Needing Advice on a Situation My 14 Year Old Daughter Is Involved In.

Updated on August 07, 2017
D.E. asks from Cedar Rapids, IA
18 answers

If you suspected your "friends" were talking mean about you behind your back and the opportunity to see what they have said came up, would you look? My daughter did. She got on her friends Instagram account after seeing her password and saw a conversation between "friend#1" and "friend #2" in which they called my daughter a birch, said she was annoying and that they didn't want to be friends with her anymore. Yet, in person with my daughter, they acted like they liked her and were her friend. What my daughter did was wrong but I also feel the friends were just as much at fault, if not more. My dilemma now is, do I say anything to either of those girls' parents (people I am friends with)? Thoughts and opinions on this whole situation please!

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So What Happened?

I would love to stay out of it but if my daughter just stopped hanging on with them, the 2 girls would question her as to why. I think it would eventually come out that my daughter doesn't want to hang out with them due to seeing their private conversation. Neither of those girls are going to admit what they said though and will tell their parents what my daughter did and make her out to be the bad guy. Showing them proof of what their kids said will at least show them their daughters have some fault in this as well.

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N.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Well, she invaded their privacy by looking. To me that crosses a line. If they ask you then you could say something. In all reality they need to change their passwords anyway. She can still see what they're saying...

I think she's right in not being around them.

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E.B.

answers from Honolulu on

I just want you to picture this encounter with the other girls' parents.

It would go something like this: "My daughter illegally logged on to your daughter's Instagram account, after finding out your daughter's password. As a result, my daughter read a private conversation between your daughter and another girl, in which it was said that my daughter is annoying."

And there you have it. You have just proven the other girls' point. Isn't finding someone else's password, logging on to a private social media account, and viewing a private conversation ANNOYING? If you had a friend who found out your Facebook password and logged on to your account and read your private messages, would you trust that friend and continue the same kind of friendship? Would you find their behavior annoying?

There is no way this conversation or encounter could be beneficial.

The only way to proceed here is to teach your own daughter about privacy, respecting boundaries, and other behaviors that she is lacking. She needs to learn what real friendship is, and how to be a friend, and how to act in the social media world.

Keep any words about this messy event strictly between your daughter and yourself. Help your daughter realize that what you and she say to each other stays private. Help her to learn from this, privately.

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G.K.

answers from Norfolk on

Well, your daughter went digging for dirt ... and found it. I know it's hard to exhibit self control at that age and in those circumstances, but we all learn at some point not to go looking for pain — unless we're prepared to find it.

Your daughter needs to find new friends and move on. If the other girls don't let her go easily, she can just use "wanting to spend time with a few new friends" as an excuse.

DON'T tell the girls — or their parents — about the the snooping. In today's social media reality, the frenemies may share that news with whole world in two seconds flat. That will only make things worse.

My daughter is 10, and parents are not involved in the inner workings of friendships that come and go. Time to let her fight her own battles.

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

You stay out of it.
You have no dilemma.
Your daughters choice is to keep these friends or find other friends while letting these drift away.
(Really? You've never shared complaints with a friend about another friend even a little bit? This is the price of eves dropping/snooping. You don't always (if ever) find out good things.)
A confrontation - yours - your daughters - or anyone else s - won't solve anything.
Friends come and go - at any age - and especially in middle school and high school.
The only thing you do is to make sure your daughter is in a diverse set of activities where she can meet a wide range or people so she has a large pool of social contacts from which to make new friends.
Period.
End of story/drama.

Additional:
After your SWH - my advice stands.
You don't get involved with the blame game.
Your daughter snooped - whether she talks about that or not - she has to own that.
AND, no it's not the other girls fault.
You want to rescue your daughter from her faux pas.
You can't, you shouldn't, and quit inserting yourself into the situation.
There's no justifying this.
And really - if you do anything - you ban your daughter from social media for awhile.

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S.B.

answers from Houston on

First, I'm sorry but your daughter is the one at fault. She took someone else's information and used it to gain access to an account that did NOT belong to her. Be careful when doing something like that because you might not like what you see. She didn't and now she is hurt.

You say nothing to the parents because again what your daughter did was WRONG. 100% wrong. If you did that to me as a parent my comment to you would be "so your daughter stole my daughter's password and got on her account"? Perhaps the girls were having a bad day, perhaps your daughter was being a brat and they were fed up. These are 14 year old girls. If your daughter feels she must do something then she can talk to the girls. But let me caution you that when she tells them what she did, they will be PISSED. She violated their privacy.

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T.F.

answers from Dallas on

You stay out of it. Period.

Your daughter has to decide how she will fix this and if she wants to fix this.

