Old friends dd and mine no longer friends......(64 Posts)
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?
How does it change anything whether or not I said in my OP how my friend found out about the girls plans for the weekend? How do I find my friends daughter? Well although I've known her since birth she is not a girl who likes to speak to adults much so we are not particularly close. She is very intelligent clearly but lacks social skills sometimes. Watching her with other girls she is generally quiet but then tends to make random out of context comments or put down things that they like, eg Girl one: 'OMG I love those new jeans so and so is wearing' Friends DD: 'They are disgusting, why would anyone wear those'
How does it change anything whether or not I said in my OP how my friend found out about the girls plans for the weekend?
Well because I thought the DD was upset at not being invited and told her Mum about it, and the Mum was upset and trying to make things right for her, and now it seems like the DD didn't even mention it and the Mum found out about it from a third party, and got upset on her DD's behalf. The two things are totally different. The DD may not give a shit about not going to the party/other things.
I agree that making comments like the one you've mentioned would put people off her felicity.
Hully I don't think I am over-invested but if I am it's not from the direction you think - my DS1 has a friend who his other friends don't really gel with and can sometimes be mean to. I have not handled it as well as I should have done. It's not quite the same thing as the boy is in a different school year and they would be growing apart anyway, but there was an incident where DS1 left him out of something and I got all weak and dithery and did not insist he included him and it really was not our finest hour.
I am actually more worried about your friend here than her daughter. It doesn't sound like the daughter has gone crying at not being invited.
Let's flip this - why should your friends dd be forced to spend time with girls she probably finds quite vacuous, childish and uninteresting?
But her mother is obivously worried she isn't part of the big social set. Whereas she obviously has her own tastes and opinions and tbh that is very hard for a 13 yo to express, most do tend to stick to the herd mentality. Sounds like you would do well to encourage your friend to respect her dd for who she is and be proud she has the courage to be different than try to make her fit into a situation that sounds like it holds no appeal to her.
I didn't mean anything nasty, Balloon, just that you seemed really bothered!
Not read thread!
Just because two women are friends and get on amazingly it doesn't guarantee that their children will get on and be BFFs. I've seen this so many times.
I think that the mother trying to shape her DD's social circle will not really help the situation and anything that she does manage to arrange on her daughter's behalf is likely to not last anyway. You can't force friendships.
Nope, just interested in the subject (teenage friendship dynamics) and also trying to explain myself!
RJ it does sound as if you're right and that this group of friends isn't really one otherdd would enjoy herself in. But at the same time otherdd doesn't seem to be happy at school - the op said friend said that otherdd was picked on (which presumably comes from otherdd?)- and the fact that friend has asked felicitydd to look out for otherdd at school and invite her to hang out suggests that otherdd has said to friend (at least once) that she's miserable. So it would be nice to give her some help to make new friends if possible.
Felicity 1971, what a difficult situation for you. The problem, is in such a fraught situation, if you suggest friend goes to school and asks them to help otherdd make new friends, that might not go down very well.
Totally agree about making new friends alpine but mother getting into a state about her being part of a particular group that really doesn't interest her child isn't going to help her self confidence at all.
It's very difficult for anyone to be happy anywhere if a particular group is held us as what you should be part of, especially when they don't interest you.
Yes RJ I agree, and in fact on a number of threads mners have said that what made their social difficulties worse as teenagers was the feeling that their mother was really worried and upset about it (obvious once you think about it really! but worth remembering as a parent, our role is sometimes to be a soothing presence - quoting another mner there).
Question is - as op has asked, what should she say to her friend? Friend is obviously feeling very fragile, otherdd seems to need a bit of support socially (from school if it is willing/able to give it a go) - but I think if op were to suggest it to friend at the moment, the conversation might not go that well - it is easy to see how it could end!
It's odd, this thing about putting down what other people like (going back to fel71's description of otherdd) - it is not uncommon amongst very shy preteens, and as others have said, can provoke negative reactions. Possibly their shyness/anxiety in the situation makes the shy preteens say whatever comes into their head - not always a good approach to life! Although you can also imagine a cool and popular girl saying it and completely getting away with it! The random out of context comments suggest that maybe as RJ suggests she finds these girls a bit boring, they are not her soulmates (at the moment!), so she is not really listening to the conversation.
I think that if you already feel awkward/resentful/out of place it is very normal to be ruder than you otherwise might have been.
I certainly remember being like this at the same age. Oh God, my Year 7 classmates and their hysterical obsession with boybands, clothes etc. I was totally baffled and alienated by it and am pretty sure I made my contempt for Take That or whatever quite clear. Fortunately I had enough friends like me that I got away with it.
She says how would I feel if it was the other way round
I think this is interesting because how would you feel if it was your daughter was being left out? its not an easy to imagine when your daughter is obviously happy and confident, but I think in friends position it is not wrong or unnatural to reach out to you as her supposed friend who has a child of the same age within the same school and ask for help and support.
Whilst I dont think you should feel guilty or force your dd into a friendship she doesnt want, I do think maybe you could talk to your dd about how she would feel to be left out and to be more supportive to your friend and her very obvious distress at this situation. Girls can be so spiteful, and that can have very long term affects
Othermum doesn't seem as if she is really able to help her daughter much.
I have been her in the sense that dd had a time in Yr 7/8 when she wasn't really part of any friendship groups, groups had shifted, she had been ill a lot and people do tend to forget you if you're not there, she was disabled and prone to depression.
It was difficult to quite know what to do, but I thought my best way of helping her would be to stay as calm and reassuring as I could, thinking that projecting my anxiety and her would make her more anxious and hence coming across as more needy. I encouraged her to join out of school activities but more with the message "I think you might enjoy trying this" than " we must try this to find you more friends".
It did seem to work out for dd. And even if it hadn't, I can't see that anything else would have worked better.
I think I have been in the position, at one time or the other of both of your daughters.
IMO, you can't and shouldn't force your daughter to facilitate the other girl's friendship - it just doesn't work like that. However, I think you should encourage her to make time for an old family friend, even if it is just the cinema with her and and another mate, low key stuff, every so often. And also encourage a bit more empathy from your daughter, because these dynamics have a habit of changing over time.
What isn't clear is whether your friend's daughter is actually bothered about not being in with a particular crowd, or if it is just her mum.
She is definitely envious of their social life, but whether or not she would like to be part of these particular girls circle I'm not sure. She would be happier with some more like minded girls I think. I'm meeting my friend for coffee tomorrow so will have a chat about things......
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