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User Topic: My teenage daughter has no friends
incredulous
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Member # 16737
Sad  Posted: 8:12 AM, May 17th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Once again, I'm hoping the collective wisdom of SI can help. My 16-year old DD has had the same boyfriend for over 18 months. They've been having some drama lately, and last night my daughter cried as she told me they can't break up because he's the only real friend she has. She has a few girls she hangs out with at school, but never gets calls to go to parties or hang out with friends outside school.
She confessed to me last night that she even asked one of the girls from school to please call her on the weekends, and the girl said she would, but didn't.
What can I do to help her? She does have ADHD, and I have noticed that she can sometimes be a little overbearing and just talk too much, missing some social cues. I guess I thought it was bossiness she'd grow out of, then thought that the bad interactions I saw were influenced by me being around, but I think there's a problem. What can I do?
DD won't do any kind of reading, and I'm pretty sure she's too old for any social skill groups. She's also very resistant to counseling. Any ideas? It breaks my heart to hear her say she can just live through it one more year until she leaves for college.


me: BW, now 52;
DD now 16 (adopted by me as single mom, so XWH was "Dad")
married: June, 2005, together since July, 2002
d-day: 10/21/07;
Divorced July, 2008 and he never looked back...

Posts: 1208 | Registered: Oct 2007
sharim
♀ Member
Member # 11937
Default  Posted: 8:37 AM, May 17th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Can the two of you do some social events together to get her interacting with others? I'm thinking things like fun runs/walks, an exercise or craft class. Something that she can practice her social skills where she won't be "embarrassed" because they are not the high school group. I'm just thinking this might help her observe and learn what is appropriate. It might also help you see if there is really an issue or just high school drama. My daughter has just a few close girlfriends and she likes it that way as she is not into all the drama of most of the girls.

Also having a boyfriend does isolate her a little bit. She may find that if they break up that other girls are more likely to interact with her.

[This message edited by sharim at 8:39 AM, May 17th (Friday)]


Posts: 1384 | Registered: Sep 2006
Amazonia
♀ Member
Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 8:40 AM, May 17th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

That was me for about a year in high school. What changed it for me was that I started being the one to call other people. I was surprised how many other friends felt the same way, that no one was reaching out. I quickly became the "go to" person for planning things.


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13564 | Registered: Jul 2011
Undefinabl3
♀ Member
Member # 36883
Default  Posted: 8:53 AM, May 17th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I second the getting her into activities.

If she has a talent use it. Summer is great for camps and sports. Or a camp counsler spot?

Ask her for some ideas to help out.

What can I do to help her? She does have ADHD, and I have noticed that she can sometimes be a little overbearing and just talk too much, missing some social cues. I guess I thought it was bossiness she'd grow out of, then thought that the bad interactions I saw were influenced by me being around, but I think there's a problem. What can I do?


just talk with her. Let her know that there may be instances where she was pushing people away without even realizing it. And tell her that if she thinks college will help, not changing how she interacts will only follow her there.

Growing up is hard...we were all there once in our lives


Me: 31 MH
Him: 37 MH
New online find 6/19/14 - shit

Posts: 1684 | Registered: Sep 2012
incredulous
♀ Member
Member # 16737
Default  Posted: 8:56 AM, May 17th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The boyfriend definitely does isolate her a bit, though I only let her see him one weekend night. I have observed that she talks too long when in a conversation, and at times, has been too determined to do something her way, missing social cues that her friend may want to do something else. She can be a little immature. With adults, she's better. I think sometimes she comes off as treating her friends like she's an adult and they're kids.
She has always done team sports, though tennis won't start till fall. She did get a summer job, but I'm afraid it will be another summer where she has nothing to do, and nobody to spend time with.

eta: When I tried to talk to her last night about whether she may need help, did she want me to talk to someone or see if there were any books to help, she just cried harder and got angry. She told me I was supposed to say "It's them, honey. There's nothing wrong with you." I certainly didn't help. This is killing her already low self-esteem.

[This message edited by incredulous at 9:05 AM, May 17th (Friday)]


me: BW, now 52;
DD now 16 (adopted by me as single mom, so XWH was "Dad")
married: June, 2005, together since July, 2002
d-day: 10/21/07;
Divorced July, 2008 and he never looked back...

