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Friendship and Dating (for the older teens)

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stacia
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Friendship and Dating (for the older teens)

Hi everyone,

We will have a cabin chat and a fireside chat about friendship. For the majority of teen survivors, finding and keeping friends is very difficult. While we are excited because they relate to us so well, we know that at school and on weekends they are very lonely. While the group is always very positive and upbeat, life after high school does not always get easier.

Can you share some of the experiences you have seen your child face or some things they have done to get out of their comfort zone and make friends? we will also be addrssing bullying during this time.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

cmgriff
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Peter has been really brave lately, and challenging himself.  His class had a few end of the year dances as they are moving up to a new school.  He went out of his comfort zone and not only danced all night; but asked a girl to slow dance...a few times.  Nothing came of it, but it was a milestone in his mind!

stacia
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That is a huge milestone. Hopefully he will share that and we will also talk about going out of your comfort zone. We do talk about rejection and risk. Way to go Peter!

Boyzndogz
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Luke's comfort zone is huge, he never says no to a social opportunity. It makes me a little worried about him participating in risky behavior, at some point, just so he can belong. 

With hope and peace, 
Janet, mom to 14yo Luke (brainstem JPA dx at 9yo)
JenC
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Carolyn's school is very small, so everyone can go to the Prom, even freshmen. One of the girls in her grade talked her into going, so we bought the dress, shoes, etc., then 3 days before the dance, the friend injured her knee pretty seriously and couldn't go. Carolyn was very reluctant to go, but I told her she had to at least stay for 2 hours. When I sent her a text after 2 hours she was having fun and wanted to stay to the end. I have done that a few times -- you only have to stay X amount of time -- and it usually works.

lisakrat
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Kyle is always eager to go to social events and hang out with friends.  The opportunities dont come often but when they do, he is thrilled.  I worry too about taking risks just because other people are (l get it Janet).  Possilby a fireside chat could include ways to organize social events on their own - call your friends for a movie night.  Suggest going to the carnival with friends.  Our kids dont always know how to iniciate a get together even if they say yes when asked to attend one.             Lisa (mom to Kyle, age 16)

lsturtevant
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At school Katherine's friends are all surfacy now - "Hi Katherine, Love you" and they wave and smile and check that off their list.  When she use to go to the cafeteria they would come over and sit with her but then carry on conversations amongst themselves and Katherine would just sit there.  She would try to join in on the conversation but her comments or questions were often left with a "yes"/"no" answer and that was the end of her involvement in the conversation.  Her friends are all driving now, working and attending school and are all living their life.  I get it.  But not one of them texts with her any more or truly wants to come over and hang out with her any more.  Every once in awhile one of them will text her to see what she's doing but, in all honesty, I think it's because they'r bored d all of their other friends are busy.  That or their parents put them up to calling and checking in with Katherine.  I hate to say all of that, but that is what it has come to.

We encourage Katherine to make new friends as she meets new people and to be more outgoing.  But at school she often eats her lunch in the nurses office and gets through her day.

She remembers what her life was like pre-tumors and she knows all that she is missing out on and "should be doing" and it just sets her back.  It's hard for her to not have even one friend from her group like she use to.

They're all nice, they're all around, just busy living their lives.

Katherine still has her intelligence, sense of humor and sweet personality.  I'm concerned that she spends too much time with adults now and the only time she is with people around her age is at the STEPS program at Dana Farber and that's why she looks forward so much to seeing them once a month.  Being at camp this week is just what she needs.  Thank you!!

 

Lisa (Mom of Katherine, age 17)

nancylexie
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I am struck by how very much alike our survivors are. Lexie is so very similar to Katherine and others. STEPS is her life raft!! I hope when she is older she will be able to find a few peers with whom she can relate and have some fun....her BT friends all live far from each other so getting together is not a regular event!!! Love to have them toss this dilemma around a bit and get some feedback from the older mentors... Alice, Lexie's mom
alligood2000
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Socially, Matt struggles. Everyone is SO nice to him. I really don't think bullying is a problem, but I think his peers see him as a mascot, rather than a regular kid who needs a group of friends. That is my number one hope for this camp - that Matt can really connect with some peers. He is naturally drawn to adults and I think feels intimidated by kids his own age. He attends another camp for kids with cancer and their siblings and they always have a dance the last night. Matt was so excited to tell me he slow danced with someone. We were thrilled for him! And then we found out it was the camp lunch lady. LOL!
lsturtevant
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I think that Katherine's "friends" at school now see her as their pity project instead of their friend.  One of her "friends" who she never hears from any more asked her a few weeks ago to go and make an appearance on stage at a 5K that they were involved in that was for acknowledging "friends with cancer" in the community.  All that went through my head was ....you haven't heard from her in over a year and now she wants you to go and be her poster child at the 5K ????.....what happened to hanging out, watching a movie or going to the mall.............what happened to just being friends and hanging out............................Katherine considers her "friends" now to be her peers at STEPS and I'm sure the friends she's making at camp this week, the people that treat her like a person and give her a sense of normalcy.   Thank goodness for STEPS and Camp Mak-A-Dream!   THANK YOU!!

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