Best Friends Really Angry with Me/privacy Issues

Updated on May 11, 2010
K.D. asks from Auburndale, MA
20 answers

Last week my daughter had an incident at school where everyone at her lunch table was making fun of the sandwich she brought (made on flatbread) resulting in my daughter not eating it. Then she pulled out another thing in her lunch box and a girl set in on her saying she had to throw that away because another girl was allergic (not nuts or anything like that). The other girl started acting really dramatic, backing up and they both said that if my daughter ate it in front of her that the allergic girl could die. The allergic girl then said her nose was stuffy that day so if she wanted to eat it she could.

My daughter honestly believed it and came home to me and said I couldn't pack that particular thing anymore. The mom of that girl is one of my best friends and I knew that if she had food allergies I would know about it. I called her concerned and found out that no, she shouldn't EAT the item in question, but she's around them all the time and it isn't airborne by any means. In fact the girl feeds her dog that item every morning. She was upset that her daughter would act in this manner and I became upset that my daughter was treated this way by her friends and upset that the entire lunch table didn't let her eat her sandwich either.

I am a member of a local group in town that has a google group that I participate in. There are only a very small handful of moms from my school in that group and one of the main topics of conversation lately has been on bullying. Also there was a thread going around about school lunches. So after reading many posts on both subjects I sent an email to the group basically highlighting the events at lunch. I did not specify which of my children it was that experienced this, did not say it was my daughter's friends. The only specific I gave was the name of the food in question (for the allergy). I asked the group to please speak to their children about minding their own business at lunch time and not to make negative comments about what someone is eating (in relation to the sandwich) and called it another form of bullying. I received several very nice personal responses from other moms who have gone through something similar with words of support that really helped me calm down.

One of our mutual friends (whose daughter was the one who chimed in on the whole sandwich issue) saw this email in the google group (I knew she would). She forwarded it to the mom of the girl with the allergy and a huge firestorm resulted. That mom called me up, called it an invasion of her privacy, said that I had no right to put that on the group and that I had no right to call her daughter a bully. She threatened to not ever let her daughter speak to my daughter again so their privacy could be protected in the future.

First of all, there is not a single mom in that group that would recognize this as being her child. There isn't even any moms that know her personally outside of two (and one knew about the incident already - she was the one who forwarded it and she and I had talked about it). And I didn't even know about the allergy and I'm one of her best friends - how would anyone else put two and two together?
Secondly, the bully comment was directed at the sandwich incident which her daughter was not involved in.
Third, I DO see it as bullying. Both instances in fact.

I apologized profusely to her. Told her I regretted sending it and did not become angry or defensive. But I still feel like our relationship has gone past irreprable damage. I cried all night last night just reliving the yelling she was doing. Now I've moved into the anger stage because I feel like she really overreacted and said some things to me that she can never erase.

Now, annoymously, I ask for advice from a group that has no ties to my school or her whatsoever. Because I really am at a loss on what to do now.

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So What Happened?

I really appreciate all the great responses. It really helped me see many sides of the issue.

I worked things out rather quickly with the first mom (the one who originally forwarded the email). We talked rationally without anger. We disagree still on a few points (she doesn't agree anything mean was done), but we have moved on and put it behind us.

The other mom (the one who called) and I have battled more. Even though every conversation/email with her was always full of apologies from me she still was angry because she "heard" that I was upset and told my husband and friend that she had yelled at me. She thought I was portraying her as some kind of monster, was exaggerating every piece of the situation (the lunch drama and our conversation) and was in the end being the real bully to her daughter and told her daughter it was ok not to be friends with my daughter because everything gets brought home to me. I had to finally come to my own and my daughter's defense. I said all has EVER come home with in relation to her daughter was FEAR that her daughter could DIE if she was around the food in question. She wasn't "telling" or her or trying to get her in trouble. It wasn't until I explained that no she couldn't die that my daughter became hurt by the situation. Never did either of these girls ever apologize or did either mom ever admit that their daughter did anything wrong. That stil irks me. But after I let loose finally, she finally said that we should put it past us and move on and never speak of it again. She said she has treasured our friendship. So I was in complete agreement because I certainly am tired of this crazy situation. I don't think I'll ever see my friend the same way again though and I have lost a ton of respect for her in this process.

Thanks again for all the great feedback.

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answers from Toledo on

I agree that mom is overreacting. This is a form of bullying. That mom needs to nip this problem in the bud right now or it will continue. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Sounds like the mamma bear came out in her also. She thinks you were talking about her daughter in a public manner. So she got defensive about it and now ...... I would have also. This probably should have ended with the first talk you had with her. Now its a full blown drama. I would think two grown women could just sit over coffee and let this go for the kids sake. Give it another try.

