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Teenage Daughter Struggles to Fit in During First Year of High School


My 15-year-old daughter is having problems adjusting to her first year of high school. It’s a fight just to get her to go to school; she does not have many friends there. She thinks she is ugly, and I want to know what I can do to help her improve her self-esteem and make friends.


It can be very frustrating to see your child struggling to adjust to a time in her life that should be one of her most exciting. Rest assured that while the transition to high school for her and many teens can be stressful and difficult, it does get better with time and patience.

Because of lot of kids are trying to "find themselves" in high school and want to identify with peers and activities with which they feel comfortable, it’s important for your daughter to think about things she's interested in and be willing to try them. Joining clubs is one way to meet students with common interests and to build friendships. While your daughter might be scared at first, let her know that feeling lonely or isolated isn’t unusual. There are other students feeling the same way, too, even if she’s not aware of this.

Regarding her self-esteem and her looks, often times changing our appearance or reinventing ourselves just a little bit can be a major confidence booster. Even though we know that real beauty comes from inside and that your daughter may already be a beautiful person, she needs to feel and see it for herself. Take her for a weekend makeover and get her some new clothes and a new hairstyle. The compliments she'll get from her new look may be the icebreaker she needs to meeting new people and making more friends.

High school is new territory for your daughter, and it will take some time to adjust, but the efforts she makes to help things get better are going to be important. She is valuable, and so is her input. Keep encouraging her not to give up and to try things she never has before, and before she knows it, things will be better.

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