Moving countries

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Casual scribe

Moving countries

Hi, I have an outgoing social teen who on the surface makes a ton of friends however she is so lonely. She had a friend who stabbed her in the back a few years ago so is full of doubt trusting anyone including no parents. We have changed countries and she is really struggling. Life back in NZ wasn't always rosy for her but she now has rose tinted glasses and thinks it was perfect. We are talking and she is taking baby steps to open up. How do I help her heal from her rotten friend, accept the move and maybe even enjoy life here? Asking too much, but that the long term goal. On a daily basis she is smiling and happy but has these dark moments esp when on social media to NZ friends, she doesn't see this. Any suggestions please 🙁
Contributor

Re: Moving countries

@Kiwiinoz - Too young to be betrayed by a friend! But are we ever old enough for that? I would reassure her that the betrayal says a lot more about her ex-friend than it does about your daughter. Tell her you understand that this experience would make it more difficult to trust but she is a great person with so much to give in friendship. Sometimes when a friend has hurt us, we withdraw into ourselves. Maybe we need that time to get over the loss. Does your local Council have activities part-time activities she might enjoy like acting improv, choir, touch football? It would also give her a chance to meet a different circle of friends. Tell her you know it must be painful but that needn't turn it into self-doubt. I would also reaffirm that NZ will still be there when she finishes school. I say that because I think it's important for our teens to see that they have options and choices available to them. (Of course I hope she only ever wants to go for a quick holiday).

Mod

Re: Moving countries

Hey @Kiwiinoz - first of all, can I just say how awesome it is that you're here on RO Parents?

 

I can hear how much you care about your daughter and how important it is to you to help her work through this tough time. It sounds like you have really great instincts and so much compassion. She is lucky to have you.

 

I really want you to encourage your daughter to come have a chat with the amazing community over at ReachOut Youth Forums. There are some great fact sheets for her on the main site, and I know all the people over there can relate to losing friends, conflict with friends, and some of them have made big moves themselves. She is so welcome there and might find it a bit of a relief to have somewhere anonymous to unload everything she's carrying right now.

Contributor

Re: Moving countries

Hey @Kiwiinoz, have a browse of this info about things you can try help her boost her self-confidence... Let us know what you decide to try and keep us in the loop about how things are going. We are here to support you, you are not alone!

Frequent scribe

Re: Moving countries

hi @Kiwiinoz, it is really hard moving when you are a teen. it happened to me and took me many years to sort through it all.  am probably still not totally over it all decades later, & that is ok.  i have found one of the most powerful things to do with anyone (friend/partner/son/daughter) experiencing some tough stuff is to sit with them in their space.  validation and being seen is so important.  i think sometimes we are so keen to help our kids that we try to "fix" things for them rather than "see" them where they are.  when the opportunity arises saying things like, 'yeah it really does suck being moved like that & loosing all your friends' and when she reminisces about NZ hear her feelings (not what you remember the facts as being) and reflecting her feelings - however negative -  back to her might start to help her re-connect with you.   when connection is made i find my kids are more willing to hear some strategies for moving forward. i have found avoiding judgement &/or correction helps us all open up to communicating further because you feel the other person is actually listening to you not shutting you down, i know how i react when someone says 'it is going to get better' etc, not so helpful really..  however, you may already being doing this so if you are please accept my apologies for my comments.  i love the other comments other posters ahve made about supporting your daughter to become involved in group activities.  one of the things i found did help me settle was becoming involved in weekend activities & making different groups of friends so i didnt focus on any one group too much & opened up my friendship base,  ie. became a member of the local life saving club & also the sailing club (with the whole family so didnt have to go it alone initially but made my own friends soon enough).  joining something as a family which may allow your daughter some support but also involving her with other teens may be another good option.  (sorry about going on but obviously this struck a chord with me personally Smiley Wink )  all the best, it is very hard going thru this as a teen along with everything else.

Contributor

Re: Moving countries

@Kiwiinoz it is a sad story of your daughter! 

this reminds me of the time when my daughter first moved to Australia. When we look back now, we both understand that reading is a very important chanel for her to come to terms with the new environment. She read a book, about a poor country girl's friendship with a rich city girl, again and again until it was almost torn. She also read a lot of books in her mother tongue, which also helped her. 

if your daughter is in to reading, I wonder if you could talk to an experienced librarian and find relevant books to read.


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Super frequent scribe

Re: Moving countries

Hi @Kiwiinoz How old is your daughter? It is good to hear she is out and about and social. A good start, even though you mention she is lonely. It is also great to hear you are both taknig baby steps and she is talking to you! YAH! Another massive step in the right direction. Is your daughter comfortable with inviting her new firends over? Perhaps encourage the friends she is closest to come over for a BBQ- invite the parents so you get to know them too. Is she invovled in any sports, musical groups etc to assist with that sense of belonging and open up friendships outside of school? I think this is so important incase things get rocky at school we have another set of friends to rely on outside of school. It sounds like you are both making an effort to keep the communication lines open. How is it all going this week? AmyJay


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Super frequent scribe

Re: Moving countries

Let know how it goes @Kiwiinoz
Community Manager

Re: Moving countries

Hey @Kiwiinoz, just checking in to see how you and your daughter are. Did she find any social activities she enjoys, or make some new mates? Were the resources linked by others helpful?