April 28, 2008,
N.B. asks from Scarsdale, NY on April 25, 2008
My 13 Year Old Daughter Has Friends Issues
My 13 year old daughter has been in private school since Kindergarten. She is a beautiful, atletic, good heart, polite, excellent student and always willing to help others in any way she can. Always getting compliments from teachers, coaches, and even strangers sometimes. But this is not new- since she was little for some reason people always admire her. Now- the problem: in school she is well liked, she fits in any group , she is always welcome I the kids in her grade(7th) are nice for the most part. The problem is that when they make plans to go to the movie for example she is left out, just yesterday she found out that a girl who she plays tennis at school is having a group of girls over to her house and did not invite her. As you can all imagine that breaks my heart because she feel left out and she does not understand why she is not included. and frankly her father and I can't understand it either. We know she try to make friends and she includes people but that does not happens to her. We have talked about changing her to public school but her school is really good academically and she likes it. When we mentioned to her that maybe she should move, she always tell us that she is happy there. Please any suggestions? ideas? what???
So What Happened?™
Thank you all for your advice, it was helpful . I read the responses to my husband as well. Hopefully it will pass one day
D. answers from New York on April 25, 2008
P.C. answers from New York on April 26, 2008
If your daughter is happy where she is, then leave her there. My daughter spent 13 years in a private school and had similar issues but decided to stay. Academically she knows she is well prepared for college. Socially was never easy, but once she got into high school at the same place, she made friends with girls in other grades through the activities she was in. At the same time, her best friend is a girl she met day 1 in kindergarten. Try to encourage her to keep being the inviter and not to dwell on waiting to be invited. One thing my husband and I did not do enough of was to invite the parents to our house or to do something. I realized too late that one reason my daughter was excluded was that the parents were friends and had done many things together for years -- same club, church, shore town, etc. -- and given the distances we sometimes had to travel to go to classmates' homes, the parents simply opted to do things with people who lived closer and with whom they were already friends. I know from experience that this hurts. Try to swallow your own hurt, put up a good front for your daughter, and maybe do a mother-daughter lunch or something with another classmate to get started. Good luck.
L.F. answers from New York on April 26, 2008
As an 8th grade teacher, I have to tell you that I see this all the time. Unfortunately, this kind of behavior in girls is VERY common. In my experience, girls get into these little groups and decide collectively to leave someone out...temporarily. Then they seem to rotate which girl is on the outs. There's usually a queen bee, and the others go along with it in hopes that they won't be singled out to be ignored.
It's unfair and awful and if your daughter has ONE good friend to rely on, she'll get by. My only advice is to remind her to be true to herself. It can be lonely, but she can be proud of who she is.
J.G. answers from New York on April 28, 2008
I feel really bad about the situation your daughter is in....teenage girls can be so mean. They may be jealous of your daughter. My advice is to tell your daughter to keep her chin up, and continue being the kind person she is. Things will turn around. I have a 15 year old (freshman) and I can tell you that 7th and especially 8th grades are tough years for girls. They get in their little clicks and can just be down-right rude and mean. Your daughter should maybe try to make some different friends, who will include her in things. It hurts to be left out, especially when you conisider the person leaving you out a friend. Or maybe she should have a sit-down with this "friend" and see if there is a problem? Lay it out on the table and make the girl tell her why she wasn't invited. Put her in a sticky situation to have to explain. I really don't know what the answer is, but tell her to hang in there, time will change things!!!!
R.W. answers from New York on April 26, 2008
Being that she is in private school, how big is her class of 7th graders? Is it a really small group where everyone knows what's going on with everyone all the time? If so, that would be difficult. Is she excluded just from extra activities outside of school? Has your daughter ever invited any of them over for movies, the mall, parties, etc.??? Would the friends come or would they exclude her still?
I know I used to feel this way at this same age, and my parents always told me: "YOU make your OWN fun!" This has stuck with me, and to this day whenever I'm feeling blah and my friends haven't included me in something I hear about later, I do something about it. I hold a party or a girls night out, I invite people for play dates, I make arrangements to have fun!!! You can't always sit around waiting for someone to be nice to you or ask you to go do something, cuz often it just won't happen.
Take the initiative!!! YOU do the planning and inviting and I'll bet things will eventually turn around! Good luck!
E.S. answers from Albany on April 26, 2008
13 is notoriously a challenging time. You must have been very fortunate not to have experienced that. People are prejudiced and 13 year olds can be catty and cruel. I had the same experience with my daughters. Unfortunately my daughter was in public school and the school was less than supportive and catty and abusive and derogatory remarks upset my youngest so much at 13 I ended up homeschooling her, which turned out outstandinly well by the way. If your daughter is satisfied and realizes that school is whats most important, and is not rattled by this she will be a stronger person. Peoples characters emerge at adolescence. Obviously she can recognize the shallow people and those who have depth of character.
S.H. answers from Albany on April 26, 2008
I am so sorry. We went through this too. I have no idea what has happened to this generation of girls but it seems to be a "normal" thing. First it's your daughter, soon it will be another girl. They seem to create their little "gangs" but these groups are also very fragile. Just make sure your daughter has good life outside of her school as well. We did horseback riding, dance lessons, etc so the whole focus of life wasn't around school. Nice, well-liked girls are an easy target for jealousy and gossip. Thankfully they grow up and survive and your daughter sounds quite well-balanced. It may be helpful for her to invite, one or two at a time the girls and become friends. It will be harder for the girls to exclude her if they genuinely like her. Usually there is one "ringleader" who is considered the most popular and she will control the group. It's almost like a pack of wolves, LOL! If she is friends with the other pack members they might stick up for her although going against the leader can easily get them excluded. Sometimes this is a welcome relief and then the pack splits up into two smaller groups and at times the leader becomes the outcast. It's portrayed quite well in a lot of the teen girl movies. They are so right about what happens.
T.D. answers from Binghamton on April 28, 2008
I have a 12yr old daughter that has very similar characteristics to your daughter. She's well behaved, straight A student, kind, etc. Gets all the praise from teachers, coaches, our friends.
We have moved twice in the past 2 years. After starting school here she had a lot of problems making friends and this has never been an issue before. I think part of it is "the age". What we have done to foster friendships is to set up small gatherings with the girls she likes and socializes with in school. In the fall she invited 2 that live in the neighborhood to go to a Corn Maze. We paid for their admission and snacks. This helped her to get a little closer to one of the girls and she's been invited to do things with her.
My daughter is also on a tennis team, and we were able to get court time and she invited 3 girls to play, then they came back to our house and had a sleep over. They had a lot of fun and has since then been invited to 2 sleep overs and to go shopping. I also took the girls to the mall last weekend. I stay at the mall and just kind of shadow just to make sure no trouble happens.
Have you tried getting the girls together at your house yet? It seems to have worked for us. Good Luck!!