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My daughter's "best" friend and how to support DD as she tries to pull away from her.(31 Posts)
My daughter, 11, has been friends with the same girl since birth. We live somewhere fairly remote and they have always seen each other, stayed over, been close. We moved a short distance so they were not in the same school from about age 7 but still saw each other once a month or so. Her friend is nearly a year older and an only child of older parents.
When they are at the friend's house, Mum plays with them (builds dens, is the witch in their games, takes them out) but when here they just get on with their own thing and I do food, check they are OK. So we have different parenting styles. I also have a 13 year old son who is easy going and doesn't bother the girls.
The daughter has started to make unreasonable demands on my daughter. ie, only talk to each other, no other people allowed. Her Mum rang to ask if my son could be away when she comes here (he really is a quiet boy and is mostly in his room - so odd). The daughter wants to bath with mine, sucks her thumb, talks baby talk and, last night, got into bed with my daughter in the middle of the night because she "was cold and lonely". The Mum rang and reorganised room arrangements when they were away at a camp type thing. The Mum also phoned on my DD's birthday to invite my daughter over for the day (WTF?)
They will be at the same secondary next year (very small school where I teach). I have already arranged for them to be in separate classes but know the Mum will try to unpick this, will try to push them together.
Basically, her daughter has no one and my daughter has lots of friends and so wants to be part of a big group, not just with one friend. The friend is very, very immature and my daughter is being expected to "care" for her. I have a lot of sympathy but don't want my daughter disadvantaged by this.
What to do? I could try talking to the Mum but she is really the root of the problem. How do I ensure that my daughter can make lots of friends next year without this girl being left alone?
'clingy girls are top manipulators' I couldn't agree with that more.
My dd is now 14 and has had/is having the most awful job extricating herself from two clingy 'friends' who have now resorted to what amounts to emotional bullying. Dd was too nice to them by far for too long.
I agree with most most of the other posters and definitely think you should start being busy sometimes and on the occasions that you feel you can't say no to the other mother then keep doing what you're doing and invite a a couple of your DD's friends round at the same time and get your dd to be firmer with her resolve. September is a while away so you have time to gently wean your daughter off the friendship.
Could you possible arrange for them to going swimming / horse riding or do some other activity that is not based in the house?
Stick to your guns re separate classes. BTW when you say the girl's parents are older, how old are they? do you think this has something to do with the weird behaviour.
I agree with leadinglady.
I would cut down on the frequency of them getting together quite harshly. Refuse (polite excuses) to let DD go to the clingy girls house ever from now on.
I would start having other children over to play/hangout at yours and only invite clingy girl now and again and only when others are there.
This should help your DD get used to the situations where clingy child will try and get her away from the others. You will also get to see clingy child in action in her efforts to seperate your DD from the crowd which in turn will help you to give your DD coping strategies which will come in handy at the new school.
So yep - definately let the friendship/contact slip but use the little contact they have to your DDs future advantage.
The parents are older (Mum nearly 50, Dad nearly 60) and I wondered if Mum's overprotection and "babying" of her daughter was something to do with not having a child for so many years. However, a poster above suggested not. In a way, I think I was using their age as a way of excusing the Mum's behaviour and, also, to make me feel less guilty for not putting a stop to this earlier.
Agree with others to vastly reduce her visits to your house.
When she does try and separate your daughter from the other children, I would step-in and tell her very kindly but very firmly not to do it.
This girl has obviously got a very strong personality like her mother, and therefore I would make sure that you do this in front of your daughter so that she can learn by example how to handle her effectively.
I think you might be worrying about nothing. Children change alot and at different rates when they are in early teens. They both might find new friends at secondary school.
I would magic up alot of 'interests' for your daughter eg piano lessons/ swimming/ new friends/ visiting rellies/ just doing stuff iwth you (whether they're fictitious or not). So that it's easy to avoid play dates and easy for DD to avoid these arrangements without offending the 'friend' or her mother.
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