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secondary school - finding her feet

re... : secondary school - finding her feet           reply
09/04/2013 21:51 - Behaviour / Discipline
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Thanks for your responses , this is where I´m at .
I don´t know if I´m making things worse as I am in talks with another secondary school re a transfer for my daughter as she is still feeling alone and isolated at this late stage in year. I feel that I am asking her too much about her school day eg . did you sit near anyone new for lunch or who do you chat to these days . I feel I´m making her more aware that shes alone in first year . When I try not to dwell on this aspect of school ie . socializing , she seems to get really down and upset herself at times too and brings the topic up.
I have encouraged her to do some afternoon school activities , but she dislikes the sports that the school do . She does however participate in a sport at home herself so I know she is trying but again its not with ´potential´ school friends. I have talked to numerous teachers, her guidance teacher , Principal etc . but nothing has changed. I suppose the change will come from within herself in time as you have suggested. Even one friend would be a bonus. Worried now that I am jumping the gun looking at another secondary school - is this wise???



secondary school - finding her feet           reply
06/04/2013 01:08 - Behaviour / Discipline (Locality: Cork)
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My daughter is experiencing huge difficulties fitting in to secondary school life . Her first year almost finished but she hasn´t made any friends for lunch time etc. Am at wits end on this and feel enormously sad for her well being . Any suggestions , ANYBODY



re... : secondary school - finding her feet           reply
11/04/2013 21:14 - Behaviour / Discipline
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Thanks Mother Hen for the advice.
She was always a bit shy at primary but nothing to this extent although there was a small bit of bullying in sixth class (could have contributed to overall lack of confidence) so I do think it may be the mix of children she is with as she/we together have discussed many of your ideas. Eg. Identifying ´possible´ friendships, talking to various teachers, approaching other children but nothing has clicked yet ....looking at every option so fingers crossed . A fresh start may be what is needed ......thanks for support.



re : secondary school - finding her feet           reply
08/04/2013 18:40 - Behaviour / Discipline
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Hi saw your add I know how you feel
My daughter was the same I don´t know
If your daughter is interested in football
Or basket ball if they do this at school
Try and get her to join in at first she
Might be shy but she might enjoy it and
Make one or two friends my daughter
Still only has one or two friends now
When she came home from school
I used to ask did you make friends were
You with any one I was making it worse for
Her when I kept asking and then I would worry about
Her if she does not make friends before
The end of the year when she goes into 2nd year she
Will that´s when my daughter made her friends
Just tell her if she see anyone on their own just go over
And try and talk to them it will be hard
But worth it



re : secondary school - finding her feet           reply
09/04/2013 10:02 - Behaviour / Discipline
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If you haven´t already, talk with the school and let them know what´s happening. They may be able to help your daughter integrate more by pairing her off with different students for project/activities. Are there any kids in the other first year classes she knows better - the school might be able to change her over to a different class for 2nd year?
If you know any of the other parents of first year kids it might be worth chatting with them to see how their kids are getting on - maybe find out what camps/activities other kids from her year are doing over the summer and see if she can join in.



re... : secondary school - finding her feet           reply
11/04/2013 16:05 - Behaviour / Discipline
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Is this a new difficulty or did she have any trouble making friends in primary school? If she had friends then, did any of them go to the same secondary school, or is there a school where she would know and be friendly with others, through hobbies/interests?
If this has been an ongoing issue, your daughter may need help building social skills and learning how to approach and make friends. If there has never been a problem before, and you feel that she has the necessary skills, she may just have been unfortunate in the mix of people she landed in with; she might not have met her own kind or maybe quite a few people were already in groups. If she´s not into the school sports, see if there are other groups or societys within the school - music, drama, art, debating, voluntary groups etc. Help her to identify who the friendly girls are, who seems most approachable etc. Find out whats available in school at lunchtime to pass the time; even with a group of friends it can be a difficult time for many as there can be a lot of ´slagging´ (teasing etc.)
Rather than constantly checking in with her, which you´re afraid is making the situation worse; make a date to review the situation with her, ask her to tell you about how its going; then ask her what you think you both should do about it - brainstorm ideas including new school option - create a plan of action and another review date. Then inbetween these times you can let her get on with it.
If you feel she has the social skills but has just been unlucky in this school, or/and if you feel they haven´t responded well, it may be worth considering a fresh start. But if this has been an ongoing challenge area for your child, a new school will just mean another difficult transition, more unfamiliar faces, more aloneness. There is no right answer, you are supporting her to work through this together and come up with the best solution for her. Hopefully as she gets more confidence, no longer being the first year and the newbies in school, things will turn around for her as others have experienced :)



