Teenager Stuff - Social Issues with Friends.

Updated on December 14, 2012
S.D. asks from Peoria, AZ
5 answers

My daughter has some social issues. She is 13 and trying to find her self. She is attracted to kids that don't really lift her up and yet she rejects true friends that love and adore her. She never initiates time spent with a friend. She always waits for them to approach her. She has a self center attitude to expect her friend to " like her, laugh with her, spend time with her, make her feel important," She is not mean in any way, she is just quite and does not give back.
She had two friends that were a good match for 2 years and last year she started to hang out with a different crowd. They have felt rejected and are very sad she moved on. It breaks my heart that she does not understand that she has truly hurt these two girls. There was a lot of arguing and comparing and evaluating friendship so to speak and I think my daughter got tired of consistantly putting up with explanation of stuff. So she found other friends that just laugh and have a good time and no serious or emotional about stuff. But since then, she will not make time just go up to them and chat, they always approach her.
She is also great one on one with these girls. LIke at home or a hang out, all the attention is good and it is well balanced, but at school with lots of people she seems to not connect well. She can't seem to balance herself with many different people at one time. It is always about one person ! Is this social anxiety? Is this something to take her to counsoling over ? I guide and show her how to be a friend and she just does not get it. She is so upset at herself to not be perfect, says no one gets her, says she always disappoints people and she doesn't know why or what she does to do it. I can tell she is self centered and yet sensitive at the same time. But she would rather be alone then to approach someone. I am hoping some kind words of those moms that deal with teenagers and please be kind- it is a sensitive subject........i know she is struggling and needs guidance, she is not perfect in her performance or non verbal behavior, she acts very stand off ish when it does not go in her favor..... this is a hard spot to be in and watch. I need some encouragement and lifting up.

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answers from Chicago on

Your daughter is at a selfish age. My 14 year old had a terrible time with friends in 8th grade. She would always say kids weren't nice to her, when in fact she was not always nice either. She's always had friends outside of school, but she's not the stay-in-touch type at all. I've found myself on occasion asking her if she's talked to friend X or Y. However, she is comfortable in a group or just one-on-one and she thinks nothing of inviting someone over to spend the night or for some other activity. As with any kid this age, when things don't go her way, she gets mad. For instance, she invited her (sometimes) best friend over and the girl's parent said she couldn't come that time. My daughter felt like she was owed an explanation on why she couldn't come over to our house. It was just crazy. I had to explain to her that her friend's parent's decisions are not to be questioned and they don't owe you anything. But my daughter thought that because they are such close friends that this request from her would never be denied. This is the mind of a 13/14 year old. It is a tough age. I just don't remember being this complex when I was this age and I try to keep things in perspective. The social awkwardness is hard to watch, but you hope it is a learning experience rather than a disastrous experience.

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answers from Boston on

This is such a tough age! Everything in changing for her - her body, her interests, her friends. Everyone wants to be accepted and fit in with some group who she thinks is cool, and at the same time everyone is afraid of being rejected. My two oldest (one just turned 15, the other 14) are both in 9th grade. Their best friends now are kids they barely knew a year or two ago. They're barely friends at all with kids they've known since Kindergarten. For a while my son's old friends started hanging out with a very "fast" and "popular" group that partied a lot and got in a lot of trouble, so I was happy that he split from them but disappointed to see those friendships fizzle. Anyway, things have settled down a lot and there is way less drama now than there was a year or two ago.

Counseling is always an option when we come to a point in life where something is really interfering in our lives and we need help to solve the problem. If she's really unhappy and has suggested counseling herself, that's something you should consider. But really, it sounds like normal adolescent awkwardness and change to me. Kids learn to be good friends through trial and error. They have to mess things up and learn from the experience so they choose differently in the future. She sounds like a smart girl who will find herself and figure things out.

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answers from San Antonio on

She's a teen girl. These are difficult times for her. Everything is changing and she's trying to figure it all out.

If I were in your shoes I'd just take a step back and let her try to figure it out on her. She'll learn what works for her. I know with my teens (14 almost 15, 14 & 13) they don't always get social situations, but they try, and they learn from that. Relax and let her navigate it herself. She'll get it.

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answers from Phoenix on

That's why god invented sports teams, and clubs and community service project groups and arts programs.....
At this age she has interests that she should embrace and the kids that have those interests too will be the ones that she may develop a feeling, need for deeper relationship with, or at least have a feeling of the importance of less superficial ones. When you are relying on others and them on you (dance rehearsals, yearbook group...) then the feelings from cause and affect come into play.
Your daughter is normal. She now needs to start growing up so she can enjoy, appreciate and pick the right friends in high school soon.



answers from Phoenix on

Having raised two kids that are now in college and haveing a third right in the middle of it again, I know exactly what you are saying. Middle school is such a difficult stage!!! She is not alone! They are all trying to just figure out who they are-- and they care sooo much what everyone else thinks! My best advise is this.....Don't try to "help" her. Just listen and sound supportive, even when she changes her opinion every other day!! The best thing we can do is give our kids a place that they know they are accepted and loved and then let them grow and blossom!! She will appreciate you so much when she gets to high school and she will be so much more likely to confide in you then. Trust me, she will out grow this!!
Good Luck!!!

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