Tween Girl Drama--help!

Updated on March 26, 2012
L.T. asks from Houston, TX
18 answers

My daughter is in 5th grade and has been having an issue with a girl in her class. I'm changing names to keep anonymity but here's the jist:

My daughter is Madison. We transferred to our current school three years ago after a rezoning in our school district so a lot of kids from the old school did too. Madison has been in class with Casey for those three years. The first year, they were friendly and even had a couple of sleepovers/playdates. Casey has been friends with Sarah since kindergarten and now my daughter has become really close with Sarah this year since that they are all in the same class together. Another friend, Kate, was a close friend of all of them but her family moved out of state over the holidays due to her dad's job transfer. Kate was kind of the glue that kept them all free of any conflicts and now that she's gone things seem to have intensified.

For awhile now my daughter will come home and tell me that Casey was pestering her at recess or lunch. She said she'll come right up to her with a cheery smile and be right in her face saying things like "whatcha doing?" "are you my friend today?" "why aren't you talking to me today?" Madison will sometimes hang out with Casey but she says after awhile she just becomes a pest or wants to play with someone else or Sarah. Casey does not like to share Sarah--she seems to be a one-friend-only kind of kid (which is unfortunate I think).

The three of them have worked out a "schedule" for hanging out every other day or something like that but Casey ignores it. My daughter gets frustrated and tells Casey she needs space but Casey ignores. I really think Casey is just trying so hard to make sure everyone likes her but she does not get the hints!

So today Sarah and Casey had words and Sarah wanted to hang out with my daughter and Casey got mad. My daughter's side of the story is that it didn't get that intense but I know there's always more than one side to the story. But today, Casey's mom put on Facebook (yes I'm FB friends with all their moms but don't know them super well although we have socialized here and there) that she wished every little girls could just play nice all the time and that her daughter just wants everyone to have fun.

A couple of other things..Casey is small for her age..about the size of my second grader. She dresses VERY young for her age wearing pigtails, big bows, Mary Jane shoes, jumper dresses, etc. (we have uniform dress in our public school) and just acts immature for her age IMO. My daughter says she worries Casey will get bullied next year in jr. high and I worry too. I'm not really sure what to do b/c my daughter is giving this girl all the signals when to stop but she keeps pushing the boundaries on their friendship. Also, she is a middle child. I bring this up b/c her little brother gets A LOT of attention from people--strangers, other parents/students, etc. My theory is that Casey (who was 8 when he was born) is still trying to keep some of that attention that was hers for so long on her.

So my question is how do I help my daughter navigate these friendships? I have kept out of it for months but now I'm wondering if I need to step in or talk to the other moms. I have suggested they talk to the school counselor together (who is awesome BTW!) but Sarah is hesitant. Any advice?

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone for your input. To clarify, the schedule idea was one that Kate came up with when Sarah and Madison were fighting over "sharing" Kate. Now that Kate has moved away, Casey is back in more of the picture so Sarah and Madison tried to apply that idea to the three of them. But some of you make a good point that personalities are different. It actually worked for Kate, Sarah & Madison. And agreed--three girls is tough! There used to be four but then Kate moved away.

I do worry that Madison is a mean girl in training and to be clear my "not wanting to get involved" meant that I didn't really want to be calling the other moms and getting them involved by creating mom drama too. We're all going to be protective of our own children. That’s why I suggested they work things out with the counselor who is a more impartial party.

My daughter and I talk a lot about how it feels to be on the receiving end of being ignored/excluded, etc. Actually, she's dealing with that with another group of friends that SHE'S had since kindergarten. We talk about how to use tact and be polite, that not everyone needs to be your best friend but you can be kind. We talk about how some kids are your school friends, team friends, etc. but others are your really good friends outside of all those things and those are the ones you really connect with.

