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?

Abra1d Sat 23-Mar-13 17:23:02

'The worst thing I dealt with the fallout from as an FE teacher was when a group wrote an anonymous letter to one lad's mum, telling her that he was gay.'

That is terrible!

TheSmallClanger Sat 23-Mar-13 17:18:38

I agree Abra, children like that often peak too soon and underachieve as adults.

Abra1d Sat 23-Mar-13 17:15:37

'helped by being chosen to be on the front of a magazine, lead in school play, constant comments on her prettiness etc etc . Creating a monster!'

Yup. And hard for that child when she grows up and sees that she is no longer anything particularly special in the big wide world. A little bit of struggling while you're at school is no bad thing. I am not talking about a child who is being bullied, tormented, excluded, etc. I mean things like not always being chosen for teams/plays or winning academic praise and awards.

TheSmallClanger Sat 23-Mar-13 17:12:20

Friendships outside the pressure-cooker of school are really helpful here.

To everyone assuming this is a "girl thing" - it does happen to boys, but not until much later. Boys aged 16-19 can be staggeringly cruel and calculating towards each other, as well as violent, and their chopping and changing of allegiances is generally tolerated as them "getting it out of their system and moving on".

The worst thing I dealt with the fallout from as an FE teacher was when a group wrote an anonymous letter to one lad's mum, telling her that he was gay.

Astelia Sat 23-Mar-13 14:36:48

It only takes one or two queen bee types to make other girls' lives a misery. The other nice girls don't want to be on the receiving end so don't stand up for the victims.

The queen bee types will pick on those who are a threat to them- the pretty ones, the pretty and clever ones. Girls can be jealous of other girls' hair, skin, eyes, figure- you name it.

kerala Sat 23-Mar-13 13:56:49

Think it is that Abra in this case anyway. Am quite friendly with the mum and would be very surprised if anything dark was going on in the family. But the child does have a very over-inflated sense of herself not helped by being chosen to be on the front of a magazine, lead in school play, constant comments on her prettiness etc etc hmm. Creating a monster!

Abra1d Sat 23-Mar-13 08:54:20

Unfortunately it's a bit of a myth that unpleasant/bullying children are that way because something negative has been occurring to them. Often they are that way because they have deeply over-inflated senses of themselves.

Takver Sat 23-Mar-13 08:49:38

"Odd as she is pretty/clever/indulged I always thought unpleasant children came from awful backgrounds but seems its innate in some kids."

Its also important to remember that you never know what is happening at home - things can look fine from the outside, but be different behind closed doors (don't mean anything terrible, particularly, but things like parental conflict, for example which can come out in behaviour to others).

DorisIsWaiting Fri 22-Mar-13 21:44:02

DD1 is also 7 but apart from some upset last year we don't really have this at all. BUT this year she has a much broader friendhip base which seems to work better at this age. (This took suggestions and rewards from us and building confidence to play with different children at playtime a set number of playtimes each week)

Hey ho I'm sure it will all change soon

Morloth Fri 22-Mar-13 21:35:06

So is this behaviour learned or built in I wonder.

Like woopsi DS's friendship issues usually pass in a couple of moments and are shrugged off.

I don't actually know any girls of a similar age.

kerala Fri 22-Mar-13 20:49:20

Sadly I think its developmental - a painful process most of us have to go through. In an extreme form it can tip into bullying but for most its practice for real life adult relationships. I still remember the sick feeling of being excluded from my friendship group because of my bag. Then I was in again and someone else was out....oh joy.

DD is 6 and has a happy group but there is one girl in the class (not one of DDs friends thankfully) who seems to delight in making others unhappy. Odd as she is pretty/clever/indulged I always thought unpleasant children came from awful backgrounds but seems its innate in some kids.

