Tween Friendship Issues

Updated on July 09, 2013
A.H. asks from Vacaville, CA
16 answers

What do you do when your childs best friend suddenly just drops them? My daughter has had the same core group of friends sind kindergarten. She and her BFF have been together since they were 2. they share the same friends and same interests with the exception of the favorite "boy band". My daughters BFF has spent the better part of 10 years at my house, sleepovers etc. She has basically been a second child to me...her Mom and I have always been friends and she has always made i clear that she was not interested and never intended to be the "sleepover Mom".
Fast forward....out of nowhere (or so it feels) my daughters BFF has suddenly become busy and almost sneaky about trying to stay away from my daughter. Come to find out, she apparently has traded my daughter in for a new BFF, who was also a mutual friend, because they like the same boy band. :(
Now the three of them are on a sports team together and my daughter was so excited about the summer and hanging with her friends playing sports and having sleepovers. The problem...the person my daughter considers her best friend now has constant sleepovers and hangs out only with the neww BFF. They show up to practices and leave together, never invting or considering my daughter or her feelings. It's very sad. I have tried to talk to the other Mom's and find out why they have suddenly just alienated her and act like they are nothing more than passing aquaintances. They say the girls dont have a problem with her, everything is fine. In the meantime my daughters heart is broken, between the girls and the Mom's we feel like there is a problem....for goodness sakes, they don't want to hang out with her for some mysterious reason. Not to mention, they are almost rubbing the whole "sleepover" thing in her face day after day.
My feelings are also hurt....I would NEVER allow my child to hurt one of her friends that way. Especially these two kids, one of whom has almost been like one of my own! I so badly want to askthem both, "How can you not see ta problem with completely excluding someone from everything you do, and just acting like they dont matter IS a hurtful problem? I am actually tearing up as I try to explain incredibly sad and hurtful.
Should I try to express my feelings and my daughters or, am I just being petty?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

I really appreciate the honest advice. I am so hurt that sitting with the parents who have also been my friends for 10 years is extremely hard for me. I just dont understand how THEY can be so hurtful either. 7th and 8th grade are hard enough without loosing the people you are closest to. Don't get me wrong, my daughter has plenty of other friends, just not any that mattered this much to her.
Clearly this is an issue many of us face, it is very hard and emotional. I have decided to bite my tounge with the Mom's, as hard as that will be. Personally I just think that it speaks volumes to how inconsiderate people are of other's feelings unless it is them at stake. :(
I do not expect them to include my daughter every time, like I said she has other friends too. But to just drop her and suddenly act like she doesn't matter is just wrong. I guess I am just very aware of other people and how sensitive girls can be. Again last night, my daughter had a sleepover with her cousin and friend..we were all hanging out and the girls were having a blast, I simply turned around and asked the friend if she was sleeping over again too. They were all thrilled, stayed up late and had a great time!
Simple as that, as adults I feel like it is our job to recognize and guide our kids on how to treat others. Nobody should be left out or ever made to feel that they are less than anything or anyone! My daughter will come out of this fine I am sure. Hopefully she also learns a lesson and chooses to never treat anyone else that way. Clearly it breaks my heart to see my daughter treated this way.
Anyway, THANK YOU all for your advice and opinions! :)
"If" is a wonderful poem!

Featured Answers



answers from Baton Rouge on

As hard as it is to stay out of it, you need to let the girls work it out. Tweens are fickle. You getting in the middle of it will only make things worse.

5 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Seattle on

Friendships change over time. It is beyond difficult to watch our children have to navigate this aspect of life but we as parents have to allow them to do so without intervening. It is more than obvious that for one reason or another the girls do not want much to do with your daughter. That bites. Sadly, there is nothing you as a parent can do. You cannot force a friendship. As for wanting to know why they are doing that to your child --- they're preteen girls, there may or may not be a 'valid' reason.

Help your daughter move on and meet new people. Try not to become all about these girls, yes including the one that you view as one of your own.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Huntington on


This sort of thing happens. I think, truly, the best thing you can do for your daughter is to empathize with her feelings but try very hard to not make a big deal of it. People grow apart and make new friends. It is not wrong for these girls to make new friends although it does hurt for your daughter to be left out. can you help her get involved with some other friends, perhaps invite some cousins to come stay for a week or have your daughter invite some other friends over?

