Kid's Friends Met Through Her, Now Do Things Without Her

Updated on March 07, 2017
J.J. asks from Lancaster, NY
20 answers

Okay, I'm trying not to get petty, but my kid's upset and frankly I can't blame her. She has a couple of friends (twins) in our neighborhood who she's hung out with since she was a toddler. They go to a different school. They met another one of my dd's friends from her school at her birthday party a year ago. Apparently they all friended each other on snap chat and now they are doing things together without inviting my kid. The only reason they know each other is through my dd. The girl from her school has created quite a bit of drama in other situations. She has told all of them that this bothers her, but apparently it hasn't helped.
I realize she doesn't own any of them, but I can see how this is quite upsetting to her. What advice would you give?

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S.L.

answers from Denver on

Yes, that sucks...similar things have happened to me personally. There's not much you can do to stop them - they can hang out if they want
...but honestly, I wouldn't do that to a true friend. If I wanted to do things with a friend of a friend, I would invite the person who introduced us too.

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C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

I would advise her to move on...she needs to hang out with friends who are better friends and to focus on them instead. Friends sometimes grow apart. It can be upsetting but it is life. Focus on the friends that bring you happiness. Have her plan something fun with these kinds of friends.

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M.6.

answers from New York on

I guess I would tell my kid that "this is life - this happens all the time, and it is totally normal." I think that part of the drama your daughter may be feeling is that this isn't normal, or that she did something wrong. Letting her know that outgrowing friendships happens all the time. It sounds like the twins have been around since toddlerhood - meaning that they were more friends of circumstance, than actually choosing to be friends. Now that they are older and can start picking their own friends, they happen to pick someone your daughter knew. Think about how everyone meets friends - often it is through introduction by someone you already know.

I definitely would advise your daughter not to talk negatively about the girl from her school - that is something other girls pick up on really quickly. No one likes a sore loser and by telling the twins that this other girl is full of drama only shows that your daughter doesn't look good in the color green.

Let your daughter know that she can be supportive of their friendship and start seeking a different friend group through activities she likes to do or interests or hobbies that she has. If she struggles to make friends, then maybe working on some strategies to help her might be warranted. Not everyone makes friends naturally or easily - that is why there are a million books for adults on how to make friends or make people like you :)

Good luck!

6 moms found this helpful
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S.J.

answers from Des Moines on

I agree with deedee. It does seem like a line was crossed, especially since the only reason they know each other is through your kid. True, you can't do anything to stop them, but this sounds a bit rude on all the other girls' parts - especially since they didn't invite your dd. But, I guess your kid is getting some harsh lessons in the school of hard knocks. It sounds like none of these girls are that important to her. The one from her school is causing drama, and the twins don't even go to her school.
Probably best to move on. Maybe they'll reconnect as they get older.

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H.W.

answers from Portland on

My advice:

This happens to a lot of people, and it may happen to her throughout her entire life. I mean, adults do this too. Things I've learned:

Let it go. People who were actually *good* friends generally aren't exclusive. This means that they might get together on their own but they also include the other person as a matter of course when they are around. Example: I have a dear longtime friend who introduced me to her roommate, who I really enjoy. When my friend was in Europe, her roommate and I hung out together. When she returned, we all either do something as a group or I spend my time with my original friend. We are all adults, no one would feel excluded, per se, but I think that's just how we roll. Because we are considerate of each other, no slight is taken or given.

I have also (rather recently, and here I am, nearly 47!) been on the 'excluded' end of things. What I realized, pretty quickly, was that I was friend of convenience for a couple of women, and when they connected, I sort of got nudged out. While it stung, it led me to be open and receptive to others and I now have a much-longer, much deeper friendship from that. Interestingly enough, when I ran into one of the women, she stated that the other had also done the same thing to her: "bff' behavior one day, dumped ungraciously the next. I am glad I didn't spend a lot of time wondering what I did wrong-- that's just this other gal's MO. She burns through people and is pretty unaware about it.

It's easy for us to internalize our being pushed to the side. But the fact is, this is about *them*, those people who are happy to push people out of friendships aren't friends at all. They are lessons we learn in life about ourselves and our own boundaries. Let your daughter know that A. it's not her, it's likely them (esp drama girl); B. this is common, and even the nicest people deal with this and C. there are people out there who can be fun and inclusive. Look for those folks. Stuff happens. Don't hold onto it. Chances are, Drama Girl and the Twins may not be thick as thieves after a year or so, and it's likely your daughter will have met other kids she enjoys by then.