Their school has a very active and involved counselor who talks and does bullying role-playing all year and gives the students tools and words to use to stand up to bullies. I know some of it is sinking in because Madison had been being kind of mean to a sister of my son’s best friend who is also her same age. Out of the blue a couple of weeks ago she started being much nicer and when I told her I’d noticed and appreciated it she said she decided to take my advice that even though they didn’t need to be great friends she could at least be friendly.

I think what is difficult in this situation is that my daughter HAS been telling Casey she needs space sometimes but she simple doesn't get the hint. Sometimes Sarah is not even part of the picture. After a certain point, Madison's patience is up and likely is short, she looses her cool! Like many of us, we're usually only going to remember the mean and not the role we played in getting to that point. I’m not saying she should be mean but let’s get real, we all reach the point when we’ve had enough and need some cool off time!

Also, I bring up the immaturity thing because Madison says Casey has very few friends in their classroom because of the way she acts. She says many of the other kids just ignore her which does make me sad. I think that is why she seems so desperate to be friends with Madison and Sarah. I have also volunteered in the classroom on many occasions so witnessed her behavior first hand and she does interupt the teacher and "tattles" often about all sorts of things. She is not in the same group as Sarah & Madison in class so she has issues with other kids in the classroom too. Perhaps that is a judgment call of mine about her being immature and probably really not my problem to solve. Oh and BTW, Casey's mom totally ignored me and turned away when I waved today in car drop off line at school (she was walking, we were driving b/c we were running late). I figured this is the girls' issue and not mine and hers but apparently she feels differently. But things are still so fresh on this issue I realize.

Hopefully the gilrs will all get a chance to talk to the counselor soon and sort some of this out!

EXTRA UPDATE: Sarah and Madison did talk to the counselor today. She gave them some good advice, much of the same advice I had given my daughter. To be clear, remember, my daughter was WORRIED that Casey would get bullied next year--not that she was doing it. She said so many of the other kids leave her out or get frustrated that she tattles or interupts so much. She said she's worried it will just get worse in jr. high. I asked her what she would do if it did and she didn't have an answer at that moment (feelings about this incident were too fresh) but I think that if it came down to it she would stand up for her because I know she's (Madison) done it before for other kids. Sometimes kids just push the limits and don't know when to stop even when they have been ASKED to. That's what was happening here. I'm sure next week will be a new week and the drama will blow over--I hope!

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answers from Sacramento on

My mother has always said that 3 girls can never play well together. Someone always feels left out. The ideal would be to find a 4th friend to bring into the group.

This is a really difficult time of year for 5th grade girls. They are going to the great unknown of Middle School and leaving the safety and comfort of Elementary School. In my experience, a lot of growth and development takes place between now and the beginning of 6th grade. Casey will catch up or she'll find a niche at Middle School.

As for getting involved, since you aren't good friends with Sarah and Casey's moms, I'd stay out of it. Unless you have a game plan to help get the girls' friendship back on track, the meeting will result in the moms feeling defensive of their daughters and not much will get resolved. If it were me, I'd speak to is the teacher to see what she has seen and heard.

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answers from San Antonio on

The mothers should leave the girls alone. They have a growing pocess to do. Let them grow up. If she asks for advice give it to her or the group..

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answers from Minneapolis on

Sounds like your daughter and Sarah are mean-girls in training. I do not mean to be harsh, or want to make sweeping judgements, but I say this based on the scenario that you share. I know no one wants to believe their kid is a bully, but really? A "schedule" for who can play with whom? If my kid came to me with that lame story, my "bully-meter" would be buzzing and ringing about now. This IS bullying at it's best because it is a form of isolating and exluding someone from the group by putting unfair conditions on their friendship.

If I were on the receiving end of this story, I would gulp hard and focus on filtering the spin your daughter is giving you about Casey being annoying and that Casey doesn't like to share Sarah etc. Sounds like quite the opposite to me....more like Casey isn't liking this "schedule" solution which is putting conditions and limits on their friendship, and thinks your daughter (and possibly Sarah) are unfair and unkind and is seeking their acceptance and approval.

