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Everyone invited but dd - am I being U?

(225 Posts)
Ihaveyourback Fri 30-Oct-20 08:58:42

DD (12) started secondary school last year, she found a great group of five girls pretty much on the first day and they hang out every day at school. DD stayed in touch and her friends came over for sleepovers, dinner, they did loads of things together (mainly at our house I may add) etc over the summer after the lockdown, the girls get on very well and all is good. DD noticed that 'Zara' one of the girls was playing two of the girls off against each, and they were vying a little for her attention. No big deal - these things happen between girls.

Fast forward to last week. We booked an activity for this group of friends over the half term and invited them all - dd missed out on her birthday party over lockdown so I had promised her a treat. We then found out that Zara had already booked the activity for her birthday, and she sent dd lots of messages via SM saying she was going with laughing emojis and that dd could still go ahead with her day but they would all be 'pros' as they would have more practice due to her party.

It turns out that Zara has invited the whole group except for dd.

There was not a problem with numbers as we are still allowed six here, so she invited other girls that she never sees and hardly knows over dd - whom she considers to be a very close friend.

DD was very so hurt and cried for a few days. It put me in a terrible position as we had already invited the others girls to the activity including Zara.

Zara is entitled to choose whoever she likes for her party, of course, and if she does not want dd to come then that is fine, however the endless messaging boasting about the girls all going, how fun it was going to be, how much they would be than dd was abit much, and seemed to me quite spiteful.

Zara's Mum meanwhile having accepted the invite, then declined because they were away - so this seemed like a solution, but then she called me to say Zara was so upset not to go with dd could she please be included again, knowing full well Zara had invited everyone but my dd!!!
By this point I was absolutely tired of the messages to dd from Zara, the calls from her mother and cancelled the activity with an excuse that we couldn't make it.

DD now wants to have a sleepover, she wants to invite her friends and definitely does not want to invite Zara who she no longer considers a friend anymore. I don't feel we owe this girl anything.

What do you think? Am I being unreasonable not to invite Zara? I am obviously keen to avoid any further upset but I am really upset for dd.

OP’s posts: |
Iloveacurry Fri 30-Oct-20 09:05:08

I have a DD aged 12 too. So know how these girls can be! Of course you wouldn’t be unreasonable not to invite Zara. But when her mother called you, did you not say anything about the lack of invite from Zara?

Gizlotsmum Fri 30-Oct-20 09:08:34

Well as Zara has already set the president of not inviting the group to everything she can't complain that she isn't invited to the new thing smile

planplan Fri 30-Oct-20 09:08:48

I'd've told Zara's mum you were not going to reinstate the invite and why.

I would then have gone ahead without her.

Not inviting her to this sleepover seems fair but I think you missed the boat to say something before and now you'll look petty.

Panicmode1 Fri 30-Oct-20 09:12:55

Been there got the T shirt with this. My DD is now 15 and the tight group of 8 she started with has now whittled themselves down to 4, causing carnage and heartbreak along the way. I have learned (the hard way, through lots of tears), to try and stay dispassionate and out of any discussions with parents, keep bolstering your daughter and make sure she is valuing herself and the friendship she is offering. It is horrible though.....

mintyfreshh Fri 30-Oct-20 09:13:58

I kind of wish my mum had stepped in more to protect me from the Zara of my group at that age. She tormented me for 5 years.

I would rearrange a treat and leave Zara off.

But be warned if the other girls are there they will report back to Zara. Some might be strong enough to stand up to her, some might not.

SaltandPepperIt Fri 30-Oct-20 09:16:51

As you've got zara's mum"s number why not ring her and ask why DD wasn't invited? You have at least 4 more years of this and it will only get worse.
If the mum has enough gall to ask for zara to be reinvited, knowing full well your DD isn't to her event, then she will be the kind of mum that will back her daughter's behavior whatever cost to yours.
Out the situation now. Sounds like you have nothing to lose if DD being left out has already started