TheGirlOnTheLanding Fri 22-Mar-13 19:40:10

Sounds really good, SuburbanRhonda, thanks (and sorry for slight hijack, Molehill)

SuburbanRhonda Fri 22-Mar-13 16:05:35

TheGirlOnTheLanding, it's one of the best books I've used and I've lent it to parents who have also found it invaluable. In fact, I used to have three copies and now only have one! I think what is good about it is that it doesn't pretend to offer solutions to make the things not happen. So it stops children blaming themselves for the bad things. Instead it says, in child-speak of course, shit happens, but here's some strategies for managing your feelings so next time, you don't feel so bad.

Molehillmountain Fri 22-Mar-13 15:48:52

Forewarned is forearmed - I think confused

TobyLerone Fri 22-Mar-13 15:17:26

I hate to tell you, OP, but DD is almost 12 and it hasn't got any better yet sad

ItsallisnowaFeegle Fri 22-Mar-13 15:15:34

Oh God, sorry OP.

My DD is almost 15 and I'm finding it gets worse not better hmm

All we can do is listen, suggest and mop up the tears.

TomArchersSausage Fri 22-Mar-13 15:15:27

And I meant to say, when dd said 'well how can I be staring at you when I'm facing away from you?' The aggrieved girl thought for a minute, then agreed with dd and decided that everything was ok after all. Well ..phew for thatgrin

That's the logic you're dealing with...confused

namechangeguy Fri 22-Mar-13 15:15:22

It's so subtle and so cutting that the only explanation is that this behaviour is the product of millions of years worth of 'teenage girl evolution'.

My God, TomArcher - if someone from the feminist board reads that, you are in trouble grin

Cherriesarelovely Fri 22-Mar-13 15:10:55

Yanbu OP. I completely agree. However, most of the time it is literally a drama one day and fine the next. It only got really awful when a parent with a real agenda (that her child was always the victim...not true at all) started sticking her oar in. By and large I just let my Dd talk it out with me but have learned not to do anything other than that and not to worry too much as it always seems to sort itself out in time.

TomArchersSausage Fri 22-Mar-13 15:07:14

Oh yes.. the whisperinghmm

And by 14 they have honed it down to 'glaring and funny looks'. Dd was told she was apparantly 'staring' at one the other day when in fact dd was sitting in front of the girl and facing the opposite way.

And excluding one by being overly exuberant towards others. That's another favourite. Hugs and kisses to all but one. I mean I ask you...!

It's so subtle and so cutting that the only explanation is that this behaviour is the product of millions of years worth of 'teenage girl evolution'.

Oopla Fri 22-Mar-13 14:59:38

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Littlefish Fri 22-Mar-13 14:55:26

We have the opposite problem to you TheGirlOnTheLanding. There are 10 girls in dd's class and they all seem to play together all the time. It means that if there is a falling out, the person who leaves the group/feels excluded, has no-one to play with.

Unfortunately, dd is quite bossy a strong character who always wants to lead the games. We are working very hard with her at home on listening to others and letting others lead, but don't seem to be making much headway at the moment. sad

aliasjoey Fri 22-Mar-13 14:53:59

tomarchersausage I snorted my coffee reading your post about the group dynamics ('detonates' !) because it is so true.

Another thing I have done is role-play certain situations with DD (swapping characters) also remind her that the teacher is NOT taking sides just because she doesn't automatically leap in to her defence.

And boys are usually easier, they fall out, they shout and maybe have a tussle and then its over.

Girls are whisper, whisper, whisper, and texting each other all the time.

TheGirlOnTheLanding Fri 22-Mar-13 14:45:22

SuburbanRhonda, I just ordered that book on Amazon in the hope it might help with DD's friend issues, you recommend it do you? DD is 8 and has recently lost the person she regarded as her BFF - we think long term it will help with her social skills and resilience (as well as minimising the daily drama) but it's been hard going in the short term. Girls in her class seem to be obsessed with being paired up with a best pal, and not having one makes playtime very very hard; hoping that this will give her some strategies to try out.

TomArchersSausage Fri 22-Mar-13 14:28:58

It's like walking a high wire. Esp with teen hormones thrown into the mix where everyone is moody and tetchy and looking for reasons to be offended.

Thank god for ginwink (That's for me not dd btwgrin)

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