I am sure we all have some story about being left out as a kid. What I remember about my best friend-that-moved-on was this: My mom did a great job of distracting me by keeping our family busy. That helped a lot. The bad part was that she held on to the hurt and made a big deal of it, and even confronted the girl and her mom. I think because my mom made a big deal of it, I made a big deal of it and was hurt worse.

Try to tuck those sad feelings away and explain to your daughter that some friendships drift away and even though it can hurt, it is part of life. When that happens, you keep being polite to each other-perhaps they will be close friends again in a while. In the meantime, it is an opportunity to explore new interests and make new friends.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I am so sorry and really feel for you. I haven't gone through this yet so my advice doesn't mean a lot but I wouldn't say any more to these people. They've already said nothing is wrong. Don't let them know you care so much. What horrible people. You can only hope what goes around comes around. Unfortunately you both have to move on. Most of us lost friends along the way as kids and we survived. Sucked but we survived. And I don't mean this in an I told you so sort of way but it's a lesson to not rely on one friend all that much. I was a BFF type of kid. So happy with just one good friend but I gradually learned that was risky. You can only sympathize with your daugher at this point and encourage her to develop other close friendships. Don't be surprised if this girl comes back around sometime btw... When I saw these 2 moms, I'd give an obviously fake big smile and say hi and keep walking. F 'em. Again - so sorry. It really sucks.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

A girl in my neighborhood just went through this. One of the problems was that she only played with these 2 other girls - she didn't branch out much and didn't have other friends to fall back on. The parents kind of fell into it as well and allowed the "best friend" thing to blossom and unfortunately didn't see it coming with it running its course. Worse, these girls blew off the other girl via text. Not nice.

What's worse is that you are feeling the rejection as if you are the hurt party too, on top of your daughter being hurt. You considered this girl a second daughter, so her rejection of your daughter is also a rejection of her relationship with you. So you've both learned something about putting all your eggs in one basket. In retrospect, it's not always a great idea to connect so emotionally with a friend of your child's - kids change loyalties, come into new aspects of their personalities, try on new friendships and values, and sometimes the old & familiar isn't cool and exciting.

I think it's important to use this as a learning experience for everyone. Tell your daughter what you've learned about friendship, and about choosing wisely, and about what kind of friend you want to be (and she wants to be). You might extend it to how other kids might have felt seeing your daughter and her BFF doing everything together, and them feeling excluded, like there was no way to break into that twosome.

You're also learning about this age group. Sometimes things get more superficial - who has the best clothes, who is the coolest, who likes the coolest boy band, and so on. Kids are often superficial and judge each other by superficial things. Sometimes it's just one comment that someone makes or some outfit that someone wears - and BAM, they're untouchable. The problem with fads and superficial things is, they don't last long.

What's going to happen is that a lot of friendships are going to change - kids get into bigger schools, new classes, and on top of meeting new people, their bodies and hormones are changing. Now, it's possible that your daughter said or did something to really hurt some feelings, and they think they are sparing her (and you) by not saying anything. So they say "everything is fine" and "there's no reason" when in fact there may well be. It could also be that they are selfish and hurtful girls. Neither way is going to feel good to you, so it's probably wise to accept that.

Above all, resist the urge to get involved. Short of your daughter doing something illegal or horrifically cruel and nasty, you don't want to know. It's not helpful.

You both have no option but to move on. Strengthen her sense of herself, her abilities, her loyalty, her ability to make friends. Teach her that she's learned what happens when people treat each other poorly, and to guard against this in the future. Tell her also that you have learned that perhaps you were too involved, but you feel hurt as well, and you realize now that a couple of 13 year old kids should not be enough to send a mom into tears. Of course, a lot of your teary feeling is about hurting for your daughter, but she is growing up and you will not be there to protect her forever. You cannot intervene with misbehaving teens like you can with misbehaving 6 year olds. You cannot go to these other girls and tell them to play nicely with your daughter.

What your daughter CAN come away with is the sense that she needs to evaluate everyone over a period of time, see what they DO vs. what they SAY, and be open to other kids who may be ostracized or not included. Now that she knows what it feels like, she should pledge not to create that sense of hurt in anyone else. It also can be used as a way to help her see how boys can treat girls, and not to fall for that.

And if her former BFF has done this to her, it may only be a matter of time before she does it to the new girl. It's important that she not gloat when this happens, and that she become a more compassionate person as she matures.

Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

This is a part of life and most children this age go through it at one time or another. That is not to say it is not painful for your child or you.