If she has to ask frequently... "Are you my friend today?" and ..."Why aren't you talking to me today?" ...then it's easy to conclude that your daughter probably hasn't been very kind to her of late. Your daughter may say her questions are annoying, and that Casey isn't giving her space, but could your daughter be trying to justify her treatment of Casey for your benefit by cutting her down and making her out to be this needy geek?

Based on Casey's actions via your daughter's filter, I'm guessing the playtime schedule was NOT Casey's idea, but something your daughter and Sarah made up to control Casey. I don't think Casey is as "geeky" and socially in-ept as you and your daughter seem to think. I think she's reacting normally to what most would consider abusive treatment. No one wants to be rejected or feel rejected. It sounds like somewhere along the line, Casey's feelings have been deeply hurt and she doesn't understand why the friendship has become a cold war. Her mom's FB message supports that guess. While the friendship "schedule" could be enough to make any person act seemingly needy, I'm certain there is more than this going on. To solve and rectify this situation, you need to find out what has been going on and why.

You yourself should be careful to avoid rationalizing your daughter's "hearsay" about Casey by piling on judgements like..."Casey is small for her age and dresses very young...and just acts very immature for her age...etc." I hope you haven't shared your personal judgements and opinions about Casey's appearance, birth order and behavior with your daughter. True or not, they are damning and certainly would influence and reinforce your daughter's feelings and furthermore justify her ill-treatment of Casey away from home.

Furthermore, you're right, you don't have the full story. Since you FB with everyone's mom, you may want to talk face-to-face (not on FB) to Casey and Sarah's moms to get their daughters' side of the story before this turns uglier. And believe me, before the end of the year, it will get uglier if left unchecked. When you talk to their moms, you need to be ready to hear things you might not want to hear about your child. Avoid being reactionary and defensive, but try to work with everyone on finding ways to help the girls to be kind to each other so they can get through the remainder of the school year with some semblence of peace.

Next, talk with your daughter about kindness and tolerance and say it is unfair and shallow to judge people based on their clothes and hair. Explain that Casey may be feeling excluded if this "scheduled" play-time wasn't her idea and that is why her behavior may seem annoying. She just wants reassurance you are still friends.

I know your daughter said that she's worried about Casey getting bullied next year, but it is already happening. Let your daughter know, things like "playtime schedules" are forms of bullying if someone is feeling exluded or is purposely left out because of it. Say they need to get along as a team. If it turns out after talking to your daughter about this exluding stuff she just isn't into Casey as a friend anymore, encourage her to just end the friendship cold-turkey AFTER...not before... school lets out for the summer by not being available anymore, rather than feign friendship only to mistreat the girl.

That isn't to say she should suddenly start ignoring her at school and give the cold .just means she shouldn't make herself available for socializing outside of school in the future. She should be encouraged to always give a friendly smile and say "hi" etc. like she would with anyone at school. Be sure to encourage her to wait until school lets out for summer break. It will be much easier on everyone to distance over the summer months, and by next year they may be in separate classrooms making it easier to break ties without drama and without hurting each other's feelings too much.

If your daughter chooses to end the friendship, be sure to remind her good friends are hard to come by...and shallow friendships are a dime a dozen. Before she decides to sever ties, if that's what she chooses, help her to reflect on what makes a good friend, and how she would feel if this were happening to her or sometime in the future Casey should turn on her in an unexpected way or bully her. After reflection, she may change her tune and decide Casey isn't so bad after all. Who knows?

Sure you could stay out of it as others have mentioned, but I think if you don't nip this now with your daughter, she'll carry this behavior into future relationships in the years to come. This is learned, negative behavior that won't go away. Kids don't outgrow becomes their way of operating in life. If you want to be proactive, get involved. This is what a school counselor would recommend anyway.

