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.


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.


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

its not your problem or your daughters problem ,will your friend be phoning you when her daughter is 16/18, its time to let them get on with their own friendships as long as no one is being mean its fine, teenagers have the right to exclude people they dont like.

bigTillyMint Fri 21-Jun-13 18:36:54

Balloon, it is very difficult with teens - they form their own little cliques based on interests and those who don't really share the interests and fit-in get left out.

I would suggest that the mum contacts the school and talks to them about helping her DD to find at least one other friend who has something in common with her. And to ensure that she is not being bullied just because she doesn't share the same interests.

I am finding that as my DC grow, they are finding that there are some old family friends that they don't have much in common with (other than shared memories and experiences) We adults just meet up on our own mostly now.

Hullygully Fri 21-Jun-13 18:42:26

same here bigtilly

and in my experience (from forcing my dd to include people), the other child ends up feeling worse than ever because they aren't stupid and know that they are there on sufferance.

Better to let them get on with it and put energies into helping the sad dd to find suitable friends and activities.

Ilovegeorgeclooney Fri 21-Jun-13 18:43:15

Balloon you have replied saying exactly what I was thinking. My DD2 experienced exactly the same issues. I asked my friend, DD2 and her DD2 had been close since birth almost, to ask her DD to help mine. It was only then I found that her DD had been bullying my DD to be 'popular'. Fortunately DS and DD1 were able to tell me the truth. I am not saying this is the case but perhaps your DD is prepared to sacrifice her former friend to remain popular. School is a shark pool sometimes but parents need to realise it can also be their child who is cruel. Eventually I printed off a Facebook page showing my friend exactly what had been going on. She was horrified and I really felt for her. Now, 6 years on they are still friends but my DD has better ones.

Ilovegeorgeclooney Fri 21-Jun-13 18:45:44

I meant we are still friends.

felicity1971 Fri 21-Jun-13 19:32:27

Yes I have also read Facebook chat threads (I have dd's password) and there is nothing suggesting that the other girls are being nasty! DD and friends DD have never been close at school, when I say they got on very well when they were younger I mean pre school days. So its not a case of DD 'sacrificing' a former good friend for new people at all! As kids get older they gravitate towards the people with whom they have more in common with, its natural. I wouldn't choose to spend my time with people who didn't share my interests in anything. The girls are very different!

kerala Fri 21-Jun-13 20:02:49

Am reading queen bees and wannabes quite American but gives good strategies for parents to deal with this stuff. Funnily enough tearful phone calls to parents of other girls not recommended....

timidviper Fri 21-Jun-13 20:10:28

I agree this is not your DDs responsibility but it is clearly distressing your friend which probably means that her DD is upset too. If your child is unhappy at school it is awful and any support you can give your friend will help.
I would suggest gently that she speaks to school and try to organise something outside school for them as others have suggested

exexpat Fri 21-Jun-13 20:15:59

You really can't force nearly-teenagers to be friends when they have nothing in common. What are the other girl's interests? I'd suggest to your friend that she encourages her DD to find friends through that, if necessary out of school through clubs, rather than trying to piggy-back on your DD's social life.

I do sympathise with the other girl, though - it can be hard being the odd one out at that age. Is it a big school? There will almost certainly be a few girls she could get on with, but it can take a while to find them, so she improbably just tempted to cling on to a familiar face.

Ilovegeorgeclooney Fri 21-Jun-13 20:16:16

Yes my point is that sometimes 'casual cruelty' by one you think you can depend on is the most heart-breaking. I am slightly disturbed by the focus being on the other child being at fault. I think it is important to teach children that being different is admirable. My DD is now off to Oxford with a hugely supportive group of friends. My friend's DD is about to start a third college course because staff are now picking on her. It is sad because she has been so pandered to that she responds to any criticism at 18 as an attack.
BTW what seems harmless at 30+ can seem vicious at 13.

exexpat Fri 21-Jun-13 20:16:32

* is probably, not improbably

felicity1971 Fri 21-Jun-13 20:30:17

Yes it's a pretty big school, 200 per year group. I'm not too sure what friends DD's interests are, it's something I will discuss with her mum. She is certainly not into 'girly' stuff, not interested in shopping for clothes etc. DD does hockey, athletics, netball and drama at after school clubs but friends DD not into any of these. She does do outside clubs that my DD does not do, like Girl Guides and badminton but doesn't seem to have met anyone she clicks with there either apparently. I feel desperately sorry for her but don't want my DD to feel under pressure to try and sort it out!

cory Fri 21-Jun-13 20:37:53

Not sure I'd go as far as Balloon, but there is perhaps a sense on this thread that the girl ought to be interested in the things the other girls are interested in, that these are the Normal, Proper 12yo interests and that somebody who isn't interested in this particular set of pursuits must be lacking in social skills.

I was that girl. I spent secondary school along in a corner or trying to talk about matters I knew nothing about and desperately trying to hide what I did know and care about. I felt convinced that the problem was my lack of social skills. I thought I would never be able to have friends
let alone a boyfriend.

