12 answers

5Th Grade Girl Drama

My 5th grade daughter and her neighbor friend fight constantly it seems. They are very competitive with each other. They have the same circle of friends so it's hard to "ignore" each other. They used to say they were best friends but they've been pulling away from each other. It just creates an awkward situation because my younger daughter is great friends with this girls younger sister.

Just tell me...do 5th grade girls fight with each other? This girls mom says my daughter is the ONLY friend she's ever had that she fights so much with.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you so much! I knew this was totally normal, although undesirable! Thanks for confirming it. I know I shouldn't get all worked up and just continue to talk with my daughter about how she should treat others and be treated. I want to stay out of it and let her figure things out on her own. I just feel like my friend really believes my daughter is the bully in this situation. I've seen first hand that it not always the case. She dishes it but also gets it too. I wish she wouldn't get so worked up about it either. They will figure it out and if they don't then it's ok.

Featured Answers

5th Grade Friends... I can recall having a few circles of them, and whenever I chose to be with one this caused fights between at least two different girls from each other separate group. As adults, I kept closer relationships with most of the Bully's. Perhaps, out of fear and mostly because I saw no real reason that made sense why they were striking out and fighting each other. The consequence I have faced from this experience is that I am always changing one friend for another. And, until now I really did not know why. To make the peace among circles I had to refrain from being with one or the other cirle in order to separate them from each other. Lastly, I found that I had the most in common with the 5th Grade Friends that I had to leave behind )-:

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Have your daughter, and maybe the neighbor girl as well, read "Girl Politics" by Nancy Rue. My daughter is in 6th grade and has been dealing with this type of stuff since 4th grade. I read the book, now my daughter is reading it. The book talks about how to be a good friend, how to tell if someone is a true friend, and how to deal with peers. My daughter commented to me just last night that she wished she had read this book a year or so ago.

3 moms found this helpful

It's very normal. It's most likely because they are a lot alike and both want the same things, but see the other as a sort of threat to their own achievement. At this age, they don't realize that no other person can make or break them.
In my opinion, it sounds like you, and the other mom, are getting to involved. Ignore it. Act like the fighting doesn't exist and let them figure it out between themselves... they will.

2 moms found this helpful

I had a similar situation with my son. It started in 1st grade and ended when we moved end of 4th grade. Talk about Frenemies! I basically limited the time my son was allowed to be around the other boy. I also spoke to the Principal and explained the situation at home and asked that they never be in the same class. This helped a lot. When my son was younger he would befriend anyone and didn't understand that sometimes people really aren't our friends. Now he's getting it. I just stepped in because of the heartache I watched him go through when his "friend" treated him poorly. We had to have several discussions about what a true friend is. I also explained that not being friends doesn't mean your enemies. It just means your polite and go on your way.
This is a tough situation L.. Good Luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Hi L.,

I'm just wondering what the dynamics are of the circle of friends itself? Is this your daughter's set, which incorporated her neighbor friend, or vice versa? Sometimes the undiscussed disparity of social clout/capital within a group can cause problems, esp. if they were close and "equals" before. One may be pulling away a little bit, resentful of the other 'riding her coattails' while the other is also equally resentful about the change for her own reasons.

I've worked with girls up to about this age and have noticed that by the time they are leaving the primary grades, the social strata can radically alter relationships. All sorts of things can factor into this: boys, commitments to personal interests (think athletics and dance, music), commitment to academic studies (If one is enthusiastic about learning/work, it may be off-putting to a friend who has to struggle or thinks this isn't cool) and even differing levels of maturity (One still enjoys 'kid stuff' while the other is crazy about the Twilight world). All this to day that there's so much nuance, it's not easy to figure out.

Someone recommended a title that I'm going to check out, and I'll throw out another one here: "How to talk so kids will listen...and how to listen so kids will talk" by Faber and Mazlish. This excellent book gives tools which help us start conversations with our kids which allow parents to empathize and allows kids to work out their own problems, as well as find their own solutions. This can be empowering for both you and your daughter: it acknowledges that the situation really isn't Your Problem and entrusts her with your faith that she will eventually figure out a solution that she can live with.

So sorry about all this~ girls can be so hard on each other! I hope you and the Mother of the neighboring household can keep your relationship friendly in the midst of all this. Be there for your daughter and let the girls figure it out. If one or the other has grown out of their friendship, better to find a way to be civil and move on than to force something neither may want.

2 moms found this helpful

Grade 5 is a hard social year and that kind of drama with girls is normal. I personally would let the girls deal with it and work it out themselves. Learning how to deal with uncomfortable situations like that are part of growing. They may not work out their problems and choose not to be friends and that's okay too because it's up to them who they will be friends with.
Believe me, it doesn't work when parents try to decide who their children play with at this age.
If she comes to you complaining about the situation and wants your advice, ask her questions to guide her and to help her work it out herself like: what do you and (Susie) like to do together? What makes you mad? What can you do to let (Susie) know how you feel? What can you do to help your friendship?

1 mom found this helpful


Growing up, there were three of us who were all the same age and we fought all the time about stupid things. The worst insult we ever gave each other was "you can't come to my birthday party!" but we definately fought. We were all friends through high school though until our interests pulled us into different social circles.

1 mom found this helpful

Girls fight like CRAZY at that age...especially with their best friends. A very important skill to teach now is forgiveness and grace. When I was that age, I used to get in huge fights with my best friend all the time... we even got in a rolling on the floor pulling hair fight once. Taught me great fighting skills for later in life (ie: how to blow off the small stuff, forgiveness, apologizing, fighting fair, and fighting without crossing the invisible line).

Children that are angry, insecure, or hurt tend to fight more. Talk to your daughter and make sure that there isn't something in some other area of her life that is bothering her.

1 mom found this helpful

L., I too notice that my 5th grader seems more competitive than usual with a few of her girl friends. I think sometimes when they spend so much time together like school and sports they start to treat each other almost more like siblings than friends. I tell my children my number one rule is to treat everyone well and to surround yourself with people who are kind. That way when things get kind of icky with one friend, and they inevitably do, then at least they have other friends to turn to. When I encourage her to invite other kind friends over for a playdate it seems like absence makes the heart grow fonder and things get back to normal with the other girl. Hope this helps!

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