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We live an hour away from my daughter's school. She takes a train to get to school. Last year (our 1st year here) she made friendships at school but wasn't invited to anyone's home. Nobody called her. (There are no girls in our neighborhood) She didn't invite anyone to come because she said they'd be bored here. Instead, she became addicted to her iPod. She doesn't look at anything indecent or connect to any bad websites. We have filters on. But we are obviously concerned as to how we can get her to stretch herself to want to invite girls over, and separate her from he iPod.

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    Do not trust the filter. Not saying she is looking at anything indecent, but where there is a will there is a way
    – gillonba
    Jul 18 '16 at 20:10
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When I was a pre-teen, it was long before iPods, but my mother was concerned about me not having friends and spending way too much time on the computer. Instead of banning me from the computer, she enrolled me in a theater class, which I ended up loving. It opened up a new world to me, and I made lasting friendships there.

The lesson I've taken from that as a parent now myself is that it's better to provide positive alternatives than just to take something away. Are there any groups your daughter could participate in that are appropriate to her age and interests?

My own kids are 6 and 8 right now, and it drives me crazy when they want to play games on our phones... but I take comfort in the fact that they also like to draw, play music, build with blocks and play outdoors.

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Try installing a timer on the filter. Many filters offer options where you can shut down specific features, apps or the web at a certain time. Obviously, the only way to rid her of the addiction is to stop it. It may be a bit harsh to just go cold turkey, but I think limiting her usage is a must. Be strong!

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There's no necessarily easy answer to this.

We live an hour away from my daughter's school. She takes a train to get to school.

Now bearing in mind just how far away she is, even if there's a way of getting a cheaper rate as a student etc- it's not a "quick trip" or necessarily cheap for her or her friends to get either one way or the other- even if money isn't a problem, as there's a time investment too. It could be that, not knowing what ages we're talking here- that their parents may not be comfortable with them travelling that distance alone either.

Last year (our 1st year here) she made friendships at school but wasn't invited to anyone's home. Nobody called her.

Some kids don't make friends easily, or they won't mention it to their parents- have you discussed this with her at all or gotten any hints from her as to if this is actually the case? Not calling isn't necessarily a bad thing either, if she has access to a computer or similar, they may communicate by other means.

She didn't invite anyone to come because she said they'd be bored here.

Could it be that she's right? Look at her and what there is that interests her nearby- depending on her interests, it could be there really is nothing, which in turn means her friends would equally be bored with the "nothing". Now don't get me wrong, I was part of a generation/group of kids that could've found entertainment in an empty field, but that's not the point.

It may be worth looking at what's available locally or even a distance away and seeing if there's a way of making "A" and "B" meet- suggest that perhaps she stays over at a friends place sometime, or offer to take her and a friend somewhere (i.e if there's a town or city nearby, so make a nice day out of it). I live out in the proverbial "sticks" myself, but even so, it doesn't take more than half an hours drive at the most to get to a cinema, some takeaway and restaurants, so see if this is an option. You can even drop them off there and pick them up later on so they can enjoy the day without "the parents" bumming their mood!

Instead, she became addicted to her iPod.

I'm going to say this once- there's a lot worse things to be addicted to. Assuming that she's only using it to listen to music or watch the odd video, there really is much, much worse.

She doesn't look at anything indecent or connect to any bad websites.

Believe me, if she wanted to, there's ways to if she knows how. Just going to put that one out there.

But we are obviously concerned as to how we can get her to stretch herself to want to invite girls over, and separate her from he iPod.

The thing is, this is her first year. If she hasn't made friends that despite all I've said above she's still not willing to commit to making an effort or shows promise of wanting to see them (or vice versa) then there's only so much you can do. See how things go.

Parent's pressuring their kids into doing things doesn't always go so well- bear that in mind. As a kid, having someone push me into "making friends" is one of the more absurd things you can do- you can't "make" friends if the people you see around you aren't people you want to get on with.

What interests does she have? Does she like reading? Playing games? Computers? Sports? Drama? Acting? There's somewhere for everyone that likes any of these things to go and meet new people- look around, check on the internet, see if there's a convention, event, meetup opportunity or store somewhere that hosts something she might be interested in. Even if she just goes once and doesn't like it, it's an effort made.

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