To despair at how hard girls and their friendships can be

(58 Posts)
Molehillmountain Thu 21-Mar-13 19:21:49

I love dd to bits but the friendship stuff makes me tear my hair out. I can't bear the to Ing and fro Ing that goes on and the best friend not best friend angst. Especially when I can see how she's not helping herself. Aargh! She's seven. Will it get better?

YANBA Don't know the answer but am looking forward to getting the answers via this post! We also have the angst and share that with the 'boyfriend' dilemma - Bill no longer loves my DD.... the bastard (they are 9!)

gymmummy64 Thu 21-Mar-13 19:30:43

Um, more 'different' than 'better' perhaps grin

For DD1 it was awful aged 7, 8 and 9. She then moved primary school and there just seemed to be a different mix of girls that didn't seem to cause as much angst. Come high school and it's all started again.

DD2 (10) only has boys as her best friends. We have had absolutely no issues whatsoever, ever!

CloudsAndTrees Thu 21-Mar-13 19:31:15

It will get better, but not anytime soon! Sorry!

I work in a school full of lovely children with lovely parents, but some of the girls just seem to have so many friendship dramas. They go from one crisis to the next, and from my own memory, it only got worse at secondary school.

bangwhizz Thu 21-Mar-13 19:31:35

I don't know my eldest daughter is 11 and I break my heart over her friendship worries, only to find that the next day things are 'back on' again

TomArchersSausage Thu 21-Mar-13 19:35:33

My oldest dd is 14. I'm hoping this is as difficult as it gets...gawd but they're a touchy, complicated lothmm.

Yfronts Thu 21-Mar-13 19:45:45

I think she needs to change her friends. choose less complicated and nicer ones.

CoteDAzur Thu 21-Mar-13 19:47:04

My DD is 7, too, and we have none of this girlfriend angst. I think she needs new friends.

Molehillmountain Thu 21-Mar-13 19:50:40

Trouble is, I hear the drama and who said what and think a bit "oh no, really? You said that?! ". Finding it hard (still-this isn't the first time I've turned to mumsnet!) to know how much advice to give on this balanced against unstinting I love you and think you're the best thing since sliced bread support. Aargh again.

MamaBear17 Thu 21-Mar-13 20:18:59

I am head of Year 6 at a high school (pupils aged 10 - 14). Most of the issues I deal with are girls and friendships. It is frustrating sometimes, because often the 'issues' are really trivial but the fall out and upset is huge. However, I do think it is part of growing up. I usually have 2 or 3 groups of girls in each year that I have to 'coach' throughout the year and teach them how to be a good friend and maintain their friendships. So 15 girls out of about 70 isnt too bad really. I think part of the problem is the tv programs aimed at young girls always involve a big drama, and sometimes girls seem to think that they should be dramatic in real life. They do grow out of it though!

BettyandDon Thu 21-Mar-13 20:25:20

Haha my friends from school still all behave like this and they are well into their 30s. I am no longer in touch...

girliefriend Thu 21-Mar-13 20:30:51

I have a 7yo and know exactly what you mean!!! My dd and her bestfriend fall out at least once a week and this is normally related to one or the other daring to play with someone else!!

Molehillmountain Thu 21-Mar-13 20:51:46

Erm...I feel I should sheepishly mention that I spent years teaching year six and spending lunchtimes sorting out the very stiff that I feel completely ill equipped to deal with when it comes to my own daughter. I can't bear hearing the distance tales of it all and feeling that I can't help.

itshothere Fri 22-Mar-13 12:26:15

Someone once said to me, girls are emotionally draining and boys are physically draining. I found this to be pretty accurate while mine were growing up. My DD and her friends certainly caused me to 'earn' a few grey hairs over the years with their dramas friendships. It does get better though, at around 18 wink .

moominmarvellous Fri 22-Mar-13 12:39:28

YANBU. DD's open evening seemed to be mainly about her friendship/rivalry with a classmate!