She's 14, chances are they'll be bff's again in a short period of time. If you step in, it makes things messier with everyone involved.

I suggest to your daughter to not be creeping on anyone's private accounts by using pass codes she located or hacking.... bad idea that can bite her in the rear legally.

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C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

If it were me I would say nothing to the other moms. It seems pretty normal at this age for many girls to grow apart. I would talk to my daughter about how to handle this on her own, about what being a true friend looks like, about what she wants in a friend, and about how she treats others. I would also talk to her about the ethics of sneaking onto someone else's instagram, about integrity, and what kind of person she wants to be in life. It is ok to gracefully move on and make new friends in a way that is drama free...being polite and taking the high road. It's also ok to own up to not so good behavior and apologize. Good luck! These are very tough things to deal with as a 14 year old! PS - Think of it from another standpoint too. Imagine your daughter thought that another friend was mean and a b***ch and she and her other good friend talked/vented about it. Then imagine this mean friend snooping and figuring out your daughter's instagram password and looking at their conversation. I'm not saying your daughter is mean. But it sounds like those other two girls might think so. I would focus on talking to my daughter on how she wants to be treated and how she treats others. Why does she think they said that about her? What did she do or say? Is there something she should have apologized about? I'm not trying to pick on your daughter at all! These are just the things I would think about if my kid were in this situation.

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G.♣.

answers from Springfield on

The only thing you need to do is listen to your daughter if she wants to talk and be supportive. If she wants to pursue other friendships, great. If she wants to stay friends with these girls, that's fine, too. Don't tell her what to do. Don't tell her that the girls were wrong. Definitely do not talk to their mothers.

Sometimes we say things out of frustration, especially if we think the person we're upset with won't know. The two girls had a private conversation and had no reason to think your daughter would ever know. That doesn't mean what they said was nice, but when people are frustrated or upset they sometimes need to vent and say things in that moment that they would never say to the person.

Let your daughter decide for herself what she would like to do. If she wants to remain friends with these girls, that's her call. If you start to believe that these girls are upsetting her, encourage other friendships in her life. Don't discourage her from hanging out with these girls, just encourage other good things in her life. She'll figure out what's best for her in time.

ETA - If your daughter chooses not to hang out with them and they ask her why, she does not need to tell them. The only way they will find out is if she tells them. And you need to let go of "proving" that they said/did this. They are teenage girls. This is what teenage girls do. It's part of growing up. Don't behave like a teenage girl. Support your daughter but do not talk to the others moms about this.

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D.B.

answers from Boston on

Your daughter is 14. She's plenty old enough to manage her own social relationships. You must stay out of it entirely, not speaking of it to the friends, let alone the parents! If you get involved, you will humiliate your daughter and cause many more problems for her - and you won't help the situation at all.

Your only roles here are:
- to be a sounding board for your daughter.
- to discuss what happens when you snoop or violate someone's private accounts (today's version of reading diaries or listening in on the other phone
- to discuss that what people put on social media stays there FOREVER, and she can learn from this how NOT to put stuff out there.

Your daughter has a few choices:
- she can acknowledge that no good comes from snooping and using other people's passwords, and let this go. Sometimes people just vent privately and don't continue to feel the things they said/wrote in a moment of frustration or anger
- confess to the account holder or both girls that she saw the password, used it, and saw what they wrote
- take the high road ("When they go low, I go high") and continue the friendship, watching for signs of distance or cruelty from the others.
- break off the friendship, with or without telling them why.

No matter how this plays out, it needs to be a learning experience.

ETA: I just read your SWH, and it seems that you are determined to get involved despite all the advice not to do so. Here are my additional questions/comments:
- So what if the girls question her about why she stops hanging out with them? She can answer/explain, or she can decline, and they can deal with it.
- Yes, it may come out that your daughter snooped. So what? She has to deal with this.
- How do you know the other girls will tell their parents what your daughter did? Maybe they will, maybe they will decide to keep the adults out of it. Even if they make her out to "be the bad guy," so what? Isn't she kind of responsible for this? Actions have consequences.
- Why do you care so much about what the parents think of your daughter? Maybe they will think less of her, but she did snoop and use a password. Maybe those parents will stay out of it, maybe they'll think less of their own kids for being mean on social media and take steps to help their daughters understand the danger of putting stuff out there.

Is it possible, even probable, that you are far more worried that this is a reflection on you as a parent, like somehow you should have prevented your daughter from doing this? Why is it important to you to make parents think less of their own kids so that you can feel better about yours? Honestly, I still think you are making way too much of this, and you are going to just make a huge brouhaha for your child that she will never get out from under.

