How to help teen make friends
My lovely, smart, funny 16 year old daughter has a hard time making connections with other kids. I believe she suffers from social anxiety & spends a lot of time trying to fade into the background, while simultaneously wondering what people think of her. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree I guess- I was pretty similar in HS, and to this day have painful memories of feeling out of place & wishing I could just find my tribe. I carried a lot of shame around for feeling inadequate- missing major milestones like first date, etc, but also developed this into a bit of scorn against the other kids as well (thinking they were trivial or superficial). I often wish I could time travel back in time for a redo- and seeing my daughter suffer the same fate I went through has been tough. In some respects, she has been willing to put herself out there more than I did- had joined sports team, school clubs- but she just can’t seem to break into pre-established cliques.
What can I do to help? I have gently suggested therapy for social anxiety, but I don’t want to push things because I worry that I am only feeding into her insecurities. I was thinking a back packing trip or camp might help with her confidence, but get a lot of resistance for anything with people that she doesn’t know. She has developed a complex that she doesn’t know how to make friends, and I think there may be some truth to this. I’ve heard about these social skills classes, but I’m 100% sure she will resist & be hurt at the suggestion.
She has a couple of good friends and does well in school- for the most part she doesn’t seem depressed or have serious struggles- am I overthinking this?
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