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S.R.

answers from Phoenix on

I totally see why she's upset...it's almost like someone dating your ex-boyfriend (who they met through you!). If I was to invite someone I met through a friend, I would probably call my friend and say, "if you'd like to invite Joan, we'd love to have her too".
It really is rather exclusionary for them to not invite your kid. But, as others have said, you can't stop it. I would tell your dd to move on and make her own friends who are a little more sensitive.

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J.K.

answers from Wausau on

Neither of my kids are still close with the kids who were their best buddies back in preschool. That fizzled out by 3rd or 4th grade. My 9th grader has a couple friends who he is close with now, which are different kids from those he was closest with just two years ago. Very recently, a third kid started hanging out here too. Time will tell how that works out.

Friendships change over time, as the interests and social needs of the people change. Help your daughter to understand that it doesn't matter who knew each other first. There is no ownership when it comes to friendship. It's possibly one of the hardest lessons in emotional maturation. It can hurt and people are reluctant to let it happen.

Unless they are spitefully excluding your child or stirring up trouble to upset her, this is probably a natural evolution. You did mention drama with one child. It might be a good idea for your daughter to have some distance with that one, regardless of the others.

Instead of fretting about what they are doing without her, have the concentrate on the things she can control. Herself and her actions. She can still invite one of the others to do things with her. She's not obligated to invite them all at once either.

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G.♣.

answers from Springfield on

I think you need to encourage her to let it go and to do more things with other friends. If these other girls are friends with each other and want to do things with each other, telling them that this upsets her is only going to push then farther away. No one wants a whiny, needy friend, and, justified or not, that is the position she is putting herself in.

It's very nice that your daughter introduced them, but that doesn't mean they owe her anything. It's time to move on.

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

Your daughter needs a new set of friends.
Recognize when it's time to move on.
Friends often change in middle school, again in high school, again in college, and then when she's finished with school and starts working - they can change again.
She might as well get use to it now.

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S.W.

answers from Amarillo on

The others have posted very good responses to your daughter's friend issue.

Just let her know that this IS part of life. Remind her that friends are for seasons and reasons. Once the reason or season is complete, they tend to drift apart at any age. Some people are for all time but many are not.

Do suggest to your daughter to seek out others with like interests as hers and to move forward. Yes, it does hurt but you also learn a lot about yourself when this happens.

I recently had someone try to come back into my life after a 18 year hiatus. Not a good thing. Too much water had gone under and over the bridge to build it back.

Good luck to the two of you. Do keep us posted.

the other S.

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C.N.

answers from Baton Rouge on

Relationships change. People grow apart. It sucks, but it's reality.
Your daughter has other friends, no? Just spend more time with them.

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T.D.

answers from Springfield on

forget the drama group and find another friend to hang out with.

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M.D.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I think that if you talk to her as if she is a victim "Oh, I'm so sorry, I know how hard this is for you, yes, they are being mean, they shouldn't do this to you" etc, then she will feel even more strongly that what they have done is wrong and it will become an even bigger insult in her mind. Reality check - they haven't done anything wrong here. They became friends. Friendship between her and each of them is not mutually exclusive - they can be friends with each other and still be friends with her. And no, not everyone in the entire group must be included every time they get together. Instead, why not lead her to think more openly "yes, that looks fun, I'm sure you wish you could have been there, but maybe the twins were only allowed to invite one friend today, if you miss their company, why don't we invite them to do something fun soon - all together or individually?"

No, she doesn't own them. Sometimes people do things in small groups, sometimes in bigger groups. This alone does not mean that these girls don't like her. It does not mean that she needs new friends.

Now, if there are other things these girls do that your daughter doesn't like (you mention other drama with no details), then that might be reason enough for her to find a new friend group OR if they have started always excluding her that is also different. But I see no reason why these friends cannot get together without your daughter every now and then, just as your daughter is free to get together with one of them without inviting the entire group.

