When Your Daughter's Friend's Family Gives You the Cold Shoulder ...

Updated on September 30, 2016
G.K. asks from Williamsburg, VA
19 answers

It has become painfully apparent that the parents of one of my daughter's very best friends doesn't want their daughter associating with mine anymore. Our daughters are in the same class at school and church, and beg to spend time together, but the friend's mother ALWAYS has an excuse, many of which have proven to lies. Now the friend is no longer allowed to even FaceTime my daughter -- something they used to do daily. They're nine. My daughter is still asking constantly for playdates with this girl and just asked if we could sit with them during the homecoming parade tonight. (The friend told my daughter exactly where they would be sitting.) How do I explain this situation to my daughter? Do you think it's worth addressing with the mother? What would I say? Our daughters have been close for four to five years and we know them pretty well.

Update to answer questions: I don't think there was any kind of incident, but my child is not nearly as mature, well-behaved or well-mannered as this child, and this other family is extremely guarded and conservative. I honestly think there are a lot of other girls they would rather their daughter spend time with ... or no one at all. And, yes, I know I'm harping on this, but it's a daily problem that I've never encountered before. This girl is one of my daughter's two long-time best friends and the other friend is about to move away, so this really is an issue. We're already working on new friendships. And I'm going back to work next week. Honestly, I've had way too much time on my hands to dwell on this. I just don't know what to say to the other mom to get a truthful answer, rather than another excuse.

More updates: Okay, I'm not blaming the mother at all. I am concerned about the situation that this other mother and I have to navigate daily, and I just want to clear the air. If she'll just tell me what's going on, maybe I can help ... even if that means just keeping my daughter away from hers. This is hurting both of our daughters who are together at least six days a week.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Ok, ya'll. I hear you. I think the highest road to take is just to accept the situation and move on, without confronting the other mother. We're not going to chase after this friendship. Thank you!

Featured Answers



answers from Portland on

Personally, if it were me, I'd just back off for a bit. Let it go.

If it's meant to be, it will work itself out.

I find when parents get involved, it's just awkward.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I would ask the mom flat out home come the girls can't be together anymore. I find it hard to believe you absolutely have NO idea what it could be. Good luck.

5 moms found this helpful

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answers from San Francisco on

I think you have two choices.
1) Confront the mother, nicely of course. "Hey Joan, is there a reason the girls aren't able to get together anymore? Did something happen that I'm not aware of?" But be prepared, you may not like the answer.
2) Move on. Your daughter will go through many friends over the years, you (and she) need to learn how to take a hint. If your daughter is saying, "why can't Sally and I get together or Facetime anymore?" you can just say, "well I don't know sweetie, but since they seem too busy to see you let's invite another friend over."
Kids, especially girls, should have a wide circle of friends.
If your daughter is busy and happy with lots of friends, family and activities she's not going to need any explanations, she'll get over it a lot faster than you will, I'm sure.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

You have answered your own questions throughout. Encourage more friendships. Teach your daughter better manners and better behavior. Tell her that it sounds like this friend's mom just wants her to be a school friend. If she asks why, you don't know. Maybe your daughter can take some responsibility for her own friendships and ask this other girl what is going on? That's life. Kids' friendships change soooooooo much over the years.

Don't be the confrontational mom. It makes you and your daughter look needy and clingy. Those are difficult qualities for making friends. Take the mom's social cues and move on gracefully.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

why don't you just go to their home and talk with them about this? Stop speculating. Stop saying "I don't know" and go find out?!?!?! That's how you'll get this truthful answer you are looking for instead of an excuse.

Sweet mother of God. Your daughter didn't get invited to a party. Now they can't facetime.

Maybe your daughter is too high maintenance?? Too clingy? take a step back and see your daughter's actions. She's 9. She has to learn that not everything is about her. People grow. People change. Stuff happens.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

