Jennifer - posted on 02/27/2014 ( 6 moms have responded )
My daughter is in 8th grade, a only child, academically talented and a member of a dance company but is socially awkward compared to most girls her age. I will admit that I have pushed her hard to do be the "perfect child" over the years but now I feel that was a mistake and has hurt her social development. I have tried to get her to relax a bit about grades and perfectionism but it seems that I have created a monster and she can't with out feeling like she is a loser (her words, not mine). She is in the most advanced, competitive academic program in our school district and gets all A's and she takes dance 4 hours a night on weeknight and during dance competition season we travel many weekends with the dance company. She does have one close friend and a few other friends that she is not really close with but she tries to maintain to not seem "weird" but she doesn't really connect with them emotionally. She says that she has a hard time talking to kids her age because she doesn't know what to talk about and she doesn't really care about the same things that they do. For example, most of the girls she knows are boy crazy, care so much about being popular and alike and have a group mentality but she really doesn't care about that and is much more independent and wants to be unique. All that sounds great right? But in middle school kids don't think it is great they think it is strange. She has always been shy but it seems much worse now that she is in middle school, and she says that she wants to have more friends but she doesn't relate to the kids at her school and they don't relate to her and think that she is a "goody-goody". Anyway next year she starts high school and says she wants to be more social and is going to quit dance company and do color guard at her high school so she will be around her school and people from her school more instead of always being in a dance studio. I think that is a great idea, but I'm not sure that will change her ability to communicate and emotionally connect with her peers, so I am considering getting her into some type of therapy to help her with the social awkwardness. Since she is a only child and we are a military family and we don't have any other family around and I feel like she needs someone other than me to talk to and give her advice. Can anyone relate to my situation? Also if you can do you know if therapy has been successful or does it make them feel more different than other kids since they are "in therapy"?