kf521 asks:

12 yr old daughter really has no good friends

my daughter is very cute,petite and outgoing, she is a comp athlete(in a individual sport)  
She has friends, yet doesnt have a best friend or for that matter friends that she can really count on. She never gets the call to come hang out and is always the one to text to make plans with someone. even so she usually gets that they are busy with other things and she gets frustrated becuase she ends up having nothing to do.
she also is upset and doesnt understand why the girls who are not cute, but are the team athletes get the boyfriends. She really looks like she could be 10 where as a lot of the other girls look like they are 13/14 yrs old. She has a cell phone as does the majority of the 6th graders, yet very rarely does she get a message where a lot of the other kids get 100's a day. She is a good student,yet has a strong tough personality and gets angry very easily, however I feel that it is almost a defense mechanise towards others since she has been bullied this year(school is aware )  
In Topics: Teen issues, Bullying and teasing, Friendships and peer relationships
> 60 days ago



Apr 6, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

It sounds like you and your daughter have a good relationship, which is very important in today's world.  12 year olds can be moody and peer pressure is great.  Being popular or well-liked seems to be their main focus.  Your daughter needs you to support her and help her get through this time in her life.  So continue to be there for her.

Has your daughter ever had good friends or a best friend?  Is she in a different school than last year?  Do you think the bullying is tied to the lack of friends?  Since I don't know the answers to these questions, here are a couple of suggestions that you may find helpful.

Let your daughter invite a few girls over for an afternoon.  You can serve pizza - nothing fancy.  Have some type of a craft activity, such as making T-shirts or beading jewelry. That way the girls are occupied and they go home with something.  When the girls wear their creations to school, they can say they made it at your daughter's party.

I'm not sure what kind of sports your daughter is into, but plan day that involves that sport and she can bring a friend who also enjoys that sport.  For example, if your daughter likes to swim, maybe go to a water park or a lake that isn't too far away.  The girls can have fun enjoying each other's company as well as the sport they love.

How about encouraging her to join a team sport?  Since she likes individual events, it could be a swim team, gymnastics team or track team.  That way she is still doing individual events, but be part of a bigger team.

Ask other parents.  This might be a hard one, but ask one of your daughter's classmates' parents why they think your daughter doesn't have many close friends.   They might be able to shed some light on the situation because their child may have come home and said something.  They might even be able to explain why she is being bullied.  It may hurt, but if they have some answers that could help you, then...

As for the boyfriend issue, I would dig up some stories about famous actresses who didn't have boyfriends and thought they were ugly growing up.  Reassure her that she will have plenty of time for boys later on.  

Hopefully one or more of these ideas will help.  You're doing the right thing by staying connected and being involved with your daughter.

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