Posts: 1208 | Registered: Oct 2007
UnexpectedSong
♀ Member
Member # 21761
Default  Posted: 9:12 AM, May 17th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

she talks too long when in a conversation, and at times, has been too determined to do something her way, missing social cues that her friend may want to do something else. She can be a little immature. With adults, she's better. I think sometimes she comes off as treating her friends like she's an adult and they're kids.

Any chance she is Asperger's?


WW(SA)
"Feedback is the breakfast of champions." - Boris Becker

Posts: 6074 | Registered: Nov 2008 | From: California
incredulous
♀ Member
Member # 16737
Default  Posted: 9:30 AM, May 17th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

She's been diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia after a VERY thorough neuro-psychological exam. (that's where the dyslexia was picked up freshman year after several less-thorough exams through the years)No Asperger diagnosis, though the examiner somewhat expected it from my answers. The only Asperger-like symptom identified in the exam was a difficulty distinguishing sad and angry facial expressions. (as I remember)

[This message edited by incredulous at 9:31 AM, May 17th (Friday)]


me: BW, now 52;
DD now 16 (adopted by me as single mom, so XWH was "Dad")
married: June, 2005, together since July, 2002
d-day: 10/21/07;
Divorced July, 2008 and he never looked back...

Posts: 1208 | Registered: Oct 2007
StrongerOne
♀ Member
Member # 36915
Default  Posted: 2:02 PM, May 17th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

She is not too old for social skills classes, although she may not be willing to do them.

Finding social opportunities outside of the school group is an excellent idea. I would encourage her to find at least one volunteer or service activity, especially one that would force her to listen rather than talk, such as working with younger kids or at a convalescent home. Is there something that she's very good at that she'd like to teach -- it could be a school subject or it could be something that's a hobby.

High school sucks. College may be a lot better for her, but it will help her at college and after if she learns how to help herself and to improve her social skills.


DDay Feb 2011.
In R.

Posts: 841 | Registered: Sep 2012
annb
♀ Member
Member # 22386
Default  Posted: 2:12 PM, May 17th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Does your town offer a junior EMT program?

When my eldest was in HS, he had a handful of friends, a bit on the shy side.

I enrolled him in an EMT class, something he had been interested in anyway.

To make a long story short, the ambulance squad required they be on duty one night a week which gave him a chance to meet people of varying ages.

There were also many social events, fundraisers, car washes, fish fry, Christmas party, etc where the entire squad got together for fun.

Not only did he learn a great deal, became a wonderful EMT, he also began to socialize with teens/adults on a regular basis.

Another thought is an animal shelter, sometimes there are programs for teens.

Any volunteer activity will be good for her and will keep her busy and build her self-esteem.


Posts: 7389 | Registered: Jan 2009 | From: Northeast
incredulous
♀ Member
Member # 16737
Default  Posted: 11:22 AM, May 18th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks to all who posted. Yesterday I did do four things to try and help:
1. Ordered some books about teenagers and social issues/friendships. One of them is really for the teenager, and I know DD won't do it, but I'm hoping it may give me some ideas on how to help her.
2. Called a counselor she's liked in the past, who's also given me advice, to see if she has any ideas. Waiting for her to call me back.
3. Called the mom of one of DD's friends at school. I've known the mom since the girls were 5, and she's going to see if she can get any information (without letting her daughter know)about why DD never gets invited anywhere.
4. Called to possible set up some personal training sessions at the Y. DD does struggle with her weight, and feels so much better when she exercises. This trainer is really good with teenage girls. Unfortunately, DD has already rejected this idea.

Back to the drawing board for ideas. I'm trying to come up with some kind of volunteer or other opportunity she could get involved in, but it's hard right now because she just started her first job, and we don't have much of an idea of her schedule for the summer yet.

Thanks again for the ideas; feel free to keep them coming.


me: BW, now 52;
DD now 16 (adopted by me as single mom, so XWH was "Dad")
married: June, 2005, together since July, 2002
d-day: 10/21/07;
Divorced July, 2008 and he never looked back...

Posts: 1208 | Registered: Oct 2007
Mama_of_3_Kids
♀ Member
Member # 26651
Default  Posted: 12:04 PM, May 18th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

What changed it for me was that I started being the one to call other people

This ^^^ Unfortunately, until she is to a place where she can do the above, she will probably have a hard time making connections. I have BTDT, as well, and it wasn't until I started stepping out of my comfort box (and inviting others to do things) that I had social connections.