Don't approach the other mom, butt in, etc... stay the course and let things fall into place. Be there for your child.

Encourage your daughter to spend time with other friends and get to know them better.

My daughter is 18 and her BFF changed daily when she was that age. They learn how to deal with others through experiences like this. Just make sure you are there for your daughter.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I'm so sorry for her and for you. But I want to note that if you can't keep your own emotional reaction under check in front of her -- well, be sure you DO keep it from her. If you get teary or upset when trying to discuss this with her, or if you display anger at the girls or the parents, she is going to pick up on that and in her mind it will make what is already tween drama seem even more dramatic since "those girls have upset my mom!" I do really get your feelings (I have a 12-year-old girl) but I also know that we have to keep it cool in front of the kids when this stuff crops up.

Have you tried just guiding her toward other friends? This BFF surely was not her one and only friend. Without saying "Let's do this because BFF is not being nice," ask her to invite someone else to do something. Just say, "Hey, there's a showing of (movie she wants to see) Saturday at 2 -- would you like to ask Friend A or Friend B to come along with us to see that?" Or whatever. If she says "I'd rather have BFF but she's so mean these days...." then you frankly ignore that beyond saying, "If A or B is busy, think about whether someone from Activity might want to go."

And then ensure that she is indeed making friends at activities other than the sports team they all share. This is why it's good to have activities where a kid is not with the same best buddies she has at school, or in the neighborhood, etc.: If conflicts develop among one set of friends, there is another set that is utterly outside the drama. She can find new friends who are her "soccer friends" or "church group friends" or "dance class friends" or whatever she likes. They will have shared interests, which is a good start, and it gives her an outlet where she meets new kids. In hindsight of course it's too bad that her summer sports team includes the girls who are now shutting her out; no one could have predicted that and of course your daughter is very bummed that the anticipated fun summer has collapsed. Try to ensure that she sees kids about whom she talked during the year, and sees kids from her other activities. Just do not be obvious about pushing her toward other kids, and do not let on that you too are feeling such pain. You DO want her to know you empathize! But you don't want to add to any drama in her mind, either.

As for the other moms, don't be too tough on them -- they may not really realize what's going on and even if they ask their kids about it, of course the other girls will say "Everything's fine."

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boise on

This is sadly a normal part of growing up. One of my DD's BFF's dropped her cause she felt she wasn't popular enough. Same story as you, until the sudden dropping of the friendship.

What did I do? Nothing, there was nothing for me to do except help my DD move on and help her find new friends.

It really does hurt the mommy heart, and it is one of those life lessons that we have to sit back and watch, we can guide our children, but we can't fix it or make it better.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Reading these two tween posts today (yours and another's) really brought back some personal memories from my childhood. I guess we all go through some version of what you described, I know I sure did. And it hurt like hell at the time, this little failed tripod friendship. I know one thing is for sure, my mom definitely stayed out of it. She may have even been a little naive about how much it affected me, but it was *big.* I can only say to use it as a learning opportunity to talk to your daughter about the overall picture of friendship. How they change, grow, outgrow, fizzle. How we navigate our friendships over our lifetimes. How we realize when it's time to move on and let go when others have. How we can't force friendship, and how we should never rely on one person to be our everything. How it's great to expand our circle of friends because we truly do grow from it. I'm sorry, Andie, that may not be much help when you're hurting. I'm going to take a wild, but educated guess, that your mom friends of these girls don't know what to do about it, either. More than likely they feel bad on their end and don't know what to say to you, either. But what can they say?? Nothing really. It's just a part of life and growing up. Hang tough and keep your girl busy.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I remember going through that with my sons, actually both of them and it is heartwrenching watching it. :Usually the other person -the second BFF is jealous of the first so that is why the pettiness begins. So sad. Look elsewhere for activities. Unless she shuns you be there maybe a little more than usual for her security. It is hard but I myself have even had adults do things like this to me and ouch it hurts. And you sometimes just can't figure what happened. So we move on. She will learn this and she sounds so sweet, but I guess we all have to get a little thick skinned. (Of course I am still waiting!)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I have been down this road myself and with my dd (as the one who was left out). I can say the best thing to do from experience is to move on. Make a point to have your dd invite other people to events. Girls this age are very selfish and what usually happens (again from experience) is that your dd will become much more desirable when they realize that she has no use for them and doesn't need them.

I went through this with my best friend in elementary school. She moved on without me and in the end, it was for the best, I made many other close friends which I probably wouldn't have if I hung out with her at that age.

