My daughter is having a hard time finding and making friends at her new school. We’ve just moved here about two months ago and she has yet to say she’s made a friend. I understand that it’s hard to make friends when you’re the new “tween” in town, but my heart breaks every day when I ask her how the day went and she just says “good.” And then proceeds to her room to do homework and play her video games … alone. When I ask her about weekend plans, she just shrugs and sits in her room. Alone. What can I do to help her make friends?
Mother of Loner
If you want to indirectly help her, why don’t you see if she wants to do any extracurricular activities after school. This will get her out of the house and hopefully, meeting new people. Have you made friends with other mothers of tweens? Set up a get together and let the kids get to know each other while y’all hang out.
Now, if she was very outgoing and sociable back home and this behavior isn’t normal … you may be dealing with other issues. I’m no shrink, but there may be some depression floating around and frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me. A new home, a new school, a new way of doing things … I’m sure she’s thinking “why would mom and dad do this to me. I didn’t want to leave my old home, my old school, or my friends.” If this is the issue, you need to sit down and talk with her. See how she’s feeling about the move, about school, or about life in general. If she doesn’t want to talk to you, maybe involving a therapist might help. Either way, if this is not the norm, you have to intervene or have someone else do it.
(Editor’s note: Sharilyn Wells really doesn’t know much about anything, but she’ll definitely share her opinion with you whenever needed. To get a ‘straight up’ opinion to your countless issues, email firstname.lastname@example.org.)