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Advice for 12 yo - worried she's become isolated
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Garageinconstantuse · 29/07/2022 09:06

My usually extravert and confident 12 yo dd has hardly seen any of her friends outside school for a long time. Maybe like once per month at most, and only when she instigates it. She's reached the point of not wanting to ask anyone as she says it's always her reaching out and no-one else invites her or makes suggestions for meeting up.

She's also concerned about what she will DO with her friends when they meet up, which again puts her off from suggesting it (I slightly blame covid lockdowns for this aspect - she doesn't appreciate just hanging out). I tried asking a couple of other mums if we could put some dates in the diary over the summer holidays to get the kids together - this has worked well in the past - but one hasn't replied yet and the other said her daughter wouldn't commit to anything amongst her other plans. My daughter has no plans outside of things we're doing as a family. I know it's a tough age, and friendship groups are shifting but I feel so worried on her behalf, and upset that someone who gets so much out of being around friends is not getting that chance. She also doesn't have ANY extra-curricular activities despite my best attempts to encourage her. I think that doesn't help the situation. Adding to this I'm aware that she hasn't been invited to any birthday parties at all in the last year, which is unusual isn't it? Even accounting for smaller parties etc? She's keen to have a party herself in the autumn and will have no trouble identifying half a dozen people to invite.

I guess what I'm after really is some advice. Has anyone else been through a similar patch? Any useful suggestions as to what I can do over the holidays, and then when they're back to school to try to improve things?

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PritiPatelsMaker · 29/07/2022 22:11

That must be so difficult, especially as she's refusing to try new activities.

I hope you get some answers.

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carefullycourageous · 29/07/2022 22:17

I have no children as young as 12 any more but what I would say from my position looking back is how things are at 12 is not how they are at 15/16/17. I had one who had no contact outside school until 15, then it all just clicked.

I would try to stop trying to fix it and ask your dd what she wants to do. She is right to stop reaching out if it isn't reciprocated.

I agree with you about clubs. I did make mine do one thing each week until Year 10.

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carefullycourageous · 29/07/2022 22:18

They chose their own thing, but had to do one.

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PritiPatelsMaker · 29/07/2022 22:20

I did the same with clubs and activities. We said it's fine to drop an activity if they're not enjoying it but they need to find another one to replace it with.

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Garageinconstantuse · 30/07/2022 10:18

Ok good suggestion re clubs. Maybe I should focus on encouraging her to find just one thing a week to do. Might make it all seem less insurmountable. And thanks for the perspective Carefullycorageous, itโ€™s useful.

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XelaM · 07/08/2022 00:01

Definitely encourage your daughter to do stuff outside of school. I made my daughter try loads of different things (rock climbing, street dancing, ballet, drama, athletics etc) until she chose and fell in love with horse riding (she had to choose the most expensive activity of all ๐Ÿ™„). She started with weekly Pony Club lessons, but now has her own and rides every day after school and spends all her weekends and holidays at the livery yard, except when we go on holiday together. Her closest friends are from the livery yard and they all hang out together. She is much closer with them than her school friends.

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