Remember, kids bully most of the time because it gives them a sense of power and control, not because their target is necessarily problematic. How could Casey be a friend one minute and the object of avoidance and scorn in the next? Easy if it means you're not on the receiving end of peer pressure and pack mentality.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I'm answering this without thinking too hard, just my gut reaction (as a mom of girls, and an elementary school counselor)...
I'm also answering without reading your SWH yet:

Sounds like your daughter is excluding casey. I would encourage her to be more inclusive, at least at school on the playground (no they don't have to become bff and have sleepovers again) but your daughter does need to be courteous, polite, inclusive, and friendly on the playground.
I think this "working out a schedule" business is a buncha malarkey. It seems your daughter has no real reason not to get along with casey, she has just deemed her as being not cool enough. Your daughter wants to hang out with Sarah without Casey. That's fine but not at school. At school your daughter needs to be kind with accept the company of all kinds of people.
Tell your daughter that the most popular girls are the ones who are relaxed, kind, and gracious to every single person. The ones who draw lines in the sand and only hang out with this or that person, they create years of unneccesary drama and may feel popular and important but are not truly percieved that way by others.

Sorry if this is harsh, or made it sound like I think your daughter is the bad guy. I was just reading through the lines a bit and sharing where I would go with it if it were my students or my daughters. I would take the stance that kindness is my utmost expectation and she needs to just accept and welcome Casey on the school yard.

I'd deal with my daughter, not the other parents. The girls need to work this out for themselves, with your guidance (and you are only in a place to guide your daughter's behavior, not the others).

Encouraging her to go to the counselor is a GREAT idea :)

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answers from Boston on

I hope you read an re-read JL's response carefully. This sounds very much like a situation that 3 girls my oldest son was friends with went through. Two girls had gone to the same school since Kindergarten and the other joined them in 4th grade when they moved up to a different school. Everything was great among the three for over a year, then the "new" girl to the clan started to "steal" the "cooler" of the other two girls away from the first one, who was a little immature and annoying at times but is really a sweet, wonderful girl. All three girls' moms were and still are friends but the girls, for the most part, aren't. They're in 8th grade and the girl who was ultimately rejected and excluded by the other two is a really cool, great girl who eventually accepted that the other two had dumped her and now she has a totally different group of friends. The other two are, to be honest, bitchy drama queen nightmares. Your daughter and Sarah are acting like mean girls in training.

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answers from Washington DC on

You mostly stay out of it. Tween friendships are so dramatic. One day they are friends. Another they are not. Then these two are no longer friends b/c of some perceived slight against girl#3. It'll make your head spin. I think that you can help your daughter in general to think about friendships, what makes a good friend and how to have strong boundaries and how to reinforce boundaries when someone wants to roll over them be it Casey or Sara or somebody else. I would not step in with the moms based on what you described here.

Casey could be immature and seeking attention or she could be a little girl in a sea of little girls trying too hard to be teenagers. Hard to really say.

Parents can see it as their kid is always right when there's usually a shade of gray - on all sides. My SD, for example, had to learn that a joke is in the eye of the beholder. If taking her friend's shoes was not funny to the friend, she needed to not do it. (She once hid shoes at a mutual friend's house and when it was time for the other girl to go, SD had already left and everybody was upset trying to find the shoes and the girl felt picked on.)

Further, if your daughter is giving Casey mixed signals, she needs to decide what kind of friendship she wants and what kind of friend she wants to be. It may be that she no longer really wants to be Casey's friend but doesn't know how to dial down. SS struggled with a friend who had been his best buddy ever in elementary and early middle, but the kid started to be trouble and he had to figure out how to say, "No, I don't want to hang out." If Casey and Sara are genuine friends, then Madison also needs to accept that and not try to be annoying to Sara by monopolizing HER time.

You might also talk to your DD and ask her, "Okay, this schedule. How is that working? Doesn't sound like it's going so well. What's really going on here?" Friendship is not something you can share like property.

Since the other girls are not your child, focus on Madison. If Madison feels that the counselor would help, then SHE should go for her own sake, not just for the other girls.