Redred2429 Fri 30-Oct-20 09:17:07

I would let your daughter have a sleepover without Zara she sounds horrible

ScrapThatThen Fri 30-Oct-20 09:18:37

Really tough. Try to calm it down a bit. As adults we all know that actions like these generally arise from someone's insecurities (and poor or ineffective parenting sometimes). Actions have consequences and this girl will eventually fall out of favour probably. However at the moment she has power over the consequences for your dd. I would encourage your dd to take an 'I'm ok, you're ok' stance to this as far as possible. Insulate herself from Z's actions by making her own decisions and sticking to them 'I'm really sorry you can't make it, we'll miss you, but I can't change the date now, however if your plans change, there's still space for you' (gives Z a chance to climb down/be included but not to push you around). Telling z and others that her feelings are hurt but not holding a grudge 'I feel a bit upset that I wasn't included, but I do want to include you because you are part of my friend group' (others will admire this stance which is powerful). Think of Z as like dealing with an unpredictable wave. Don't let it take your breath away, just go with it and keep your wits about you. Its up to your daughter if she invites Zara or not and she is well within her rights not too but this will split the friendship group and she might be left out in the cold if Zara has the power. The decision is probably for the group not just your dd. I would not do a group thing and leave her out ideally because it puts your dd in a weaker position (these group dynamics will go on until year 11, then they will all gratefully give them up). It's early in her secondary career and unless she wants to find another group or gamble on others standing with her, I would be cautious.

Panicmode1 Fri 30-Oct-20 09:21:07

@mintyfreshh agree with this.

It has taken my daughter 3 years to stand strong. There are a couple of 'Zaras' in DDs group, and the mothers just minimise/ignore the behaviour, and the rest of the girls won't call out the behaviour for fear of being ostracised. It has taken a long time for DD to realise she is much happier without the toxicity....but it has been a horrible journey to be on.

AmyandPhilipfan Fri 30-Oct-20 09:23:09

When the mum told me Zara was disappointed not to be able to go I would have said ‘while we’re talking about this, X is also very upset as Zara didn’t invite her to do this activity for her birthday with all the rest of their friends. Did you know X was excluded? Do you know why Zara didn’t invite her? It’s fair enough if Zara doesn’t want to be friends anymore but then why does she want an invite from X?’ I would stay very polite but I would want the mum to know Zara can’t be a little madam who gets everything her way.

Ukholidaysaregreat Fri 30-Oct-20 09:25:01

I would invite smaller groups to a sleepover. This would mean you could avoid inviting Zara without it seeming too obvious. I would also encourage DDs friends out of school. Guides/Scouts etc. I would re arrange the birthday event that got cancelled with family or cousins so it is nothing to do with school friends and she can have a nice day. I think a lot of Secondary school friendships can be like this.

FelicityPike Fri 30-Oct-20 09:26:45

AmyandPhilipfan

When the mum told me Zara was disappointed not to be able to go I would have said ‘while we’re talking about this, X is also very upset as Zara didn’t invite her to do this activity for her birthday with all the rest of their friends. Did you know X was excluded? Do you know why Zara didn’t invite her? It’s fair enough if Zara doesn’t want to be friends anymore but then why does she want an invite from X?’ I would stay very polite but I would want the mum to know Zara can’t be a little madam who gets everything her way.

Absolutely this.

lioncitygirl Fri 30-Oct-20 09:29:15

It’s a tough one. See I knew girls like this. I was your daughter. I was in a group like that and we had a Zara. She was exactly as you said - she trying playing us off against one another abs didn’t invite me to loads of things. Then one time - I invited the rest without her - which went well at first. Following that, she managed to turn everyone else against me and I lost that whole friendship group. The other girls were lovely - but weak. They saw Zara as the popular one. So I lost their friendship.

As a mum now - I would absolutely not let my daughter be friends with Zara, but be prepared for the fallout of the other friendships. Good luck.

LoisLanyard Fri 30-Oct-20 09:30:01

You do need to let your daughter make her decision on this herself and deal with any consequences, as hard as that may be. Personally I wouldn’t call the parent of the girl, unless you are already friends. And if another mum called me I would think it odd - these friendship battles are part of growing up. My DD went through a similar thing, but we talked lots about behaviour, not getting involved in drama, what is ok to do and what isn’t, and I think it’s worked out ok....

ineedaholidaynow Fri 30-Oct-20 09:31:30

Which part of the country are you in? Does the rule of 6 apply, wouldn’t be able to have all 5 friends over as assume you will be in the house too.

Figgygal Fri 30-Oct-20 09:36:49

You had an opportunity to raise it with the mum not sure why you didn’t take it
But yes I’d not invite her to sleepover either

unicornpower Fri 30-Oct-20 09:39:33

Ahhhhh I had a 'friend' like Zara in school too. Like a PP she eventually turned all the group against me and I was cast out, I found other friends and a few months later she was doing the same to another girl in the group. I saw her years later and she was all over me like a rash. Girls can be so mean when growing up.

I would definitely do was PP said maybe rearrange a Birthday treat for her and just not invite school friends, maybe keep it family. If Zara Mum brings it up just calmly say that you were a little confused as your DD wasn't invited to Zara's party so assumed Zara wouldn't wan't to come to hers. Is there a chance Zara's mum isn't aware that your DD was excluded?

Ihaveyourback Fri 30-Oct-20 09:43:48

I missed the call from Zara'a mother, and she left a voicemail to say she had messed up (re the holiday excuse) and Zara really wanted to go to DD's activity and was screaming at her to fix it. She actually said this on her voicemail message!

To be honest I was absolutely incredulous listening to it, I don't know how the woman had the audacity to call me - she apologised on the voicemail that dd could not go to the party, and blamed it all on covid and it could not be helped. We both know it is a lie, as six are allowed but she had no problem lying to me about this. I just texted back that we couldn't go ahead with the activity after all and a few pleasantries and left at that.

I did think about calling the mother back, but to be honest I have other teen dds and know better than to get parents involved. Seen many car crashes in my time when the mothers fall out! It can makes things worse. The mother clearly has no qualms about her dd's game playing and is happy to support/lying for her dd all the way! I am more worried about why the mother thinks this is okay than Zara to be honest.

I have said to dd I am not sure Zara is a good friend as it turns out, and she might be better off distancing herself anyway.

Zara is a very clever girl, and it seems to me like she is playing games, and not really interested in proper friendship. The other girls that were being played against each other have distanced slightly from Zara, and one in particularly has decided to leave the group.

OP’s posts: |
Nailgirl Fri 30-Oct-20 09:46:22

I have this but my advice is bolster your DD. Not the mother unless mother approaches you directly. Eg in the case why mother asked for Zara to be invited I would have said -hand on a minute, Zara didn't invite DD and was mean about it, then Zara was invited and declined and now messing about -that's not reasonable in my view Zara's mum.

I would encourage DD to build her own confidence I brought mine a book queen bees and wannabees types thing and DD read it from cover to cover -and implements stuff from it.

Bibidy Fri 30-Oct-20 09:47:03

she apologised on the voicemail that dd could not go to the party, and blamed it all on covid and it could not be helped. We both know it is a lie, as six are allowed but she had no problem lying to me about this

Is there anyway this could be true - surely the mum would know you know the rules?

Could it be that she had to attend with the girls and therefore made up the 6? Or that an instructor for the activity made up the 6?

No excuses for Zara though, she sounds nasty. I'd encourage your DD to focus on her friendships with the other girls and not bother with her too much.

Ihaveyourback Fri 30-Oct-20 09:47:46

DD has said she does not want Zara to come, does not consider her much of a friend anymore and is willing to walk away from the group if need be. She says she thinks she is an unkind girl, and not the person she thought she was. Very black and white about it. I am as the parent however thinking through the consequences - and talking to dd about that too.

OP’s posts: |
DumplingsAndStew Fri 30-Oct-20 09:48:53

Are numbers limited at all? How do you know that the other(s) Zara invited weren't as good friends? They've just moved to secondary school, maybe she invited friend(s) from Primary, or cousins, or neighbours she's friends with outside this group?

alloutofducks Fri 30-Oct-20 09:49:27

ScrapThatThen

Really tough. Try to calm it down a bit. As adults we all know that actions like these generally arise from someone's insecurities (and poor or ineffective parenting sometimes). Actions have consequences and this girl will eventually fall out of favour probably. However at the moment she has power over the consequences for your dd. I would encourage your dd to take an 'I'm ok, you're ok' stance to this as far as possible. Insulate herself from Z's actions by making her own decisions and sticking to them 'I'm really sorry you can't make it, we'll miss you, but I can't change the date now, however if your plans change, there's still space for you' (gives Z a chance to climb down/be included but not to push you around). Telling z and others that her feelings are hurt but not holding a grudge 'I feel a bit upset that I wasn't included, but I do want to include you because you are part of my friend group' (others will admire this stance which is powerful). Think of Z as like dealing with an unpredictable wave. Don't let it take your breath away, just go with it and keep your wits about you. Its up to your daughter if she invites Zara or not and she is well within her rights not too but this will split the friendship group and she might be left out in the cold if Zara has the power. The decision is probably for the group not just your dd. I would not do a group thing and leave her out ideally because it puts your dd in a weaker position (these group dynamics will go on until year 11, then they will all gratefully give them up). It's early in her secondary career and unless she wants to find another group or gamble on others standing with her, I would be cautious.

Completely agree with this after many, many years of experience.

There's always a Zara, and the others will always fall in with her (because they won't want to be excluded by her).

It's hard for a 12 yr old to put into effect what Scrap is suggesting, but it's the best way to deal with it.

I definitely wouldn't get involved with other girls' parents.

Tiersforfears Fri 30-Oct-20 09:50:21

YABU for being too involved. You are also Bu for cancelling the activity! Cutting of your nose to spite your face! What is that teaching your daughter? You shouldn’t have cancelled.

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