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answers from Norfolk on

What are you apologizing for? "I'm sorry you're an idiot for identifying the scenario with your daughter."? So she yells. So what? Your girl should be able to eat her lunch in peace. Anyone standing in the way of that is a bully. How would she feel if her daughter went hungry? If this is all it takes to bust up the friendship, she wasn't much of a friend to begin with. No great loss.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Let it go.
Live your life as if nothing has happened.
The third party is making waves and sticking her nose in where it doesn't belong to take the onus off of her daughter. She knew her daughter was the instigator... (I've had the same thing happen with my blog and have been told to take anonymous posts down! When people see themselves, they get defensive - whether their names are on there or not.)
Next time you see your friend, say nothing about it. It's over. Kids do this all the time. They get past it.
As for the lunch incident - contact the school. They need to know that this type of thing is going on at the lunch table. Girls can be particularly nasty... Don't allow this form of bullying to continue.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Your so-called Best Friend is likely jealous. Your daughter sounds so sweet while her daughter just sounds like a mean bully! She should stop wasting her breath talking to you and use up that energy to teach her daughter right from wrong!

I agree with the others that you did nothing wrong. With a best friend like her, who needs enemies right? Maybe in retrospect you think you could have handled it differently but the end result was that you intervened in a bullying situation involving your daughter. Seriously, I cannot comprehend how ANY parent would think you were in the wrong.

How is standing up for your daughter EVER NOT the right thing to do?? Your daughter will ALWAYS remember how her Mom had her back. Your daughter is your priority.

I love this quote and I say it to my pre-teen daughter who totally gets it:

Never make a person a priority in your life, while allowing them to make you an option in theirs.

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answers from Boston on

The other mother is being immature. Even if people figured out that it was her daughter, why is she so embarassed? Because her daughter's behavior was embarassing?? She should be angry with her daughter then, tell her how rude she was being, whether it was her friend or a stranger. Kids do these things all the time, most likely they will get over it and be friends again, while the mother's are still bitter toward each other. I would recommend trying to forget about the whole thing. Its not worth losing sleep over.

Kids make fun of each other. Teach your daughter how to react without losing her cool. When they know they got under your skin they keep on going. Teach her to get up and walk away, eat lunch by herself if she has to. True friends will not tease you in front of a group of people. Its hard but it will help her the long run. You can't always rely on adults to step in and make everything right.

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answers from Sioux Falls on

I hate to say it, but that mom was way out of line. If you did not mention it was your daughter or grade, it should not have been a problem. I see where her daughter may have gotten the idea it's ok to be a bully. Threatening to tell her daughter not to have anything to do with your daughter is condoning bullying! That mother was bullying you! You did right by trying to make peace, but I would distance myself from that family in the future. Love your daughter, protect her, and surround yourself with good, supporting friends.

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answers from Washington DC on



These two "friends" really aren't your friend. The W. who sent it to the other mother must be a drama queen and KNEW it would cause problems. What compounds it and makes it worse? That she RECOGNIZED the issue - that means she's fully aware of what her child is doing at school and is obviously not doing anything to stop the cycle. How sad for her and her child.

I would drop these so-called friends like I would a hot pan. They aren't worth your time and effort. If a "friend" of mine starts yelling on the phone or anywhere - I tell them " you may not treat me this way" if you don't stop, I will leave or hang up. If they don't, I leave or hang up. It's only happened to me twice. And both times, I stood by my word. I do the same with my kids - if they start yelling at me, I tell them that is not an acceptable way to talk with me. If they don't stop, I won't listen.

It shows a lot about how good a mom you are because your daughter was concerned about hurting another child. KUDOs to you!!!

Bottom line - these women are NOT your friends. The fact that they recognized their children speaks VOLUMES about their morals and integrity.

Best regards,


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answers from Davenport on

I think the most important thing to do here is for YOU to talk to your daughter about the incident, and explain how many different types of bullying there are, and tell her how to ignore it and stand up for her own beliefs. Role play and talk aboutit often, explain that it sin't important what other kids think about her lunch, her hair-do, or her clothes, what is important is what SHE likes and what SHE thinks of herself. If someone is so petty to break up a friendship over something so superficial as what you wear, eat, or look like, then they are not worthy of being your friend in the first place.

There is only goingto be more and more peer pressure, concering worse and harder subjects than clothes or breaking rules, boys, sex, drugs, drinking....if she can't stand up for herself over a sandwich, what will happen when these other subjects come up? Focus on your daughter, and let your friend get over herself, if she still wants to be friends, she needs to call and apologize to you, for herself and have her daughter apologize to yours, you have done your part.

Good luck!


