Sports and Friends!

Updated on August 24, 2010
J.G. asks from Spring Green, WI
8 answers

My 13 year old daughter is advancing in high school sports faster than her friends. And her so called friends are being snobby about it. I know these girls and their Moms? Do I say anything or keep out of it? My intuition says to "stay out of it". She's old enough to handle this stuff - but MAN - does it hurt do see your kids picked on!!!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Good for her! There will always be those who are jealous of her ability. Her real friends will admire and respect it.

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answers from Minneapolis on

First - yeah daughter! I am a volleyball coach and see this a lot. Here are a few notes from my perspective.
1. Typically players who are able to advance beyond their age level must have not only physical ability, but a mental capacity to play the game. Being able to contain emotions while making a play, thinking about the next play and trying to help your teammates - all while you are learning the game yourself is a lot to handle. You may see younger players with ability who "spaz" out when there is a mistake and it may take them out for the rest of the play/game. This doesn't have anything to do with their physical ability, it has to do with their mental and emotional capacity. Trust that your daughters advancement may have something to do with her emotional and mental capacity. It is that same ability that will transfer in to her being able to handle her friends. And good job mom for giving her that focused base to work from.
2. If she is at that level with good reason, she probably will fit in well and make great friends all around. Teasing will wear off as others get more involved in what they are doing and it becomes more normal for them to see her on higher teams.
3. Tell your daughter that this is an opportunity to practice her leadership & teamwork skills which are important for life let alone sport. If she can find a way to encourage and make the "teasers" comfortable with how things are, it will benefit all of them in the end. If she can do this while making friends with her new teammates, she will be the one everyone agrees with. Puberity can be a great equalizer. One of the other girls may grow a foot or suddenly become coordinated and they may be on the same teams (or, even surpassing your dtr). And that needs to be okay. Teach her to be happy with her role and to help encourage others. Everyone has a role, even if it is to be the comic relief of the team. If your daughter can recognize this and bring everyone and every important role together - she will be the key to success. And this way no matter what happens when things change- she knows how to find a role and be happy with it.
4. I'm guessing in a few weeks the problems may become how she handles the bigger problems on her own team. Older girls have older problems, and this would be my real concern as a parent. Keep in touch with your dtr on it. Keep her stong in the convictions you've raised her with. Be proud of her as she makes good decisions. And if the problems are team related, insist that SHE talk either directly to the player or coach. This will help her advance her emotional maturity and teach her how to handle situations positively on her own. Therefore preparing her for the next level...and again, life.

She'll be great. No worries.
Best of luck,

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answers from Tampa on

I know it is hard but you will need to stay out of it for now and monitor the situation. Let your daughter know that you are always around for her and no matter what she can talk to you.


answers from Dallas on

I say do some role playing with her. When she tells you something snotty these girls did, ask her how she handled it, ask her how she could've handled it better. Then offer some suggestions for how better to handle it. If you've read any of my recent posts, you know I am struggling with butting personalities of various women at work. My mom never had a job, a drivers licence, or a bank account, so I was never taught how to deal with grown up stuff. The best thing you can do for her is follow your instinct to stay out of it, but equip her with a skill set to deal with these personalities and situations.



answers from Washington DC on

I would stay out of it, yet be supportive. You calling the other moms about your child advancing faster cannot be a good thing. While they may like your daughter and want her to do well, you pointing out that she is doing better than their child will not end well. Trust me.



answers from Omaha on

As long as your child isn't suffering from it- stay out of it- she will come to you or you will see it in her face if she needs your assistance



answers from Minneapolis on

I would stay out of it and just give her your ear to talk if she needs it and make suggestions as to ways she can handle it if she needs and wants them. Otherwise just be the supportive mom that you are.



answers from Boise on

This is a good time to talk about what makes a good friend and to teach her to stand up for herself and what she believes in. If they can't support her because she is doing something well, then they aren't good friends. She may find other friends right away, or she may be a loner for a bit. High school SUCKS....just let her know that it does end.

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