re... : secondary school - finding her feet           reply
27/10/2018 17:42 - Behaviour / Discipline
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My daughter is having similar trouble. There are three from her old school in this school with her but they seem to have formed a clique of their own and my girl seems to be struggling to have any connection to anyone. She was bullied in her old school but the bullies have gone to other places now.
There is also the issue of discos. She broached the idea recently of going to the disco only to back out and say that she didn´t feel ready. However this has become something she´s regularly quizzed about at school - is she going? Why isn´t she going? One fella asked her to the disco with him, and she just said no thanks.
She now feels that she´s the butt of a joke because of this and also because she hears people giggling about her and saying she´s so weird etc. It´s changed from being happy to be doing new subjects and in a new place away from the bullies who plagued her in her last school, to being unwilling to go to school, saying she´s afraid to go in, she doesn´t want to go, she´s fed up, etc. She takes an hour to get dressed in the morning and it´s putting a bit of a strain on our relationship because I´m constantly shouting up the stairs for her to hurry up and giving out because we´re going to be late yet again.
She has nobody but me to confide in - her only friend outside school is from a different culture and so dating and boys etc are viewed differently.
I know she needs social skills but how to teach them to her? At my wits´ end here, all my family suffered with mental health issues and I don´t want to see her in the same pain I suffered as a teen.



re... : secondary school - finding her feet           reply
27/10/2018 20:31 - Behaviour / Discipline
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Baroque , I can feel your pain as a mother and frustration at seeing your child suffer at school . I remember I was in this situation 5 years ago when my own daughter started secondary . It was a highly anxious time for her and she was very unsettled and upset going and coming from school every day . She has since finished school and progressed to college and is doing very well. From looking back the things that helped were keeping her occupied at home with activities as she struggled to find anything that suited her at school as she was excessively shy. She embarked on acting classes at the weekend and got to know like minded people there. Keep talking to the school . Ask if she can do any duties at break times with other students , that´s what I asked of the school . That way she got partnered with other girls making sure rooms were kept tidy during lunch times , computers off in computer rooms , roll lists were collected from teachers etc . The principal is very resourceful in ´ finding ´ jobs . I met with teachers and asked that she be seated near sensitive ,kind children or partnered with polite or quieter girls like her for Home Econ. Then I went to Cross Care , teen counselling with her after school and they were very good listening to her as it was good for her to feel that being alone is okay and won´t always be that way . Fourth year was the turning point , the classes were mixed again and she thrived meeting new girls to do non academic things like photography and working with special needs children with girls from her group. I know it´s hard to hear this as your daughter is still in first year but it gets better . Try to make her feel happy with herself always . But continue to bring up all these issues at every occasion with her school . I found the parent teacher meetings a great platform to ask teachers to help my child integrate and alot of teachers really wanted to help . Reach out to Cross care, Ireland if they are near you . It´s donations only and they really help counsel teens . Hopefully things get better , remember there is always hope and help is there . Just keep asking for it .



re... : secondary school - finding her feet           reply
27/10/2018 20:31 - Behaviour / Discipline
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Baroque , I can feel your pain as a mother and frustration at seeing your child suffer at school . I remember I was in this situation 5 years ago when my own daughter started secondary . It was a highly anxious time for her and she was very unsettled and upset going and coming from school every day . She has since finished school and progressed to college and is doing very well. From looking back the things that helped were keeping her occupied at home with activities as she struggled to find anything that suited her at school as she was excessively shy. She embarked on acting classes at the weekend and got to know like minded people there. Keep talking to the school . Ask if she can do any duties at break times with other students , that´s what I asked of the school . That way she got partnered with other girls making sure rooms were kept tidy during lunch times , computers off in computer rooms , roll lists were collected from teachers etc . The principal is very resourceful in ´ finding ´ jobs . I met with teachers and asked that she be seated near sensitive ,kind children or partnered with polite or quieter girls like her for Home Econ. Then I went to Cross Care , teen counselling with her after school and they were very good listening to her as it was good for her to feel that being alone is okay and won´t always be that way . Fourth year was the turning point , the classes were mixed again and she thrived meeting new girls to do non academic things like photography and working with special needs children with girls from her group. I know it´s hard to hear this as your daughter is still in first year but it gets better . Try to make her feel happy with herself always . But continue to bring up all these issues at every occasion with her school . I found the parent teacher meetings a great platform to ask teachers to help my child integrate and alot of teachers really wanted to help . Reach out to Cross care, Ireland if they are near you . It´s donations only and they really help counsel teens . Hopefully things get better , remember there is always hope and help is there . Just keep asking for it .




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