8 Year Old Drama

Updated on March 25, 2007
C.Z. asks from Puyallup, WA
7 answers

My daughter just turned 8 years old. Since she learned to talk she has been "beyond her years" and it is no secret to anyone that comes in contact with her. This was never really a problem until now. She has made friends in her second grade class who I think may also be "beyond their years" and they are always causing some sort of drama. One day it may be an argument amongst each other and the next it may be about a boy they like. Another thing is the constant lying - I can't even tell anymore if what she says is true or not. The issue is that you would think they were in junior high with the way they are all behaving, my daughter included, and especially about boys. I even got a call from her teacher today regarding this very subject. My daughter is a good, kind hearted child who really does know right from wrong but when she gets around these other girls (and boys) she has this teenager mentality. I am having a problem dealing with this and I don't know how to nip it in the bud. I have put her on phone restriction (as these friends call on a daily basis), I have taken away her computer time and so on. I am hoping that someone out there has some advice for me because I am going crazy with this (as I believe the teacher is too). Everyone says kids these days are starting out younger and younger with these types of things but I just want her act like an 8 year old. I am very afraid of what the teenage years will bring if I am dealing with all of this now. Thank you for your thoughts and advice.

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answers from Seattle on

Hi C.,

Oh I feel for you and I have felt this with my daughter also.
My daughter is now 91/2 and in the 4th grade, but boy when she was in the 2nd grade it was HORRIBLE!!!
While reading your request it actually made my stomach a little upset because it was almost like reading about my situation with my daughter 2 years ago.
Okay where to start lets start with boys and crushes, I won't tell you what to do I'll just tell you our situation and how it worked out. So when the crushes started and the hurt feelings and gossip about boys started I sat down with my daughter who I have a very open dialog with and asked her if she knew what a crush was, ultimately she really didn't know what a crush was, so I explain it to her and she realized she didn't have a crush on these boys she just liked to play with them. I did not tell her that she was not allowed to have a crush but I suggested that maybe she might not be ready for a crush in essence to young. I then explained to her that when you have a crush or like someone it might be a better thing to keep to herself or if she's comfortable her secert is always safe with me. Because when you share something like that with a friend and tell them it's a seceret before you know it that friend has told a friend then your friend you told might decide they like that boy too. Then before you know it the boy knows and your embarassed and fighting with you friend over a boy! Of corse I went a little more into things and added some drama but that worked really well. I actually think that Jordan (my daughter) was rather relieved at the fact that she didn't have to like boys that way. Since being relieved of that she has developed friendships with a couple of boys from her class and has play dates with them. One of them is one of her 2 best friends. None of her girlfriends have good friends that are boys and I think they wish they did.

Jordan did not lie very much so it wasn't a big problem but I made sure to catch it when it happened and punish her EVERYTIME! Jordan's dad who I'm divorced from is a LIAR and I hate liars, he lies so often that I don't think he even realizes that he is lying half the time. Jordan realizes this. I think that she thought that it was normal or okay. So she started lying about little things to keep herself out of trouble at first and when I caught her I would say I know that you are not telling the truth and you will get in twice as much trouble if you tell a lie so just tell the truth. It would take a while but the truth would come out. I would not let her get away until she was honest with me. At first I didn't have a good punishment except to tell her how much I hated lying and I know it must be confusing because her dad lies in front of her and all that stuff. Then the lying continued so I found a book about lying and everytime that she lied she had to read the book to me then write a paragraph or two about what she lied about and why she did it. I also told her everytime she lied I much I hated lying and how lying can become a habit, and that I love her but if she continues to lie I wouldn't be able to trust her.
Either I got to her, or she got sick of writing the papers, or while writing the papers she figured out how stupid the lying was and if she just told the truth and took the punishment for what she was lying about(which would more than likely just be a talk or maybe extra chore i'm not hard when it come to decipline) life would be much easier. So she for the most part she does not lie anymore except for a tall tale every once in a while.

As Far as Friends, I never told Jordan that she couldn't be friends with someone, I wanted to, belive me I wanted to, but I bit my tougue. But what your daughter is going through with her friends, Jordan went through the same thing and it makes me so sad that you are going through this, I remember it all to well. So when Jordan kept coming home day after day crying or upset I noticed it was always the same 2 or 3 girls that were causing the drama or just being mean. Jordan is a very emotional and sensitive little girl so she has a hard time keeping up with some of the girls. I again started a dialog it wasn't a one time talk it took a while. I told her stories about some of my friendships and how sometime I had to choose not to be friends with people anymore because they were making me feel sad or bad about myself and friends are suppose to make you feel good and happy. Then we started talking about the friends that she has that make her feel sad and the one that make her feel good. I asked her if she thought she would have an easier time at school if maybe she stopped playing with those kids that make her feel sad and make her cry for a while. She took that in for a while and then told me that she might not want to play with a couple of people anymore and how should she do it. I gave her advice that she did not have to tell them I don't want to be your friend she should just play with someone else at recess and sit next to different people at lunch. And she did. At the end of second grade I went on a field trip and started talking to a mom of a little girl that I had always thought was a nice girl but Jordan had never made friends with her. That mom and I talked and figured out that our girls have so much in common so we asked them if they wanted a play date, they did and are now best friends infact they call each other sister. I'm also good friends with her mom. I think it's okay at that young age to still seek out friendships that you think would benefit you daughter. Jordan still makes new friends and sometime decides that she likes that person but doesn't think that she want to play with them all the time or be good friens with them.

Okay I have typed a really long response but if you like my tips and need more feel free to ask.

