My daughter is having a hard time making new friends at her new school. She is a freshman in a performing arts school. What can I do to help her?
I am worried about my daughter. She likes the school but says she's very unhappy and has no friends. She auditioned and was accepted into a dance program at a PFA school and had to switch high schools. She went knowing one friend that is in a different program there but has not connected with anyone else yet. She's just sticking with this one friend. I'm so tired of her outbursts and trying to make suggestions over and over! branch out, ask someone over etc. She keeps telling me she doesn't want to talk about it and that I don't understand. Am I jumping the gun, it's only Oct. Please let me Know your thoughts.
It is understandable that you would be feeling like you are. You obviously love your daugter very much and as parents we want our children to be happy, successful, well adjusted and liked by others. It is important to keep in mind that your daughter is new to the school and it does take time to get to know others and build friendships. She is also dealing with being in a new program and the stress that comes with that. It is a good thing that she does have the one friend attending the same school. This certainly gives her support and the opportunity to practice being in a friendship. It would be more concerning if she had no friends at all. Your daughter may also be someone who develops one or two close friendships as oppossed to having a lot of friends, and that is ok.
It is important that you let your daughter know you are there for her and she can come and talk with you about anything. When she does come to you with outbursts instead of trying to fix it, calmly ask her how you can best support her. She may just need a shoulder to cry on and for you to be there and listen. You may also want to encourage her to get involved in other activities, such as sports or clubs, that would give her an opportunity to meet others and make friends.
If at anytime you feel that your daughter's sleep, eating patterns, grades in school, and her overall level of functioning is being affected negatively by this then you may want to consider having her seen by a Mental Health Counselor. Doing this would give her the opportunity to discuss her feelings and to learn healthy ways of coping with the situation.
Take care of you and continue being the supportive and caring mother it sounds like you are.