Old friends dd and mine no longer friends......

(64 Posts)
felicity1971 Fri 21-Jun-13 11:21:53

Awkward situation with an old friend of mine. We both have kids same age, boys nearly 14 in year 8 and girls 12 in year 7. The four children all got on very well when younger but now they're all at high school don't really mix in the same circles any more. My DD is very happy at school, doing well, popular with big friendship group, good social life out or school etc but friends DD is very unhappy. My friend says her DD is picked on at school although my DD says people find her very bossy, rude and difficult to get along with and she doesn't really do anything to help herself. She has no interest in music, hair, clothes, sport, boys and DD says she finds it hard to talk to her now as they have very little in common. Anyway my friend is making things very awkward, almost seems to be trying to make me feel guilty that my dd is doing ok when hers isn't. She keeps asking me if I can ask my dd to look out for her dd at school and invite her to hang out with her and her friends. DD has tried this in the past but friends dd doesn't try and fit in with the others at all but instead says things she knows will antagonise them and makes it very difficult. This weekend Dd is at a party tonight and then shopping tomorrow and sleepover tomorrow night. Friends dd not invited to any of it and friend has been on the phone to me in tears this morning asking if my dd can try and get hers invited. I've explained that it's really not fair on my dd and I'm not going to put her in that position but friend will really not leave it alone. She says how would I feel if it was the other way round. I do feel sorry for her daughter but my daughter has tried and now just wants to be left alone without thinking shes responsible for the other girl. Our boys don't get on any more either but that doesn't seem to be a problem for her. What would you say to friend?

chocoluvva Fri 21-Jun-13 12:50:10

Oh dear - what a difficult situation to be in.

Could you invite her and her DD to join you, your DD and some of their other friends to a picnic/activity/ something perhaps?

I'm sorry if that's not a relevant suggestion. Perhaps it would give your friend the chance to see how her DD interacts with the others. (Rather than you getting directly involved with details of teenage girl going-ons)

Your friend really must accept though, that she can't expect your DD to try to get her DD invited to something. It's up to the friend to decide who she invites.

cory Fri 21-Jun-13 12:50:22

Ouch, difficult one. Of course you are quite right, your dd can't be left with a forced friendship just because you and the other girl's mum happen to be friends. It's just how to get this across to the other mum without upsetting her too much.

Basically, there are things your friend ought to be doing now, but it has to be she, not your dd.

First of all, she should have a quiet chat with the school just to make sure there isn't a bullying situation. I know your dd says there isn't, but sometimes it doesn't hurt to have a second opinion. The school might also be able to flag up any concerns with this girl's social skills etc.

Then she should think about other possible ways for her dd to make likeminded friends and suggest those to her. Not everybody can take an interest in clothes and boys and popular music. There are still so many other things out there; there is no reason you have to be lonely just because the people who sit next to you in class don't share any common ground with you. There must be something she could be interested in: drama club, wildlife watching, a book club, an art group...

cory Fri 21-Jun-13 12:51:42

What I would say to the dd if I were her mum would be: "You can't change other people to be more like you, but what you can do is go out and look for people who are more like you."

Cerisier Fri 21-Jun-13 13:27:50

DD1 used to be in this situation with a friend's DD. For my sake she made a huge effort with the other girl, but in the end she was getting distressed and I felt she had done her bit.

It was all very awkward but I am afraid teens have to find their own friendship groups in school.

Outside school you can encourage DD to invite her over, but only if your DD can cope. She shouldn't be forced to be friends with someone.

chocoluvva Fri 21-Jun-13 13:31:36

Or perhaps go to the cinema or some other structured activity with her rather than just 'hanging out' - which requires a lot of chatting.

Viking1 Fri 21-Jun-13 14:26:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrsjay Fri 21-Jun-13 15:56:39

I think it is unfair to expect these girls to still be friends your dd has her own friends at school and being told to hang about with somebody else isn't goignt o wash with your dd she will be resentful of the girl, just say to her well I can try but it is such a shame they have grown apart but that is what happens when they get to high school they make their own friends, I always feel awkward when i hear this happen it isn't rare for grown up friends teens not to be pals

mrsjay Fri 21-Jun-13 15:58:09

and can you imagine your dds friends if your dd tagged this girl along I know her mum is worried about her but she can't really think forcing friendships work,

Jimalfie Fri 21-Jun-13 16:59:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

felicity1971 Fri 21-Jun-13 17:04:51

Thanks everyone for your thoughts! I think maybe I will suggest that my friend goes into school to have a word and see if they think there are any problems there. The suggestion of getting the girls and mums together one day would be good so my friend could see how her daughter interacts with the other girls, although now they're at high school there are not so many mums that I know that well. I have no expectation that the girls are going to be friends as they are so different, just wish she could see that too!

dianettey Fri 21-Jun-13 17:20:16

I think your friend needs to work on accepting her daughter as she is.

The best thing would be if you could encourage the friendship outside of school. They were friends not so long ago, they must get on, surely? Provide opportunities for them to meet up. Year 7 at school is not really indicative of future personalities and this could be a very long term friendship.

dianettey Fri 21-Jun-13 17:24:37

Sorry, year 7?? Geez, what with all the 'hair, clothes, boys' talk I thought we were talking about at least year 10.

sad

amothersplaceisinthewrong Fri 21-Jun-13 17:25:39

I think your DD has done more than enough to try and include your friend's dd.

