Ihow Many Friends Did Your Dd Keep from Elementary to Middle School?

Updated on March 14, 2012
S.J. asks from Des Moines, IA
13 answers

Just curious about the whole friend thing going from elementary to middle school. I would love my dd to make some different friends as the ones she has now are really not to my liking. I think some new people in the mix would really be a good thing. How did this work with your kids?

Looking at my own experience...I had a completely different circle of friends as I moved to 7th and 8th grade...people I hung out with in elementary school were totally off the radar.

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So What Happened?

Just to clarify, my dd's friends are not bad characters, they just seem to have a lot of "you can play, you can't play" moments on the playground. My dd is good at navigating through all of this, but I've got to believe that there are some more "inclusionary" kids out there with less drama!

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C.L.

answers from Minneapolis on

I have two boys and they've had different experiences. My 9th grader kept pretty much his same group of friends for the first two years of middle school and ate lunch every day with boys from his elementary school. In 8th grade he started hanging out a little less with the neighborhood/elementary school boys and more with his sports and band friends. Now that he's in HS the trend towards spending more time with the band/sports friends is increasing.

My 6th grader has only one good friend he's hung onto from elementary school and has several new friends from middle school. He does have two really close friends he's met outside of school that he has maintained.

They both went to the same middle school which is very large and combines parts or all of 5 different elementary schools. I think as kids get older they spend more time and become closer to the kids who have their same interests and activities. That's what happened to me. My group of friends changed completely between elementary school and middle school/high school.

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

Some people are still friends with classmates they knew in elementary school. Some are not.
It depends.

You might want to talk with your daughter and guide her. Teach her how to DISCERN people. How to analyze, social situations and CHOOSING friends.
I have done this with my kids since they were toddlers.
My daughter who is 9 now... is really good, at CHOOSING friends. And she is able to discern.... behaviors and what is a good kid or not or a good friend or not.

Just sit down with your child and have a rapport with her about friendships and how to discern it.

You may not like her friends, but why?
Is it just that you don't like them, or is it because they truly are a bad influence and icky kids???

I had different friends all throughout life and at each age stage.
Because, I changed as well. And knew that.
And I stayed away from icky kids.
I knew who, was appropriate or not.
Not that my friends were angels. But I went by character.

Kids, need to be taught that.
How to CHOOSE friends, and how not to be a follower or to copy other kids, just out of popularity or not

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G.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

My whole class moved up with me, so of course the whole class was there and so were all my friends. I think that the only hope of changing your child's friends would be to put them in some activities that do not include the kids you don't like.

For instance, BMX. If the kids your son is friends with don't do that sport why not investigate it as an option. If he likes it he would make all kinds of new friends. Plus he'd be going to ride his bicycle at races all the time and not be at home to see them.

Soccer, football, baseball, gymnastics, etc...so many to choose from. There are tons of things a child can do outside of school to make new friends. They need the opportunity to see new people and find common bonds in order to make new friends. If he isn't getting that choice then it's time to arrange that for him without him understanding that is what you are doing.

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J.G.

answers from Minneapolis on

I have one friend who was my neighbor growing up and that's it. One that I knew from babyhood (and we aren't really friends, just "linked" on FB). That's it. Nobody from middle at all. That was a terrible time for me and frankly I still don't like those people. HIgh school I have several friends I'm still connected with.

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T.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

I still have 2 friends from 6 grade. We are very close :)

Kids these days are a little different. They are making close friends in HS and lost most of their elementary/MS friends. (my teens anyway)

T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

My two oldest made a LOT of new friends during middle school. It just naturally happens because they are in a larger pool and they are changing classes, which means they are exposed to many, many more people.
The funny thing is though, by the end of high school they kind of came back around to their original groups. They seem to have the strongest bonds with those they started elementary school with.
My youngest is now in seventh grade and is making new friends, but she is also holding on to a few long time friends as well (which is nice because I really like these girls!) It will be interesting to see where her friendships will go.

Updated

My two oldest made a LOT of new friends during middle school. It just naturally happens because they are in a larger pool and they are changing classes, which means they are exposed to many, many more people.
The funny thing is though, by the end of high school they kind of came back around to their original groups. They seem to have the strongest bonds with those they started elementary school with.
My youngest is now in seventh grade and is making new friends, but she is also holding on to a few long time friends as well (which is nice because I really like these girls!) It will be interesting to see where her friendships will go.