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answers from New York on

Since this was an issue in school, I would have reported it to the teacher or principal and let the school handle it. The mom of the allergic kid didn't see your post and doesn't realize there was no identifying information in it. I would just let it go, but be sure that school administration is aware of what happened. It wasn't this woman's daughter who was victimized, it was your daughter who was made fun of and made to feel intimidated into not eating lunch. It's surely not a secret that the girl has food allergies, you have to be very public about that or it's a danger issue.
Sorry this happened!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I don't see your post on the Google group as being an invasion of your friend's privacy. You didn't name names and the incident that you had described is a shared history that happened in a public place. Your friend cannot claim ownership of that history so you have every right to relate to other third persons, an incident that happened with your daughter. And I doubt that this girl's allergy to whatever was in your daughter's lunch box is highly sensitive information. To the contrary, one would think that food allergies, when one is affected, should be disclosed so that there is no risk of cross-contanimation and no risk of an allergic reaction.

Your friend is just pissed because she found out through the grapevine, so to speak, that you think that her daughter may be part of the bullying that had went on with your daughter in the lunchroom. I do believe you have a right to be upset about the lunchroom incident, and I do believe that what had occurred was a form of bullying and that your friend's daughter, by being silent and not standing up for your daughter, was part of the problem, but I can also see how hurt and defensive your friend may be because you didn't speak to her candidly about the incident and your feelings about it before posting it on your Google group. Her reaction to your post is pure defensiveness and emotion based upon what she perceives as a betrayal on your part. The betrayal, I don't think is necessarily your disclosure of her daughter's allergy or description of the incident, it's that you labeled the incident, which included her daughter, as a bullying incident in your post without discussing it with her first. That's what I just think; I could be wrong though.

Anyway, hopefully in a couple of days, the two of you can get together for coffee and hash this out. Hopefully she'll be willing to set aside her defenses and pride for a bit to really hear you out and hear you out. And maybe what she needs to hear from you at this time is some acknowledgement that you should have talked to her fully about the whole "bullying" aspect of the incident before you had written your post for everyone else to see.

I always hate to see long-time friendships break up. I hope that the two of you can work this out and and maybe find some peace and better understanding of each other and your respective families (daughters).

Wishing you the best of luck.

*ADDITION: I just re-read your inquiry and it appears that I got it wrong -- you did talk to your friend about specifically about the bullying before typing your Google post. In that case, she's just being highly defensive and overly emotional about her daughter. In this case, she's just way out of line. You didn't name names in yor post so the privacy is still mainted and the only moms who are going to know which kids you are talking about and would be upset about your post are the moms whose kids participated in the incident. But you have every right to talk about something that had happened to your daughter and this is a matter that should be discussed so that parents can become educated and talk to the children about what bullying is and what is expected of them.

Okay, so clearly I need some coffee so that my brain can function properly and I read things clearly. Best of luck to you.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I'm sorry your friend was embarrassed because she felt others "could tell" her daughter was the instigator. I understand her feeling a little emotional about that, with the timing and all, but her yelling at you and lashing out at you was WAY overreacting. Her bad behavior, not yours, so I would let it go. Don't call and apologize, just let them be. It would be good for you and your daughter to have some space from this family.

On the issue of kids making fun of what their peers bring for lunch, it is a HUGE issue, more than people know, and it IS bullying. I know some will say kids will be kids, let them work it out themselves, but I'm sorry. Kids who are sensitive, would rather go hungry than be taunted by a whole group, harrassed, and put down for eating something different. I don't think younger kids mind so much liking their own things, but it's much tougher as they get older. I've seen it too.

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answers from Columbus on

The bullying happend at school, and most schools have policy's about harrasment and bulling these days. Let the school handle the inicidents from now on, which takes you totally out of the picture.

Your friend over reacted to the privacy issue, and you already did everything you can to tell her that her daughter did not get invloved in the bullying. All you can do now is ignore it and hope for the best. I would be very concerned about the instigator, and her mother, since the nut does not seem to have fallen very far from the tree. That Mom was successful, she got your friend to be angry at you, and she is in the clear. You may want to reevaluate just how close you were to the woman with the alllergic daughter.


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answers from Fort Wayne on

I don't who it was that forwarded it to your friend, but that person is just trying to make trouble. If you didn't mention any names or specifics about the people involved, then the mom has no reason to be angry at you. It sounds to me like she has a guilty conscious and is taking it out on you by getting defensive about her daughter's bad behavior. You apologized. Now let it go. If you lose a friendship over something like that, then she wasn't a friend to begin with.
I would mention the bullying to the school. You don't know if this group of girls is bothering other kids or not. It will at least put them on alert and hopefully a potentially serious situation could be avoided. Bullying is NO joke.
Ok, I just re-read your post. If I had to guess, I'd say that the woman that forwarded it is also embarrassed by her daughter's bad behavior. She took it personally because she KNEW her daughter was involved.
I'm sorry that your daughter had to go through something like that. :(

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answers from Philadelphia on

You got a lot of good advice, but I feel I need to speak to one piece. I do not think that you should report it to the school. That's how things get blown out of proportion at school and cause silly rules to be enacted. Don't let the school become involved just because it's less uncomfortable for you and your friend. Be a mature adult and work it out with the other parent. Show your children how to work out conflicts by demonstrating how you do it.