By my second term at university I had gained a reputation as a socialiser, a party organiser, a fun-lover. (I had also met dh).

I may have changed slightly in those 12 months, but I hadn't changed that much. What had changed was the people around me.

And I bet if one of the queen bees from my old school had turned up at one of our parties, I bet she would have been the one sat in the corner hoping nobody realised that she had nothing to talk about.

The world was full of people like me: I just had to find them.

So my advice to the other girl would be to take stock of who she really is, what she really enjoys and then go out and find people like her.

BalloonSlayer Fri 21-Jun-13 21:36:33

Fab post from Cory above, and from many others. (sorry have had more wine than is good for me and am struggling to write a coherent sentence let alone name posters blush )

I must say, as I didn't the first time I posted, that I don't feel it it your DD's DUTY to help the other girl.

Your DD is a child herself, and it is a minefield.

Yet there is a feeling of "I'm alright Jack, pull up the ladder" about this - she has been accepted by the in-crowd and what should she care for the one who didn't make the cut?

And the thing where there is a party and a sleepover to which the other DD has not been invited . . . how did she find out about them?

By constant discussion under her nose.

Which is a form of bullyng.


But OP - I am totally impressed with you for worrying about it and wondering what you should do. My DS had a similar situation with a friend recently, and did not react as I'd have hoped he would - but it's just human nature.

Butterflywgs Fri 21-Jun-13 23:19:05

With BalloonSlayer too.

alpinemeadow Sat 22-Jun-13 07:53:58

It is difficult for the ones who aren't interested in clothes, hair, boys, music because by and large this does seem to be what many girls are interested in by yr 7, so it can be very hard to find like minded girls. By summer yr 7 other dd hasn't done so, and that must be very upsetting for her (and her mother).
I agree with all the posters who suggest other dd's mother speaks the school, explain problem and ask for help putting her dd together with other like minded girls - and be prepared to push, if they're not immediately helpful. Things like seating plans, joint projects - can all be helpful if school prepared to do it (which is the big question!)

cory Sat 22-Jun-13 09:10:23

It is difficult as alpine says, and what makes it worse is that 12yos have no perspective: to them a year is a lifetime and they can't see that things may look totally different in another year's time.

It took my dd (social, fairly ordinary interests plus some less usual ones) at least until the end of Yr 8 to get her social life sorted. She is now in Yr 11 and much happier and more confident.

Funnily enough some of that has been to do with the other girls catching up with her rather than with her changing: girls who in Yr 7 only wanted to talk about clothes and hairdos now want to talk about Victor Hugo (made attractive through endless Twitter conversations about Les Mis).

Interests that seemed hopelessly nerdy in a 12yo are just mainstream when you get to 16. And the endless talk about boys and make-up is now seen as a bit babyish. 16yos are also far less clique-ish and far less about "I'm friends with you and you but not with you".

alpinemeadow Sat 22-Jun-13 09:43:18

Yes Cory! - I think both sides move a bit, and come closer to each other as they get into yrs 10/11. Dteens maybe become more interested in wider issues - politics, social issues etc, become more interesting - and the ones who had no interest in clothes sometimes become a bit more interested, and maybe a bit of mascara. (Talking about 'sides' is wrong and oversimplistic I know, and I'm definitely not suggesting that all 12 yr olds who are interested in clothes and boys have no interest in literature, politics etc! - perfectly possible to be interested in both! But I suppose it's shorthand for the more fashionable, slightly 'older' ones and the ones who have not the slightest interest in clothes. Definitely true that there can be more convergence later on!)

In fact the other dd does have some interest in sport - she does badminton - so there is some shared interest there? However that is not really relevant as it does seem as though felicitydd's friends probably are not otherdd's 'natural' group at the moment, and what otherdd needs is to find her natural friends. Unfortunately this can be very hard - and the fact that she hasn't done so by summer yr 7 suggests that she could do with some help to find them.

Balloon also makes a very interesting point about 'how does otherdd know about the parties/sleepovers'. I agree, if people are discussing them in front of otherdd, that is hurtful, but it can be difficult - if someone says 'what are you doing at the weekend' how should the dcs respond? I have advised dcs it can be kinder not to mention get togethers that another person isn't included in - but at the same time they do have to answer the question somehow! 'Oh, this and that,' or 'going swimming (df's name not mentioned)' may work - but then on the other hand what some people say is that it's awful to find out afterwards and feel people were hiding it from you. No easy answers there. Of course once you're on facebook the friends may find out anyway from photos etc (see many mn threads on precisely this!).

alpinemeadow Sat 22-Jun-13 10:27:07

Just wanted to add - I agree felicitydd definitely shouldn't have to feel she must solve this problem for otherdd - that would be completely unfair, and in any case counterproductive.