it's a pity, but the only low-key way to handle it is to.....well, keep it low key.
i don't think you explain it to your daughter OR confront the mother.
the girls work out for themselves how to maintain a friendship without a lot of support from their parents. since they're in the same classes at school and church they'll be able to do this.
you can keep offering to allow the girls to spend time together, and it's on the other mother to keep coming up with excuses and lies. i wouldn't bore in on her by putting her on the spot, nor would i make her life easier by taking the pressure off. the girls have been friends for a long time, and if she chooses not to speak to you about any issues, then she can keep ducking and dodging.
it'll resolve naturally over time.
just keep working with your daughter on behaving better so this doesn't become a recurrent theme, and on broadening her social circle.
but don't try to 'explain' anything at all. don't lie to her, of course, just keep saying 'sure, we can invite marylou' and let chips fall where they may.
as for the parade, 'i've got a spot scouted out over by the football field, and that's where we're going to sit. if marylou would like to join us, she'd be welcome.'
no argument, no discussion.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Why is this the fault of the parent? Why should you talk to her? She doesn't like your daughter. Is this a general issue? I ask because I was never very concerned when my kids lost friends regardless of the reason. If your daughter has trouble keeping friends because their parents don't like their behavior perhaps you should be looking at how your daughter behaves not lecturing the mom.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

It's time to move on.
It could be the other family just doesn't want their daughter obsessing so much about just one friend.
If I get a 'clingy vine' feeling from someone - it just makes me want to spend less time with them.
It's good to have a wide circle of friends and it's time your daughter widens her circle to include many others.
As a parent you will find that your kids friends will come and go - even more so in middle and high school.
You might as well get use to it now.
Just accept that this friendship has cooled.
It had its season - and 4 or 5 years is a pretty good run - but it's over now.
Move on to new adventures and make new friends!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

I'm sorry...that's lame. Even if you ask the other mom, she may not tell you anything truthful to try to spare your feelings. So whatever the reason is, you may never know why. A long time ago my son had a best friend (2nd and 4th grade)whose mom always said no to playdates. They did get together a few times at first and then after that she always said sorry they were busy. After a while I just stopped asking. They were the best of buds at school. I told my son (4th grade by now) that he could set up the playdate himself and he could call his friend. I just took myself out of the equation. He eventually gave up. I think you should focus on other friends. Invite over other girls to come play. Meet other girls at the park (or wherever is fun nearby), pool, ice rink, etc. Focus on that. One can never have too many friends and it's good to teach your child to have many friends. It's also good to not hyper focus on just one friend. Stop dwelling on it. Tell your daughter (if she is bugging you about it) to call and talk to her friend herself. Stop trying to call for her. Stop thinking about it. When they say no, say huh, I don't know why...let's try asking so and so instead! Start inviting other girls to do things and just stop thinking about this. It sounds like you have invested too much of your thoughts already!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

How do you know the excuses are lies? Perhaps they have felt she was spending all of her time with just your daughter, and facetiming, etc.. and are trying to have her engage with other kids?

I don't even let my 12 year old FaceTime with his friends all the time, so maybe she abused that?

You do seem like you are spending a lot of time perseverating on this subject, as seen from previous posting..maybe you are paranoid? Over-thinking it?

I wouldn't over step too much, if it is beginning to become too emotional for your daughter then I would call the mother and ask her. Ask if something has happened and that you are concerned because your daughter is concerned.. if it's just about how you are feeling, then I'd let it go and let the two girls work through it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

There isn't anything to explain to your daughter about the other adults. Sadly, you're observing them being cold, or controlling or whatever. Your DD doesn't need to worry about that. If your DD is constantly asking you to arrange playdates for her with this friend, that is because you have always managed this for her. No wonder YOU feel so responsible. Gently put it back on your daughter. If she is asking you for a playdate, give her a few days/times she has your permission to invite her friend over to play. But let her do the asking herself. Based upon your observations, you already know this isn't going to work out. Still, let your daughter experience it herself. Don't drag it out and let her keep hanging on, hurting and hoping. If you make this a big deal, she is going to pick right up on your anxiety, and SHE will feel more anxious about it. If she wonders why the friend can't FaceTime, encourage your DD to ask her friend directly, "why aren't you FaceTime chatting with me anymore?" Don't be a detective in trying to prove excuses are lies, accept and help your DD understand that for WHATEVER reason it happens, her friend isn't being receptive right now. Give your DD a lot of empathy when she hits a roadblock with this friend, and then encourage her to seek out other girls.

No, I do not think it's worth addressing with the other mother. I personally would not. You can't fix it. It's a normal part of growing up. Friendships change, and most childhood friendships don't become long term. Even if it is the parents in this case, who are pulling the strings to sever this friendship, you can't control that they are going to behave this way. Take the high road, keep being friendly with them. Encourage your DD to keep being friendly with her friend when they see each other regularly. Others around you will notice you all are being warm, friendly, and nice friends. If they are going to be standoffish, trust me, others are going to take notice of that as well. Sorry, though, it's so hard to watch your own child go through this.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I know you have posted about similar situations before. When my daughter was a little younger, if kids stopped wanting to hang out I would ask my daughter why. Same with my boys too. They normally know why. Something that was said, done, a behavior that was witnessed, etc. I tell my kids to friend those who make good choices, who are respectful, and treat others the way people want to be treated.

