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Our daughter, Kelly, who is a little shy has almost completed the 9th Grade, and it is now late spring. She is our “middle” child. Our oldest boy, Jim, is in the 12th Grade, and Sally, our youngest, is in the 7th Grade. When Kelly began school this year, her two best friends from middle school, Jackie and Shannon, did not join her in this high school. Jackie moved out of state, and Shannon’s parents enrolled her in a private school.
Kelly is not adjusting well socially in this school. She is picked on for “being a good girl” and doesn’t want to be involved in drugs, alcohol, sex, and the like. She finds most of her fellow schoolmates are just immature and quite wild and she doesn’t want to be a part of all that. Kelly has gotten straight A’s since she was young and is on track for getting her nursing degree. Kelly knows what she wants and doesn’t want to be bothered by this foolishness. My husband, Ray, and I are concerned that if she is “left out” at school and doesn’t make some friends she will get bored and become discouraged. Kelly doesn’t really like to share with us about this situation and wants us to leave it alone. What can we do to help?
Signed – A little concerned in Connecticut
Dear A Little Concerned:
Kelly sounds like she is truly “well adjusted” and handling the situation on her own quite well. She sounds like she is a very determined and goal-oriented young person who knows what she wants and will go after it. Having said that, there is always a concern that she may become “bored” and/or feel a little “down” or alone if she is not making many friends.
Has she tried to join any clubs or school organizations? That may be a way to go. This could be one way to meet people with “like interests”, i.e. if she loves Spanish and joins the Spanish Club, or if she loves to write and gets on with the school newspaper. Also, is Kelly involved with any other non-school organizations outside of school such as youth groups affiliated with a church or another club? Even if she make friends with kids in non-school activities or organizations, she could at least have a way to become social and active with non-school friends.
And you haven’t mentioned if she has friends in your neighborhood or is still friends with Shannon even though she doesn’t go to the same school. This would at least give her some social interaction outside of school.
Also, many schools these days require a certain amount of “volunteer hours” for graduation and/or scholarship programs. I wonder if Kelly has volunteered in the community or may be interested in volunteering? This would be a great way to interact, do something to help others, and also maybe meet some other young people her age.
Does Kelly have any kind of “mentor”, or an aunt or special older woman in her life whom she is close with that she can open up to and “talk to”? This may help her open up with someone and express how she feels about this situation.
Keep an eye on Kelly and be willing to “listen” if she wants to talk. It is also possible that Kelly is mature for her age and is just not interested in pursuing other friendships right now. Similar to adults, teenagers are individuals and not all teens are interested in pursuing new friendships right away. Encourage her to continue on and work through this situation. She sounds like she is doing a wonderful job!
Readers – any suggestions for “A Little Concerned in Connecticut? Maybe some of you parents have gone through something similar to this or …. You young ladies out there may have had this experience as well?
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Until next time~