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twistingmom
twistingmom asks:
Q:

14 year old's social skills

My daughter will be 14 in 2 weeks. She's smart and funny, get's good grades and is involved in sports. She has many acquaintences but few close friends. She's had one BFF since first grade - but this girl appears to be pulling away (her friend is very social/popular). I just found out that Lauren has been texting her friend with "help requests" - saying that she doesn't feel like she fits in/doesn't know what to do/doesn't feel like she belongs.
Younger children (6th grade and younger) love her, her friends who are in high school think she's awesome. She just doesn't seem to "fit" with the kids who are her own age, perhaps because she doesn't have "age appropriate" social skills (she's an old soul).  I don't know if it's because she's an only child, or because she's her mother's daughter. I'm concerned that she's struggling, but I'm more concerned that she's not talking to me about it.
In Topics: Friendships and peer relationships
> 60 days ago

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Expert

AnnieFox
Jul 3, 2014
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What the Expert Says:

Friends sometimes outgrow friendships and the one "left behind" can start to feel insecure about her place in the social scheme of things. Because your daughter had such a long-standing relationship with her BFF, what she's feeling is understandable. You don't say how you "just found out" that your daughter has been reaching out to friends with "help requests," but now that you know, I think it would be a good thing if you broached the subject (CALMLY and RESPECTFULLY) with your daughter. You might say something like this, "I've noticed that you don't spend as much time with your BFF. That happened to me in middle school and I'm wondering how you're feeling about it." Then close your mouth and listen to what your daughter has to say. Don't interrupt her or try to fill the conversation with a pep talk. Just let her talk and just let yourself listen, sympathetically. Hopefully this summer break she will have lots of opportunities to spend time with kids older, younger, and her own age. Hopefully she'll be reminded that she absolutely does have what it takes to be a great friend.  And hopefully, when school starts up again she will be confident in her ability to find a new BFF.
I hope this helps.
In friendship,
Annie
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Additional Answers (1)

AnnieFox
AnnieFox , Child Professional writes:
Friends sometimes outgrow friendships and the one "left behind" my start to feel insecure about her place in the social scheme of things. Because your daughter had such a long-standing relationship with her BFF, what she's feeling is understandable. You don't say how you "just found out" that your daughter has been reaching out to friends with "help requests" but now that you know, it would be a good thing if you broached the subject (CALMLY and RESPECTFULLY) with your daughter. You might say something like this, "I've noticed that you don't spend as much time with your BFF. That happened to me in middle school and I'm wondering how you're feeling about it." Then close your mouth and listen to what your daughter has to say. Don't interrupt her or try to fill the conversation with a pep talk. Just let her talk and just let yourself listen, sympathetically. Hopefully this summer break she will have lots of opportunity to spend time with kids older, younger and her own age. Hopefully she'll be reminded that she absolutely does have what it takes to be a great friend.  And hopefully, when school starts up again she will be confident in her ability to find a new BFF.
I hope this helps.
In friendship,
Annie
54 days ago

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