My Daughter Is Having Trouble with Friends.

Updated on November 30, 2011
A.H. asks from Mesa, AZ
11 answers

My 10 year old daughter has been having a lot of trouble with friends recently. Most of the problems are caused by boy drama, and the he said she said game. Kid's have been spreading rumors about her, and I just don't know what to do. I have tried to get involved by giving suggestions on how to deal with the rumors. I have tried talking to other mom's about their children's behavior, but all I did was make it worse. I have spoke with the teacher and she doesn't see a problem. She is involved with scouts, orchestra, and the seasonal sports, but a lot of these kid's participate in these programs too. I am also a room mom and troop leader. I see the same few kids treat others badly, try to adress it, try to contact parents and get nothing. I am at the point where I am considering getting permission from her principal to change schools within the district. She is in fifth grade, so I don't know if this is a good idea since they will all be together again next year. I really don't want to do this, but I don't know what to do. These kid's have all grown up together, and I recognize that they are going to grow apart. I just don't understand the cruelty.

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answers from Albany on

I love Julie S.'s answer.

You can make yourself crazy chasing teachers, administrators, and other children's parents to either change the 'other kids', protect your kid, or remove your kid from the offenders.


You can help your kid cope, teach your kid the skills she needs socialize effectively, especially with kids who do not treat her the way she'd like to be treated.

I do not understand the cruelty either, but I DO understand it is more useful for my kids to be able to adjust to the world than to try to adjust the world to suit my kid's needs!

Good Luck Mamma.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I would recommend setting up a meeting with your child's main teacher and the school counselor. I recently did this because my 9 yr old was having some trouble (friends, school & behavior) and I'm so glad I did. My daughter is going to meet with the school psychologist once a week to get to the root of the problem and we've implemented some things at home that are already helping.

My neighbor's son (10) was having trouble with friends as well. His mom met with the teacher and school counselor and they came up with an action plan for him. He's going to attend some classes that will help with social skills, which is exactly what he needed.

Deep breaths, mom! This pre-tween/tween age is difficult. Don't be afraid to ask for help from the school. And don't be surprised to hear that there is a lot more going on than you know. I think you've just barely touched the surface. Best of luck to you and your daughter.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

the problem is that every parent's perspective is different. yours is that these mean kids are spreading rumors. their tale is doubtless a wildly different one, and the kids' versions will be different yet. the other parents may be resentful of you trying to micromanage the kids' relationships (not saying you're doing so, just another way it can be viewed) while their parenting philosophies are to let the kids work it out. but if the teachers and other parents all don't see a problem, it may well be that this is just a facet of that difficult, miserable middle-school phase that your daughter needs to learn how to handle. i really like the perspective that kids need to learn to handle the world as it is, not have their parents change their world to suit them. i know that sounds harsh and i'm sorry, i'm not trying to blame you or your daughter. it's very hard to watch our kids struggle. but there are situations that are simply beyond your control and that's as it should be. parenting is teaching our kids to deal with difficult situations, not to run interference for them unless things are dangerous.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

After school clubs exist in middle school, my 13 year old did the gardening club, and the games club. In Elementary the counselor did something called "Lunch Buddies" where either shy kids or ones that need to work stuff out together eat lunch and play games in the counselor's office. I would speak with your school counselor and explain the situation. Perhaps she can have one friend over at your house every weekend? That way she will get them one-on-one, and can truly find who she likes. My 10 year old does nothing with groups yet, always "play dates" one-on-one. Perhaps invite her favorite, or if you want to see the group dynamics then the whole group, for a sleep-over? My kids ride horses at a barn that has a lot of activities besides the actual lessons, and they met most of the others during summer weeklong day camps. I would ask her what activities she likes and get her involved outside of shcool, so she will have another whole group of kids to select from. I would not change schools since you may have the same situation elsewhere. Also, make sure to get some insight from your counselor that there is not something she is doing to push these girls away - is she very bossy when she is in a group, perhaps always the ringleader? We have one friend like that and the rest of the girls like her, but don't always want her present since then they have to do what she wants since she is so loud and outgoing. Time to talk to school officials.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I think this kind of stuff like he said she said is the big problem at this age group and will be even more as she gets older. Many girls' moms in my son's class complain about it.
As for talking to other moms - I think if something is not about their child, people just do not care.
You may be wise to change schools, separate her from the old crowd and get a clean start. My son changed schools frequently and it gave him a lot of confidence and experience on how to fit in in a new classroom where the relationships has been established for a while. He also has many chances to learn from mistakes he made and get better and better at integrating in a new environment.
I also taught my son to learn and shrug off a lot of things and do not show the pain even if he is hurt by a comment - it worked wonders. Kids are like the pack of hienas - they smell blood , they go for the throat. Tell your daughter to be cool and do not, I repeat, do not get to close to any girl and share any intimate details - they can always break up and then the ex-BF will hurt her a lot. Just teach her to be friendly but not friends with females until she is absolutely tested and sure that she can trust a girl. Same goes for boys, of course. It is a tricky age, the kids need to learn to survive amongst the other kids. Good luck to your girl.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Well I can relate and I really hope this is not affecting her grades. When my daughter was in 4th grade she had a similar issue but I went straight to her teacher. The teacher was very proactive. That day she pulled all 4 girls aside, including my daughter, and talked to all of them. She heard all sides of the story, the one girl admitted to spreading rumors, apologized and the teacher made it very clear that under no circumstances will she tolerate that type of behavior. She said next time this happened, she would go straight to the principal. The girl even apologized to may daughter later that day.