Then, if this continues to be a problem that you ar not able to solve with the parents, then you need to go to the school to protect your child.

Good luck.

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answers from Houston on

I do understand how serious bullying is ( I have a son who will be a walking target as he gets older due to his condition) but I think this has to do more with your daughter learning how to handle this sort of situation then anything else. I don't know how old she is but is she going to throw away everything that she brings to school that another kid doesn't like? Is she going to have a closet full of clothes she won't wear to school because someone said they didn't like it?

My daughter is in kindergarten and every few weeks or so she tells me that so and so was mean to her or so and so made fun of this or that. I talk to her about what she did and how she feels about it and I follow up to see how her relationship is with that individual a few days later and everything goes back to normal.

Now I am NOT one to ignore bullying or chalk it up to kids being kids, however I think you have to look at each situation and determine what the intent was and if its an ongoing pattern or a one time thing. If these girls had never said a cross word to your daughter before and this was just a one time thing, their relationship would have gone back to normal the next day but now it's been blown out of proportion by the parents and it will probably trickle down to them.

As far as advice, I guess I would say let it cool for a few days and see how the girls handle things. If they manage to salvage their friendship after all of this than I think you should reach out to the other mom and just say you were upset because your daughter was upset and you overreacted. Hopefully she will respond in kind.

Good luck,

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answers from Raleigh on

I would be very upset if I found out about one of my kids treating somebody in that manner. And she is worried about privacy???
I do not see anything wrong with what you did, you just used it as an example, her daughter acter like a bully during that lunch.
If she really treasures your friendship she will come and appologize to you for overreacting.
Please do not stress out over it.

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answers from Orlando on

You didn't say how old the girls are. I think this would be a very different issue for kindergarteners than 5th graders. If they are around kindergarten age, for example, the parents have to work things out among themselves and guide the girls in what to do and how to act. If it's 5th graders, the girls need to work it out themselves. School is almost over. Maybe just let the dust settle and start fresh when school starts again. Do you usually see eachother over the summer? If she really is your best friend, you can get through this. Mine and I have had blow ups over the years. It does make things very uncomfortable for quite some time, but you can get past it eventually.

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answers from Los Angeles on

The only person you can change is yourself. The first thing you should do is to limit unnecessary contact with her until you've calmed down yourself. What made this hurt so much is that you value your relationship very much (by thinking she's a best friend), and yet she yelled at you and threatened you over a matter which you feel you/your daughter is a victim in. This is because both you and your friend do not see or have the same feeling about what the other side is going through. So then what you need to do now is to change your expectations from this friend (on her level of emotional maturity), and try to see that some people DO see this as a serious breach of privacy, especially if the allergic item in question is not a common one. Just think: being a best friend, you didn't even know about it until now! Based on what you've described, your relationship will certainly not remain the same, and it will help with your healing process when you expect changes coming. You can try to find out more about the particular allergy your friend's daughter has from other sources, so when the opportunity comes in the future you will be able to make intelligent comments which shows you care. Another thing to think about: what you're try to do regarding this bullying incident is actually beneficial to her daughter as well. One reason why someone would not let others know about their particular food allergies is that they don't want to be singled out or laughed at because they are different. Kids will make fun of you whether you're eating something "strange" or not eating something like everyone else, and they need to be taught about tolerance and diversity as part of their life lessons. Many adults never learned that lesson, and this is something your friend has to learn for herself as well. Rather than drilling deeper into the various negative feelings resulting from this incident, it will be more productive to turn your attention to educating others.
Don't worry too much about exactly how to mend the relationship now. If she is truly your friend, she will come around at her own time.

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answers from Austin on

They are defensive because they feel like their parenting skills are in question. Wouldn't you feel that way? It is NOT a privacy issue, but you should have just let it go in the first place. You knew that it would get back to them. If I were in their shoes, I'd be annoyed at you. I don't say that to be mean, but look at what your motives were. Sure, people need to know about bullying, but did you really think that the other parents in the group wouldn't figure out who you were talking about? You say that people sent you messages of support. Doesn't that make it about you and YOUR issues? I thought that you were highlighting bullying?
It's the end of the school year. Avoid talking to these women for a while. It will all blow over soon.
Sometimes we over react to things in support of our children and their feelings. It's human. But I don't think you were in the right here.
Good luck to you.

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