High school mom question

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by becky, Dec 24, 2014.

  1. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    I need your help, folks. I've got this high schooler now, but I'm not sure of a few things.

    A situation came up recently, where she wanted to talk to one of her teachers about an assignment. It was a touchy subject that got assigned, and for personal reasons , she wanted out of it. Since she was shy about talking to the teacher, I offered to go with her as moral support. She did all the talking, I took up space. Hoping that was fine?

    I've been encouraging her to invite classmates to socialize outside of school. She hesitates about it. Is it appropriate for me to call a mom or two and invite them to meet up somewhere?

    I'm still loving this school and her teachers. I might shower them with rose petals one day, lol.
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Dec 24, 2014

    I don't think that it was wrong for you to be present while she talked to the teacher about an assignment, but I think she could have done that on her own.

    I do not think that you should be calling other parents to arrange play dates for your high schooler. By this age she should be able to make her own friends and arrange social activities with them. If she is struggling with making friends and wants to make friends, maybe her school counselor or some other therapist might be able to help her work on her interpersonal skills.

    I think that the best thing you can do for your high schooler is to encourage her to be more independent. It may not be easy for her, but it is necessary that she begin learning to navigate the world without her mom around to guide her at every turn.
     
  4. eternalsaudade

    eternalsaudade Companion

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    I agree with Caesar, I would not be trying to arrange play dates. She will probably just be embarrassed and it won't necessarily work. You might encourage her to join some sort of group/club/volunteer activity in or outside of school if she is having trouble meeting friends she connects with. She may also simply be the type of person who often prefers to be alone and if that's the case and she seems happy otherwise, I wouldn't worry too much about it.
     
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I agree. Don't arrange play dates and encourage her to begin facing uncomfortable situations on her own. It may be time to stop sheltering her so much.
     
  6. LisaLisa

    LisaLisa Companion

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    Dec 24, 2014

    I teach younger students in Special Ed and this situation has come up from time to time. My students typically lack/ed the social skills to set up something like this on their own.

    Good idea to check in with school counselor and also look into clubs and activities within the school. Having a "play date" with a classmate isn't easy. Who will they invite over and what will they do during the date? If the student lacks the social skills to do the inviting it all might be a disaster.

    Start with something simple and be careful about getting the parents involved. They might be overbearing and impact the opportunity for relationship building.

    Also, the get-togethers my students have had ranged from going to a movie, to a sports event, roller skating, arcade.
     
  7. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Dec 24, 2014

    If she is struggling socially, have her look into clubs she might be interested in.

    Also, perhaps consider therapy if it is a low self-esteem thing, as those issues like the crop up in HS.
     
  8. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I agree with everyone. If word got out that you tried to plan a play 'date' I think that would do more harm than good. Is Becky happy? I think that should be your guideline.
     
  9. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    Where did I use the term 'play date'? I also don't think I'm sheltering her by trying to help her come out of her comfort zone a little.
     
  10. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    These were exactly what I was talking about. Maybe skating, or swimming at the gym, or something like that.
     
  11. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    Dec 24, 2014

     
  12. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    Hm, no, don't do that. Sounds like she might have generalized or social anxiety. Probably the latter. Forcing her into uncomfortable situations (read: outside her comfort zone) is the last thing you'd want to do. She'll branch out when she's ready.
     
  13. cartwheels

    cartwheels Rookie

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    She should be the one to initiate that, though. Thinking back to my teenage years, it would have been MORTIFYING for my mom to call up another student's parents and arrange a get together for me. Realistically, it could have the opposite of the intended effect - instead of getting her to branch out, it could further isolate her if the other kids deem her "weird" because their parents are arranging outings for them with your daughter.

    I think encouraging her to get involved with extracurriculars is your best bet, but try not to be too pushy about it. It may take her some time to find "her place" and "her crowd," and that's okay.
     
  14. bros

    bros Phenom

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    That's what I was thinking. Probably a mild case of anxiety. Being pushed out of the comfort zone is very very very uncomfortable.

    During HS, the way I interacted with other people was by helping them with computer issues (also helping teachers with computer issues) and I participated in the HS Bowling Club, which was run by the HS Special Olympics coach, who I had known for many years, and ran a version of Special Olympics that was for non-intellectually students with disabilities (I believe it was called the Tournament of Champions - and sadly, the program was ended in 2011 due to a combination of getting its budget cut by the state entirely (The state provided somewhere between 30-50%), and a few other factors).
     
