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Parenting a preteen can be a minefield. Find support here.



8 replies

shaddupayouface · 12/09/2017 22:06

My dd has just started secondary school. A lot of her primary school friends have ended up going to lots of different local schools but she was lucky enough to end up at the same school as her best friend (they have been friends since nursery). She has lots of other friends but feels she has a special bond with this particular girl. Unfortunately, since starting school last week, her friend has kept her distance and is busy making lots of new friends. Whilst I completely understand this my dd has been in tears tonight as she doesn't understand why they can't just continue to be best friends. She is incredibly sensitive and quite shy so she has been finding it difficult to be herself and thinks no-one else will want to be her friend (this isn't true as she has already got a few girls who want to be friends with her). I've told her that she needs to give herself time to find new friends and that this doesn't mean her old BFF doesn't want to be friends but that she just wants to widen her circle and that she shouldn't take it personally. I think she feels like all her familiar comforts have suddenly disappeared; new school, new surroundings, new people to meet, etc. Any ideas how I can help her make the transition and friendship issues easier?

OP posts:
MrsOverTheRoad · 13/09/2017 02:06

Aw it's such a tough time. I had similar at that age....I well remember my desperate need for comfort.

I would simply concntrate on sort of love bombing her....coddle her....spoil her.

It will pass.

Tell her that tough times are like the changes quickly. Are there any clubs at her school which she could join? That usually helps a lot.

shaddupayouface · 13/09/2017 06:33

Thank you. I hardly slept last night worrying about her. Find it diddult to make friends too so I can understand exactly what she's going through. I was thinking of organising a get together with some of her old primary school friends but I wonder if that will make the situation worse for her?

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MrsOverTheRoad · 13/09/2017 11:54

Try not to let your worries show to DD. Don't quiz her or anything when she gets home at the end of the day.

With regard to organising a get together, I think at this age they do tend to move to organising their own get it might not be helpful.

Most children of this age have some friendship struggles as they all try to establish themselves.

Has she got a phone? Is she in contact with her old and new friends on that?

shaddupayouface · 13/09/2017 12:34

Yes she has a whatsapp group with old school friends, she misses the familiarity of those friendships and finds the conversations with new friends boring as they don't know much about each other yet. I will try not to quiz her tonight but it's difficult. Such a fine line between being supportive and overbearing. I think she's more hurt by the fact that her best friend has "moved on" and doesn't seem to be aware that she's hurt DD's feelings. Of course I'm not there to see what's going on so it could just be DD being hypersensitive to the situation.

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MrsOverTheRoad · 13/09/2017 12:38

Yes, it's a long time to be with one friend and then find them gone. So focus on helping her to find new interests perhaps? Are there clubs at school?

squirrelspatchcock · 20/09/2017 16:54

I really feel your pain. I spent many a sleepless night worrying when my DD started Y7 last year and her friends all 'moved on' to more exciting things. I had to frequently deal with an upset child who didn't understand why it was happening and why no-one seemed to bother with her.

However, from what you say, I would really take comfort that your DD has lots of other friends, and other children wanting to be her friend already. I am sure she is hurt at the moment, but hopefully it will be a temporary blip. My belief is that Y7 go into self preservation mode when they go to secondary school and their priority is establishing themselves as quickly as possible - in doing this they don't always think about others and how their actions are effecting them.

So try not to worry, keep encouraging her to give the others a chance and she will hopefully develop some great new relationships and not be dependent on her 'best' friend.

schoolgaterebel · 20/09/2017 18:00

It is still very early days, try to encourage her to make new friends while they are all still finding their feet, chances are her and her best friend will find their way back to each other again.

Both my teens made all new friends and only socialise with primary school friends on the bus home nowadays, they do tend to move on, talk to her about this and encourage her not to take it personally.

Also the dreaded social media helps them stay in touch with school friends and build on friendships out if school hours. All meet ups and social outings will be arranged on 'group chats' encourage her the get involved.

Dairymilkmuncher · 20/09/2017 18:07

I remember missing all my "proper" friends when I started secondary, I had met new kids but it wasn't the same. It soon passed though... I now have double school friends Smile

Could you arrange a small Halloween party or get together, could do face painting/watch a scary film or go trick or treating and make spooky snacks. Give her an opportunity to either have some new friends round or do something fun with her primary friends for a confidence boost?

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