My 12 year old daughter does not seem to be able to make friends. How can I help?
She has had one friend for many years, but this friendship has always been tumultuous and the friend has always seemed to use her. Now she is in middle school but hasn't made any new friends. She says no one wants to be her friend and she feels picked on at school. Her teachers seem to think she is too sensitive and gets too upset about little things. She does well in school and the adults all think she is wonderful, but she seems unhappy when it comes to her social life. How can I help? or do I just sit back and hope things get better as she matures?
Being a teen is stressful. Teens experience rapid changes in their physical, cognitive, and psychological domains, and they try to make sense of them, while trying to figure out who they are. They want to fit in with their peers, and in mid-adolescence, they tend to spend more time with friends than with their parents.
Your daughter sounds unhappy from your description. She has no friends, she is very sensitive and easily disturbed emotionally, as her teachers told you. Academically, she does well, but there seem to be deficits in her social life.
How do you find her emotional state? Is she happy or sad most of the time? Is she moody and cries easily? How is her self-esteem? Do you think that she is depressed? If so, counseling might help in boosting her self-esteem that is crucial in interpersonal relationships.