Please Help with Advice on How to Handle Friends Arguing

Updated on March 24, 2009
K.T. asks from Brooklyn, MD
8 answers

My daughter and her friend(at the moment) have had issues in the past that concerned other friends, and it costed them their friendship for a good amount of the school year. They made up over the summer, and now are haveing issues over a missunderstanding after school. Her friend is saying she ditched them to walk with someone else, then my daughter said she went to talk and say hi to someone else and then turns around they were gone.
Arrangements were made that her friends mom and I would take the girls to school and they would walk or be picked up after school. We moms want to believe our daughters but.....
it's a mess with she said this and she say's that, and I don't know what else to do. I'm waiting tomorrow out to see what my daughter says. If we need to go to the guidence counsler office. I'm just looking for any new options to keep their friendship. Much Thanks

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So What Happened?

Hi Ladies!
Thank You soooo much for the advice and as I read thru it all rings true from all advice. I work two jobs some days and my husband had a talk with the other mom. I had told my daughter to apoligize to both the girl and mother for the misunderstanding. The mom said it wasn't neccessary. It was an understanding that the girls are to arrive at her house together and when they didn't she asked her daughter where my daughter was. She replied very flipiant she didn't know. So that had the other mom worried. The mom is not mad with us or my daughter, he daughter is just mad because she got yelled at by her mom. I will let them try and work it out and see how that goes. My daughter has other friends and has talked to some others about this situation. They know she didn't do anything wrong not too worry that they would still be her friend. And I told my daughter that true friendship would last thru the thick and thin.
I will advise my daughter that should any altercations happen or threats to go to the guidence counsler.
Again Much thanks to all!!

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answers from Washington DC on

I wouldn't handle it - I would tell my daughter to apologize if she were in the wrong, or try to work it out herself, but if it's more work than fun, then to just realize some people aren't compatible and move on. I wouldn't try to save their friendship or take trips to the guidance counselor. Usually these things change quickly, so they will probably make up in a few days and worry over. Or, they won't and then less drama for you.

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answers from Washington DC on

*sigh* oh man, I hate giiiiirrrrrls. I've know 25 year old giiiiirrrlls.

Good luck. Friendship should be fun, not work. No one should make you daughter work for it. Someone easily offended will probably continue to be no fun, but...

If it's important to your daughter, (you're not really involved...really) then advise her to apologize and explain to the other girl what the deal was and that in future she'll make sure her friend knows what's going on when they've agreed to do something together. If they did have an agreement to walk home together and your girl didn't tell her friend what she was doing and that she'd be right back, well, I'd've thought I'd been ditched too.

If there's too much drama and the girl refuses to accept the apology and the promise of better communicatio, well, there are other friends to be had out there, though it may not feel like it to your girl at this time.


answers from Washington DC on

it's one thing to offer a little motherly wisdom IF it's asked for. it's another to manage the friendship for them. if this is interfering with your plans for getting her home safely, make other plans until they work this out. otherwise, let them figure it out for themselves.



answers from Norfolk on

Im all about intervention. But Growing up I do not ever remember my mom coming to my rescue or interveneing w/ friend or even teacher issues. We were pretty much left to figure it out on our own. Now that I am a mom I my 11yr old is facing friend and teacher issues and I try to help her through them. The drama really wears her down. I give her suggestions on what to say and do and let her decide from there. I have even called the other mother to discuss the issues a time or 2. Most of her drama surrounds 1 particular friend, all the time. This child has major issues. I told her that if she still wanted to be friends w/ her she is going to have to take the good w/ the bad but at the same time she needs to stand up for herself and to this friend and tell her to chill. Ive even separated them for a week to give my daughter a break from the drama.
I would really like to just have it out w/ this girl. Her own mother knows she is the root of the drama and she gets opportunities to speak w/ the girls, but I feel she is making excuses for her daughters behaviour instead of just cutting her off.
The advice I have gotten from several people is to just let the girls work it out and stay out of it. I totally disagree!!! I want my daughter to know that I am on her side so I try to help w/out controlling the situation.
I would suggest getting a moment w/ both the girls, maybe meeting them at the bus stop. And having a chat. Let the other girl know whatever it is you want her to know.
Girls these days are so drama laden. I surely dont remember being this bad. Good luck.



answers from Washington DC on

I learned when my stepdaughter was in middle school to largely stay out of such things. Girl friendships are volatile and the more you try to intervene, the messier it gets. It would be nice if they could resolve it, but if they can't then either 1) other arrangements need to be made for your child's transportation or 2) the girls will just have to deal with the carpool. If your daughter can't stand the other girl, then it sounds like school is within walking distance and she always has that option. I'd only intervene if someone was being bullied or there was a physical altercation. Their friendship or lack thereof is between them, IMO. If it's going to mend, it will do so on its own.



answers from Washington DC on

I take it that it is the younger daughter having the problem?

It could be that as they approach the end of middle school, your daughter and/or her friend have developed separate interests, and simply don't have as much common ground as they did when they were younger. It's not uncommon for teens to grow apart from elementary-school friends. It's also possible that one values the friendship more than the other, and feels threatened when the other pays attention to other friends.

It sounds like you're friends with the other girl's mom, so I understand why you value your daughters' friendship. It may be, however, that the best you can hope for is that they're civil to each other when you get together with the other mom.

Instead of digging through the she-said she-said, you should talk to your daughter about the friendship she's shared with this girl, and what she's valued about it, and whether/why she wants to keep it.



answers from Washington DC on

I have a 14 year old daughter and she had (notice the past tense) a friend. They were always having issues-the friend would say things about my daughter and then deny them. The first issue was in fifth grade and the last was this year (8th grade) on the bus. they were always on and off. I began to limit their free time together, which helped. They ride the bus together, so that is harder to control. The mother and I are good friends, so the problem between the girls made it hard on our friendship. However, the problems escalated resulting in the girl slapping my daughter in the face on the bus. The school was involved and the guidance counselor told my daughter to report all incidents with this particular girl. My advice, listen very carefully to your daughter. Involve the guidance counselor at school, that way there is a record of any problems and of the solutions. I wish that I had done that earlier. Since we don't know the particulars, it is hard to say who is at fault. I do know that your daughter needs your support, no matter who is at fault. I found that my support gave my daughter confidence to tell me what was going on. I also found, in our situation, that by encouraging my daughter to explore other friendships she has been able to move on. She is no longer friends with this girl, even though they still ride the bus and get off several times a week at the same bus stop. Good luck with this teenage problem!!



answers from Washington DC on

This sounds to me like a stage some people go through at this age. Maybe your daughter and her friend are just not supposed to be friends. Not everyone gets along for forever, and I think the moms getting involved will make it worse at this age. Emotions are so raw in the early teens, and anything can cause friendship ending battles. However, I think validating it will only make this look on friendship last forever. Sometimes you will get ditched, sometimes it is not on purpose - you have to learn to deal with it. By making a deal about, it will teach them to always feel that way. In my opinion. My older sister is 28 and still gets her feelings hurt all the time. Whereas I just keep moving - you can't make someone be your friend or be nice to you, so do the best you can in friendships and if they don't work, they don't work. Good luck though, I know as a mom this is not fun!

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