do to boost her confidence. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
There seems to be two things going on here, one is a seemily crap circle of friends and the other is popularity.
Could you encourage her to have a think about who she gets on with and ask them out on a shopping trip? Once she has friends around her, she shouldn’t be too bothered about whether she’s one of the popular kids or not.
Thank you. I'll encourage her to ask a friend on a shopping trip. She has done this before, gets excited, plans ahead and then the friend lets her down. I think she's worried about being rejected or being let down. I'll keep prompting her. I appreciate your advice, thank you.
Have you read the book 'Quiet" by Susan Cain? It's not perfect but it's really great at pointing out the extrovert bias in our society. It's sub-title is: "the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking". It might help her (and you?)understand the differences in personalities and value her own (quiet) strengths. It really helped me understand my DP, DD1 and make me realise I'm a bit of an introvert too!
Could she possibly be trying too hard? What planning does she need exeactky for going into the local town for a couple of hours? Not criticising but just thought the planning and hoping could put some girls off?
I haven’t read quiet, but my DS and my DN are both fairly home loving introverts and I know my DSIL has read it. They both have activities that they do outside of school too and agree that it does help with friendships. Would she be willing to try Explorer Scouts or a sport?
By planning, I mean she spends time and care choosing her clothes and doing her hair and make-up and, as has happened in the past, she's all ready to go and then gets a text saying "sorry, can't make it". She has just started an after-school club so I guess she's taking baby steps.
To be honest, I think it's a boy/girl divide. Boys don't read too much into friendships they are either in or out and both is ok Girls get caught up in the 'prettiest' 'coolest' rather than just be friends and hang out
My advise to her is stop looking at the populate that are usually shallow and self absorbed, ask her to open her eyes to the others. Who's not hanging out? Who needs a friend? Who shares her passion?
What does she do outside of school ? From what you say it seems that she is spending time looking towards a few particular girls that she thinks are 'cool' rather than getting out and living her life. If she were part of other groups outside of school - other teens that share her interests - then she is much more likely to find proper friendships rather than worrying about (what you seem to be perpetuating ??) friendships that rely on what she looks like ?? Why on earth would it matter that she is 'beautiful' ?
I agree with feartyfeet about taking a look at this book. The world and school makes it difficult for those who are inclined to being introverted or simply not loud! I would gently encourage outside activities and hobbies, do lots of family things together and also look at moving her to college or a different sixth form school where she can get a fresh start.