Me: FBW/30 Him: FWH/33 The kidlets: DS13, DS10, and DD8 The hounds: Four Shih Tzu's
Finally, completely R'd
Clothed in strength and dignity, with nothing to fear, she smiles when she thinks about the future.~Proverbs 31:25

Posts: 11538 | Registered: Dec 2009
hurtbs
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Member # 10866
Default  Posted: 12:57 PM, May 18th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

When it comes to kids developing social skills, there is only so much that parents can do. You can get her involved in activities, be willing to pay money and provide transportation for her to participate, and encourage, but at the end of the day kids who are a little (or a lot) sociall stunted, have ot go through some growing pains to develop a social circle of their own.

If your daughter has the reputation of putting her boyfriend above her girlfriends (and a lot of girls and women do this), then the other girls in her peer group will be more hesitant. That means that she needs to reach out and invite people to movies or organize outings.


Me BW Him XSAWH
DDays - 1 was too many
Divorced 2012

"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate." - Asimov
"Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you." - Ovid


Posts: 15242 | Registered: Jun 2006
persevere
♀ Member
Member # 31468
Default  Posted: 1:23 PM, May 18th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I can see suggesting a couple of ideas to her just to do "for fun", but I would be careful about "helping" her too much, especially when she's already made it clear that she doesn't think you're being supportive.

I would encourage her to call friends instead of waiting for them to call her, as Ama suggested, but otherwise I would slow down the "help" - it may feel overbearing to her right now, especially from her mother. (Been there, done that btw...).


Me: BW-43
Him: XWH-43
Together 9 yrs
DDays: 1/10/2011
Status: Divorced 4/27/11

Above all, be the heroine, not the victim. - Nora Ephron

It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
- J. K. Rowling


Posts: 4374 | Registered: Mar 2011 | From: Texas
sad12008
♀ Member
Member # 18179
Default  Posted: 4:24 PM, May 18th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm coming in late on this thread; first chance I've had to write.

When I tried to talk to her last night about whether she may need help, did she want me to talk to someone or see if there were any books to help, she just cried harder and got angry. She told me I was supposed to say "It's them, honey. There's nothing wrong with you." I certainly didn't help. This is killing her already low self-esteem.

You're only as happy as your least happy child they say, and I know firsthand that it can feel that way! It's so hard as a parent when you think there may be some inadvertent self-sabotaging going on, because you want things to improve for your child. However, they need that safe place to land (home), especially when their self-esteem is taking a hit every time they're hearing about the wonnnnnnderful time the others had over the weekend, or at somebody's party, etc. It's a delicate dance that requires the wisdom of Solomon.

The strategies you've come up with are a good start. As hokey as it may sound, that Dale Carnegie book (How to Win Friends & Influence People) may be helpful. I remember reading something written by a person with high-functioning autism or Asperger's Syndrome that he'd used it almost like a 'how-to manual' for social skills.

Sometimes there's just not a good 'fit' in the pool of friend candidates. I hope I can communicate what I mean by that. For example, we're not from here (here being where my DD16 has attended school since 3rd grade ). The area is noted for its strong and pervasive religious and political viewpoints, which are not our own. Strike #1

DD16 is extraordinarily bright and has been described by teachers as an 'old soul'; mature and outspoken as well. Strike #2

We don't live in a subdivision, apartment complex, or even in a town. Strike #3.

....you get my drift -- the list goes on. I wonder if your DD might be in a similar situation, to where she'll thrive socially in college but struggles now?

I also wonder if her having been dating for 18 months has somewhat preoccupied her attention and thus she hasn't cultured new friendships as she might have or kept up former friendships....and with the demise of the dating relationship looming, she's feeling the void?

As a mom with a DS15 with HFA, I know firsthand the dearth of great summer social opportunities for kids without an existing gaggle of friends. You mentioned she's started a new job; that at least presumably offers some sort of social interaction. Does she have any particular interest around which she might find social opportunities? Any Meetup groups for teens in your area?

Classes like annb mentioned seem like a good, low-threat way of getting out there, occupying time that would otherwise be spent alone with time to feel left out, and she'd get to learn something. Summer rec program through local government? Classes or gatherings sponsored by the public library? Classes or recreation league offerings from any college(s) nearby? Has she already taken driver ed? (starting to pull at straws a little...)