As others have said, it would be a kind thing to get together with otherdd out of school on her own occasionally - maybe a game of badminton at the leisure centre, or as others have suggested, cinema?
Felicitydd may never know how grateful othermum and otherdd are - but they would be! Not in any way saying felicitydd should do this - but it would be a lovely thing to do for a not very happy acquaintance. And who knows - they might get on quite well alone, batting the shuttlecock backwards and forwards....It is never a bad thing to have an extra nice friend, even if you don't have that much in common!

ChewingOnLifesGristle Sat 22-Jun-13 10:53:19

Oh dearsad I can see why she feels protective and worried about her dd but tearful phonecalls requesting instant inclusion isn't the way ahead.

Providing it's a case of needing to gel with peers rather than being excluded because of bullying then the girl in question needs strategies and support in seeking out her own new friends.

As has been said it's a skill worth learning. If things have petered out between the two girls in question then forcing the issue isn't going to work.

My own dd needed to change friendship groups due to some nastiness within the group she was in. The problem is that by secondary school many groups appear set and it can seem hard to break into an established group.

I explained to my dd that it wouldn't happen overnight. You have to be open and interested in other people and gradually, very gradually you become part of the group by investing time and interest in the people in it.

But you need to look receptive and open, not defensive or closed which may mean compromising and learning to look interested in stuff which might not always be your thing. It's worked for my dd but it def took time. It's unfair to expect op's dd to magically make everything ok.

alpinemeadow Sat 22-Jun-13 11:03:08

Yes chewing, and I think also the groups are not actually that set at the beginning of year 7 - by the end there has been a lot of flux, and that may well continue into yr 8, so you can definitely make new friends after yr 7.

But if you are not a 'natural' friend maker you don't instinctively sense the 'opportunities', for want of a better word, to make friends as the groups shift. To some people it comes naturally, some are a bit more observant and 'deliberate' about it - and some just don't have that antenna at all. So a dd in the last category, who has problems at the beginning of yr 7, may well not find things have improved by end yr 7.

Sometimes schools may say 'oh give it time, they all change friends throughout the year' - but time may not be enough if you need help with the friend finding skill as well! hence the scope for schools to try to 'introduce' the like minded girls...(if they have the resources and willingness to do it)

felicity1971 Sat 22-Jun-13 11:31:01

My friend actually found out about what was happening with the girls over the weekend from another mum who was moaning about all the lifts etc she was going to have to do! That was when she phoned me in tears! I have spoken to Dd about trying to avoid talking about stuff friends dd is not involved in when she is around and she says she is careful not to, but obviously this is not easy. The girls want to talk about what they are doing, its part of their social life. Also stuff will be posted on Facebook etc, not necessarily in a malicious way! I don't think that putting a photo on FB of themselves at a party that friends dd wasn't at can really be seen as a 'form of bullying'. Taking it a bit far I feel.

Jimalfie Sat 22-Jun-13 11:35:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BalloonSlayer Sat 22-Jun-13 11:53:54

"My friend actually found out about what was happening with the girls over the weekend from another mum who was moaning about all the lifts etc she was going to have to do!"

you didn't say that in your OP.

It is far more reasonable to assume from the information that you did give that the DD knew about it all and was upset that she had not been invited, than the mother had heard about it from another mum and got upset on her daughter's behalf.

What is the OtherDD like, in your opinion? You have said what your DD says she is like, but you have known her for years.

I do still feel that your DD has got in with the in-crowd because her face fits, the OtherDD hasn't because her face doesn't, and that's that. It's a shame that your DD is a bit "I'm alright Jack" about it but that said, she's only 12 and can't be expected to sort out her friend. sad

Hullygully Sat 22-Jun-13 12:19:11

But they aren't even really friends. They got on well when younger, but now move in different circles.

The unhappy dd's mother is just desperately trying to improve things for her dd by asking the other one to include her in her own circle, but that isn't realistic.

You seem a little er over-invested here Balloon!

felicity1971 Sat 22-Jun-13 12:37:48

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'

BalloonSlayer Sat 22-Jun-13 13:05:28

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. confused

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. sad blush

RhondaJean Sat 22-Jun-13 13:16:24

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.

Hullygully Sat 22-Jun-13 13:34:59

I didn't mean anything nasty, Balloon, just that you seemed really bothered!

PeanutPatty Sat 22-Jun-13 13:43:42

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.

BalloonSlayer Sat 22-Jun-13 14:01:57

Nope, just interested in the subject (teenage friendship dynamics) and also trying to explain myself! grin

alpinemeadow Sat 22-Jun-13 17:06:15

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.

RhondaJean Sat 22-Jun-13 17:12:56

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.

alpinemeadow Sat 22-Jun-13 17:24:29

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.

MooncupGoddess Sat 22-Jun-13 17:32:01

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.

helenthemadex Sat 22-Jun-13 17:48:14

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

cory Sat 22-Jun-13 20:18:41

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.

MerylStrop Sat 22-Jun-13 20:29:04

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.

felicity1971 Sun 23-Jun-13 17:16:12

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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