Issues with My Daughter's "Best Friend".

Updated on February 26, 2010
J.B. asks from Converse, TX
12 answers

Boy do I need some advice. Okay, about 4 months ago my daughter met a little girl in her class. They got along very well and within two weeks this girl had hit "best friend" status with 9 yr old daughter. This little girl is 11, and the age difference kind of bugged me but these are little girls, so I tried not to worry. Well, my daughter comes home in november and asks if this girl can spend the weekend at our house. I tell her that I have to meet the mother first. What can I say..the mother calls me and in the first 10 min of the conversation I can tell that she is high on something..slurred speech, dropping off in the middle of the conversation, repeating herself. but the little girl was so nice and I felt so sorry for her after talking to her mother so I allowed her to spend the weekend with us.
The weekend she was here she was lovely and seemed so blown away that I actuallly take care of my house and my kids ( I have two older boys also) she was so grateful for me making breakfast. She didnt own a toothbrush,so I bought her one and taught her how to use dental floss, her clothes were filthy so I washed and ironed them. Well, I begin a "shallow" friendship with the mother so she will allow her daughter to spend more time at my house. Next thing we know this little girl is spending 4 to 5 nights a week at our house, but once the "new" wore off I began to notice some very disturbing things...I kept finding wet pull ups under the bathroom sink and come to find out , this little girl isnt night time potty trained..she has to wear a pull up every night. Then I hear her telling my daughter that when she gets stressed out she rips handfuls of hair out of her head. She said that the pain felt good and helped her relax. Then I heard her talking about how her mother is bisexual and said she wanted to make me her girlfriend ( I have no issue with homosexuality, but I am as straight as they come). She also tells my daughter how no one loves her and no one cares about her....this was the most startling for me simply for this fact: this girl is 2 years older than my my life experience I have noticed that girls who have seriouse self esteem issues and who crave love that they dont get from home tend to turn out to be promiscuious. I hate to sound judgemental, but I think this is true..and I am worried that my daughter will start to do things to try and "keep up" with her friend. Not to mention the fact that when the daughter is at my house I have no choice but to put up with the drugged out mother calling, sometimes upwards of 20 times a day..and everytime she is so high you cant hold a conversation with her.
Well, I dont know what happened, and neither does my daughter really, but this little girl has began to reject her and her friendship. She wont talk to my daughter at school, I paid for this child to join girl scouts with my daughter and she quit after 2 meetings, she is being verbally agressive with my son (who is also in the same class). Basically, she is totally blowing my daughter off..after all my little girl has shared with her.
Honestly, I think this is for the best. I dropped the ball on this one. I see the potential for this girl to be a terrible influence on my daughter..and being that my daughter is younger than this girl just makes her more prone to cave to peer pressure. I dont want my child to think its normal to cause yourself pain to relax. I dont want her to think that it is normal to refuse to do homework or have any ambition. My daughter has never had an issue making friends. She is pretty, smart, and well adjusted. She is a girl scout, has a brown belt in karate, and takes dance lessons..but for some reason this girls rejection is really taking a toll on her. Hell, to be honest with you IM offended as well. I killed myself and spent a ton of money trying to show this little girl that there are other ways to live. That there are mothers who care, and cook and clean and help with homework, and this little girl is rejecting all of that.
Hindsight says I should have never allowed this friendship in the first place, but I felt so darn sorry for this little one. I have never spoken ill of her mother or her. I have never show pity when talking to her. I tried my best to build her self confidence...but to no seems to me that the daughter is following in her mothers footsteps. How do I help my daughter thru this? She is heartbroken and doesnt understand why all of the sudden her best friend just doesnt want to be her best friend anymore. Any suggestions on how I can make this easier for her. I have no desire to help her patch up the I said before, I think its bad news..but how can I help her get thru this loss and feelings of rejection? Any advice would be so appreciated!!!!

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So What Happened?

