S.C. asks from Battle Creek, MI on February 12, 2008
How Do I Deal with a Daughter in a Unhealthy Friend Relationship?
My daughter is 14 and has had this best friend for the past 3 years. It started out fine and we take this girl to Church every Wednesday and Sunday. But over the past year her attitude has gotten so bad and it has really rubbed off on my daughter. I have had many talks with this friend and with my daughter about this. But it seems this girl does not want to change her ways. I don't want to stop exposing her to Church cause it seems to be the only positive thing in her life, but I can't stand the negative affect it has on my daughter. What do I do?
So What Happened?™
Thank you all so much for your advice. I have talked to this girl many times. I have also had many converstations with my daughter. I have had Bible studies with them both about relevant topics to this situation. And I do stay in much prayer about it. Please pray for this girl, her name is Ashlee. I would love to see her surrender her life to the Lord completely.
R.W. answers from Jackson on February 13, 2008
Unhappy people act badly. :-( I think you should set some very firm boundaries about what is appropriate and what isn't with both your daughter and her friend. Make sure the friend knows that you care about her and want to help her any way you can.
Keep being the positive influence in her life.
1 mom found this helpful
S.B. answers from Saginaw on February 13, 2008
PRAY, I know that sounds like the same churchy advice but stay at it. I've raised 4 children and sometimes that's all I could do. One thing you to remember is that God put you in charge. If you're uncomfortable about the relationship there is good reason. You can limit their time together. Maybe just at your home or during church activities. Is there someone else in your church that could drive her to and from services? In any case, you are the mother and you are placed in charge by God.
C.R. answers from Detroit on February 12, 2008
Friends are one of the most important things to young girls. If my mom told me I couldn't see my best friend when I was in high school, I would have been devistated then I would have found a way to hang out with her. I know being a Christian you expect your children to act a curtain way but have you ever thought it is just her being a teenage girl. No matter the religion or life style, school or friends all teens go threw a time where they talk back, act mean, disrespect and even get depressed. I hope i am not offeneding you, that is not my intention. Maybe talk with her parent(s) and see what they are feeling and maybe invite them to church. If that doesn't work or they will not come. Maybe start planning family events so there time on the week days or weekends are limited but with a reason. Not just because you don't want them spending the time together. Don't put all the blame on this other girl, your daughter has to held acccountable for her own actions. This is just my view. Good Luck with whatever desicion you make.
C.N. answers from Detroit on February 13, 2008
Your first priority is your daughter. It would be nice to save this other little girl but NEVER sacrifice your own children.
L.W. answers from Detroit on February 13, 2008
My heart goes out to you. My oldest is 8, and it's interesting to watch her in her relationships with her friends and her reaction to them. It pushes me to pray very hard for God to put people, peers and adults, in her life that will have a godly influence on her especially when she doesn't want to listen to us any longer. We continually ask God for wisdom and guidance in all of our decisions with our children. Honestly, my gut reaction is that God gave you your daughter to bring up to follow Him and His ways. I believe you have truly given your best effort to expose this friend to God's truths, & you've spoken to her about your concerns. Her lack of response and repentance indicates that you now have to take action on behalf of your daughter and leave her friend in God's very capable hands. He can handle this, I promise. I would encourage you and your daughter to continue praying for this friend, even encourage her to attend church. But she also has to realize there are consequences to her negative attitude/behavior. You may be the one God uses to teach this young girl that concept if she's not getting it from home. I don't claim to know the exact answer here, so I would continually take it before God and seek confirmation of His answers through His word. He is crazy about you and wants to lead you through this. And just think of the lessons He can teach your precious daughter through all of this. After all, even as adults, He sometimes asks us to leave relationships that are not good for us. I will be praying for you and your daughter through this as well. May God richly bless you & your family.
(I've been a Christian for 30 years, married for almost 15 years, and a mother of 3.)
S.S. answers from Saginaw on February 13, 2008
Hi. I can't say that I can relate to a preteen. My children are still young but I believe the best thing you can do is PRAY for your daughter and her friend. There is a book called "The Power of a Praying Parent" by Stormie Omartian and she wrote 31 chapters on specific prayers for specific concerns. I have to say I am not a "prayer warrior" by any means but this book makes it sooooo easy. There are a couple chapters I would start with. . .Chapter 6 "Honoring Parents and Resisting Rebellion" and Chapter 8 "Attracting Godly Friends and Role Models". The great thing about this book is it gives you the prayers. . .you just insert the child's name and it the prays quote scripture which I believe makes prayer even that more effective.
The next best thing to do is to keep the lines of communication open. Tread lightly w/ your daughter. You don't want to push her away by making her defensive. YOU cannot change her but GOD CAN and that's where PRAYER becomes so IMPORTANT.
You can email me directly if you'd like to talk more ____@____.com. I've been a Christian for about 15 yrs. Married for almost 10 yrs. Mother of a 7, 4, and 2 yr old. I currently am doing a Bible Study on Prayer in my home once a month. (I actually have an extra book if you'd like it)
T.H. answers from Grand Rapids on February 13, 2008
I have a 12 yr old and we have had many talks with her about what we feel is right and wrong with the attitudes of a certain friend, and how that bad attitutde. We have limited them to see one another. My daughter saw what the other girl was doing, we didnt demand, we suggested that they take a break for a little bit. Also, instead of them hanging out at the other girls house we had the girl at our home to get to know her and also if she said or did something we corrected her politely. But the other girl loves my home and she rather be here than her home. There is always a reason some one acts the way they do at her age.
L.C. answers from Saginaw on February 13, 2008
You may want to enlist your daughter in a little bit of social work... as a volunteer mentor.
People have many agendas for their lives and some of them include making it possible for other people to see the shiny happy hidden parts they see in their (uncomfortable) friend choices. That may be what is going on for your daughter.
You may want to have a conversation with your daughter about standards (and why she gets to follow them, regardless of the behaviour choices of her friends), and how she might like to help her friend be more socially-acceptable and more successful in her life by coaching her in this realm. Her friend doesn't need to know it's happening, but it may help your daughter clarify what it is she's hoping to get from the friendship, or what it is she is actually capable of giving.
No one can 'fix' this girl's life, but her friend may have a lot of influence over the choices and habits she's developing.
I do, though, strongly recommend a rigourousness when she's around -- no one speaks to our family like that, no one needs to hear that kind of language, no one needs to know everything you think about anyone else, it is better to develop your own opinions about people rather than making up your mind based on gossip or other people's interpretations -- those kinds of statements have a lot of power.
And, I believe that one of the reasons it's frowned upon for 14yos to have their own apartments is because they still need hands-on guidance from adults who care about them, yeah? That means you need to do some guidance -- out loud, while the friend is present and while she isn't.