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?
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......
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Nope, just interested in the subject (teenage friendship dynamics) and also trying to explain myself!
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.
I didn't mean anything nasty, Balloon, just that you seemed really bothered!
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.
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.
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'
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!
"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.
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.
Oh dear 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.
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".
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