Good luck! It gets better I promise!
Remember it's much easier to break the habits and guide a 8 year old the right way, than it is to a teenager.
Do it now and your life will be easier later.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

Hi C.. My oldest who is 9 went through this a little last year as well. Something that has really worked for us is journaling back and forth to each other. I so much want my daughters to have that open door policy with me, but I am very realistic as well. So what I did was I bought a composition book at wal-mart and started writing her messages of affirmation and asking her questions that she might not feel compfortable talking to me about to my face, I slip it under her pillow at night and when she is ready, she writes back and slides it under my pillow. I have learned so much this way and it keeps me from over reacting to situations and really thinking about my responses. She writes to me quite often as well with difficult questions.

Hope this finds you well!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

NOT 100% SURE BUT....



answers from Portland on

wow...I know what ya mean. I have a 9 year old, and I am amazed to hear all the drama that goes on between those lil girls. The "I won't like you if you're friends with her", and the daily fights and issues. I talk to my daughter about this regularly, but not much had come of it. Finally after my 9 year old came home truly depressed all night long, I decided it was time to take more action. So I emailed her teacher about it. I had heard the school has a "friendship group" at there school. I requested that my daughter go to this. I think these girls need to learn about friendship and what it means to be a good friend, and the constructive way to solve conflicts. The teacher emailed me back, and apparently another parent had emailed too...and they were monitoring it better. Also, said she'd look into these girls getting involved with "friendship group". I guess its run by the counselor. So keep in close contact with school/teachers and see what is avail for your daughter. Good luck!!



answers from Seattle on

C., It syre does sound like you are getting to wrapped up in your daugter's life feeding into this drama my suggestion would be to not feed into it and also tell your daugter she may assocoate with these girls ar school but at home it is off limits because it sounds like there are problems too with her not understanding that what she may be doing is wrong.....You also need to sit her down and be calm but also stern about what she is doing when she gets into trouble at school then she needs a consequence as well at home it does not work if just the school gives her consequences and then at home she is left hanging this enforces " the I will not tolerate this anymore" she will soon understand what you are saying when she gets into trouble she will not need to ask but it needs to be more than just the phone time and computer time make her actually read a book or write a pargraph about what happened for the reason she got into trouble and then sit down with and talk about it and explain to her if she did something wrong point it out to her......Greetings,P



answers from Seattle on

Hi C.,

I am afraid to tell you that I think this is pretty normal. I remember Elementary school very well and I fought with my friends a lot over boys and other things, and yes even in first and second grade. We were a bit boy crazy! I also know that I did not truly understand a relationship between a boy and girl. The kissing and stuff like that. Also at our school we got in trouble for holding hands and stuff like that. So if you did have a boyfriend is was strictly a title. Although I remember in 4th grade people started having fake marriage ceremonies.
I think as long as they are not kissing or talking about beyond kissing it's pretty normal. If it has crossed that line of innocence I think talking with her would be more productive than taking things away. Talking with her about how she is feeling. What is going on with these friends? Is is a 'bad' croud that are teaching her these things? If so maybe consider changing class rooms? Good luck!!



answers from Portland on

I agree kids have a difficult time being kids these days. We can thank the media and having no or very little supervision at home. The young kids look up to the older acting kids because they seem so smart and confident and exciting.

If you've been able to instill your values into your daughter perhaps reminding her of them will help. Taking times when she is not acting out to talk about what is happening and why you're concerned. Asking her how you can help her be a happy 8 yo while she has the chance. The notebook idea is great!

Some of this was going on when 20 years ago when my daughter was that age. I told her I wanted a little girl and this was the only chance she'd have to be little. Don't rush it! And then I followed thru setting boundaries appropriate for 8 years old. I bought only modest clothes for her. This was easy. She preferred baggy pants and baggy t-shirts. I did not allow her to watch any of the music channels on TV. We watched one together and discussed the meaning of the lyrics and the moves. I closely monitored TV and movies. THey had to be pg until she was around 13 when she could then watch pg 13 ones. One time she and her friend were able to rent Silence of the Lambs and she had bad dreams off and on for weeks. The helped her to understand why I had the rules that I had. The only place that she could be with her friends was at our house or the house of a friend with an adult that I knew and trusted present. An adult went with them to the park and the pool. Just to be there. We didn't participate unless invited to do so. If fights, even just verbal fights, erupted we would talk with them about it and if it could not be resolved everyone went home. My daughter knew that if she was at someone's home and didn't feel comfortable she was to call me and I'd pick her up.

You may already be doing this sort of thing. I was fortunate because my daughter's friends were also still acting 8. Perhaps you could get the mothers of your daughter's friends together and see if you as a group could agree to take action together.

I don't think only taking away things will help because the kids are doing what they think is appropriate. You need to find a way to communicate your love and concern to your daughter while you teach her in a calm, kindly way what is appropriate in your home with your daughter. Perhaps you could ask her to help you write down some guidelines for being 8 years old. And some rules that will have consequences if they're not followed. Have her help with those too.

8 seems a little young for the "tweens" but maybe not. There is a whole other market for the tweens which seems to be more appropriate. Find some tween activites too. There are magazines, internet sites, clothing lines.

Another idea is for the school guidance counselor to form some groups to talk about how to have good relationships. Brownies and Camp Fire Girls can be helpful too.

The most important thing to do is stay calm tho firm, be willing to discuss any issue which includes listening to and trying to understand her view. And expect the same from her. It is so easy to get frustrated, start yelling and then punishing instead of disciplining in a way which helps her to learn good behavior.

Good luck! They do grow up.

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