I had one mom ask me why my son didn't want to be friends with her son anymore. I was very taken aback by the question, but asked my son. He said it was because her son didn't like Minecraft anymore. They didn't have anything in common. They were 8 then. Things change....

My daughter, now 13, has had friendships change as the kids get older. The boy she was best friends with all through elementary school stopped talking to her near the start of 6th grade. He dates girls left and right, uses foul language, and is disrespectful. While it hurt my daughter when it first happened, it's been a true blessing.

So I think you're doing the right thing by moving on from this one. It's just not the same anymore.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

i would straight up ask her what was going on and why they are acting this way. could be they saw something that upset them and talking it out will fix it.
and if they don't want to fix it them you have to tell your daughter that theres no playing with her friend anymore and she will have to grieve the loss of the friendship and find another friend.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Is this "friend" the "Chloe" person who had a skating rink birthday party?

Go ahead and talk to the mother already, this has been going on for long enough!

And - why do you keep mentioning in posts how much more "mature" these girls are than your daughter? What makes you think that?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I think you should email the mom (I find written communication a little bit easier - face to face can get a bit awkward in situations like this) and just ask if something's happened that you need to know about. Let the other mom know that your kid really misses her time with her kid and you want to try to clear the air or follow up on any behavior that might have offended her.
The other thing to do is ask your own kid if something happened around the time that the parents started cutting you off. Maybe they heard something or your kid may have said something that made them uncomfortable. I know a couple of friends of my dd who had a similar situation, but the moms actually got in an argument over a carpool. After that, the moms wouldn't let them play together so they could only associate at school.
I would think about the last time this girl was at your house...did the kids do something online that you might not know about? Does your dd use bad language? I'm sure there's a reason, and it might be good to know what it is not just for this situation, but for the future as well.
The other possibility is that the other mom thinks her kid is spending way too much time on the phone or online.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

So do you know what happened? If you have no idea why they are acting like this then I may ask the mom what is up. However if you have someone living with you that is a registered sex offender for example, then I'd let it go.

I always think honesty is the best policy.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

G., when we made the choice to homeschool, one of my son's best buddies at school disappeared from his life. The boys LOVE each other; we saw them at an event a few weeks after we left and they played together the entire time. Even amongst a crowd of kids, they were keeping track of where the other was. Yet, I've reached out a few times to get the boys together and... nothing. Crickets.

Kiddo's other close buddy has moved to Texas recently. Kiddo sent a postcard to the new address. Again, nothing.

It's hard to see other families make the choice to disengage, but we continue to provide new opportunities for Kiddo to meet new people. One of the kids he liked, but wasn't super close to, has become a very good friend. They are both doing Scouts together -- my husband also facilitates this being 'easy' for the family by taking the boy to some things so he can be included. We are reaching out to some of the families who are closer in the neighborhood and one kid has permission (from both our and his) families to come and knock on the door when he has time to play. We don't force anything, just make it easy for it to happen.

We can't force other people to do what we want; even when we care about our kid-- all we can do is read the cues, be respectful, and understand that everyone has their own path. Personally, I have seen these other friendships beginning to blossom and have hope that Kiddo will soon forget about those other children-- or at least, not ache for them so much. Consider enrolling your daughter in a class or activity she enjoys already. Also, it's okay to take a break. Some kids don't stretch out to reach for new friendships until they are really sure they are ready to. Relax. If you don't blow this out of proportion, this will be fine!

As for school-- there's nothing to worry about. Let the teachers handle it!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

1. I admire that you see your daughter for what she is.

2. I think you need to talk to the other mom. I'd point blank ask her if she doesn't want the kids associating anymore. Let her tell you that is the issue. If so, it's a good (albeit tough) lesson for you and your daughter. Then you'll have to explain to your daughter how they have different values, etc. and that they are moving in a different direction, etc. Then I'd pull the mom's hair and slap her around a bit. OMG, did I just say that out loud? haha

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Why haven't you asked her? of course you need to come off as kind, gentle, not abrasive and accusational. If they have been friends this long, I don't understand why you don't ask them. Make sure not to ask in front of the kids!

1 mom found this helpful
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