My 12 year old struggles to make friends and keep friends. Help!!

Shannon - posted on 01/01/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I need help helping my 12 year old daughter make friends. She has gone to school all along with the same kids but she can't seem to keep friends. I know it has to do with her attitude but I don't know how to make her see this. She started school early so she is one of the youngest in her class by far and just can't seem to relate. Because it is too late to change the fact she is much less mature than the other kids, I can't hold her back now I need to figure out a way to help her realize that she has to make changes. She still has 5 years of school and it will be miserable with no friends. I know once high school is over they won't matter but we are so far away from have the end in sight. I need help to teach her how to relate to other girls. This is a hard time with all these girls going through puberty and they can be down right nasty. We have been through bullying and her dad hasn't seen her in 4 years and that is also adding into her her inability to relate to others. She seems to have this attitude that she is better and she won't compromise or listen. Any help or suggestions woudl be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

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Dawn - posted on 01/02/2012

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I have a 13 year old girl myself and I was concerned about her making friends until recently. She is kind of a loner and didn't really feel like she related with the other girls at her school. Its difficult at this age because they are just starting to figure out who they are and who they want to be. This is a really important phase and their independence needs encouraging. A lot of the work needs to be done by themselves but we can help guide them. Something I do with my daughter is have regular talks with her but I do more listening than talking. I want to create an atmosphere that she feels comfortable talking about stuff with me without worrying about mom lectures. I ask her guiding questions that make her think instead of telling her what I think. That way she thinks her conclusions are really her idea when really I kinda steered her in that direction. Things stick better when she thinks they are her ideas! For example I might ask her what she would think or do if a friend said or did something to her that I know she has done to someone else. When she tells me how ticked off she would be I would agree with her but not point out that she did that herself. Eventually she will come to that conclusion herself. Don't worry, she will come around! Also, since self-esteem is really fragile right now and middle school girls can be evil incarnate, tell her often the qualities you admire about her. Even if she blows it off, secretly she will smile and feel just a little better about herself. You might even get the added benefit of her wanting to display her better qualities more often even if just for the attention. This will endear her to others too and she might snag a great friend! deep breath mom, you will survive this too! Good luck!

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