  15. eternalsaudade

    eternalsaudade Companion

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    Nobody said you used the term play date, but a play date is essentially what you are describing. There is nothing wrong from encouraging your daughter to branch out and try new things if you feel it might benefit her (again, take into consideration whether she is actually unhappy with her current social situation), but trying to force her into it is probably not in her best interests.
     
  16. LisaLisa

    LisaLisa Companion

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    That's why I used quotes in my reply.

    Meetup could be an alternative. I was trying to remember what they were called when I was young, decades ago. I don't think there was a term for it.
     
  17. WarriorPrncss

    WarriorPrncss Companion

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    Dec 30, 2014

    I was very reserved in high school... very quiet and shy... but if my mom had called peer parents to set up an outing I'd have been mortified.

    I would encourage her to join a club or sport she's interested in-- whether at school or outside of school. Among being in school clubs I volunteered for the SPCA most of my high school career and my senior year I petitioned to start a school SPCA club. (Thus bringing my outside hobby into school.) It was a hit and a great way to socialize.

    Just be encouraging. Make suggestions even. But I wouldn't set something for her.

    Speaking from experience... sometimes you just have to be ready to be pushed outside your comfort zone. And if you're not... someone pushing makes you pull away more.
     
  18. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I agree with others - don't set something for her.

    I switched schools/areas in high school, so I didn't know a soul. The best thing I did was join band! I made so many friends in band because we had that common interest and we spent so much time together. I also made friends in Key Club. Like others have said, I would encourage your daughter to join clubs or extracurricular activities where she can meet new people she has something in common with. :)
     
  19. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I was also rather reserved in high school. I had a group of friends, but I was quiet and I wasn't part of many clubs. I would suggest joining a club, but ideally a small club with quieter kids. I think some clubs may be hard if they are too large or if they include too many "popular" kids.
     
  20. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Also think outside the box. FFA is more than animals. They are judging teams, speech contest, floral arrangements...and no body knows how to do it until they join.
     
  21. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Does she have any email addresses of the kids she wants to hang out with? That might be an easier way for her to contact them if she has anxiety about calling them.
     
  22. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I agree with the thoughts of some others. Is she happy with her present situation? That should be the determining point.

    One of my children was always shy growing up. She didn't get involved in many outside activities when she was in school, but that suited her. She didn't feel as though she was missing anything.

    She is now grown, has her own place, and a good job. She still isn't interested in developing many social ties, but she is happy.
     
  23. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    If you allow it to be, making friends will be a very natural process. I wasn't a very outgoing person in HS. But I eventually made friends by just getting partnered up with people in certain classes by the teacher.

    I also made friends from working in the school cafeteria. And I also joined a club that had my interests (which at the time was anime). They weren't the cool kids, but my friends stuck with me most of HS. I'd give it time. If after a year, your daughter is obviously having trouble finding even a single friend, then there might be something wrong.
     
  24. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    I have a very shy student who happens to be an awesome chess player. He joined the chess club and now has lunch buddies and an after school activity. It has also helped him bond with the teacher who is in charge of the chess club which gives him an adult he can go to in addition to his parents, which is a healthy expansion of his comfort zone.

    I think the key factor is that they shy child has to learn to expand that comfort zone. Her peers will not be interested in becoming friends unless they share a common interest.

    I wonder if your high school has a Key Club? Key Clubs are usually populated by good kids who participate in social activities that benefit others.
     
  25. WarriorPrncss

    WarriorPrncss Companion

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    Even 4H-- I began 4H in the 4th grade and did that up through high school, even continued after I joined FFA. That's a great suggestion--- it's much more than raising livestock. Among many things I was on a job interview team. Real world stuff. It's a great club many look past.
     
  26. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    She always looks happy in the pictures on Facebook. I'd encourage her to join clubs or teams, but let the rest develop on her own.
     
  27. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    Good job staying silent while your daughter talked. If she needed the support at that time, I don't see a problem with it. A more outgoing student may have just talked to the teacher herself, but especially for a freshman I don't think there's a problem.

    I would definitely suggest you not explicitly set up anything for your daughter. It might work if you're involved in something where there will also be kids her age, maybe some type of volunteer work. Then you can have her help with that (and she'll probably complain, but it would serve the agenda of getting her more friends without looking like that's your real purpose -- moreover they'll be friends involved in volunteer work. And if it doesn't work, at least you've both done something worthwhile).
     

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