Thank you all so much for the insightful advice and supportive comments. Heres the situation as of today. My daughter came home from school telling me about a girl she became friends with named Sabrina. She said she had never talked to her before because her "old best friend" would get mad at her. She, on her own, had decided that she will continue to be nice to her former bff..but she is already jumping off the platform to meet new friends. I explained to her that sometimes when ppl have deep issues that they dont know how to treat other ppl. they dont know loyalty because they have never experienced it themselves. I told her to pray for this little girl and never stop being a good friend (Ex: sharing secrets that they shared, not talking bad about her, ect..) I have contacted the school counselor (couldnt bring myself to make the CPS call personally) and she has assured me that the childs teacher has noticed and there will be an investigation. I hope the best for this little girl, and so does my daughter. I hope the best for her mother as well. Addiction is a horrible disease and I hope that sooner or later she will realize her problem and seek help. Looks like my daughter will heal just fine (said in the most hopeful of mommy voices) and so will I. I did the right thing, and my consious (sp?) is clear. I tried. I hope it doesnt sound horrible to say that in my heart of hearts I feel like my daughter doged a bullet with this friendship.
Thank you all so much!

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answers from San Antonio on

Maybe remind her of all the other best friends she has had over the years and there will be another best friend that will come along soon.

On a second note, If I were you, I would call CPS. I think this poor child has potential and may already have emotional issues. This behavior is beginning of suicidal behavior. Who cares about the drugged out mom, the daughter needs a psychiatrist. Causing pain for comfort to oneself is a serious issue.

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answers from Boston on

It's so tough when our little girls learn life lessons earlier than we are ready for them to. It was wonderful of your family to work with this other girl - in the process teaching your daughter compassion. It is unfortunate that she also had to learn that you cannot help everyone; and people have to be willing to help themselves. Try to remove the personal element and help her see it from a little broader perspective - throughout life she will meet dozens more individuals that are hurting and unable to move past it at this time - with the added unknown that they may never be willing. Lots of hugs and letting her know that she did not fail this girl, and it is not her fault, will go a long way over time.

I have a 15 yr old daughter whom has dealt with several similar situations over the years. Best wishes to you both, your daughter is lucky to have such a compassionate mom not only to her own kids but to others as well.

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answers from San Francisco on

Good for you. You did EXACTLY what you should have. You tried to help a little girl with problems. You did everything right. That poor little girl can't help the sad fact that she was born into terrible circumstances.

Obviously, you tried, as you should have, but it is not going to work. The bad influences on this girl are too strong. I have helped and tried to help many kids over the years, and sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. But that doesn't mean that you should not have tried. So be proud of yourself for doing the right thing.

The way to help your daughter is simply to 1) listen to her and tell her that it is sad that the friendship is not working out and 2) to tell her that it is also very sad that this girl comes from such bad circumstances, that when a child grows up in such a family (drug addiction, etc.), the child is usually messed up and has bad behavior.

In other words, you tell her the truth about the girl's situation. My daughter has had friends from bad backgrounds, and when all our efforts couldn't change the child, I just told my daughter that it was to be expected.

You sound like a great mom, and your daughter sounds like she is being raised very well, so I would not worry about her doing the wrong things just to "keep up." I never limited my daughter's friendships with these girls, and my daughter has always done the right thing. I think you can probably trust your daughter, even though it's a moot point now.

Don't be angry or take it personally-- these are damaged people you were dealing with -- just be proud of yourself for being a good person and doing the right thing.

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answers from New York on

Count your blessings. As much as my heart breaks for this little girl, in the end, she is not your or my daughter, and if the mom has custody of her then that means so far no one has reported her to anybody.
dirty clothes, bisexuality...there are many imperfect families one way or another. i feel really bad about the child, but at this point redirect your daughter to things she enjoys and just tell her there will be many friends she will gain and lose throughout life. and we cherish these friendships while they last.
good luck

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answers from Norfolk on

It's hard to tell if the mother has a drug/alcohol problem or a medical problem, or maybe she has both. At any rate, your daughter is hurt by the rejection. She is involved in a lot of activities, and she's meeting new people all the time. Just tell her that sometimes friendships run their coarse (it even happens to adults) and then people move on to make new friends with new interests. It's not your daughters fault, there is nothing wrong with her and people grow apart sometimes. You have a teachable moment here. Everyone needs to learn how to handle rejection in a healthy way. Some people bake cookies (although I would resist soothing with food), other people clean out closets or re-arrange their room, or some might treat themselves to a manicure/pedicure. Eventually this will pass, and there will be new friends.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

First of all, you HAVE shown this little girl that there is another way to live out there. I'm sure your kindness made an impact. MAYBE, just maybe the girl was downing her own mom b/c of the contrast between homes and the mom can't deal with it. You've done what you can and it's over. Who knows what impact you may have had on this particular girl? Did you expect the mom to suddenly get straight, clean her house and cook?

