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Advice for me re my DD age 16 watch

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    Hi.

    My DD is a bright, fun-loving, kind and thoughtful girl but during her last 2 yrs are secondary school she had some bullying. However her distress came from constantly being left on the outside of all the various friendship groups. As I was worried might be the case, the same thing is still happening since she joined college for A levels, and many of the same girls have gone there too, on the same course, with of course the same behaviours.

    She spends every evening, every weekend completely. on. her. own.

    She's starting to show signs of depression which isn't a surprise really, she's always on her own outside of college.

    Due to having a dad who doesn't give a sh*t about her as well, her self esteem is shot (which doesn't make her feel moved to start going off and doing all sorts of different, new activities) but I know she grieves having no friends hugely and it's really upsetting her. She's basically suffered this for three years now.

    What I cannot figure out is what I can do to help. I can't force people to be her friends and hang out with her, and neither can she (nor her tutors).

    I wondered from those of you who'd been in this situation and come out the other side, did you employ any particular strategies, change mindset and behaviours and approach to making friends? Did you find you had to be quite radical / drastic in how you tackled it and how much did you have to go outside of your comfort zone so to speak - was it necessary to massively expand into multiple different activities to increase the number of encounters with people who might potentially become friends in order to meet enough people that you'd find at least one or two?

    I feel like, as her mum, I'm totally failing her because I can't fix it. She's got a rubbish dad and I also can't do anything to sort this friends thing out for her and in the meantime, she gets more and more lonely and edges further into depression and I'm worried about it.

    Would really appreciate your insights and experiences of things I can suggest to her.
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    Speak to a teacher perhaps? You can work through the best options together. Does she show signs of self harm or similar things? My friend seemed really sad a lot last year and so I took her to speak to our head of year. She ended up really trusting her and I assume it helped to speak to her.
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    (Original post by helpwithstuff)
    Hi.

    My DD is a bright, fun-loving, kind and thoughtful girl but during her last 2 yrs are secondary school she had some bullying. However her distress came from constantly being left on the outside of all the various friendship groups. As I was worried might be the case, the same thing is still happening since she joined college for A levels, and many of the same girls have gone there too, on the same course, with of course the same behaviours.

    She spends every evening, every weekend completely. on. her. own.

    She's starting to show signs of depression which isn't a surprise really, she's always on her own outside of college.

    Due to having a dad who doesn't give a sh*t about her as well, her self esteem is shot (which doesn't make her feel moved to start going off and doing all sorts of different, new activities) but I know she grieves having no friends hugely and it's really upsetting her. She's basically suffered this for three years now.

    What I cannot figure out is what I can do to help. I can't force people to be her friends and hang out with her, and neither can she (nor her tutors).

    I wondered from those of you who'd been in this situation and come out the other side, did you employ any particular strategies, change mindset and behaviours and approach to making friends? Did you find you had to be quite radical / drastic in how you tackled it and how much did you have to go outside of your comfort zone so to speak - was it necessary to massively expand into multiple different activities to increase the number of encounters with people who might potentially become friends in order to meet enough people that you'd find at least one or two?

    I feel like, as her mum, I'm totally failing her because I can't fix it. She's got a rubbish dad and I also can't do anything to sort this friends thing out for her and in the meantime, she gets more and more lonely and edges further into depression and I'm worried about it.

    Would really appreciate your insights and experiences of things I can suggest to her.
    Hi!

