October 07, 2009,
A.H. asks from Eastchester, NY on October 05, 2009
Middle School Friends and Changes
My daughter just started middle school this year and has opened up a little that she is sad because her best friend ignores her at school. The still hang out on the weekend and love to be together but at school her friend has become friendly with other girls and the other girls don't seem to want to let my daughter in. My daughter is very shy, and is aware that she is not part of the popular group. She likes to keep a low profile. She is a good friend because she is funny and loyal. However she is not very good with conversation. It broke my heart to hear her be worried about her friends. These years are so hard for girls and I guess I am looking for advice on how to help her with this.
1 mom found this helpful
A.H. answers from New York on October 06, 2009
** adding something else: Let her join clubs.. either inside school or outside school.. maybe a dance class... or art class.. or gymnastics.. she has to find something that interests her.. then she'll too find a new friend or two. push her to join something.. this will help.. and then invite other girls over... bring them to a movie or out for lunch... this will help.. good luck..
middle school is different.. they make totally new friends.. your daughter has to seek out those friends.. like eating lunch with different people.. is she involved in band or chorus.. make friends there.. or has she checked out some clubs.. my daughter is doing band and environmental club.. and has made new friends that way. Buy her a few cool outfits... this helps too... i know it sounds terrible.. but how you dress in mid school really counts.. go to the outlets.. i buy aero and abercrombie at the outlets.. i have a 5th grader and 8th grader in middle school. invite a new friend over after school... like someone from her class.. get to know other kids.. this will help... good luck
M.M. answers from New York on October 06, 2009
I understand how you feel,both as a mom and as someone who was a shy 10 year old. What I would do is:
Help boost her self esteem continue to tell her and show her how much you love her.
Find out what her likes and dislikes, hobbies, get her in a club,something to take her mind from school.
Maybe you can have get togethers at your home with friends who have kids that are her age. Have a tea party with other moms and daughters.
Start a mother and daughter book club
I love to do makeovers, maybe you and your daughter could try getting makeovers, they're fun!
get books on boosting your childs self-esteem.
Try to place your daughter in a position to meet new friends, and to focus on her good qualities.
get a book on communication skills, practice with her. I had a lisp,and it was hard for me in school, but I decided at 11 to read the dictionary everyday and practiced phonetics and did well, my mom always encouraged me to do my best.
Pray everyday for your child's well-being.
God Bless you
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K.P. answers from New York on October 06, 2009
Middle school is a scary time- it's all about finding independence and creating space between your "childhood" self and your "young adult" self. You are very fortunate that your daughter has started talking with you b/c that will allow you to monitor her ability to maintain balance during this period.
I wish there was an easy answer, but there isn't. I would start by talking to her about whether or not there are some groups at school she could join to meet other friends. She is loyal to the best friend, but that individual sounds like she has moved on. As painful as it is for your daughter, acknowledging that relationships go through peaks and valleys and helping her to accept that and find some other friendship avenues will be a great life lesson.
I would also encourage her to talk with her best friend about how she is feeling. If they have a strong relationship, her friend will hear her. The behavior may not change quickly, but it may even out a little over time.
K.F. answers from New York on October 06, 2009
I know all too well how desvastating it can be to not fit in. You are a great mom because you have an open dialog with her regarding this matter. I love the other posts too. She needs to blossom where she is planted meaning find out her natural skills, interests, talents and abilities and focus on that. It is very helpful to join clubs and activities at school and outside of school so she can develop a new friend base.
Any "friend" who is only your friend behind closed doors or on the weekends is a weak friend to begin with. The beautiful thing is she can pick new and better friends.
I was that quiet shy girl in high school. I didn't have a group of friends there and didn't fit in at all. It was awful but out of that came the woman I am today. I am compassionate and a champion of the underdog. I have some friendships that have spanned over 20 years and I have worked really hard at developing my own character.
Please continue to keep that open dialog. Get her into some activities. Find her some decent friends and develop her inate gifts, talents and abilities and watch her blossom into a woman you can be very proud of. This is what my mom did for me.
J.P. answers from Buffalo on October 07, 2009
I feel your pain! I wouldn't go back to middle school for anything in the world!! I dread the day when my girls go. Thank goodness your daughter confided in you! Thats great that she felt she was able to do so. She is at a time in her life where she will be learning about the true meaning of friendship as well as self esteem and other important issues. She is finding out her "best" friend is making new friends. She will have to do the same. She will hopefully make friends who will appreciate her and be true to her the way she is to her friend. Definatly encourage her to join a club or sport. Anything with other's involved will do. Just so she gets to meet other girls with similar interests. Keep being supportive and listening. Unfortunetly this is some thing she has to pass through herself. Good luck, I will say a prayer for the two of you.
M.T. answers from New York on October 06, 2009
It is sad when this happens and painful for the kids. Middle school is a time of change - making new friends, discovering your interests and where you fit in. If your daughter is shy, there are other kids like her in school! Suggest that she seek them out rather than just wishing she could break into this popular crowd with her friend. I would encourage her to approach new kids who are not part of the popular crowd and also to join any after school clubs/sports/activities.
Good luck! I have one who finished middle school in June and one who just started in September.