People live in lots of different ways. What is unacceptable to you and me is normal for some families. There is nothing you can do about that.

Art the end of the day, your daughter has lost a friend. That's the issue here. (Unless you know for SURE that this mother is unfit and the authorities need to intervene.) I explain to my son (1st grade) that he is meeting lots of new people all of the time, every year in a new class. Some of these kids will be his friends for life, some are buddies, and some he will never be close with. You can't stop your daughter from feeling this loss or possibly rejection. Assure her it's nothing she did or didn't do and there are lots of kids in her school and activities that will fill the gap left by this other girl.

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answers from New York on

You're a wonderful person!!! If there is a counselor at the school, I would talk with him/her and ask to not be identified as the one who informed them. The counselor will keep an eye on the girl and contact the family and should be able to provide In-school therapy. Use this as a teachable moment with your daughter to let her realize how lucky she is to have what she has and to be thankful for her blessings.



answers from Tulsa on

I only read your comments so forgive me if I am repeating others advice but have you called anyone officail about this poor little girl? She has no one to be there for her. It could be the mom doesn't like her to be too close to someone for very long because the get to know too much about her and how wrong she is treating this child. Some one needs to intervene for this child. If you are uncomfortable calling the authorities then please make an appointment with the school counselor and visit with them about your concerns. Have the details written down so you don't for get anything. Like her story about breakfast and the condituions of her clothes, this is serious neglect and this child is suffering.



answers from San Antonio on

I would definitely start by calling Child Protective Services. But by no means did you make a mistake by trying to make a positive influence on another child who doesn't have one. Do not feel bad about that! Sounds like your daughter does tell you whats going on. Thats good you had the opportunity to let her know that that girl wasn't making very good choices. Please don't be offended at the little girl. She doesn't have a good self esteem which likely says she listens to what everyone tells her. Someone probably told her not to like your daughter.(Mom probably said they think they are too good for us or something like that) She is only reacting to what someone told her to do.

As for your daughter all you can do is reassure her she will find someone that likes to do the same things as her soon to be best friends with. Girls tend to be catty and it starts happening early! My daughter is in prek and there are girls being mean to other girls already. I just keep telling her not to follow and to make decisions for herself. I'm sure this is the 1st of many situations that she will be hurt about. (I'm not looking forward to when a boy breaks her heart for the 1st time). It's hard as mothers to not be able to fix our kids problems but just let her know that your there for her.



answers from San Francisco on

Oy. First of all...thank you for trying to help this little girl. Somewhere inside her she knew that your family was a good one and hers stinks. Unfortunately you are battling against 11 years of bad up bringing. Did you consider calling CPS on the mom?? You may not be able to care for this child but if she is removed from her home and put in foster care maybe there is a chance she can be rescued. Poor baby....
As for your daughter. The IMHO the best thing to do is sit her down and tell her YOU made a mistake. That helping this friend is more than you can handle, that unless she is away from her mom she will continue bad behavior, even get worse. Your responsibility is to her, not her friend. Even though her friend may be a sweet girl (underneath she may be) the bad influences on her life are going to affect her even more than the good ones she gets at your house. Make it clear that you hope the best for this little girl.
I know that it is not just your daughter that is tried to do the right thing. *HUG*



answers from San Antonio on

3 words... Child Protective Services! You can't wait on this one... Call today- you have to be an advocate for all children and it sounds like this one needs help. Once you have made the phone call ( and of course do not tell your daughter that you "told" on the mom/situation) then it is time for some therapy for your daughter and for you- not in a bad way, but in a way that someone can help boost your daughters self esteem after being rejected and what to do at school to help mend the hurt- it will also give you a chance to talk out the hurt that you are feeling after having to deal with such a heart wrenching situation.



answers from San Antonio on

Please call the school counselor and CPS. Please, please, please. Your daughter's friend apparently has no one looking out for her. She's only 11 and I think she was put into your life for a reason. You are not equiped (most of us aren't) to protect her from her mother or her situation but you can make a couple of phone calls and then pray for her. Please make these calls, please.

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