If you wouldn't mind telling us what a couple of the books you've ordered are, I know I would be interested for my own kid's sake, and I'm likely not alone.

I hope things improve soon for your DD.


"Everybody's life is hard. You look at life, and it's not a cakewalk. You've got to be able to bounce back." --Neil Young, father to two children with CP, another with epilepsy, and otherwise experientially qualified to comment

Posts: 3856 | Registered: Feb 2008 | From: a new start together
Kajem
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Member # 36134
Default  Posted: 8:33 PM, May 18th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This will sound nuts.. but my friend put her socially struggling DD in cotillion classes. It helped her to learn some social niceties that translated to her every day interactions. I know I saw a difference in her when she was at my home. My DD was one of her 2 only friends, till she found her footing.

Hugs,


I trust you is a better compliment than I love you, because you may not trust the person you love, but you can always love the person you trust. - Unknown
Relationships are like sharing a book, it doesn't work if you're not on the same page.

Posts: 4850 | Registered: Jul 2012 | From: Florida
jadasae
♀ New Member
Member # 37891
Default  Posted: 11:05 PM, May 18th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My daughter struggled too all through High School and beyond and I often tried to help her be 'fixed' and like your daughter what she wanted most from me was 'your wonderful' She may be well aware of her issues but just need time to work them out....I was fortunate, for all my pushing of my daughter to be just a bit different to how she was, she hung in there and got to grow up as herself. School years are not always everyones best years...maybe if you let her know that, in just a few years time all these people won't be so important and in fact she will probably never have to deal with many of them again. A really good book is Stephen Covey's 7 habits of highly effective families. In one chapter he says that is wasn't until the stopped trying to fix one of his kids that he could really value him for who he is. We're mums, its out job to worry and to love...I've learnt overtime its not always my job to fix.


Me; BW
Him; not important any more
married 24 years
including 10 years of false R
3 wonderful grown kids
Divorced Dec 2011

Posts: 23 | Registered: Dec 2012 | From: Australia
Hearthache again
♀ Member
Member # 28564
Default  Posted: 11:48 PM, May 18th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My daughter who is 15 has issues and ADHD along with a mild language impairment. The funny thing is once she was accepting of her flaws she blossomed. We are not ones to focus on flaws as a negative. We celebrate them. It also helps that we have a strong church family. Our youth group runs about 100+ kids every week. She also is in 4h which has taught her to be independent. They have great teen leadership opportunities.

Focus on what she likes to do and find a group or class that she can just be around other people she likes.

I know she was upset about the friends thing, but are you sure she wasn't being over dramatic cause things were going bad with her boyfriend. We tend to see stuff negatively when things are going bad.


Me-BS(32)
Him-WS(35)
Married-12 years together 13
Kids 4: 15, 12, 8, and 3
DDay#1 9-26-2008 Dday#2 4-26-2010
We have R!!! But I still hate the number 26!

This too shall pass
I edit a lot because that stupid box is so small!


Posts: 871 | Registered: May 2010 | From: Michigan
incredulous
♀ Member
Member # 16737
Default  Posted: 7:43 PM, May 19th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The books I've purchased are:

1. The Unwritten Rules of Friendship: Simple strategies to help your child make friends;

2.The Social Success Workbook for Teens: Skill-Building Activities for Teens with ....
and

3. Don't Let Your Emotions Run Your Life: Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills for helping you manage mood swings, control angry outbursts, and...

We'll see if any of them give me some ideas for things she may be doing, and subtle tips I can give her to help her social skills.
Her former counselor said she really thinks DD needs anti-anxiety meds, and she would be willing to talk to her doctor to tell her. She suggested this before, but DD's pediatrician won't prescribe those meds, and the psychiatrist didn't think it was warranted. DD puts on a good face, and I think the psych thought I was one of THOSE mothers, and wouldn't prescribe. Maybe back to another psychiatrist.

Thanks for the suggestions. DD does call friends and invite them, but they're usually busy.


me: BW, now 52;
DD now 16 (adopted by me as single mom, so XWH was "Dad")
married: June, 2005, together since July, 2002
d-day: 10/21/07;
Divorced July, 2008 and he never looked back...

Posts: 1208 | Registered: Oct 2007
Topic Posts: 18

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