I think SD only has one friend from elementary school. Friendships change. Even adult ones. Are all your friendships equal? Do you have longterm friends you no longer associate with as much as new friends? Same thing for kids. Sometimes it's not that one girl is the "mean girl" but that the kids change. Someone is more mature, someone gets annoying, interests or classes or schools change. They get into arguments over boys. Etc. If I had a quarter for every time alliances changed in middle school, I'd have a new car.

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answers from Minneapolis on

So Casey is socially awkward, she likely doesn't pick up on social cues as easily. She's still more interested in playing for the sake of fun than moving on to the business of growing up and into the teen years. Unless you've been the parent of a girl like this you have NO idea how hard it is to watch her go from a happy social butterfly little kid to a lost and lonely tween. I do because this happened to my DD in 5th grade. I'm sorry, but if your DD looks around and sees that hardly anyone else talks to or plays with Casey, I would be talking to her about compassion and the true meaning of friendship. Casey could be dealing with all sorts of issues that challenge her, mild Aspergers, ADHD, etc. I'm sorry, but you sound awfully judgemental about the way she dresses. Who cares? Does she have a good heart? I think your DD is feeling like her own reputation and status may be harmed by hanging out with Casey and I think that's sad. She certainly has out of school time to have playdates with just Sarah, or do things in "her own space" But telling someone bluntly at school you need space away from them is not kind at all. If there is a specific behavior Casey does that annoys Madison, THAT is what she should be upfront with her about in a nice, tactful way. You can coach her with the wording. Give Casey a chance to understand WHY the girls don't always want to play with her. I sure hope she is not being excluded because of her hairstyle and clothing. Is it possible you can encourage Madison to sometimes invite Casey over or out with her, and other times invite Sarah or another friend. She can have room in her life for a number of friends, right? Though it's sometimes a lot easier to keep the out of school get togethers to one friend at a time.

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answers from San Francisco on

My daughter is a little younger (4th grade), but yes, lots of drama at this age. To be honest, I think as a mom it's best just to be a sounding board, but other than that, stay out of it. I keep repeating to my daughter that she needs to remember the golden rule - always treat others as she herself would like to be treated, regardless of how they act toward her (don't stoop to someone else's level if they are being nasty and mean). I tell her to stand up for herself, but do so with kindness and compassion. Obviously at this age, it's a work in progress and some days she succeeds better than others. Diplomacy and tact will serve her well throughout her life if she can develop these skills now. Something I was fortunate to learn early on myself was to rise above drama and stay even-keel almost no matter what. I can't tell you how instrumental that skill has been in my career, so I've tried to help my girls learn that as well in the hopes it will help them. Like I said though, middle school is all about drama. :-/

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answers from Atlanta on

I agree with J L. Something sounds a little fishy coming from your daughter's angle. The questions from Casey "Are you my friend today" and "Are you talking to me" indicate that there are days your daughter doesn't - that your daughter gives her the cold shoulder. Is it perhaps that Casey feels so possessive of Sarah because if the three of them are together, that Casey is excluded? And if Casey's mother is sad enough for her daughter to post something on facebook - there's something more to the story. I'd recommend talking to Casey's mom and getting the story from the opposite angle and then determine if it really is that Casey is being too clingy or if your daughter and/or Sarah are having mean girl issues.

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answers from Raleigh on

I also have a 5th grade daughter and she had 2 other friends that kept fighting over her. I did not intervene until one of them kept hitting my daughter. She was doing it playfully but it was painful for my daughter. I told the teacher about it and she had a talk with this girl and put an end to it. Unless there is bullying or someone getting hurt I wouldn't intervene. If words are exchanged or things get a little heated I'll ask my daughter if she needs me to help. I try to "feel" out the situation by how she's feeling. When it got out of hand I was emailing and talking to the teacher. Girls are so mean. We also did role playing so that my daughter could practice what to say to the girls that were fighting over her. The teacher finally made a rule that they could only talk at lunch and recess, otherwise they are seated away from each other during class and they cannot pair up during math. I did communicate with the girls' moms and it helped them to know what was going on but it helped the most when I finally talked to the teacher. I've also found that girls are like their moms which can be good or bad. If there's a girl that is snotty sometimes the mom isn't going to be any better to talk to. I would just ignore the mom that you're friends with on FB because you don't need more drama in your life :) HTH!

