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Old 01-22-2021, 05:07 AM
Status: "Only the most loved have a place on my cap" (set 10 days ago)
 
1,007 posts, read 289,708 times
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Hi, looking for some advice on this situation:

I have an almost 12 year old who started middle school back in September in a new area so my child does not know anyone and is a little socially awkward. We had assumed that once she started the school year she could join clubs or activities at the school since she isn't really into "league" sports. Some of the things we discussed were track and field, volleyball, or a home-economics type club (cooking, sewing so forth) Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, all clubs and sports within the school have been cancelled and the entire school has been on 100% virtual instruction for quite some time. When they eventually do go back, it will only be a half-day and no lunch. So as you can see, this clearly prevents my child from forming any social bonds at a time in your childhood where you start finding yourself and being your own person.

My child appears to be lonely. She has no friends. At all. She has a younger sibling, but they are too far apart in age to be "friends". There are absolutely no kids on our block. We are surrounded by either childless couples, empty nesters, or newly-weds. There are no kids who even pass our house. There are no recreation fields or parks near our house The only thing she can really do is go in the backyard by herself and listen to music. I see her outside all the time to get away from being inside all day but she looks so lonely. I would like to get her to socialize with girls (or even boys) her age or close to her age but I have no idea how. She met one girl in her grade over the summer before school started and they have each others phone number, but the girl told my daughter that her mother does not want any get-togethers due to coronavirus when they tried to make plans.

I do know that kids her age are getting together (apparently there was a big middle school party for New Years Eve and a bunch of kids tested positive for COVID) but I just don't know where or how to even make that happen. I am not looking for a massive friends list, just one or two good friends she can bond with. I do not really know any parents either - but at her age the parents don't really make play dates - it is really up to the kids, right? I feel if this pandemic wasn't a thing it would be much easier for her to make friends or at least have some kind of social life, so in the meantime I am open to suggestions. I lie awake at night worrying about her. Thanks!
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Old 01-22-2021, 11:28 AM
 
11,595 posts, read 4,532,302 times
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How far did you move?


Would it be feasible to see if one of her old friends from her old school could spend a weekend?
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Old 01-22-2021, 02:28 PM
 
15,096 posts, read 7,760,510 times
Reputation: 14073
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristinas_Cap View Post
Hi, looking for some advice on this situation:

I have an almost 12 year old who started middle school back in September in a new area so my child does not know anyone and is a little socially awkward. We had assumed that once she started the school year she could join clubs or activities at the school since she isn't really into "league" sports. Some of the things we discussed were track and field, volleyball, or a home-economics type club (cooking, sewing so forth) Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, all clubs and sports within the school have been cancelled and the entire school has been on 100% virtual instruction for quite some time. When they eventually do go back, it will only be a half-day and no lunch. So as you can see, this clearly prevents my child from forming any social bonds at a time in your childhood where you start finding yourself and being your own person.

My child appears to be lonely. She has no friends. At all. She has a younger sibling, but they are too far apart in age to be "friends". There are absolutely no kids on our block. We are surrounded by either childless couples, empty nesters, or newly-weds. There are no kids who even pass our house. There are no recreation fields or parks near our house The only thing she can really do is go in the backyard by herself and listen to music. I see her outside all the time to get away from being inside all day but she looks so lonely. I would like to get her to socialize with girls (or even boys) her age or close to her age but I have no idea how. She met one girl in her grade over the summer before school started and they have each others phone number, but the girl told my daughter that her mother does not want any get-togethers due to coronavirus when they tried to make plans.

I do know that kids her age are getting together (apparently there was a big middle school party for New Years Eve and a bunch of kids tested positive for COVID) but I just don't know where or how to even make that happen. I am not looking for a massive friends list, just one or two good friends she can bond with. I do not really know any parents either - but at her age the parents don't really make play dates - it is really up to the kids, right? I feel if this pandemic wasn't a thing it would be much easier for her to make friends or at least have some kind of social life, so in the meantime I am open to suggestions. I lie awake at night worrying about her. Thanks!
I’m really sorry you and your daughter both are dealing with this. I can relate as my teen started at a new school this year and with all of the restrictions was in a very similar situation. It was so heartbreaking. I don’t have any advice other then to keep an eye on her, try to do fun things together and keep the lines of communication open. We ended up switching schools which was a game changer but I know that is neither an option for everyone nor a definite solution either. Hang in here. This is so hard.
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Old 01-22-2021, 04:29 PM
 
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Is there a girl scout troop she could join? I know that many girls don't join at her age, but the ones that do are friendly and there are lots of possible activities.
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Old 01-23-2021, 10:53 AM
 
139 posts, read 126,607 times
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I would try to find a club/activity outside of the school environment, provided your area isn't completely shut down.

