12 year old friendship issues - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 08-06-2009, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
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My 12 y.o. has a few close friends, many aquaintances, and is very outgoing. But I notice that when she is around her friends, she gets very talkative, to the point of sometimes being obnoxious. She interupts her friends, doesn't seem interested in what they have to say, and tells long, drawn-out stories that are obviously boring to the other kids. She can be a sweet and empathetic friend, but I'm noticing this overbearing behavior more and more often. She isn't like this when she talks with me or her step-father or other adults.

I talked to my brother about this--he knows her well --and he thinks it will resolve itself as she gets older and becomes less self-involved. He thinks that if I mention it, she will be crushed (she is sensitive). I do sometimes (when appropriate and in a light-hearted way) point out when she's interrupting or being rude to her friends. But since I only see this behavior when her friends are around it's hard for me to tactfully point it out. Lately she hasn't been getting as many phone calls or invitations, and I'm pretty sure that it's because of her behavior.

Should I talk to dd about this? Or just wait and hope that her social skills improve with age?
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#2 of 7 Old 08-06-2009, 11:07 PM
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She and her friends will work it out. We have to let our kids navigate this stuff on their own.
My 14yo dd has, on occasion, been very awkward and tactless in her social interactions. Over time, her friends have learned to appreciate her idiosyncrasies and she's learned how to be a better listener.
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#3 of 7 Old 08-07-2009, 03:42 PM
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I agree that I wouldn't confront her about her behavior. I would consider having some talks with her about friendships and 'good' friend behavior in general. The talks you have are unlikely to make any immediate difference in her behavior but will help give context to reactions she gets from friends. The conversations may help her realize what is going on sooner and give her a plan for changing the situation rather than jumping to the conclusion that her friends are dumping her because they aren't nice or because there is something wrong with her.

I would have liked some social guidance at about that age. I speak with my nearly 11 yr old about these things from time to time. She is a different sort of girl, kind of quirky, but she has many faithful friends.
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#4 of 7 Old 08-07-2009, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you both for your responses... I guess there is nothing I can really say to dd. I wish I didn't get so wrapped up in her life.

I had such a hard time in middle school and I want to spare her from all the stuff I went through. But I guess she just has to learn this stuff herself. I am so thankful that she is nothing like I was at that age (extremely shy and introverted).

I will try to relax...as a friend of mine pointed out--most kids are completely self-involved at this age. She's a talkative kid, so she talks a lot about herself--it's normal...
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#5 of 7 Old 08-12-2009, 09:59 PM
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I think you need to guide her in this situation. Just like in any other situation she would be in.

She has no reference for this. She is clearly clueless about what is going on, since you mentioned friends have stopped calling her. I would think she would be more harmed by worrying endlessly as to why friends aren't calling then if you had a simple conversation with about friend expectations. Like mom3ponygirl suggested.

Can you imagine how her self esteem could be damaged by the doubt when no one is calling? Why wouldn't you guide her?

Trying to do the right thing with three kids and a hubby. 
ds23, dd21, ds20
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#6 of 7 Old 08-12-2009, 10:30 PM
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Would she respond to some role-playing? If you notice an exchange where there was an awkwardness, perhaps you could approach her later in a fairly neutral fashion ("you were talking to Jane about X..."). If she opens up a little about the discussion, perhaps you could re-play the conversation - with you playing her role, and her taking on "Jane's" side.
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#7 of 7 Old 08-12-2009, 10:34 PM
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The Care and Keeping of Friends by the American Girl company might be good. Or Discovery Girls magazine. Both are good and touch on these type of things.
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