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answers from San Francisco on

Stay out of it! Let your daughter learn some conflict resolution. It's not like anyone is bullying anyone or getting out of hand.

If your daughter wants to talk to you about it, listen, maybe offer some advice but stay out of it. And don't call the other moms!

What I tell my GD (10 years old) when she has a conflict with her friends is that I'm sorry this is happening; I'm sorry you feel bad, but just like always, it will work itself out.

As for calling the other moms, if you were to call me with this, I would tell you that it doesn't sound like something I need to be involved in and please do not call me again with 10 year old little girl drama. Unless my child has done something "wrong," I don't intend to get involved.

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answers from Bangor on

First, wow! lol. Sounds similar to something I helped my little sister (she was 13 at the time) deal with. Suggesting they all talk to the school counselor was a great idea. I know some schools have a peer mentoring program where kids can work out their issues having an older student be the moderator. There are usually some local resources that offer a similar "peer counseling" that may help these girls work through their troubles. For my sister and her friends, I got to be the moderator, but it did help them a lot (at least for THAT issue)

Your best bet may just have to have a nice mama meeting (in guise of a playdate) with the other 2 moms, to see if they can shed any light or help their daughters with this too so that they can all have happy, healthy friendships. It may even be a good time to bring up (in a round-about way) about Casey's risk of being bullied. And as much as I normally like to tell the truth in this case maybe the little white lie of "some other kids sometimes pick on her about her clothes and immaturity" might help jump start the mother into changing some things for her daughter's good.

Worst case scenario, Madison and Sarah might just need to very direct and blunt with Casey and let her know what they would like to see change. It doesn't sound like Casey takes subtle hints well, so maybe just your daughter, or the 3 of them together just being very direct will help resolve a lot of this.

Best of luck to you and these girls. I hope that all works out well.

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answers from Washington DC on

sigh. there's no avoiding the Mean Girl phase, and even Nice Girls go Mean sometimes. sounds like that may be what your daughter is doing now.
a schedule for friendships is uber-controlling. it's the sort of thing Mean Girls do to make Insecure Girls like casey stay in their place.
but kinda Mean.
you are only getting your daughter's side of this, and your daughter is naturally going to make herself sound better. i'm glad you're taking all of this with a grain of salt.
friendships are rarely equal. and difficult though it is, it's not up to the parents to micro-manage and stabilize them. what IS up to the parents is to listen carefully to their own children and keep working with them on how to be kinder (if they're in a Mean phase) and stronger (if they're on the receiving end of the Mean.)
rather than constantly excluding casey, it would be best for your daughter and sarah to find opportunities outside of school for their one-on-one time. and if they really can't stand poor casey, they're going to need some coaching as to how to be honest but kind about it, and stop 'hinting' and 'signaling'. and be prepared for the fact that it will probably end the friendship and cause a girl they supposedly like a lot of pain.
but beyond working with your own kids as you always do, the moms really have no role in navigating the friendships.

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answers from Austin on

I love that the girls went to see the counselor. She probably has the best experience with what is going on. I too would encourage your daughter to be more compassionate with Casey if she sees that people don't want to be around her. She can have one-on-one time with Sarah outside of school. The short time that they are at school, I would encourage your daughter to be the kind of friend she would need if people were starting to avoid her.

Casey's insecurity might be causing her to act differently, dress differently, etc. so this is a good time for your daughter to understand what insecurity is and how it may cause Casey to want to hurt others. Hurt people hurt people. Your daughter needs to learn there is no excuse, none, for being mean, even if you are at the end of your rope. Do not give her any excuses for being mean or blunt. She needs to just be kind and compassionate, no matter what. As parents, we need to model that to our kids and apologize when we aren't - no excuses.

