13 year old girl doesn't want to socialize

S - posted on 04/28/2015 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I have a 13 year old who doesn't want to socialize. She has a few friends at school that she texts in the evenings/weekends, but that is the extent of outside of school interaction. I often ask her to invite them over, but she says no. I'm worried that she is isolating herself too much and have talked to her about this. Every time an opportunity comes up, I have to force her. The school's National Jr Honor Society is taking applications for next year. I think that would be great opportunity to meet people and come out of her shell. When I bring it up, I know she will say that she doesn't want to. I'm always encouraging her, but feel like I'm forcing her. How much do you push your child to join things?

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Luna - posted on 04/28/2015

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I remember when I was a teenager I only hung out with maybe.... 3 girls my age all the time? I hardly ever hung out with anyone outside of school. I had acquaintances but I was really close to only a few people. (That all changed as I got older and married. Social interaction is awesome!) The teenage years are already awkward, finding your own person and place in the world so don't push her. If she has a few good friends that she can trust, that's awesome. That's probably enough for her.

I agree with Shawnn Lively to let her choose what she's interested in in regards to extracurricular activities that are out there. That way, she can possibly meet more friends who share her interests and develop her talents even further.

Good luck!

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Kristin - posted on 05/13/2015

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My daughter is 12 and has a small group of girls as friends. There are 5 all together. My daughter is a bit social but on the shy side. She is definitely one of the quietest of her friends. A couple years ago I started letting her have "parties" (more like small get togethers) with her friends. She has one every few months of so. She chooses a theme and we put something together. In fact she is having one next weekend. She picked a teen movie theme. This one will be sleepover but not all her parties are. We sometimes do late night parties and everyone is picked up by midnight. Anyway, basically the girls show up we feed everyone dinner (something cheap and easy), I put out a candy table (cheap $1 buckets and scoops, a few bags of whatever candies), get some drinks, pop some popcorn and done. So simple and easy and they love it. Pop on a few movies and they are set. We have done karaoke themes, dance parties, different movie parties and of course their favorite pool parties (summer). You don't have to go all out but maybe if you ask her to pick a theme and do something small. You can do a game board theme, a spa theme, a makeover theme, or whatever the girls are into and just let them have fun. It is a definite ice breaker when you have stuff planned ahead of time.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/28/2015

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You let them pick what they're interested in, rather than forcing them to do something that you wanted to do, or that you were interested in and think that they should be.

You say that she does have friends at school, and does interact with them, so I'm not sure what you're looking for? A social butterfly? Miss 'most popular'?

I found that my kids were much more responsive when they were allowed to participate in activities that actually held an interest for them, rather than those I wanted them to do either because I'd done them and enjoyed it, or because I didn't do them...

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