• Resolving Problems

My 14-year-old daughter was left out by a group

July 6, 2014 | By | 5 Replies Continue Reading
A mom asks whether she should intervene when her daughter is left out by friends?

QUESTION

Hi,

I have a 14-year-old daughter who is hearing impaired and she has such a difficult time making friends. She can hear, but it’s hard for her to hear with a large group.

She has been hurt a lot with her friends at school who often just don’t want to take the time out to include her in the group. She loves to horseback ride so we started to go to a farm with a few girls her age. She finally met some girls that really seem to like her. They were going places together and having fun. She was so happy with these new girls until today.

She found out that they had all made plans together and did not include her. When she asked why they did not invite her and left her out, they said that they could only invite three girls and she was the only one not picked. She was devastated. She was crying and said that she just does not know why people do not like her.

I tried to tell her that she is a good person but I don’t know if I did any good. Any advice as a parent on what I can say to her? I would like to say something to the girls, but I know that it would just make things worse, so I will keep my mouth shut. It hurts me so much to see her in this much pain. I am truly at lost on how to advise her.

Signed, Willa

ANSWER

Hi Willa,

I’m so sorry your daughter was excluded by her friends. You were wise not to approach the girls. At fourteen, she needs to learn to handle her own social issues.

She’ll have to wait and see whether this exclusion was a one-time deal, or if the girls have decided to distance themselves from her. Unfortunately, girls this age sometimes change whom they want to include or exclude from their social circles. In the most extreme cases, this type of behavior can also include bullying.

If your daughter is excluded from the next activity with the horseback riding girls, she needs to tell one of them she feels hurt and ask whether they are  mad at her, and—if she’s done something wrong, she would like to know so she can apologize.

If you think she has difficulty fitting in with her peers, speak to her teacher to find out how she views your daughter’s social maturity and friendship skills in relation to her peers. Your daughter may be doing something off-putting that makes others shy away from her. I wouldn’t necessarily chalk this issue up to her hearing impairment alone, because you might miss important information that will be helpful to you and her.

Encourage your daughter to socialize with different people so her friendships don’t rely on one group or one person. If she limits herself, she may come across as needy and may also leave herself more vulnerable to being hurt if the relationship ends.

She might meet some kind girls by volunteering over the summer. If nothing else, she’ll make acquaintances and most friendships start off that way.

I hope this is just a one-time thing and wish her the best.

Signed, *Amy Feld


*Amy Feld, PhD, MSW has trained and worked as a child psychologist.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this or any other post is intended to substitute for medical, psychiatric or clinical diagnosis/treatment. Rather, all posts are written as the type of advice that one friend might give to another.

Tags: , , , ,

Category: RESOLVING PROBLEMS

Comments (5)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Alison says:

    I found this posting while looking for advise for the same problem with my hearing impaired 12 year old daughter! The previous advise is helpful, but like your daughter making friends at school in a school environment where there is a lot of background noise and mostly group situations is a challenge,
    Getting your daughter involved with riding was great (we have gone down the ice skating path recently) and it will increase her confidence and she will meet people who have a similar interest or goal,
    I don’t have much advise to offer other than what has already been said just wanted you to know there is another mother out there who is going through the same worry with her daughter and understands what you are going through. At the age our daughters are, most girls are having friendship issues, but hearing loss does make socializing harder because they don’t tend to pick up on the subtle communication skills because they are trying so hard to hear! Often people who work with hearing impaired children are good to ask for advise we have a deaf school near us and I am sure they have some practical advise.

    • Alpna Manchanda says:

      I recently saw a video where 2 girls with similar problems became best friends on Skype. Both taught each other a lot on how to cope with their impairment.
      Maybe your daughters too can get in touch with each other and share confidences and advise on coping with other girls their age

  2. Dunn says:

    I do not have children but I remember being 14. I was left out a lot like your daughter. The best thing to do is not approach her friends or her friend’s parents. Your daughter might be embarrassed, especially if it does not go well. My mom used to try to do fixes like that for me. She meant well but I really did not want her to do it. Another poster said your daughter should approach her friends. I like that idea.

