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Lonely 12yo daughter becoming depressed.(24 Posts)
Does anybody have any helpful advice please? I’m sat here heartbroken for my young lady. She has just broken down on me (after months of me trying to find out why she never goes out or what’s going on) she has said that she has no friends, the ones she did turned on her when they started senior school last year. She got over that and was excited to be in a new group of friends but one of here old friends put a stop to that with her nastiness. (The same girl has done this 3 times since) the school have tried to support her but only so much they can do. It’s horrible watching your child become withdrawn and so very sad. I just don’t know what to do. She has no interest in anything despite our efforts as a family to get her to try new things. She just wants to sit in her room with her earphones on.
Reanster that's awful.
Watching with interest as similar (but not quite as bad as yours) circumstance here... DD 12, was isolated by flaky best friend who was 'claimwd' by a girl who wanted to be her best friend in primary yr6 so in last few weeks and esp on last day she was left out of everything.
DD free a line and went to different high school...
Thought all ok but DD only met 1pwrson once all 6 weeks and the core group of friends have all ignored her requests to meet up. Then on hol she got a message from one she really liked making a weird apology for basically ignoring DD at school and from what I can gather leaving DD to tag along at back of the group.
So, we're going to yr8 not knowing how school will be. DD spends time on Instagram or Spotify, I've tried to fill time as much as poss but aware dd is really upset about it
My daughters getting anxious about going into year 8 next week. To make things more difficult she turns 13 on the first day and nobody to celebrate it with. I want to make it special but even that she’s not interested in. I’ve asked if she would like a day out or to go for dinner with anybody or to invite a school friend to an amusement park and she just shrugs and says nah.
So sorry your daughter is having a rubbish time too. Girl groups actually suck in teen years 😢 come to think about it.... adult years too!
Totally understand that you are worried. Its not just teen girl groups, my DD is going into year 4 and is already getting nervous tummy aches and asking if her 'friends' will be nice to her. I tried to explain to DD that these girls don't have to be her friend but they need to make up their minds, and if they want to be her friend then they have to be nice to her. She never knew if they were going to speak to her from one day to the next, one of them fell out with her because she (actually I) didn't buy the birthday present they asked for, she wanted a make up set from Boots ffs!!!! (she was only 7 and it was a pricey set she wanted). It's difficult for them because in their world friends are so important, they don't understand that when they leave school they may probably never see these girls again. Hope your daughter makes some really nice friends and enjoys her birthday.
Thank you. Would be nice to be able to protect them from this crappy stage of life wouldn’t it!
Hope things get easier for your daughter and she listens to your wise words.
I hated school, and I know how shitty other kids can be. You are right to be concerned that your daughter just wants to sit in her room, would she enjoy a mother/daughter day out shopping. Hope things get better for her.
I'm so sorry to hear that your DD is having a tough time. Is it possible for you to place her in extra-curricular activities where she can make a separate group of friends? Like sports, girl guides etc.
As you say, if only we could spare DD’s from this pain. Thankfully my DD is over this stage (now at uni) but we suffered around age 13.
DD joined a lunchtime club at school and this got her in touch with a very different group and enabled her to not feel so isolated from the original friendship clique. It took quite a few guts for her to go along for the first meeting as she was not very confident.
Could your DD try something like that?
Just keep loving and supporting her and I hope she, and you, can enjoy the birthday
I went through a very similar situation with my daughter and I have sent you a pm
This happened to me. It’s devastating and stunts your social and mental development in those vital teen years. I’m still affected by it 30 years later. You can’t make people be friends with someone but you can pull the person out of that situation and give them the opportunity to start over with new people. My parents should have switched me to a different school and sent me to extra curricular hobbies to make friends. But they didn’t. They just let me sit in my room alone and cry until I grew up and left home.
I would talk again to the school. And try to get her involved in some extracurricular activity no-one from school goes to.
A Drama group, a choir, guides - whatever. But something that she can do away from all of the school politics.
So sorry these little girls are experiencing this. I do think it’s important to involve the school. I know sometimes they can get quite impatient and blame the victim, but really this is a consequence of bullying, and a fairly common consequence and they should have a strategy. I do think it’s worth changing classes and having a fresh start. I also think it might be worth asking if d there is a mentoring hub with lunchtime stuff for the lonely ones. I would agree with lunchtime clubs and also evening activities. If she really won’t, maybe find a regular activity that you can do together?
I would not allow her to spend too much time e and in her room, have a Friday film club where everyone takes it in turns to pick a film, and a games night. Baking on another night.In the absence of anyone else, I think you need to be her best friend.
We suddenly inherited a very sad 14 year old last year. She had extreme social anxiety and didn’t know a soul. We did all of the above and also agreed to her request for a dog, provided she went to dog training. She’s fine now, plenty of friends and outside interests. Although I think we were lucky that the school really helped us.
Not necessarily a solution but:
1. Is there a lunch time club at school or do they allow your daughter to go to the library at breaks or a classroom? Can you speak to the school about this? Not to make it worse for you but it was the humiliation at school that got to me. When I was in the yard at break time and had no one to stand with. With the Netflix 13 Reasons Why series teenage mental health is so prevalent a school has a duty to address these types of issue.
2. Outside of school can she get involved in an all consuming/social hobbie? Triathlon or something?
I feel for her. She'll get through it. I remember my mum dropping me off at school and almost wanting to call me back and take me home
I concur with others, get the school to allow your DD to go to a special room to eat, spend break etc if she needs to.is on her Most schools have this but don't want to admit they do as they don't want to be swamped. She may make friends with some of the children in the group. She may not want to do this as she thinks its embarassing. Most schools have lunchtime clubs (rather than after school) these days. Talk to her tutor, they might be able to do a seating plan at tutor time to pair her up with another child who is having a hard time and they might "click".
