Peer group issues

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Peer group issues

My 13 year old daughter has been dealing with on and off peer group issues for a while. It is like her friend group are so hot and cold constantly friends one minute then telling her they hate her and calling her names. The most recent issue resulting in her feeling like she has no friends all because she supported one friend who now turned on her and became friends with a not so nice peer. So, now we are dealing again with school refusal. I have asked the school for work whilst we work through this and attempt to coerce her back to school. She is booked to see a psychologist for anxiety and self esteem issues in a couple of weeks which cant come soon enough. I am hoping she can give my daughter strategies to deal with the complexities of friendship groups. I feel so sad for her and question myself on what I have done or not done as a parent. The biggest problem is she doesn't want me to discuss the peer issues with school as everyone will call her a snitch - happened earlier this year when she reported a serious issue that experienced.
Community Manager

Re: Peer group issues

Hi @Help_needed,

I'm sorry to hear what your daughter is going through. Peers and peer interactions can have such a big impact on the way young people view themselves, and I'm sorry to hear your daughter has been struggling with this at her school.

 

It's such a tough situation to be in when it comes to talking to the school. From what I can hear, it sounds like you are in a really stuck between wanting to address it and not wanting to aggravate the situation for your daughter, is this correct? When this happened earlier in the year and you went to the school, did they make efforts to address it? 

 

Outside of school, does your daughter have other friends/people she enjoys spending time with?

 

It sounds like you are approaching the situation from many different angles, and getting your daughter some psychological support sounds like a good plan Heart Have you got some support for yourself as well? It's not easy watching someone you love go through something like this, and I hope you can feel you can talk it through with us and we are here to support you Heart

Check out our weekly discussion and jump in! This week is on "Whatcha Watching" Click here to contribute to the discussion, and get ideas for your own viewing!
Active scribe

Re: Peer group issues

I removed my daughter from the school earlier last term and told the deputy why. He didnt really say anything about how they could help only that he wished her the best. However, she really didnt enjoy the religious school I enrolled her at which my eldest son was and still is attending and begged me to return her. When I did we had a return pre-meeting and the undertone of the meeting was that my daughter had done something wrong by leaving in the first place. It kinda threw me a bit and I end up emailing them a week later to discuss how we were made to feel as it played on my mind. The acting deputy that was at the meeting didnt even know why she left so I strongly suspect the usual deputy didnt even record the reason on her file why i withdrew her. My daughter always tells me that they act differently towards me and tell parents what they want to hear but the reality is different. I am in stay in communication with the school trying to my best as a parent but ultimately feel I need to support how my daughter is feeling. Social media is definately a factor which is tough to withdraw teenagers from. All i can do is help my daughter understand that social media is not helping her feel inclusive especially when the one particular girl is calling her a f'en **bleep** etc and inciting the rest to dislike her. I feel very helpless due to not being able report this. I certainly need to take care of me too as it is a heavy burden at times
Mod

Re: Peer group issues

Hi @Help_needed,

I'm sorry to hear your daughter has been struggling with this at her school.

 

It's sounds like a tough situation that you are in as it seems you are wanting to be there to support your daughter and how she is feeling but struggling with how to balance addressing this with the school as you are unable to discuss the peer issues with the school.

 

There is an online resource called E safety which specifically works with young people who are experiencing issues with peers online. The E-Safety Commissioner is responsible for promoting online safety for all young people. This may be a resource to check out, the link to their website is: https://www.esafety.gov.au/

 

I hope this is helpful for you. 

