Help. I need advice with my 12 year old daughter.

by nicolaou 32 Replies latest social family

  • nicolaou

    I got home from work yesterday and my wife tells me there is a letter from my daughter's school - this is it;


    Can you imagine how proud and thrilled I was!! But...

    At the mere mention of it my daughter burst into tears. She said she doesn't want to do this and so I assured her that her Mum and I would never pressure her to do anything she didn't really want to. But here's the thing, she loves science and technology. She's always been a bit of a boffin and, let's face it, we all know how the 'brainy' kids get picked on at school.

    But she's also fun loving and happy. She's in the basketball team and absolutely glows when she does well. She has lots of friends and I think she doesn't want to jeopordise all this by becoming an official 'geek'.

    All I want is for my children to be happy and to do their best - to feel fulfilled. I know this is a real opportunity for her and I just want her to think about it but I can't even mention it without it upsetting her.

    I really would appreciate your input.


    My beautiful daughter aged 3.

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    Beauty and brains!!! Great combination

    You might need to get more info about the program and whether this occurs in the school itself. Will she still be able to participate in her basketball and still be able to hang out with her friends. At this age girls want to be treated like grown-ups one minute and want to crawl into your lap to snuggle the next.

    Perhaps encourage her to go with you to get more info before she rules it out. Perhaps a day in one of the classes to see what it is like might help. Encourage her to check it out with no pressure to agree to do it. But a decision like this shouldn't be ruled out without further investigation. Also encourage her to think and talk about why she is upset about it - maybe through writing down her thoughts and then come to talk about them.

  • Scully

    Aren't 12 year old daughters fun?

    The trouble with children at this age is that they can be very short sighted, and not understand the kind of opportunities she would be missing if she passed on enrolling in this program. At this point, she's probably putting a lot of interest into her friends, and listening to music, experimenting with make-up and fashion, and perhaps she's worried that she will not be able to continue to pursue the things she's enjoying now if she takes advantage of this door that has opened itself to her.

    She's already been identified as gifted and talented and no doubt has the academic scores to go with it, so if it hasn't been an obstacle to her making and keeping friends up until now, she probably won't have trouble with her social skills if she takes the opportunity.

    Could you make an appointment with a guidance counsellor at the school to discuss with her the pros and cons of both staying in the program that she is in and joining the program that is being offered? Is this a one-time offer that may never come along again? If she tries it for a period of time that she agrees to (one or two terms/semesters) and absolutely hates it, can she re-join the group that she is in? Will she still be able to play the same sports and other activities that she is involved with now? What kind of homework load should she expect compared to what she is doing now? Is a move to another location involved so that she would not be able to spend time with the friends she has? Maybe once she knows a little more about what to expect, she won't be as anxious about the transition. The other thing you talk with her about is what her plans are for her future: She simply may not realize that this could be a stepping stone to other opportunities in the future... all she's thinking about is that she's 12, and it seems to her that her future is such a long way off that she needn't think about it right now.

    Change is a very scary thing when you're 12. I remember not wanting to start high school, and being so anxious over it that I'd make myself sick with worry. Mind you, the WTS did a fine job of making me believe that I was going to be mobbed by drug addicts and boys with only "one thing" on their minds. Once I realized how tame it was in reality, it wasn't so bad after all.

    Would your daughter like to penpal with another 12 year old? Mine is available.

  • Gill

    That's wonderful Nicolaou!

    Congratulations of having such a beautiful and clever daughter!

    Scully's advice is great. She just needs to talk to others doing the same sort of thing to encourage her along.

  • jwfacts

    If she is popular now for having a nice personality that won't change even if she is on a scholarship. All children will get picked on sometimes, but the geeky ones that get picked on regularly is for their personality, not their brains.

    There were a bunch of JW kids at my school that got picked on for being weird. I was on a scholarship and everyone knew I was a JW but did not get picked on. One time a person started making fun of me because I had knocked on his door one Saturday and others in the class stood up for me and told him to shut up.

  • Clam

    Hi Nic

    My daughter Hannah, who has just turned 13 is also in the Gifted and Talented program, and it certainly does make you proud of them. She's a straight A student and captains her Year 8 hockey and football teams. She's represented the County at Athletics and England at Judo. I couldn't wish for a better daughter and I'm so proud of her. Her two younger brothers however show little sign of emulating her on the sports field though, LOL. That's a cause of some angst as I'd hoped they'd be playing Rugby for England one day. But you never know!


  • KW13

    Key thing is that she gets to tell you how she feels and what she wants to do, her social life will affect things probably as much as anything else.

  • Clam

    Exactly right KW13. I let my daughter do her own thing within reason. If she's not comfortable with something I'd never pressurise her. I know how important it is for her to be popular in her peer group, and leaving her to make her own decisions gives her opportunities to be independent and learn life skills.

  • diamondblue1974

    A lot of school resources go into dealing with children with special needs and it seems that your daughter fits well into this category; sadly however most of the resources go into dealing with the special needs of troubled children, like those with emotional & behavioural difficulties and not those which are gifted and talented.

    I think you should try and investigate this opportunity more and then reach a decision together; this could be the difference between a good university and a bloody good one!

    Hope your decisions work out!


  • LittleToe

    That's a real achievement, but what a dilemma.

    She will regret it, later, if she doesn't take the opportunity. She has a real chance of helping remove the stigma of "brainy" kids, if she's that popular, especially if she can show that she's not changed but is as normal as the next kid. Streaming is the only way to go if kids are to get the most out of their education. The fact that the school provides for them is excellent. The only fear is that some kids become a little extra rebellious to stay "in" with their old schoolfriends, to show that they are still "it".

    I don't know how you convey this to her. Would it work for her to discuss it with her friends, and let them encourage or discourage accordingly? Peer rule sux, and it'll only get worse over the next few years

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