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N.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I get it, I do. But sometimes we meet people and we have an instant connection with them. It shouldn't matter if our friends become friends with each other and don't include us, they have their own relationship.

I have been through this before. I met a friend and it was like I'd known her before I came to earth and had been waiting to see her again in this life. She felt the same exact way.

We were instant best friends, weird, right? My other friends were all left out and I did a lot of stuff with this other lady. My friend passed away a few years ago and I really miss her but I know we were meant to be friends in this life.

If someone else had been friends with her and introduced us it wouldn't have made a bit of difference. We were meant to be friends.

Your girl needs more friends, probably from her own school.

The first time our girl's best friend since they were itty bitty had a birthday party and only invited her school friends it broke our girl's heart.

Kids grow apart. Kids grow up and don't know why they have to be around these other kids anymore. They develop relationships with people they spend their days with, play sports with, do things with.

Sad as it is I'd say these girls are growing apart.

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J.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

Obviously a friendship developed between the girls independent of your daughter. I would tell my daughter that's life. I would encourage her to branch out and have a wide circle of friends. If your daughter had other best friends I'm betting she would not care. I would also tell my daughter it is not fun to be a third wheel anyway. I would give her credit for being a great friend and making the introduction.

I disagree that a line was crossed. I get why it stings but I would encourage my daughter to keep being the good friend that she is.

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D.D.

answers from Boston on

I'd use it an a learning opportunity. People grow and change so someone you knew at a toddler isn't the same person. Interests change, likes and dislikes evolve and sometimes when you take a step back and look at someone with fresh eyes you see someone you might not hang around with if you just met them.

While its nice to have old friends its also nice to cultivate friends in which you have common interests. This is your daughter's opportunity to do that.

Don't dwell on this or allow her to go on and on about it. People change, your friends change, and that's how life goes. You can't make others include you in things and you can't control who they are friends with.

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D.B.

answers from Boston on

You don't say how old the kids are, but since they are on Snapchat, it's obvious they're not little. So you let it go and stay out of it - as much as you want to fix it, you are the parent and not part of this.

So, you teach your child that "that's life." She doesn't get "custody" of friends - she introduced people who hit it off, and that's great. They are under no obligation to include her. Would it be wonderful if they did? Of course! But if people have things in common, you celebrate it and let it go.

Think about it - if you set up 2 friends on a blind date, would you expect to go along on every future date? Do the Match.com staff attend dates because they matched up two applicants? No, of course not, and it seems absurd to even discuss it. But when it's our kids, we somehow think the rules of social life need different rules, which creates drama.

Better to give your daughter the skills to get past this: If she thinks it's unfair, then she must learn to not inflict the same pain of exclusion on anyone else. That means looking beyond herself, and finding the kid at lunch or in the after-school club who is sitting alone, excluded or shy. And she needs to look at what she thinks defines "friendship" and "loyalty" - how can she choose better friends, how can she foresee shallowness, how can she sort out her priorities for her own friends (and recognize her own joys, preferences and even faults) to reject superficiality.

The greatest gift you can give her is the encouragement to see her own value, to rise above pettiness, and move on to more worthy friends.

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A.W.

answers from Kalamazoo on

make new friends. tell her it's about them NOT about her, she's awesome. move on.

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N.K.

answers from Miami on

If her school friend creates drama at school, that alone should be a reason for your daughter to distance herself from this girl. No one needs drama and drama queens tend to be troublemakers, because they are two-faced and can easily turn on her. Now that she introduced the other friends to her, there is nothing she can do, but she can make some new friends and stay away from all that drama. Tell her to let them have each other and move on. I'm sure there are other kids in the neighborhood or her school who'd like to spend time with her. There's always extracurricular activities or hobbies, to pick up new friends. Who knows, maybe the twins will end up getting tired of the drama queen because they'll see right through her, and will want to befriend your daughter again, or maybe they will all drift apart and build new friendships. I would still be cautious though, considering their current behavior. Their exclusion of her may end up repeating itself in the future. As long as she is prepared and can handle it if it occurs once again, then no harm. Otherwise, perhaps it is best to move on, even if they do want to start including her again, because it may hurt her if they kick her to the curb again.

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N.G.

answers from Boston on

This is also the case with adults. I have learned to not mix friends much outside of get together gatherings. I have had that happen to me way too many times.

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