Take Casey's mom off of your facebook page. You shouldn't have anyone as a friend on facebook that you are not friends with or who post anything negative, directly or indirectly about your daughter. Who needs more drama?



answers from Appleton on

It sounds to me like Casey is a lonely little girl with limited people skills. I realize that all kids have limited people skills but Casey seems to be less able to handle friendships than the other kids. She is also may becoming a control freak or she hasn't learned how to filter her feelings. Someone needs to have a sit down talk with her and explain to her that both Madison and Sarah are her friends but they sometimes want to play without her; or have a shared interest in a topic that she doesn't share. For instance, 2 girls could like to play music and Casey doesn't play music.
I also think you need to have a sit down with the other 2 girls and explain to them that Casey is their friend too and they need to include her or they will hurt her feelings. Once these girls get to Middle school and High school their interests may change or the may have little contact because they don't have classes together and they will expand their circle of friends.
All 3 girls need to understand that each girl likes the other girl and that no one 'owns' or likes one any more than she likes the other. I agree with the Mom who said 3 kids often don't play well together. If they can expand their circle to include a 4th girl things will go better.



answers from Portland on

My granddaughter is in the 6th grade. She was having similar experiences in the 4th and 5th grades. Friendships seem to have evened out somewhat in the 6th grade, tho there is one girl who is easily hurt. The way the other girls have handled the super sensitive girl is to be nice to her but not include her in all their play. They make a point to include her some of the time.

My daughter and the sensitive girl's mother and grandmother have talked. It helped that all three had developed a relationship based on their daughter's friendship. This also seemed to help because they weren't aware of the other side of the story. I think they have reinforced to the girl that her neediness pushes people away. She has learned to hang back somewhat and to ask if someone is mad at her. My daughter encourages my granddaughter to be sure to include the sensitive girl some of the time and to tell her that she loves her from time to time.

The teacher was aware of the tension last year and the school placed her in a different home room. That has also helped.

I recommend talking with the teacher. She should have some insight into what is happening at school. Also you may (most likely) will learn more about their dynamics. Social issues come to the front during 5th and 6th grade. My granddaughter's school has a program aimed specifically at helping the 6th graders navigate socially as well as academically.

I also recommend that you talk with the school counselor and see what (s)he has to offer.

I've noticed a definite move towards maturity in the 6th grade. I wouldn't assume that the other girl will be bullied. She may find new friends over the summer or your daughter and the other girls may learn thru trial and error how to relate with her.

Keep listening and talking with your daughter. Help her to understand Casy's feelings and why she acts that way. My granddaughter is much better with compassion this year.

As a result the sensitive girl has made some new friends and everything is peaceful for the moment.


answers from Houston on

I think this is a perfect opportunity to teach your daughter how to set boundaries. I would tell my daughter that she has a right to choose whom she would like to be friends with and whom she would rather keep at a distance. If she really wants to be friends with this girl, then I would tell her to have a talk with the girl and let her know that she really wants to be friends but here are her boundaries. At that point, she needs to tell the girl what she isn't willing to put up with in their friendship, in a nice way of course. Then she needs to tell the girl that if she continues doing the things she set boundaries for, then she can no longer be her friend. I think our kids need to learn to set boundaries early in life because it will help them so much in the relationships they form and how they allow people to treat them. Good luck and God bless!


answers from Houston on

The friend schedule is weird, I would tell the girls it is obviously not working and they can all play together whenever they want. I think all the girls are being ridiculous, which is very common for this age! Keeping tabs on friends and when and who to play with is just silly. I would tell your daughter that. I feel sorry for Casey who seems to be feeling like the one who is getting left out, and is desperate to hang around everyone. So, Sarah, Kate and Madison worked out a schedule.. does anyone have a schedule play day with Casey, or maybe I misunderstood? So basically, Casey is just annoying and the girls can only handle her in small doses. I get that, I remember a tag a long, annoying friend too... I think we all just dealt with her in our group.

The girls can still go and talk to the counselor for help navigating the friendship, if Sarah is hesitant, she doesn't have to go...

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