The school year is in full swing. We are busy with tumbling, football, piano lessons, drivers education classes, choir, and homework. We are all adjusting to life in Ohio. It’s been busy. We moved to a new state, unpacked in our new home (still a work in progress), and are adjusting to new schools. In fact, I’ve been so focused on all of that, it’s been difficult to blog. I just don’t seem to have enough time in the day and there is little time to organize my thoughts.
Anyway, that’s not what this post is about. More on that later.
My fifteen year old tenth grade daughter came home from school rather sad the other day. Of course, being the mom that I am, I just had to know what was bothering her. I asked if I needed to go to school because mama bear is not afraid to protect her young when necessary LOL. It turns out that she was upset because the English teacher assigned a group project allowing the kids to select their own groups. Well no one invited her to join their group. It was the first time that has ever happened to her. She generally makes friends very easily but its tough when you are new. She was eventually placed in a group.
This experience taught her how important it is to reach out to others especially new kids or socially awkward kids. She went on to explain that in high school the social circles are usually already formed and it’s tough to make a connection.
Of course as her mom, I just want to make it all okay. I want to tell the world just how awesome of a young lady she is, and how proud I am of her. That has nothing to do with anything, but I am her mom. I’m biased and what else should I say? I encouraged her and told her how great of a friend she is and has been to others, and that it will take time to build relationships. Quality over quantity is always my mantra. It certainly applies to friends too. All you need are a few good ones.
She and I came up with five strategies for making friends when you are the new kid.
1. Participate in a sport. There are so many options for this. If you were involved in a sport before the move, try out for the school team at your new school. If not, a recreational league is always a consideration.
2. Join a student organization or group. There are usually a number of school organizations including Student Government, Yearbook, and volunteer based groups. Perhaps you have a special talent that you can share with others.
3. Be friendly. If you want friends then you have to be friendly. There has to be some give and take here. Step out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself to people. I know this can be tough depending on one’s personality but you’ve got to start somewhere.
4. Get involved in extracurricular activities outside of school. A community youth group or church affiliated group is a great way to make connections.
5. Recognize that it takes time to build meaningful relationships. Be positive and know that special friends are out there, you just haven’t met them yet.
Of course, these strategies will not work for all kids but you have to be proactive if you want things to get better. One of the things I tell my kids is you can be bitter or get better. Which do you choose? Exactly…….get better! Being bitter is draining.
She felt better after our talk. I know it will get better.
Have you ever been the new kid? How did you cope?
Peace and Blessings,