My 11-Year-Old Has a Hard Time Making Friends

Jennifer - posted on 03/27/2014 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Any advice on what to tell my 11 yr old who seems to have a hard time making friends. Shes been to three diff. schools. two elementary schools and now a middle school and she seems to have a hard time making friends at every school. I mean she has some but she always says how no one ever wants to hang out and stuff like that. No on textes her and etc:

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Erisreignssupreme - posted on 06/03/2014

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well my kid talked like that in school too. and basically it can be true. but i always tell him to think positvely about it and not to jump to negative conclusions. to be a good friend to otehrs and not to worry about who is being a friend to you. to look for other kids who might look lonely or be excluded and try to make those people feel included and have fun. {sometimes kids sit staring at the popular bitches thinking about how much the popular kids dont like them..while nearby there are otehr lonely girls needing friends.} i tell him that making one really good true friend is worth a thousand fake ones. and to be proactive in making friends. to invite poeple to do things together.. some kids are so afraid of rejection they never even try. and you have to be able to take rejection and not let it relfect on you. its like with us grown ups and love...when we are secure in our skin we find love..when we are worried about what people think of us and needing love so bad that we are afraid to reach out we cant attract a fly! doing things out of school to get her mojo and self esteem going is also great... sometimes school labels you from day one but a new class with different people give sa kid a chance to try different appraoches to people. :)

Rebecca - posted on 08/28/2014

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My 12 year old daughter is the same. She has no friends around her age, and all her friends are 4-5 years older than her. So they're in high school while she's in elementary school (K-7 is elementary in British Columbia) so when the high schoolers aren't around, she walks around alone or she pouts and huffs. Sometimes after school, I sit at the school benches and talk to other moms about kids and parenting and she'd rather stay with me and the other moms than play with other kids. My daughter says there are unpopular girls and that she's "popular" and she only has a few friends because they're the other popular girls. She says the leader of the club which is named the Popular Girls Club has a rule about who she and the other girls can talk to and who they cannot talk to. Is it normal for my child to try so hard to hang out with the "popular" kids than kids who are nicer to her?

Latasha - posted on 03/27/2014

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Hey there Jennifer That's definitely a tough age my daughter was very shy at that age and what I fond was I enrolled her in local afterschool and Saturday activities like dance, swimming, and Girl Scouts. This helped her to open up more and not be afraid to talk to others. She is still shy at 13 but not as shy as she was were she never wanted to try new things. Now it seems whenever we go out to the mall and such we are always running into someone who say Hi Tiffy lol Good Luck Hope this Helps.

Amy - posted on 10/03/2014

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My daughter is going through this as well and is also 11, but I don't understand bc she is so social! When we go tinge park she will go to kids and just start playing with them and get to know them but at school she just keeps to herself, I mean she has just started a new school so perhaps it'll blow over, but it bothers me. There are some very good posts so far.

Jmichaels - posted on 07/10/2014

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You might try talking to her teachers to see who she enjoy talking to in school, who she eats lunch with, etc. There might be another student that will be a good fit for your child. As she gets older, encourage her to take part in activities that will put her in contact with others, such as band or orchestra, sports, yearbook, ski club, photography club, drama. There will be a lot of opportunities in middle and high school where she can find friends who share her interests. Growingmindsproject.blogspot.com

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Elizabeth - posted on 10/30/2017

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I have the same problem s with my 14yr old daughter and I don't know what to do with her rather she in 8th grade now

Elizabeth - posted on 10/30/2017

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I have the same problem s with my 14yr old daughter and I don't know what to do with her rather she in 8th grade now

Elizabeth - posted on 10/30/2017

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I have the same problem s with my 14yr old daughter and I don't know what to do with her rather she in 8th grade now

Sharon - posted on 09/24/2014

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I have a six year old son with special needs that is also having difficulties making friends. As a children's counselor, I want to "fix" it. Things that I am trying are: involving him in a play group to develop his social skills, involving him in extracurricular activities of interest, and trying to find children's groups for those with similar challenges. In addition, I'm talking to the teacher, school or guidance counselor and/or school social worker, to involve him in groups that address his social skills. I realize that the older the child is the more sensitive and aware they become to counseling, but perhaps the couselor can match her with peer groups that have similar interests and compatiable personalities. Most importantly, I try to continually reinforce an atmosphere of love and acceptance at home.

Rebecca - posted on 08/28/2014

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My 12 year old daughter is the same. She has no friends around her age, and all her friends are 4-5 years older than her. So they're in high school while she's in elementary school (K-7 is elementary in British Columbia) so when the high schoolers aren't around, she walks around alone or she pouts and huffs. Sometimes after school, I sit at the school benches and talk to other moms about kids and parenting and she'd rather stay with me and the other moms than play with other kids. My daughter says there are unpopular girls and that she's "popular" and she only has a few friends because they're the other popular girls. She says the leader of the club which is named the Popular Girls Club has a rule about who she and the other girls can talk to and who they cannot talk to. Is it normal for my child to try so hard to hang out with the "popular" kids than kids who are nicer to her?

Sara - posted on 04/07/2014

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Now, I think the problem is not your daughter, it's probably the kids she chooses to hang out with. Ultimately, most young girls would want to hang out with the popular kids instead of the kids who would suit her best. However, the popular kids tend to be the meanest. Try getting her to meet people she would not necessarily choose to develop friendships with and see how they will get along. sometimes different people have similarities.

Ariana - posted on 04/06/2014

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Does she do softball and basketball through the community or the school?

She could try to join a club from school which might help with her lack of friends there.

My area also had a youth group for kids 10-17 twice a week. There may be a youth group or similar styled girls group (or w/e) that she could go to. I got to meet many people there that were in my school but other grades.

Girl guides is also a good program to join for socializing with peers. It's more geared to that compared to softball & basketball.

Could she also try hanging out around the park? I know when I was younger there'd be other kids at the park or in the community to hang around when the weather was good. Of course I used to live in a smaller area not a city so I'm not sure if that would work if you're in a larger area.

Does she have any common interests with the kids she's contacting? Is she texting them at a bad time, or too frequently or the same kid to often? If she says that maybe she's just texting/inviting the wrong people.

It's like when girls say 'nobody loves me' after a break up. It's not that NOBODY loves you, but the person you like doesn't. Same with kids, it might not be that nobody ever wants to hand out, but just the few people she likes or wants to be around don't. It still sucks but it's possible she needs to try and branch off and get different people to hang out with.

Even if they don't come for a sleep over maybe she could invite some kids for a special thing on the weekend. Out to the movies or... idk whatever 11 year old girls do now-a-days haha.

I hope some of that is helpful and it may ust be the transitioning from school to school that's creating the issue. If she stays in the same spot she'll probably start to build more and more contacts.

Good luck!

Jennifer - posted on 04/03/2014

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Thanks for the advice. My daughter is in softball, and basketball. And kids do talk to her but at school she lacks friends. She always says no one wants to hang out and etc:. I normally don't have sleepovers here at the house cause I have a 3 yr old and hes a very light sleeper so usually if we do have sleepovers no one wants to come here cause I make them go to bed at a certain time and they cant be loud. She has a cell phone and she'll text kids and they never answer her or if they do and she asked if they wanna hang out the answer is always no.

Sara - posted on 04/01/2014

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When I was 11, I was very shy and had trouble making friends too. I suggest that you take her to do something that she loves or join a popular club to get involved in the latest (safe) trends. e.g.) singing, drama, dance, cheerleading, swimming.
Also try to get her considering trying new things too. How about inviting some school friends over to a sleepover?
Sincere Regards,
Sara

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