C.N. asks from Syracuse, UT on May 24, 2009
Trouble with Friends
My 7-year-old daughter is having some issues with one of her friends. Just last week this friend told her "I don't want to hurt your feelings but I don't want to be your friend anymore." I know that sometimes girls are this way. However, this is not the first time this has happened with this friend. Not the second, either. It has happened on multiple occasions. Within a few days they are playing again, but this friend seems to think it's okay to dump a friend over and over. My daughter is really feeling discouraged about this. She also says that whenever she tries to talk to this friend, she just stares at her and doesn't say anything.
We carpool with this friend, and live only 2 houses away. When they are in the car together they don't talk to each other or even look at each other. They have been friends for 3 years since they moved here. I am (sort of) friends with her mom, but not really close. In fact, her mom has invited me on outings with them, only to cancel and never reschedule. She acts friendly to me and everything, but doesn't answer the phone when I call, or return my messages. I am feeling really frustrated and don't know what to do. Should I call the mom and talk about it with her? Will it just make things worse? Or do I just let it go and let the friendship end? My daughter is not ready to end it, it is the other girl. She does have some other friends, but not a lot.
I can't think of any reason why they would be so rude to us. My daughter is a super sweet, beautiful, smart, kind girl. She is never mean to anyone. This is especially frustrating to me because I had almost no friends at all throughout elementary school. It was really hard for me, and I feel so bad that she has to go through the same thing.
Do any of you have any advice for me? Thanks.
M. answers from Denver on May 24, 2009
You said your daughter has a couple of other friends. I would really encourage these other friendships. Invite them over for play dates find out if these other girls are involved in any outside school activities and then talk to their moms about signing your daughter up for one--if she is interested. I would continue with the carpool, but don't force the friendship or contact the mother-heck she doesn't return your calls anyway! Talk to your daughters teacher about possible girls in the class that have the same interests as your daughter and set them on a an outing or play date. It sounds like your daughter might be shy? If so, you might have to take the initiative for her, at first. Trust me, I found my daughters' friend in Kindergarten, i sat back and watched the kids one day after school, and pointed out a girl and asked my daughter her name. She asked why and I told her "Well she was wearing a dress with horses on it, and she likes to swing--two of your favorites" Well sure enough the next day they were the best of friends. So I made a point to meet her mother at pick up one day, and it has made our year soo much better! But, the teacher will be a wealth of info as well. Good luck.
1 mom found this helpful
M.B. answers from Denver on May 25, 2009
Hi C., First of all, they are 7, and why are you making this your problem? Let it go or you are going to be crazy for the next 18 years! And most importantly she needs to learn to solve her own problems!!
S.M. answers from Casper on May 26, 2009
right off-hand I'd say that she needs to lay off with this friend and it would be great if you could find her some new friends so she can essentially ignore but be nice to this someone. Sometimes girls just assert their superiority and they need to be invited to assert it somewhere else. Meanwhile your daughter has the opportunity to learn how not to be stepped on and that there are other people in the world who are more mature than that.
D.K. answers from Denver on May 24, 2009
Empower your daughter with teaching her she has choices of being around someone that hurts her feeling continually or making better friends that make her feel good about herself.
I have this same issue, it is frustrating, my daughter is 7 too and girls even at this young age can be brutal.
However I decided the other day to tell my daughter, when someone is mean to her she has a choice to walk away, if she chooses to continue to be with the people that hurt her then it is kind of back on her. Make sense?
I told her it is far better to be honest and tell her friend how it is all making her feel when emotions are calm. She had a talk with her friend, from what I gather all things are good now and I am not hearing the drama or tears after school any longer. There was a third girl involved that I think stirred up a lot of the chaos that they removed from their circle of friends, that seemed to help tremendously.
I have the same issue with the mom that when we invite her daughter to do something she doesn't return my calls and went so far to tell her daughter she isn't fond of me, I don't even KNOW THIS WOMAN! I have talked to her maybe two times. My daughter of course asked if it hurt my feelings that her mom doesn't like me, I basically told her it cannot hurt me because I don't know her and she doesn't know me.
Your daughter will have mean girls in her classes, she will encounter friends that hurt with words and all you can do is remind her she has choices and how many amazing nice kids there are to be friends with instead.
I know you say your daughter is never mean, I am not doubting that but to be honest, I have witnessed first hand the sweetest kids getting pretty sassy with each other on the playground. I am not saying your daughter is a problem at all, I just think it is naive of us to completely think our children are innocent. My daughter can lash out when her feelings are hurt and is not perfect, she is just as much part of the problems too as she participates in the issues and doesn't walk away.
Don't assume she doesn't have friends or won't either. She just needs to learn to empower herself and be with kids that make her feel good about herself, even invite other girls from her class over to socialize outside of school.
Help her by just being her sounding board but do not get personally involved. There are many bumps to come I am learning. Giving them self esteem, courage, empowering them with life lessons and values is the best you can do.
C.H. answers from Denver on May 25, 2009
Please stop hanging out with those people. Their behavior is abusive. It has nothing to do with whether you and your daughter are likable or not.
We have a kid across the street like that. Plays with my kids one day, taunts them the next. I told my kids that it's abusive behavior and we're not going to put up with it. (If a child learns to put up with it, they're more likely to hook up with an abusive man later in life because they've come to think of that behavior as "normal".)
V.W. answers from Salt Lake City on May 25, 2009
Being the mother of a daughter that is much like the one you're having troubles with, I know just what to tell you. Her mom is just as upset about it as you are, probably. My daughter comes home in tears because she told so and so this and now they can't be friends anymore... oh and she's 7 too! She's an emotional hormonal girl already and we haven't even begun. I'm frustrated with her being this emotional and moody at such a young age, but I love her all the same. I do try to keep in contact with the mothers of the two other girls that she plays with so that there is some adult conversation going on about what happens in the background. If say, my daughter comes home distraught about something she said to Emily, I call Em's mom and see if any smoothing needs done at school the next day between my daughter and Em. Sometimes they need to talk and my daughter needs to apologize, but mostly things smooth out on their own.
I'm sorry that your daughter is going through this. I would highly suggest she try to find another friend that treats her like the beautiful person she is. I'd suggest that to Em too, but I know she's got other friends besides my daughter. As my daughter has had her feelings hurt from Em playing with them instead of her at some times too.
H.F. answers from Pocatello on May 25, 2009
This other little girl doies not sounds like a good friend for your daughter to have. Invite other, more friendly friends over to play or go mini golfing or to the park or whatever, do all that you can to encourage friendships with other kids who act more kindly and respectfully. Have talks with your daughter about what it means to be a good friend and how to handle rude behavior from friends in a good way. For example if a "friend" is being mean then do not try to retaliate, but also do not reward the behavior by continuing to play with her every day! If you want to discontinue your carpool then that it up to you, but there is no rule that kids in the same carpool HAVE to be friends. As long as your daughter has other kids to play with and is happy with her social life it is OK to let this particular "friendship" fall by the wayside.
J.R. answers from Salt Lake City on May 25, 2009
It sounds as though this is revolving around one other family the majority of the time. And, are the other times your refer to in the same social circle? If so, I have but one question. You're still attempting to socialize with them why??? Find new friends. The only way you will ever get out of your comfort zone is to push yourself. You will have discomfort if you stay or leave...why not take the leap? Good Luck!