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A.V.

answers from Washington DC on

Girls especially are so transient with their friendships. I can count 2 that SD kept from elementary to middle to high but only one of those she currently talks to. I would expect a lot of change but that maybe one or two would last past middle school. Middle schools tend to mix multiple elementary schools so there's a bigger mix of kids to befriend. They also have classes that change, so a friend might not be in the same classes all day.

L.P.

answers from Tyler on

Honestly 4, and one of those is attending a different middle school. However, she has a great group of NEW friends that she has met in middle school. At this age, they are all "finding" themselves and where they belong so some friendships naturally fade into barely acquaintances. It doesn't mean anything negative about your child or even about the other kids, it is just a natural part of growing up.

M.P.

answers from Minneapolis on

Well I was very sheltered in my elementary school. I went to a christian school with 80 kids tops for the entire k-8th grade. I had 5 kids in my class. One boy. LOL and since it was open enrollment and we lived on the border of our state, most of the kids were not even from the same state as I. So never went to middle school, I had the same 5 kids for 8 something years. When I hit High School that was a whole other ball of wax. I opted to go to public high school. Thats when the friend dynamic changed. Out of those 5, I still am pretty good friends and in touch with one of the girls. She however lives many states away so we dont visit often. I think all moms and dads want whats best for the kids, sometimes kids dont agree. I know my parents were always trying to split me up from this girl for as long as I remember. They thought she was not godly enough and a bad influence. However, she was not the one they should have been worrying about. LOL I was worse than her. haha

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J.B.

answers from Boston on

Well my SD moved in with us halfway through 7th grade so her case is a little different. That said, she is in 8th and still has 3 or 4 friends from her old town who she has been friends with since elementary school who she still sees regularly. From what I've seen with friends' daughters, peer groups change a lot in middle school.

My son's two best friends were in his Kindergarten class but didn't become good friends until 5th and 6th grade. There are a few boys who I didn't care for who are now thankfully off the radar.

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A.C.

answers from Savannah on

I don't have children that age yet, but I do remember friendships totally changed from elementary to middle when I was a kid. Tony O was THE boy in elementary school, all the girls "loved" him. When we moved to middle school, Tony O was off the radar as you say.....he was there, but just a little fish in the big pond. It was Robert F in 6th-7th grade that was the "man" (ha!)

I kept 2 friends out of 6 in that transition. Gained a good bit more, but was still loyal to the 2 (STILL, 24 years after I moved to another state, still friends with those 2). They didn't like each other at all (never have, never will), but we made it work. I think it helped that they both lived walking distance from my house. When I wanted to listen to music or drool over Troy G in the community pool, I was with one friend. When I wanted to pull a prank, play some sports, or take long bike rides to get totally lost, I was with the other friend. At sleepovers, everyone got along because it just needed to be like that. They were both too important to play favorites. And any preteen girl could bond over Corey Haim pictures, Indiana Jones movies, and mom dropping us off at the mall for mexican food. :)

As to the friends being to your liking: yipes! That's a narrow little plank you're dancing on there, mom! If it's not for serious reasons, I think you can't pick her friends. If it's for serious reasons, kids make friends with who they're around all the time. At that age, I made friends with the 4 girls on my street, girls on my softball, basketball, volleyball, and track teams. A lab partner that was really funny. The girl who made the whole class laugh in English class. If you want her to make new friends, help her get involved in some enrichment activities where her teammates/club members go to her school. But after that, it's really just on them.

M.D.

answers from Dallas on

well maybe if we didn't move much she would have kept more... she went to 4 different middle schools. She still keeps in touch with one or two of her friends from elementary school, one girl shares her birthday, she is also bi-racial like my daughter, but the opposite parents are of color. Anyway, they always bonded. Now, from middle school to high school she, thank GOD, has changed a lot of her friends. There are still a hand full she still talks too, but not as a close friend.

My son on the other hand, also moved, so he too isn't too close with friends from elementary, but due to facebook, he talks a little. His best friend has been the same since middle school.

I changed my circle of friends in high school, well just because closer to some others, since the ones I mainly hung out with in elementary school said I had to chose because they didn't like one of the girls l hung with... They weren't worth me keeping them, don't get me wrong, I still liked them, and got along, but don't make me chose like that. It just puts them down a notch...

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T.W.

answers from Syracuse on

My kids are pretty young but I can speak from my own experience. My whole circle of friends completely changed. I went to a large middle school and ended up having completely different classes than any of my elementary friends, which ended up with me making new friends. If she's going to a larger school, chances are pretty high she'll make some new friendships.

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