    Maybe you could keep encouraging her to join more activities where she would have more opportunities to meet new
    friends. It sounds like you have been doing that. I gave up which is one of the worst things you can do.

    It sounds like she needs a lot of encouragement right now. Do you have friends who have a daughter her age? That could be another possibility. Maybe she could get together with cousins.

  3. Mara says:

    I’m so sorry that your daughter was left feeling hurt and excluded. I agree with the advice to try getting involved with a variety of activities so she’s not left at the mercy of one group of girls deciding whether they are going to be inclusive or not. Even as a strategy, it’s better to have a diverse group of friends so not to come across as needy to one group.

    If these girls are moving on, hopefully you can find other outlets to encourage a social life. Even though the last thing she probably wants is mom company when she needs it from her peer group, it’s okay to be a little proactive right now. Rejection from a peer group can be devastating and the last thing you want to see happen is that she withdraws or feels very depressed. Make an effort to do some fun things with her, whether it’s going to get your nails done, taking a weekend vacation somewhere cool, going to a baseball game….just anything to get her out of the house feeling lonely and killing time and dwelling. And a little boost of you can have a fun time without those girls. No it’s not the same doing things with your family, but not having anything to look forward to is not healthy. She may not be happy doing things now, but having a calendar of things to do will still help to protect her ego, leave her less vulnerable, and when she looks back later in life, she will appreciate the time she spent with you and that you didn’t let her wallow up in a ball on her bed.

    You are a great mom to have gotten her involved in the horseback riding and I’m sure you will find other outlets as well. Maybe there is a horseback camp or something like that to pursue where she can still have fun and expand her ability to meet more people. I wouldn’t write off those girls entirely yet – hopefully it was a one time thing but now her guard is up. Resist the urge to talk about them too negatively to your daughter. Even though they caused her pain, she wanted their friendship and acceptance. Girls can be immature and worried about their own social status and where they fit in – it speaks more about them than about your daughter.

  4. tanja says:

    That has got to be tough! I worry that my kids may go through that someday as well. Right now, one is going into kindergarten and one has one more year before she starts school.

    Girls can be mean, that is for sure. I would not talk to the girls about it, you can’t force them or guilt them into hanging out with your daughter. I also would not have your daughter tell them how she feels. That does not always work, it just (in my experience from when i was bullied) fuels the fire. In other words, if they know it hurts her, they will do it again and again and that is what bullies do.

    I do not think it is anything your daughter is doing and it may not even be the hearing. For me, when I was in school. I was nice enough and pretty enough. But, I was shy and had low self esteem, which made me an easy target for bullying because I would not stand up for myself. I felt I deserved cruel treatment and people picked up on it and did exactly what I expected and I didn’t have the voice to put a stop to it.

    So, with that being said, I would try to get your daughter involved in other things, activities, activities and more activities. Try to be there for her as a listener and hopefully she meets other girls. She is young and in time her friends will all be different at the age of 20 and 24 and well into her 30’s, these friends will all change. You will see new faces coming in and out of the house. Try to teach your daughter to do her own thing and not care so much, try to avoid those hurtful situations. If they dont invite her, she needs to learn to shrug her shoulders and say I don’t want to hang with that group again. Let her make the decisions and be choosy with who she wants as a friend.

    As long as they are not hurting her, then there is not much you can say to them, but you can be there for your daughter emotionally. If they are saying mean things to her or physically hurting her, then you need to get involved, but until then, they are mean girls. I have vowed when the day comes to tell my kids, that they do not need to be in the A group. The B group is the best place to be. Hopefully, they don’t end in the C group. But, the B group just goes about their day and have their friends and kind of fit in somewhere in the middle, the drifter, going to different groups to say hi and hang sometimes but not all the time.

    Good luck. I wish someone would have said this to me when I was younger.

Leave a Reply