    I'm really sorry your daughter is going through this. I had a very similar experience in school and college, though now I'm at university it's quite a lot better. I had incredibly low self esteem, no dad in the picture for most of that time, so I guess I was in quite a similar situation. What really really helped me was volunteering. So right now I volunteer on this website and I've honestly made so many brilliant friends through it. We don't get to meet up too often, but we talk all the time anyway. It's not the first time I've volunteered online and made really close friends either. She might find that finding something she cares about and trying to find a volunteering opportunity around that could be really helpful. You could sit down with her and chat about what she enjoys doing and what her passions and ambitions are. She could also look at volunteering as a way of getting experience and making herself more desirable to employers or universities in the future so there are a lot of benefits from it, not to mention that she'll get to work with and meet loads of new people outside of college and it'll give her chance to be social, give her something to do in her free time, and also boost her self esteem and self worth a bit
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    Hey
    Was in the exact same situation
    Completely isolated in my own friendship group
    Be harsh with her and just say leave them they’re fake
    My self esteem also crumpled because of them and just actually leaving those ‘friends’ did make them ***** about me for a few weeks I couldn’t care less because they are mean and fake
    They’re not friends for doing that
    Don’t let her feel alone at home and she’ll get new Friends in her own time
    Also my volunteering/work experience and summer job really helped me gain confidence and just being away from the school setting and those people I made some good mates
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    (Original post by helpwithstuff)
    Hi.

    My DD is a bright, fun-loving, kind and thoughtful girl but during her last 2 yrs are secondary school she had some bullying. However her distress came from constantly being left on the outside of all the various friendship groups. As I was worried might be the case, the same thing is still happening since she joined college for A levels, and many of the same girls have gone there too, on the same course, with of course the same behaviours.

    She spends every evening, every weekend completely. on. her. own.

    She's starting to show signs of depression which isn't a surprise really, she's always on her own outside of college.

    Due to having a dad who doesn't give a sh*t about her as well, her self esteem is shot (which doesn't make her feel moved to start going off and doing all sorts of different, new activities) but I know she grieves having no friends hugely and it's really upsetting her. She's basically suffered this for three years now.

    What I cannot figure out is what I can do to help. I can't force people to be her friends and hang out with her, and neither can she (nor her tutors).

    I wondered from those of you who'd been in this situation and come out the other side, did you employ any particular strategies, change mindset and behaviours and approach to making friends? Did you find you had to be quite radical / drastic in how you tackled it and how much did you have to go outside of your comfort zone so to speak - was it necessary to massively expand into multiple different activities to increase the number of encounters with people who might potentially become friends in order to meet enough people that you'd find at least one or two?

    I feel like, as her mum, I'm totally failing her because I can't fix it. She's got a rubbish dad and I also can't do anything to sort this friends thing out for her and in the meantime, she gets more and more lonely and edges further into depression and I'm worried about it.

    Would really appreciate your insights and experiences of things I can suggest to her.
    I think you might get better advice on a forum specifically for parents. You'll get advice here, however users are mainly young students who aren't parents to teenagers.

    I hope things get better for your daughter, but I don't have any advice for how you should handle this from a parents perspective.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Speak to a teacher perhaps? You can work through the best options together. Does she show signs of self harm or similar things? My friend seemed really sad a lot last year and so I took her to speak to our head of year. She ended up really trusting her and I assume it helped to speak to her.
    I have worked with the teacher before and she still has the option to go talk to her if she wants and I appreciate this idea. The problem is that it still doesn't get her friends who will hang out with her (I'm not being critical to you/your suggestion here at all, but it's the nitty gritty really - for her to have mates that she can hang out with and be silly with - and the teacher can't force her students to hang out with my daughter. I can't think what she or I could suggest that she could actually do you see...
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    Hi,
    I agree, try to get her to do volunteering or something, looks great on CV as well! You can get her to PM me if she wants someone to talk to!! I as well have a rubbish dad and am almost 16 with very low self-esteem.
    Really hope things improve for her!
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    (Original post by chelseadagg3r)
    Hi!