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Peer group issues

Hi @Help_needed

It is so tough to watch our young people go through such emotional turmoil. It sounds like you are already on top of getting your daughter the professional help that is needed, which is fantastic and I hope that you will see a difference very soon. In the meantime, it appears that you are having open and honest conversations with her about what the issues are and that she is comfortable telling you. Sometimes just knowing that one person is on her side will make all the difference. Unfortunately, in my experience, this is a tough age for girls and the peer group cliques and often the words that are said can do damage. Keep chatting to her , you are far from failing. you are doing amazing. This is a good resource for you too. Hang in there. https://parents.au.reachout.com/skills-to-build/wellbeing/friendships-and-teenagers

Active scribe

Re: Peer group issues

Thanks Moggy3kids really needed to hear I am not failing. Not having my mum around to tell me or help me has left that gap. I just hope the help my daughter gets is what she needs to develop the self confidence and self esteem she needs to navigate the tricky life of teenage girls. Thanks for the resource.
Casual scribe

Re: Peer group issues

This is one tough situation, as a parent. first, you are not failing! It's a learning process with kids period, but with teen girls it can be difficult to say the least. I have three girls 13, 12 and 9 so i see what each stage is like during each age group everyday. I know we as parents want to protect our teens from hurt and anything that makes them feel sad. I had a similar situation with my second oldest daughter. As a father it's sometimes hard to relate to my girls, but the fact that we keep open dialog often helps me see things through their eyes and also my girls to see things from my perspective (not often lol). My daughter had an issue with friends being nice, then, out of the blue, mean. There would be name calling, exclusion from peers and threats of harm. This caused my child to want to stay home, feel inadequate, have a poor appetite and sometimes angry. So I talked with the school and they seemed to brush it off. So, I went in and had a meeting with all the teachers, guidance counselors, principal and assistant principals. The meeting was first with my child present and a few minutes without. I even went as far as to contact the school's superintendent. No one should have to feel left out and bullied at school! It's their (the school staff) Job to monitor and address these behaviors of the students when made aware. long story short, the teens who were doing these things to my child parents were brought into this as well. this helped with the backlash of reporting. I developed a relationship with the parents with an open line of contact. It created accountability to those parents as well. truth is, you're doing your job with your child. Sometimes Parents are unaware of the trouble their kids are causing to others and need to step in a correct the situation at home first. I hope you and your daughter find peace and success. God Bless!  

Community Manager

Re: Peer group issues

Hi @Clubkyce,

Thank you for sharing with us how you have managed supporting your daughter in a similar position. It sounds like you were able to resolve this with the school and the families which is great to hear Smiley Happy

 

@Help_needed mentioned their daughter is concerned about the other kid's behaviours if they talk to the school. I'd be interested to hear from your perspective @Clubkyce - How did your daughter go after the meeting? Has there been any other issues after going to the school? You mentioned bringing the other kids and parents into the conversation has been one way of reducing any negative behaviours of the other kids, is this correct?

 

 

Just wanted to let you know that I have removed the link posted at the end because it didn't meet our community guidelines here. You are welcome to email the link to us here  Smiley Happy

Check out our weekly discussion and jump in! This week is on "Whatcha Watching" Click here to contribute to the discussion, and get ideas for your own viewing!
Casual scribe

Re: Peer group issues

Hello @Jess1-RO,

 

I am glad you liked my input. So, to answer your questions, the meeting went well and the problems with those kids ceased immediately. Having the meeting with the school instead of just reporting it made it more personal.  We could get to the bottom of why hurtful things were said and done. bringing the parents in help to reinforce the dissatisfaction with the bad behaviors of that child on a personal level. Some kids are raised properly, but do things behind mom's and dad's back. Once the parents are aware, they can deal with it at home to encourage proper behaviors in their absence. So it worked really good for me and my daughter that the parents were brought in. the meeting also gave my daughter confidence that the school would handle the any other problems that may arise and that she didn't have to face it alone. She also learned that she doesn't have to accept someone treating her badly or anyone else. she has made friends with other kids and one of the girls who bothered her in the past are close for now.

 

 

Active scribe

Re: Peer group issues

We are scheduled to meet with the year advisor and counselor on Monday however my daughter is convinced she does not want to be friends with the peer group she was friends with and there are no other kids in her year that she would fit in with. I actually feel this may be the right thing after meeting with youth case worker today. Maybe a fresh start at a school outside of our area is what is needed as we live in a small town where everybody knows everyones business well not quite to that extent but almost. I just hope it works out for my daughter. She is going to regularly attend a psychologist at Headspace to help her learn to build skills in resilience