I try not to entertain it too much because I dont want to validate every little drama, but it's so hard not to.

I think there was less emphasis on the emotional side of friendships when I was a child. I don't recall my teachers or Mum discussing friendships at all!

littlewhitebag Fri 22-Mar-13 12:41:15

It all seems to start getting better around 15 or 16. They learn to stick with their own group of friends and tolerate the others.

somewhereaclockisticking Fri 22-Mar-13 12:42:49

No I don't think it gets better - the problems just change and alot of people don't even grow out of it - when my girls tell me their latest school woes I tell them they have to learn to deal with it because it's the same when they go out to work - offices are just like playgrounds!

Astelia Fri 22-Mar-13 12:42:50

It is slightly better now DD is 17 but there is still the odd drama and fall out. The exam stress seems to be making tempers rather short at the moment.

SoggySummer Fri 22-Mar-13 12:47:16

I hate to say it but no - it will get worse. Alot worse because by the time they are 14 there is little you can do intervention wise at all and you just need to stand back and let them make their own mistakes (and just hope they learn from them).

Its heart breaking and frustrating and this year (year 9 age 13 to 14) has been the worse ever and a real eye opener.

Sorry.

FrauMoose Fri 22-Mar-13 12:47:37

I feel it's better to be slightly unpopular rather than permanently in the middle of friendship dramas. My own daughter was relatively shy at primary school, though she did have a few friends. It's good if girls can be encouraged to have interests beyond popularity - and perhaps make friends with girls (or even boys?) who like the sorts of things that they like. So the friendships are more grounded/earthed Again, perhaps that's something that mothers can attempt to model...

ConferencePear Fri 22-Mar-13 12:47:50

In my experience this seems to be worse in Year 8 than any other year. It can waste an awful lot of school time and is sometimes very cruel.

woopsidaisy Fri 22-Mar-13 12:50:55

I have boys. This an example of friendship drama.
DS- so and so laughed at my picture today. He hurt my feelings!
Me- never mind. (Make sympathetic noises)
Phone rings. It is so and so mum. Would DS like to come to the park?
DS- yeah!!! Woo hoo etc.
all forgotten.
They really do t seem to carry issues over IYKWIM?

woopsidaisy Fri 22-Mar-13 12:51:50

Also, school and I have always encouraged having lots of good friends as opposed to a best friend.

aliasjoey Fri 22-Mar-13 12:53:49

10 year old DD, and it's started getting WORSE in the last year or so. There is a 'Best Friend Forever' drama at least once a week. And although we think it fairly trivial, to them it really is awful; at this age they are just finding themselves and their socialisation with others is all new (I think until recently an adult would sort it out/tell them just to get along/help by making suggestions - now they are at a stage where they're trying to figure it out on their own)

And agree, sometimes I listen and think well you she could have handled that better, but other than gentle advice (which most of the time they won't listen to anyway) all we can do is be a shoulder to cry on. I feel embarrassed having to talk to the teacher when she should be concentrating on her school-work, but learning socialisation skills is part of growing up.

I have encouraged her to not have a 'Best' friend but try and be friends with loads of people; particularly the boys who at this age tend to be a bit less dramatic.

And also agree with MamaBear one or two of the girls in DDs class seem to think that what they see on Eastenders is how they should act in real life. Sorry this is so long. It happened again last night, but all these replies reassure me this is normal. If slightly exhausting. (It drives my DH mad though, cause he really doesn't get the girl thing)

SuburbanRhonda Fri 22-Mar-13 12:59:57

I use a book called "Stick Up for Yourself: Every Kid's Guide to Personal Power and Self-Esteem", when I'm working with especially year 4 girls and their friendship issues. It helps them to know how to manage their feelings, even when they can't change what's happened.

I completely agree that it's better to have lots of friends rather than focus on one or two, but this is not how many girls function. My DS behaves exactly as the poster above, who said hers forgot the fall-out in a trice, whereas girls can stew for England!

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