My teenage daughter has no friends
or excluded from a friend group she is trying to join it really knocks her confidence and upsets her.
The only times my daughter goes out socially is when she has organised it, people cancel on her so she has stopped trying. She hasn’t been invited to a birthday party let alone just hanging out with mates since primary school. She’s constantly asking to move school but because of where we live moving school is not an option.
The decision you made all those years ago about class placement is probably irrelevant now. You made it in good faith and there’s plenty of instances where your exact situation has had a favourable outcome.
Some children – in fact many children – find their schooldays tough for a variety of reasons and it’s not until they leave school that they find their real friends or find their ‘‘place’’. It may be that your daughter will be a better fit for connecting with people when she’s an adult.
In the meantime, you could
chat with your daughter about friendship and how it works. Does she understand reciprocity, listening, sharing? Does she ask people about themselves? Does she give off an air of desperation? You could also set up ameeting with her teacher to see if there’s an aspect of your daughter’s personality that might cause her to be on the outer.
You say your husband was her teacher in the early days. Did he notice your daughter having any trouble with social cues?
Another suggestion is that you befriend some of the mothers? Invite families over and let your daughter socialise in a group situation. These suggestions will only work if your daughter actually wants your help. It may be that your strategising and interfering makes things worse for her.
If that’s the case, you might just have to be empathetic and listen. Help her find joy in things that are more alone. Once she loses the panic and desperation, she’ll be more attractive to her peer group.
You can guide your daughter in all aspects of socialisation but at the end of the day, she’ll have to figure this out for herself. We want to fix things for our children but this may be one thing you can’t fix.
Mary-anne Scott has raised four boys and written three novels for young adults, including Sticking With Pigs which was released in March 2018. (One Tree House). As one of seven sisters, there aren’t many parenting problems she hasn’t talked over. To send her a question email email@example.com with Dear Mary-anne in the subject line. Your anonymity is assured.
Many children find their schooldays tough and it’s not until they leave school that they find their real friends.