NatashaBee Fri 21-Jun-13 17:37:55

I think she's putting you in a very difficult position, she shouldn't be trying to invite her DD along with your DD and her own friends. I wouldn't be happy about that. It must be tough for her though, and her DD is probably lonely. Could you maybe set up some time for them to do something that doesn't involve too much actual conversation, like a cinema trip? or does she get along with the 2 boys? sounds like she may be more interested in spending time with them if she's not into 'girly' things.

scherazadey Fri 21-Jun-13 17:39:05

Yes she's being unreasonable, her daughter will find other friends in time that she has more in common with. Oh and btw my youngest dd is also 12 (13 in september) and is totally into hair, clothes, nail varnish, boy bands etc, a lot of girls of this age are. She also loves sport, swimming, reading - just wasn't sure I liked dianetteys comment..........

TerribleTantrums Fri 21-Jun-13 17:43:06

The thing is, making friends is a skill, like swimming or riding a bike, that some people take to easily and some people need a bit of helpful advice and instruction on. There are lots of books around on the subject, and it's not so much that your friend's DD needs to change herself as that she needs to understand what makes other people tick, how to read the signs that they are bored, unhappy or distracted. Perhaps a book like this might help.

Your DD is not the best person to help her with this because she is naturally good at making friends, and also because she is just a child and should be mostly enjoying her childhood rather than trying to fix someone else's social life. A little bit of kindness towards the other girl is a good thing, we should all have kindness, but always including her when nobody els e in the group wants her will probably make things worse in the long term.

I think your friend sounds very emotional, it might help her if you go with the approach that most teens have a period of awkwardness while they find their place in the world, and perhaps a self-help book for teens might help her daughter understand others around her and how to relate to them on their level.

felicity1971 Fri 21-Jun-13 17:46:17

No Natashabee my friends dd doesn't get along with her brother or my ds really, otherwise that would be a great idea. My son is very sporty and she is very dismissive of that 'hate football' etc and her brother loves xbox like most boys do, and she's not into that at all! Yes Scherazadey, I reckon dd is pretty normal for a year 7! It's that funny age where they don't want to be little girls any more but aren't proper teens either so they hover somewhere in between.

Stepissue Fri 21-Jun-13 17:47:22

I feel sorry for her op (and for you too, awkward situation to be in), she's just trying to do her best for her dd and probably doesn't know where to turn.

Could you try to help? I know it's unfair on your dd but maybe the girl just needs more 'practice' in social circles, or perhaps she is being bullied? Just feel really sorry for all of you really sad

felicity1971 Fri 21-Jun-13 17:47:36

Yes thanks TerribleTantrums, that sound like good advice!

Stepissue Fri 21-Jun-13 17:49:42

I've just bought that book because of your link TT, thank you smile

My dd (8) has possible Aspergers, probably why I feel like crying just reading this thread, bit of a sore spot for me smile

Hullygully Fri 21-Jun-13 17:52:32

Your friend is being very unfair and hopelessly unreasonable (in the sense you can't force friendship). What about if you all got together with your kids to do stuff now and then, nothing to do with school, but apart from that it's up to them what friends they have? It might also help your dd and hers build some kind of r'ship. Or not.

CointreauVersial Fri 21-Jun-13 17:58:03

Y7 and Y8 are tricky years - kids change so much as they find their feet at secondary school, and sometimes move in opposite directions.

I have had the same problem with DS, when he started to really clash with / dislike my friend's DS, who he has known since preschool.

It was quite awkward, and after a brief conversation about it, my friend and I avoided the subject, and it drove a bit of a wedge between us. However, I think we were wise not to get too involved. The school gave the two of them a bit of "counselling", they were advised to keep their distance from each other for a while, and after a few months they started to rebuild their friendship. For my part, I tried to help DS understand his friend's point of view, and keep a lid on any animosity, and it's fine now. They even shared a room on their recent French trip.

Ultimately, I think children need to develop the maturity to realise that not all friendships are alike, and it is possible to get along with someone while keeping a distance, or growing in different directions. The more "dependent" kids sometimes struggle with this, and feel they have been effectively dumped, whereas the more confident ones feel that their old friend is cramping their new-found independence. They have to learn for themselves how to handle this, and I don't think shoving them together serves any useful purpose.

BalloonSlayer Fri 21-Jun-13 18:16:21

I see I am going to be the unpopular one on this thread, but here goes:

This : My DD is very happy at school, doing well, popular with big friendship group, good social life out or school etc but friends DD is very unhappy. My friend says her DD is picked on at school although my DD says people find her very bossy, rude and difficult to get along with and she doesn't really do anything to help herself. She has no interest in music, hair, clothes, sport, boys and DD says she finds it hard to talk to her now as they have very little in common. ... made me feel uncomfortable.

The friend says her DD is picked on at school. For "picked on," read "bullied."

OP's DD says "people find her very bossy, rude and difficult to get along with and she doesn't really do anything to help herself. She has no interest in music, hair, clothes, sport, boys"

Sounds to me like she is being bullied because she doesn't fit in and she, the victim is being blamed - "doesn't really do anything to help herself."

To me it's a classic exchange:

Person A: I am being ignored and picked on.

Person B: Well it's your own fault as you don't do anything to help yourself. You are not interested in shallow 12 year old pursuits, what do you expect?

Person C; Someone needs to show person A how to be more likeable.

confused

How does the girl get to be bossy if she has no friends? Who does she boss about?

You have known the girl since she was tiny, OP. What do YOU think of her personality?

Stepissue Fri 21-Jun-13 18:21:01

I think I'm with you Balloon

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