We actually hooked back up again in high school and still stay in touch today. With my dd, I think it hurts me more than her...she has other options, so these other two girls are just a thing of the past. Honestly, I think they are really jealous that she has so many other options besides them

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I know from personal experience how hard this can be. But the thing is, people often change as they grow up, and just because a girl has moved on to a new BFF doesn't mean your daughter did anything wrong, and it doesn't mean the new friendship should be hidden, or that they should ask your daughter along just to make her (or you) feel better. With girls at this age, that's just a recipe for resentment, and they would probably end up hurting your daughter's feelings even more. I specifically remember at around that age a girl telling me "I only invited you to my party because my mom said I had to." She didn't even say it in a mean way, she was just telling me the truth, but of course I was crushed!
My only advice is, going forward, try not to take these friendships so personally. I know it's hard when you have always treated this girl like a part of the family, but the truth is, she never really was. Friends are going to come and go, just like boyfriends and lovers.
I don't see the girl or her parents doing anything hurtful (based on what you've shared here) other than no longer being interested in your daughter. Asking them to "fake it" or force an unwanted relationship would be terrible for your daughter, please don't expect that. Be there for your daughter, and encourage her to move on and spend time with all her other friends. Don't let her pick up on your sadness or disappointment, that will just make her feel worse.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Andie, I just want to let you know know I'm going through the same thing with my 13 year old. Her best friend since babyhood heard a bunch of rumors and garbage about my DD, and she has completed rejected her. By text. Hurts like hell. And yes, she was like another daughter to me, practically lived at my house too. Her presence is really missed, not only by my DD, but by our whole family. We see her, only at a distance now. With her family, out with her friends walking around. Can't really get away from the reminders. We are neighbors. If there is a silver lining, it is that this has forced my socially anxious DD to spend time developing other friendships rather become so dependent on her one closest friend. Which is what she tended to do, especially in summers past. I know my DD will be a stronger person from experiencing that she CAN get right back out there into the world and have fun with new friends.

I would do nothing except listen if your DD wants to talk, and make it easy for her to access different groups of friends or new friends. The one time I encouraged my DD to reach out was a disaster, so I wouldn't recommend she initiate contact with the one who is rejecting her. Or the parents either. They won't really get it until their child is the one being excluded. I would say it's time to seek out some new groups, get busy and create new kinds of fun so you aren't dwelling on old traditions and rituals.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I'm going through this too with my 12-year old. She had a girl that she considered her BFF and they have been friends for at least 5 years. This girl now has a new BFF and they do everything together. While this girl does not flaunt it in front of my daughter, my daughter knows that she is no longer being invited to things. When my daughter when to this girl's b-day party, her friend exchanged "Best Friends" necklaces with her new friend.

I've just encouraged my daughter to invite different friends to things. I took her and a different friend to a movie and she's had sleepovers with different girls.

My daughter just met a different girl and the two of them hit it off! Now they are talking about being BFFs. I got my daughter involved in some different activities and that's where she met this new girl.

Try to encourage your daughter to hang out with other friends, and maybe enroll her in a different activity!

Your daughter and her old BFF may reconnect later on so don't burn any bridges with the moms. No one can control what their daughter's do and think so there isn't anything the moms can do.

Also, just to show how petty girls can be, my daughter's old BFF hangs around with her new friend who has a POOL. She is ALWAYS over at this new girl's house swimming. 12 year old girls can be petty, so I wouldn't be surprised if the pool had a lot to do with it! That's just girls for ya!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

As soon as I saw the title I thought "Oh boy". IMO, stay out of it as much as possible. The whole friends with/not friends with/friends again thing is insanity in middle school and the last thing you need is to micromanage. Who KNOWS why they want to do this or that. Encourage her to hang out with other kids instead. Teach her to say, "I don't care." and mean it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

This age is the hardest age in my opinion, especially for girls. What you describe is very common with girls (and some boys). It is incredibly difficult as a mother to watch your daughter be so hurt but really they do move on and find a new group of friends. You need to try to stay out of it with the parents. If they are your friends, keep them as your friends. Best friends/Boyfriends/Girlfriends who practically lived at our house have come and gone. We were attached to several of them but this is the way it works as your child grows up. I know how hard it is as you watch your daughter watching her former friends leaving together, etc. Give her a hug and keep moving.

1 mom found this helpful
For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions