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To think my daughters friendship is toxic

(13 Posts)
Freddiesfling Mon 23-Oct-17 18:03:08

My daughter is 10.
One of my closest friends had her daughter 3 weeks after I had her, therefore by proxy the children have known each other all their lives and attended the same nursery and school- they also have a lot of friends in common.
Both children are sporty and fairy academic and used to be very close friends.
Recently my friend moved to the other end of town ( a 15 min walk away) and therefore the girls see a lot less of each other now which I think is more healthy due to a lot of underlying tensions between them however my daughter is still set on pursuing a close friendship with this girl.
However my friends daughter has recently done all she can to belittle my daughter... examples are telling other friends that she still wets the bed (she doesn't) telling teachers that she has copied her work (their work was on different topics at the time) accusing her of hiding their friends things at a recent sleepover ( it was actually my friends daughter) and deleting all my daughters characters on a computer game ( sorry sounds petty but my daughter was very upset over this)
Also she never answers my daughters calls or texts unless she has no one else to play with.
I am not saying my daughter is perfect and with 5 kids I don't see her through rose tinted specs at all but she is so dead set on remaning friends with this girl but clearly my friends daughter wants to move on ( when it suits her)
My question is how involved do I need to be? Do I let my daughter make her own choices/ mistakes or do I try to help this friendship come to its natural end.
My and my friend are still fairly close despite the differences between our children.

MrsDustyBusty Mon 23-Oct-17 18:07:50

I think you need to take your daughter's lead. If she wants to maintain this friendship at some level, you probably can't stop her.

I think I'd be role playing handling difficult situations, discussing good relationships and what you should be expected ting to give and take, reciprocity, that kind of thing and overall helping her to decide that it's not working for her.

TalkinBoutWhat Mon 23-Oct-17 18:26:09

Hmm, I would be stepping in.

My DS is 10, and I point out when someone is being mean to them then they are NOT being a friend to them.

Your DD need some help in having better boundaries.

TuTru Mon 16-Apr-18 14:18:30

How do you tell your 11 yr old dd that the friend is bad for them without making the friend seem even more on their side and yourself (myself) not the baddie?

LittleMyLikesSnuffkin Mon 16-Apr-18 14:39:43

I’ve had same problem with my daughter and her friendships with certain girls. After simply telling her to play with other children and it not working (it’s not that easy after all) I tried a different tack and asked her what she liked about these girls. Why did she think they liked about her? The answers them helped her realise that actually she didn’t want to be friends with them she just didn’t want to be rejected and treated badly.

We’ve found best results come from keeping emotion out of her voice “no, that isn’t true I have never said/done that” “why would you say that when that isn’t true?” “I’m afraid I don’t know what xxxx is talking about” with a head tilt and carrying on whatever conversation was before. Also knowing when to walk away is key. Hard work but my daughter has been so much happier since she’s mastered that. Other girl is still awful to her (the other girl doesn’t really speak to her anymore at all) but my DD says she just doesn’t care as much. And other children are slowly following suit and not taking it either.

Simply making friends with as many other people as you can both in school and outside of it, so you’re less available to the “friend” doing the bullying but also because you can never have too many friends.

SweetMoon Mon 16-Apr-18 14:53:46

Watching with interest as my ds has a friendship like this and I see the other child treating him badly and it breaks my heart. But my ds is, for whatever reason, still hanging onto this friendship and is effectively being used by this boy when his other friends are busy. And he is a but of the other boys jokes on a number of occasions it seems.

I have voiced my opinion as diplomatically as I can and tried to encourage him to try and engage with other children more or join some additional clubs at school to try and get him to spend time with others with similar interests in the hope he will befriend someone else who doesn't treat him like crap.

I am basically just waiting it out in the hope he will naturally move on in the very near future but would be very interested for any ideas others have.

Doryismyname Mon 16-Apr-18 15:12:33

Is this a competitive friendship? It sounds like your DDs friend is keen on making herself queen bee.

Swimagainstthetide Mon 16-Apr-18 16:09:55

It's not easy, but it can be done. My DD is/was in a toxic friendship and she needed help to get out of it. All those feelings and emotions that posters speak of on the relationships board about adult friendships where there are unequal power balances exist when the children are younger, and the more powerful child really is powerful in the eyes of the child with less power. That child needs outside help to pull them out of the friendship and teach them that it is ok to say no, it is ok to become unavailable, it is ok to create distance (physically and emotionally) and it is ok not say 'how high?' when commanded to jump.

Equally, we as adults can recognise that the powerful child will not be exercising power because they necessarily feel fantastic about themselves, and we can help our children to understand that it isn't likely to be anything about them, or who they are themselves that made them the chosen one, it just needed to be someone.

I explained to my child that this person wasn't a good friend for them, because they constantly made them feel bad and small and insignificant, etc. But, also, that my child wasn't a good friend for the other child, because that child needed a friend that would laugh at their attempts to game and control and say "Oh X, there you go again, get back in your box... Let's do this now." Someone confident and assertive would be a good match, and would help X overcome the insecurity that made them a bully. My child feeds that behaviour. No victim blaming, by the way, just observation.

I have found that having an understanding school is truly key (and rare). If they see the detriment of having certain children together, and can support those children in gaining wider peer groups, it allows for a more natural process of disengagement.

TuTru Mon 16-Apr-18 20:37:18

This is all comforting reading for me, I feel in a powerless panic most of the time about my dd and this girl I don’t like. But also reading things like “they might need help getting away” and ways to voice my concerns to my dd.
I am actually in contact with the school about it already but I’ve not found them particularly helpful so far but I am seeing someone there tomorrow. I was thinking about approaching the other girl’s Mother but I’m not sure what I’d say or what reaction I’d get anyway, I’d rather the school maybe took that part.
There are other things that worry me, I also worry that I might be wrong imo or that the other girl perhaps needs some sort of help. I’m fact I do think she does. But I suppose that’s really not any of my business, I should just prioritise what I can do to help my own dd.
I’ve found parenting preteen girls really really hard, much harder than I expected it to be xx

Mydoghatesthebath Mon 16-Apr-18 20:43:43

I think all the advice of backing off and interfering is helpful because there will be times wen you do and times wen you don’t.

Can I add my youngest dd now 19 had a friend like this. They argued badly aged 12 and didn’t speak for years after going to nursery snd school together.

Now 19 both are lovely confident adults and very close. smile things do evolve and you never know what will happen

NomadicMother Mon 16-Apr-18 21:00:17

I always chose friends like this as a child and I just used to wait for ways to get away from them without actually telling them how I felt. Like when I left primary school I could finally get away from that manipulative friend and when I left secondary school again, then college and by university I managed to choose some really great friends who I adore to this day.

I would have really appreciated guidance from a parent to teach me how to assess the friendship and then stick up for myself. It may have stopped the cycle earlier. Then again I would be mortified if my mother got involved in everything. I think if you can teach her about positive friendships she will gradually see for herself.

ShawshanksRedemption Mon 16-Apr-18 21:17:43

First off I would say do you oversee the messages on DDs phone? Working in a school I know kids carry on arguments etc via phone and it just adds in even more drama of who said what.

You mention underlying tensions before the friend moved - was it similar stuff as now? Was the friendship always like this? What about your friend - did she handle things well when fall-outs happened between your girls previously?

Doryismyname Tue 17-Apr-18 09:18:46

OP could it be that their friendship has been largely based on the circumstances of you and the friends DM being close and now they are outgrowing this. Perhaps it is a good time for your DD to re-evaluate what she would like in a friendship as sometimes these relationships from early childhood are not healthy. It can be a very complicated dynamic where one friend holds a lot of power over the other and their friendship is dependent on one putting the other down to make them feel superior or better about themselves.

I have been through this with my DD and it is very damaging and especially difficult to pinpoint if the friend is outwardly perfectly nice. It can be subtle little put down comments and manipulation of friendships in the wider circle so your DD is left out. Everything is a competition. This is deeply damaging and not a friendship. Your DD needs to know that it is not ok to be treated like this and that this is not how true friends behave towards one another.

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