I agree with finding an outside club, my DD took up trampolining and did well in it fairly quickly. She didn't make close friends but it give her an interest and kept her busy and it helped her get a great group of friends at uni straight off when she joined the club there.
Finally, I know it's not the same as having a perr group but try to be a really good support to your DD. Go with her to see that awful chick flick or shopping in town, finds a boxset to watch in the evenings together etc.
There's no sure fire fix. I'd just say if things get worse do think about changing tutor group or even school.
Thank you all very much for your support. We along with the school have tried encouraging lunch time club and after school activities but she gets very anxious and refuses. The school have changed the class seating plan and it is still the same for her.
I do the mum daughter shopping and lunches etc but she just sulks behind and refuses to engage. We also always have a Friday film night with a junk meal etc which she sits through fine but as soon as it’s finished she’s off! (I’m presuming that this is normal teen behaviour as my 15 yo boy does the same!)
She tried Brownies but said it was boring. Rugby (the delightful girl decided to join too and then sucked her confidence away by telling her she was rubbish! 😡)
I’m trying so hard to build her self esteem back up. I want my happy bubbly girl back!
I guess we will have to see how the new school year goes for a few weeks then go back in for a chat and a new action plan.
The reference to her sulking behind you when shopping reminds me so much of myself at that age. My mum used to become so frustrated with me as I was like a shadow. No company for her she'd say. I never knew why I was acting that way. I just felt numb and dead inside. I became a careers librarian at school. An excuse to go to my safe place - the careers library on my own during any lunch or break either the excuse of tidying or sorting.
Talking is so important. I spent so much time on my own I got out of the habit [of talking] which just compounded matters as I didn't know how to do small talk and became self conscious.
She's very lucky to have you supporting her.
Hey OP how about volunteer work? If you have the time perhaps you can both volunteer at an animal shelter, soup kitchen, community garden or the like. Helping others will make her feel good about herself and build confidence.
With shopping etc. Is she exactly the same if you go to a shopping place where she is unlikely to see anyone she knows? My oldest DC both had periods where they were okayish if a long way from home, but hated going to the local High Street incase they saw friends.
Sympathies to your dd and you op, Yr 7 can be pretty dismal for some of the dc.
It does sound as though you have a responsive school, and what they're doing - trying to encourage lunch clubs, changing seating plans - sounds sensible. If Yr 8 doesn't improve, what about a change of class? This does partly depend on how big the school is - if the numbers in each year aren't that big, that may work if there is one dc actively intervening to disrupt her new friendships.
So if Rugby's scuppered, is there another sport your dd might try outside school - martial arts are good for developing self-esteem, or maybe there's a local hockey/netball/football club?
Finally, as another op has said, if things stay the same don't rule out a change of school, though that is a big decision. It does seem to work for some. What does your dd think of that idea - if she is half interested would it be worth going to have a look round?
I would look at a change of school if at all possible tbh. It’s fair enough saying outside activities but it’s rare to make proper friends from them - ok to be with when there but not socialising afterwards unless it’s a local youth club maybe.
Both my DCs have had rough times w friendships, DS’s were short lived and DD is ok now but for both of them year 8/9 were probably the hardest. It does get better when everyone settles down a bit.
Thank you. She has has a lovely day today and we had quite a frank chat about life and feelings. She has said that she is determined not to let this girl or friendships ruin things that she likes any more. 🤘🏻 She is going to go back to rugby and is going to take the teachers request to join netball.
If things don’t improve I may look at getting her to go for a scholarship at the private school nearby. ( unfortunately other local schools are not so good tbh) The troubles first started as my daughter is a high achiever and currently doing A level work in most subjects the class tend to laugh if she gets something wrong and put expectations upon her. Obviously she doesn’t want to stand out. She is reluctant to change school though. It is a huge school with 9 classes min in each year group so perhaps a change of class could work?
I truly am thankful to you all for your support. I’ve not been able to chat with my husband atm as he is working away and my family all live miles away.
That sounds really positive!
By the way I think there was a 'not' missing from my post but you could probably work out what I meant! - basically, the larger the school, the more likely it is that a class move may work (imv, that is. not ruling it out at a smaller school, but below a certain number of students the social groups are so overlapping and intermingled that it is harder to remove a dc from a difficult situation.) 9 classes per year is large in my book, so well worth considering if things don't improve?
I agree with pp who've suggested going out shopping etc with dd far away where she's safe from the fate worse than death of being seen out with a dparent! Volunteering together is also a great idea - there are various environmental things you can do where accompanied under 16s are allowed, and have the added plus of being in the open air.
Have a look at this website which can help you understand the dynamics and behaviour patterns
You can also send this to her school and ask if they could consider the programme.
If you move your DD it is so important you equip her to deal with the change and discuss making friends. Ask the new school to give her buddies and reinforce those friendships outside school.
Good luck to your dd OP and any others going through friendship, social awkwardness and esteem issues. My eldest dd went through some difficult times especially in year 8 and 9. She is in college now and enjoying it. My youngest dd is also having some issues although slightly different, she has friends but often feels like she is different from them and that they don't share the same interests. She's quite sensitive so I don't know if it's just her feelings or actual reality. Again am encouraging her to join a lunchtime club, even if she makes no friends, she can at least have a good time doing something she likes! It's so hard but having gone through it with my older dd, I realise I can't save her from these difficult experiences, I can only offer her support and hugs. It may be the case that some kids never find their tribe at school and just need to get though it and hopefully find their people at college, uni or out in the adult world. I do believe that each child who goes through these episodes will come out the other side stronger. Love and good luck to all of dear kids.