Never had any problems after that. My daughter is in 8th grade, and so far, so good!!

I should also mention I enrolled my daughter in martial arts, coached her through different scenarios at home and we talked about it almost daily. My daughter now feels confident that she can handle almost any situation that arises and has said she will never again let another person control how she feels. She’s learned to just walk away.

Be there for your daughter. She is only in elementary school! Let her know you are on her side, coach her and guide her. You will be doing her a great favor and teaching her how to handle these situations on her own in Middle School.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Have you spoken to the principal, the teacher and the couselor? Most schools have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to bullying. I would start with the teacher at PT Conference night. If she is 10 is this 4th or 5th? She has one more year in the elementary school then it's off to middle school.
That is another whole ball of wax. Ger her involved in the band or orchestra if they have one next year. That gives her a group of kids who have something in common and band kids tend to stick up for each other, or orchestra, track team, someting she is inerested in.

You might start now and get her involved in a Tae Kwon Do type of class. It will help her self esteem while she tries to manuever through the very difficult preteen years.

Do you have a youth group she is involved in? They sometimes (ours) will have bullying role playing where the youth group director will help the kids understand what it is and how to protect themselves.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

I have no solutions, but I sure relate. What is up with parents who condone this? :0) What does the school counselor say to do?
I make a list at the end of each year and remind the school not to play a and b in with my child as they continuously bully her. They honor the request because they don't want to be seen as ignoring bullying. Of course, I do it as discreetly as possible.



answers from Flagstaff on

My daughter is not into sports or music or any of the "popular things". She skipped 4th grade so she is a year younger than everyone else. She is 12 years old, in 8th grade, LOVES to read and she and her friends are considered the "nerds". Last year one of the "mean girls" broke into her gym locker and stole her gym shoes.

I can absolutely relate to your issues. Fortuntley, my daughter has a group of about 4-5 girls that are interested in the same things and that does not include the "mean girls". All of my daughter's friends spent the night a few months ago and we had a long talk about what makes them most frustrated with these girls. For the most part they all agreed the biggest issue was the mean, untrue things they say about people. The best advise I could give was the old faithful, "sticks and stones". HOWEVER...I told them if it ever went beyond words they MUST tell their mom and dad. I told them to walk away from them, ignore their harsh words and never lower themselves to them by saying mean words back. I know my daughter appreciated the advise I gave her and her friends because they still talk about that long conversation we all had together. I am so lucky to have a smart, funny and beautiful young lady as a daughter. The best thing that has come out of all this is now she knows, without a doubt, I am on her side and will always do whatever I can to help. Last year the "mean girls" would taunt my daughter and her friends daily, now it's a lot less and they know it is because they are not giving the "mean girls" the satisfaction of getting under their skin.



answers from St. Joseph on

I'm the mother of an 11 year old girl who is in the 6th grade. 5th grade, by far, was the worst year ever for her! The teasing, the bullying, the boy drama, friends turning on her in an instant - back stabbing, "triangulating" (as I call it), and as you stated the "he said/she said". I tried as well talking to other parents and it never helped. I'm convinced, for the most part, that people don't care how they're children behave but are quick to point out the faults in others' children. If you pull her out, they win! I'd keep on the teacher, the principal, and the school counselor. If you don't get any results then go to the school district office. These schools always tout "zero tolerance" - well it would seem to me they're tolerating what others are doing to your daughter. Bullying comes in many forms and often times begins small-scale. Be persistent! It's in your daughter's best interest. She may not want you to get involved but she's a child and cannot fix this on her own, especially if the adults at school won't "help" her or recognize there is an issue.



answers from Phoenix on

I feel your pain as we have been dealing with issues like this every year since fourth grade. Girls are mean and vindictive and it does not matter where you live or which school you put them in. If you change schools you will be dealing with the same issues, different kids.
The best thing to do is teach your daughter to take the high rode and not compromise herself because of another child who wants to create misery. Most children who create the problems have problems of there own and are trying to keep the attention off of themselves.
Get involved if you have to. I have spoken to teachers, the principal, parents and even the children themselves. If your daughter is feeling bullied, you need to talk to the principal (or higher). As my daughter has gotten older, I taught her how to handle the situations and she has done beautifully! Our children will continue to encounter mean girls and bullies there whole lives and this is the time to teach them how to handle it with grace and class.
I'm reading a book called "Queen Bees & Wannabes" by Rosalind Wiseman, it has some good information that might help you both.

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