    I'm really sorry your daughter is going through this. I had a very similar experience in school and college, though now I'm at university it's quite a lot better. I had incredibly low self esteem, no dad in the picture for most of that time, so I guess I was in quite a similar situation. What really really helped me was volunteering. So right now I volunteer on this website and I've honestly made so many brilliant friends through it. We don't get to meet up too often, but we talk all the time anyway. It's not the first time I've volunteered online and made really close friends either. She might find that finding something she cares about and trying to find a volunteering opportunity around that could be really helpful. You could sit down with her and chat about what she enjoys doing and what her passions and ambitions are. She could also look at volunteering as a way of getting experience and making herself more desirable to employers or universities in the future so there are a lot of benefits from it, not to mention that she'll get to work with and meet loads of new people outside of college and it'll give her chance to be social, give her something to do in her free time, and also boost her self esteem and self worth a bit
    Thank you so much for sharing this. I tried SO hard to encourage her to do NCS last year but she just couldn't bring herself to do it. She would have had a great time I know it, if she could only have plucked up the courage! I agree with you, there'd be multiple benefits and it's so frustrating that I can't help her get over the threshold into something like this. Rrrrr!
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    (Original post by helpwithstuff)
    Thank you so much for sharing this. I tried SO hard to encourage her to do NCS last year but she just couldn't bring herself to do it. She would have had a great time I know it, if she could only have plucked up the courage! I agree with you, there'd be multiple benefits and it's so frustrating that I can't help her get over the threshold into something like this. Rrrrr!
    I looked at doing NCS at her age but it does look really scary to a 16 year old! Especially if you aren't used to having lots of friends around, because it feels like you'll end up stuck as the runt of the litter kind of thing and it just looks very intense. Perhaps volunteering at a museum or with kids or something might be more up her alley
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    Having interests that aren't dependent on people is very important, volunteering especially could help her expand her ideas of a social circle outside of what is currently, in college, a very narrow idea of what a peer group is, it could also help with self esteem in feeling useful and especially if it's something that attracts other young people (e.g. riding for the disabled) she might meet some new friends. I don't think forcing a social situation in school would be helpful for her, instead point her towards ways to develop as a person and have new experiences might be more helpful. A lot of incidences like this I think are often treated the wrong way in trying to force the desired interaction instead of allowing someone to develop until their sense of self and happiness isn't dependent on what is often a very fickle friendship group.
    Best of luck to her and you, I've helped more than a few friends through issues like this so feel free to ask if you want my perspective
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Hey
    Was in the exact same situation
    Completely isolated in my own friendship group
    Be harsh with her and just say leave them they’re fake
    My self esteem also crumpled because of them and just actually leaving those ‘friends’ did make them ***** about me for a few weeks I couldn’t care less because they are mean and fake
    They’re not friends for doing that
    Don’t let her feel alone at home and she’ll get new Friends in her own time
    Also my volunteering/work experience and summer job really helped me gain confidence and just being away from the school setting and those people I made some good mates
    I think because of the issues with her dad, her experiences and realisations about nasty fake girls she is very good at not mixing with any that are damaging to her or agitators (you know?). She's good at doing that and I've recently given her lots of support with one particular, v flakey friend. And even that's sad because she finds her at once bloody annoying because you can never rely on her to do anything you've planned to do and yet she also misses hanging out with her massively.

    I do all that I can at home for sure.

    Again, I agree re the volunteering and widening her world. I have said this to her but I guess she's not quite ready to do it yet and get herself on NCS or something like that
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    (Original post by chelseadagg3r)
    I looked at doing NCS at her age but it does look really scary to a 16 year old! Especially if you aren't used to having lots of friends around, because it feels like you'll end up stuck as the runt of the litter kind of thing and it just looks very intense. Perhaps volunteering at a museum or with kids or something might be more up her alley
    Yes I think she found the idea overwhelming for sure. I KNOW she would have liked it when she got there but you can't force someone to go and I'm sure people ultimately do better there if they chose to go themselves so obviously I couldn't and didn't push it.

    I'll see what other volunteering there might be in the area that she could possibly get involved with maybe.
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    Hi there,

    I'm so sorry that your daughter is going through this. It's terrible, but it will get better.

    I would suggest talking to your daughter about joining a club or society in school. That way, she can make friends with people in her school, even if they aren't specifically in her year (for the moment). That way, she has someone to hang out with during break and she has someone that is into similar things she is.
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    (Original post by helpwithstuff)
    I think because of the issues with her dad, her experiences and realisations about nasty fake girls she is very good at not mixing with any that are damaging to her or agitators (you know?). She's good at doing that and I've recently given her lots of support with one particular, v flakey friend. And even that's sad because she finds her at once bloody annoying because you can never rely on her to do anything you've planned to do and yet she also misses hanging out with her massively.

