Annie Fox's Blog...

Thoughts about teens, tweens, parenting and this adventure of living on Earth in the 21st century.

Annie Fox, M.Ed., is an internationally respected parenting expert, award-winning author, and a trusted online adviser for tweens and teens.

New school year, new school… new friends (please!!)

August 29, 2014

When you’re all cozy in a friendship you can totally relax. Even going to school is more fun because your friend is there. But when you move to a school where you know no one, and your bff friend from your old school stops acting like a friend, then nothing feels right.

I recently got this email from a girl who is in that sad place:

Girls' Friendship Q&A Book, iIllustration by Erica DeChavez

Where do I fit it?!  (from The Girls Q&A Book on Friendship, by Annie Fox, illustrated by Erica De Chavez, © 2014 by Annie Fox and Erica De Chavez. Now available)

Hey Terra,

Last year I moved to a new place. Later I heard that my best friend was best friends with some new girl. That girl is apparently really popular and cool (and also kinda mean) and in one year’s time my bff has become friends with all the poplar kids at school. I know it’s wrong of me, but  I feel really sad and envious. I have seen posts of both of them saying how much fun they have together and how they love each other. (Come on! I knew her much longer than this new girl!) And the sucky part is that at my new school, my new friends keep ditching me. I feel so depressed. 🙁
–Sad and Jealous

Dear Sad and Jealous,

When you moved, what did you expect your best friend to do? Spend all day in her room feeling sad and lonely? Of course she missed you. She also wanted and needed new friends. I’m guessing that you are feeling “sad and envious” because you haven’t yet connected with real friends at your new school. HINT: Real friends do not “keep ditching” you.

A new school year just started. My best advice: stop checking your old friend’s FB page. It’s bringing you down! Don’t do it any more. Instead create a new goal for yourself… “I’m going to find a new best friend.”
Here’s how:

  • Grab a piece of paper and make a list (I love lists!)
  • Think long and deep about what’s really important to you in a friendship.
  • Write down all the traits you are looking for in a best friend. For example, you might write: Loyal, a sense of humor, intelligent, shares my interests… etc etc etc.
  • Use that list and go “shopping” for a new best friend. (Be on the lookout for the kind of people at school who’ve got what you want in a friend.)
  • When you find one, smile, say, “Hi,” and see what happens.

Go for it! Good luck! And please let me know how it goes.

Three weeks later…

Hey Terra,

I’M DOING GREAT 😀 I made a few more new friends who wont ditch me? and I think I have gotten over my old best friend. Though I think it would still take some time before I make a best friend.

Thank you so much, Terra!

I love happy beginnings. ;O)

If you could use some new friends this year (you can never have too many of the real kind) make a list and go shopping. It could work for you, too.

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Girls’ friendship issues are… HUGE

April 27, 2013

UPDATE (See end of blog for exciting news about my new book.)

Last month I started working on a new girls’ friendship book with awesome illustrator Erica De Chavez.

If you have a daughter, you don’t need me to tell you that girl friendships can be super complicated and fraught with challenges for girls and their moms! When things get sticky, kindness and respect often go missing in action and feelings get hurt all around.

Since 1997, girls from all over the planet have been turning to me for help in navigating their friendship messes. I guess that makes me an expert on social garbage. The girls who email me are tweens and teens. But I thought, if I write a book to help younger girls, maybe they will have easier friendships when they get to middle school. We can always hope, right? But hope is no strategy for making things better. What our girls need are effective tools for managing conflicts. Combine those tools with the self-respect and social courage to use them… now we’re talking about effective strategies for positive change.

Here’s a sneak peek at the book:

She’s a friend snatcher! (from The Girls Q&A Book on Friendship, by Annie Fox, illustrated by Erica De Chavez, © 2014 by Annie Fox and Erica De Chavez. Now available)

Q: Every time me and my friend have a private conversation, this new girl pulls her away. What do I do??

A: I don’t blame you for not wanting your private conversations interrupted. That’s so annoying! It sounds like the new girl has lots of power, but she doesn’t have all the power. If your friend didn’t want to get pulled away she could tell the girl to stop. She hasn’t done that yet. And you haven’t yet told your friend how you’ve been feeling.

Real friends tell each other the truth. Talk to her. You might say something like this: “I don’t like it when ____ pulls you away from me. How come you let her do that?” Then close your mouth and listen to what your friend has to say.

The next time the new girl tries to yank her away, your friend will either stand up for herself or she’ll let herself be yanked. That’s her choice. One more thing you might think about: Why is the new girl snatching your friend? It’s not always easy being the “new girl” who doesn’t have friends yet. I think that would feel LONELY! She probably just wants a friend and doesn’t know a more polite way to make one. Maybe you and your friend could team up with her and be friends together. That could work!

Anyway, the snatching stuff needs to stop. So talk to your friend. If things don’t change, what are you going do? You can either stand there watching the two of them go off together or you can reach out to other girls and make some new friends. You see, you have choices too!

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 Sneak peek #2 and sneak peek #3 of the Girls’ Friendship Q&A Book.

UPDATE: July 22, 2014  After a year in production, The Girls Q&A Book on Friendship will be published by Electric Eggplant in September. Just in time for the new school year and the inevitable friendship drama heading toward your 8–12 year old daughter. Every girl needs friendship support from time to time. My book provides that plus:real world advice for navigating through the “social garbage,” friendship quizzes, and advice from older girls about how to be a Super Friend. If you’d like to preorder The Girls Q&A Book on Friendship for a girl in your life, or you’d just like a personal heads-up when the book is available, email me (Connect@AnnieFox.com).

UPDATE: October 3, 2014 It’s here! The Girls Q&A Book on Friendship: 50 Ways to Fix a Friendship Without the DRAMA is now available in print and on Kindle (the ebook can be read on any device, your mobile phone, tablet, or computer with the free Kindle reader app). Visit GirlsQandA.com for an excerpt, reviews, and to order your copy.

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