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Struggling with friendships

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Casual scribe

Struggling with friendships

My 16 year old daughter seems to get along with most of her classmates individually but is not good in larger groups as she seems to be lacking self esteem. At break time and lunch time she’s often sitting alone and says she feels that no one wants to be with her and they all group up and go off and leave her alone. She’s started walking home to have lunch at home alone then walking back to school. She’s enjoying her school work/classes but the stress of breaktimes is starting to make her dread school. She was crying hysterically until 3am this morning and has had to take the day off school to try to calm down. My heart is breaking seeing her like this.

Prolific scribe

Re: Struggling with friendships

Hey @Anniesmum

I can totally empathise with how you're feeling right now, and I know that if I saw my own child in the same situation I would also be deeply upset. I also know how scary and frustrating it must be for your daughter, to feel like there is no one that she would be able to sit with at lunch. You mentioned that she gets along with her peers in class - I was wondering if she has ever asked any of her classmates if she can sit with them directly. I know that that would be a really scary question to ask, especially if she struggles with low self-esteem, but in my experience - especially in later high school years - kids are a lot more accepting and concerned than we give them credit for. I'm sure her classmates wouldn't turn her down if she asked if she could sit with them Smiley Happy It might help to brainstorm with her, who she feels most comfortable talking to in class, and then thinking up how she can asking them (often it helps to have a bit of a script to rely on in high stress situations!)

I hope this helps!


Re: Struggling with friendships

Hi Anniesmum,

I feel your pain. I also have a daughter - Lesley, who used to be very active until she reached about 12 years, ann incident happened and we (me and ex-wife) had to separate. This terrible incident broke her completely and now she is afraid of even making friends. I have tried taking her out on parties, camping with close family friends and even to stadiums to watch live sports and chill out and perhaps she would find someone to speak to, but all the efforts went in vein. Now I'm thinking of pushing her into basketball sports because this game can be played indoor and outdoor and you get to face different people. Additionally, she is very good at hooping and once she starts getting appreciation, she might start talking to people and go out with them to live her life. That is my plan, I would suggest you to think of something for her.  

Active scribe

Re: Struggling with friendships

It's an awful age when we cant jump in and protect them from the world and things that effect them so deeply.
Does your school offer activities that she could join in break times?
This worked for my daughter somewhat.
As someone else suggested is there any outside groups she could get into that build on the connection inside school or give her the enjoyment to look forward to after school?
Have you asked your daughter how she would feel if you reached out to teachers to talk to for their suggestions around this?
My children's school has a wellbeing person who they can talk too and in a round about way they check in or have other children touch based when their see kids on their own. My daughter wasn't willing to take this step until I asked.

Casual scribe

Re: Struggling with friendships

Thanks to everyone for their kind advice. I’ve taken a few suggestions and we’ve also managed to get her some volunteer work which will, I hope, boost her confidence a bit too. Thanks everyone.

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