    I do all that I can at home for sure.

    Again, I agree re the volunteering and widening her world. I have said this to her but I guess she's not quite ready to do it yet and get herself on NCS or something like that
    maybe she can go out with her cousins that she’s close with if she’s lonely
    Pick a new hobby read books anything to distract
    I started new sports and forced myself to work in a tuition centre with little kids beucase they’re kids I can’t be scared of themmm😂😂

    All the best for her she’ll find a way
    Learning curve I guess
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    Volunteering is always a great option, but also clubs/programs out of school depending on what her interests are. I love theater, and there are always programs going on at local theaters, so I always found myself there doing things. It helps build self esteem but also it means I'm doing something and meeting new people. Perhaps she likes something wrong, there's a club for everything , honestly.
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    (Original post by Terriel)
    Having interests that aren't dependent on people is very important, volunteering especially could help her expand her ideas of a social circle outside of what is currently, in college, a very narrow idea of what a peer group is, it could also help with self esteem in feeling useful and especially if it's something that attracts other young people (e.g. riding for the disabled) she might meet some new friends. I don't think forcing a social situation in school would be helpful for her, instead point her towards ways to develop as a person and have new experiences might be more helpful. A lot of incidences like this I think are often treated the wrong way in trying to force the desired interaction instead of allowing someone to develop until their sense of self and happiness isn't dependent on what is often a very fickle friendship group.
    Best of luck to her and you, I've helped more than a few friends through issues like this so feel free to ask if you want my perspective
    I agree re the not forcing things at college - I don't even think it can be done, actually, in reality. I have said to her that her world will stay this size and this unfulfilling and the only way to expand it is to do different things, even if they're a bit scary maybe. I also agree this is key to self esteem and growth of confidence. But you also can't force a person to be ready to be open to that, if they're not ready yet, they're not ready yet... All I can do is keep encouraging and sharing things I find out about volunteering.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Speak to a teacher perhaps? You can work through the best options together. Does she show signs of self harm or similar things? My friend seemed really sad a lot last year and so I took her to speak to our head of year. She ended up really trusting her and I assume it helped to speak to her.
    No she's not self harming or anything like that. Just that excessive tiredness that you can get when you're getting depression, lack of motivation, that sort of thing.
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    (Original post by DrawTheLine)
    I think you might get better advice on a forum specifically for parents. You'll get advice here, however users are mainly young students who aren't parents to teenagers.

    I hope things get better for your daughter, but I don't have any advice for how you should handle this from a parents perspective.
    That's very much why I posted on here. I wanted to learn from young people themselves who've been through this and what they did to get through it... from their perspective and their experience.
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    (Original post by helpwithstuff)
    Thank you so much for sharing this. I tried SO hard to encourage her to do NCS last year but she just couldn't bring herself to do it. She would have had a great time I know it, if she could only have plucked up the courage! I agree with you, there'd be multiple benefits and it's so frustrating that I can't help her get over the threshold into something like this. Rrrrr!
    Can she do the duke of Edinburgh award? Xx
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    (Original post by helpwithstuff)
    I agree re the not forcing things at college - I don't even think it can be done, actually, in reality. I have said to her that her world will stay this size and this unfulfilling and the only way to expand it is to do different things, even if they're a bit scary maybe. I also agree this is key to self esteem and growth of confidence. But you also can't force a person to be ready to be open to that, if they're not ready yet, they're not ready yet... All I can do is keep encouraging and sharing things I find out about volunteering.
    Obviously outside things are key but inside things too, passions and talents to develop etc. Volunteering was very helpful for me and a friend I met through there. If she is even vaguely interested in animals/ helping with disabled people I would recommend the Riding for the Disabled, there's something really important about doing something physical, a high number of teenage girls, and the yard structures are generally very supportive, and if you feel desperately shy you can just be preoccupied with the horses. Fifteen and sixteen are the worst years I think, seventeen and especially eighteen are much better.
 
 
 
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