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M.D.

answers from Pittsburgh on

If your daughter wants to discuss it with her friends, she could but of course she would have to admit that she violated her friend's trust and privacy. I would advise against it. My best advice would be that your daughter 1) understand that even people who love each other get on each other's nerves sometimes so she shouldn't take this too seriously and 2) she should broaden her circle of friends so that if these friendships don't work out (and they might not), she has other friendships to focus on.

No you should absolutely not say anything to the other parents. All the parents should stay out of it.

ETA: I read your SWH, and it doesn't change my answer. If your daughter becomes involved in other things and is less available to hang out with these girls, I don't see why that would cause a big to-do with the other girls. And even if it does go down like you think, with the girls talking to their own parents and trying to make her look like the bad guy, you still stay out of it. If those other parents contact you to ask what happened or make accusations, then you say "Jane's been busy lately and in any case, I let her handle her own friendships." and then you change the subject.

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L.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Stay out of it.
Let your daughter decide how she wants to handle the situation. She can hang with these two or she can go find new friends.

I read you SWH.
Your daughter created this mess.
You need to STAY OUT of it.
It's not your issue.
If she stops hanging with them and they ask why - it's her choice and her decision what she tells them - not yours.

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D.D.

answers from Boston on

I think childhood/teen friendships change over time. The times that brought you together are usually like activities or location. So as the kids get older and feelings and new likes come into play the friendships fall apart. At this point I'd probably just tell your daughter to either let it go and stay friends or not let it go and move on.

If your daughter chooses to move on then you don't need to say anything to the other parents. Just explain that your daughter has new interests and while you wish they could all still be friends friendships change over time.

You on the other hand have some work to do talking with her about other people's personal property and business. She was 100% wrong to look at something that was none of her business. The conversation between her friend might have been a reaction to something you daughter did or said; isolated to a point in time.

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J.C.

answers from Anchorage on

Keep screen shots in case everything blows up, but other then that stay out of it and have your daughter distance herself from them. They may wonder why, that doesn't mean she has to tell them.

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D..

answers from Miami on

Honestly, what your daughter should do is call it a day with these girls. You need to explain to her what "two-faced" means. That's what these girls are.

She can be nice to them, but not go places with them, not hang with them, and instead find other friends.

There is no reason for her to tell them that she knows their conversations about her. Instead, let these relationships go.

The most important thing is for her to feel a sense of empowerment here, D.. Do you understand what I'm saying? It's hard for a 14 year old to feel that, particularly in a circumstance where she has been betrayed by friends. But she needs to so that she is approaching this with confidence. If she acts wounded, it just gives them more ammo and they'll treat her badly.

Talk through this with her. Tell her that she does not have to be honest with them about WHY she is not hanging with them anymore. Just like you don't tell ladies who you don't really want to have lunch with that you don't like them anymore. Instead, you give excuses so that you don't hurt their feelings.

Go over excuses with her. Help her role play. Help her with her "presentation".

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C.C.

answers from New York on

What in the world would you say to the parents? "Sounds like your daughters don't like my daughter?" What purpose would that serve?

Your daughter got some inside information. Good for her! Now she doesn't have to wonder! She should stop spending time with them.

ETA after your SWH: Explain what "fault" the other girls have...? They are guilty of not liking your daughter and discussing that privately?

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S.L.

answers from Denver on

Don't say anything and your dd shouldn't either. I would definitely steer her to hang out with others instead of these "frenemies". Yes she was wrong to look, but now that she knows, there is no going back. If the friends ask why she won't hang out with them, maybe she needs to just say, "I thought you needed a break"
Leave it at that.

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❤.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

You can't say anything to the parents because everyone has a right to how they feel (meaning if they don't want to be friends with your daughter they don't have to) and while it was sad they posted it on Instagram, your daughter shouldn't have gone into her personal account. The best thing for your daughter to do (and she has to be the one to handle it) is to just stay away from these girls and make new friends. In 7th grade, my parents made me cut ties w/3 girls that were quickly becoming bad news. My parents were right. She needs to handle this herself at age 14 by cutting ties w/these girls. She can smile when she sees them if she wants but she just keeps on walking by. Ignore them to the best of her ability. I'm sorry your daughter is going through this. Give her the advice and let her handle it. As for you being friends with the moms, I would distance myself from them. If they say something about you distancing yourself (which they probably won't), you can then and only then just say something to the effect that their girls ostracized your daughter or something.

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M.G.

answers from Portland on

Your daughter crossed a line.

My advice would be - your daughter did something inexcusable, concentrate on dealing with her.

Let the other two girls' parents focus on their kids.

I wouldn't get involved. I would stay out of it, encourage your daughter to be kind and more respectful of others. If the friendships are not to be - then they will fizzle on their own. No explanation needed.

If it were me, that's what I would do.

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