Well, not me.
My daughter. The tween.
Says she feels invisible at school.
While driving down the road my daughter and I have most of our random conversations.
It seems, as of late, that is the easiest place for her to open up with whatever may be on her mind.
She is 10 and will be 11 in October. The tween years.
That middle stage of childhood. The testing years of trying to find yourself and who your real friends are.
Apparently at this age, everyone is dating. So says the daughter.
Of course, she isn’t allowed to date per say. While it’s fine with me for her to crush on a boy in school and say maybe that they are boyfriend and girlfriend. Dating? Like actually spending time together outside of school that isn’t a birthday party or something, is not happening.
While I thought she would be fighting me on this. She isn’t. It seems Ki has learned to trust my rules and instinct, even if she isn’t 100% in agreement with me. The agree to disagree technique works well for us because she understands my logic with rules.
Back to the story of feeling invisible….
Ki has this one friend. Apparently no more than one. While this is okay with her most times, there are times where it bothers her.
The thing is that Ki is who she is. She has her faults, everyone does. Ki is an individual who does not fit into any particular clique at school.
Many girls are now forming these cliques. You have the girls who can do whatever, who have minimal if any parental guidance at home. You have the girls who are below their age in maturity and emotional aspects, while also have stricter rules than I have in my home. And then you have girls like Ki,she is encouraged to be herself, find who she is and what works for her and also has set rules. So Ki essentially has this Mom/Best Friend relationship with me and in turn the kids do not think that is so cool.
Ki wears clothes that may not be the hit style this year. Ki is super intelligent, a high honor roll student. Ki is goofy, silly and loves to read.
Upon our discussion of Ki feeling invisible, I knew I had to redirect that negative feeling into something positive. After all, that is how I roll. I took a moment to ask questions as a way to open Ki’s eyes to the fact that she isn’t invisible to her peers.
First, I asked if she gets picked on? Ki replied no. I also asked if she still has only “one” friend as she has told me in the past months. She confirmed, yes.
Okay then. My conclusion was this and is what I told my daughter,
If you have no one picking on you and yet no friends as you think, then maybe it’s not that you don’t have any friends. Sure you don’t hang out and talk a lot with these other girls, but they don’t pick on you. These are girls who are aware of who you are and I bet they have a respect for you. While you all don’t play or hang out like you used to, you all are not fighting and name calling either. This, my daughter, is called respect. So while you feel invisible, you are not, in all reality you are respected. That is the correct word to give this situation. And you need to stand tall & proud that your peers respect you.
After I said this to Ki she started to take in just what I had said to her. Ki verbally, out loud, while riding in the car with me started processing her thoughts in response to my citing that she is respected, not invisible. And then I could see a beam of happiness across her face, she was lit up, it sunk in and she was like “Wow. Thanks Mom. You may be right!”