For example, there is a place here for kids to take cooking/baking classes with other kids. There is also an indoor swim school that offers both lessons and camps for all age groups. Both are open and operate with COVID safety protocols in place.

Good luck. This is a very challenging time and I hope your daughter can find a new friend or two.
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Old 01-23-2021, 08:03 PM
 
11,816 posts, read 9,736,637 times
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See what your public library and parks department offer. There may be an online book discussion group, or online arts and crafts or other projects available via the library, even if they can't offer in-person activities now.

Most public libraries offer book pickups now, although browsing may still be out. See if her teacher or local children's department of the public library have booklists for her age, and request some of those books for her. Libraries have craft and activity books that might be apt right now. Her school library may still make books available to students, so look into that, too. Public libraries also offer DVDs and CDs and other items for circulation, which might help broaden her horizons.

Your local Y may also have online or in-person activities. Now might be a good time to start music lessons, if she doesn't already play an instrument or sing. Online concerts are springing up all over the place, and most are free, so if she enjoys music, see what she might like. You can find virtual museum visits and LOTS of travelogues online.

There are also lots of good age-appropriate movies on YouTube that she might enjoy watching with you.

If you can teach her some simple things to cook or sew or make, that's another plus: something she might enjoy that's also practical. It will also exercise her mathematical skills. See if you have a cookbook with easy recipes, or just teach her how to scramble an egg, make a hamburger, French toast, grilled cheese sandwiches, Jell-0, cookies, and other simple favorites. Using mixes is okay, too.

Board games are time-tested favorites, as are jigsaw puzzles. Chess is hot right now, and thanks to TikTok, so are sea chanties, so if you know either and can teach them to her, she'll either think you're cool (or nuts, or maybe a little of both).

Bundle up and go for walks with her. If your new neighborhood isn't an interesting place to walk, find another. Check out local parks for hiking trails. Is there anywhere outside for ice skating or roller skating in your community? Old-fashioned roller skates that attach to shoes can be used on sidewalks, of course. Does she have a bicycle? When it warms up, set up a badminton and/or croquet set in the back yard, so you can both play.

Can she Zoom with her old friends? Does she have cousins near her own age? Or other relatives who'd welcome a card or phone call from her? How about finding a pen-pal?

Maybe start some flower or vegetable seeds in a sunny window or under a grow-lamp, put her in charge (after beginning level instruction) and set them out later on.

If she doesn't have a pet, and you have room and time for one, this would be a great time to get a cat or dog. Cats are a little more self-sufficient and easier to care for, but either would make a wonderful friend and companion, and shelters are happy to help you find just the right pooch or kitty. I'd advise NOT getting a young puppy or kitten, as they require more commitment, but adopt a full-grown animal. Two cats are just as easy as one, btw, and they usually bond and become each other's best buddies.

Good luck - these times are hard for everyone, and I feel especially sad for the children who are old enough to understand part of what's going on and who may not only be lonely but worried about themselves, their families, and their own futures. Making the present as productive and interesting as possible will go a long ways towards combatting potential anxiety.
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Old 01-25-2021, 08:26 AM
 
5,573 posts, read 3,917,971 times
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I'm worried about my 13 year old granddaughter as well, her area is severely shut down. The rest of the grandkids live in areas where they actually are back at regular school.

What about dance classes or a youth cheer program?

What about looking for churches that have a robust youth program?
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Old 01-26-2021, 04:29 AM
Status: "Only the most loved have a place on my cap" (set 10 days ago)
 
1,007 posts, read 289,708 times
Reputation: 1064
Thanks for the replies. Lots of good suggestions. She drifted apart from her elementary school friends which were only 2 of them, plus moving kind of cemented that. Also she used to be in a Girl Scout Troop but felt she grew out of it. She does do zoom meetings for Church Youth Group and has done Library meetings/crafts. It just is unfortunate that she isn't forming any friendships of girls her age. Our school PTO will be having a fundraiser which is an outdoor get-together for all the middle schoolers, so I signed her up for it.
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Old 01-29-2021, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX and Las Vegas, NV
6,800 posts, read 5,668,295 times
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Can she do any local volunteer work? She may not make friends her own age, but it would help with loneliness.
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Old 01-29-2021, 11:26 AM
Status: "Only the most loved have a place on my cap" (set 10 days ago)
 
1,007 posts, read 289,708 times
Reputation: 1064
Quote:
Originally Posted by WorldKlas View Post
Can she do any local volunteer work? She may not make friends her own age, but it would help with loneliness.
That would be a great idea
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