Year 10 friends: Should my dd help ex(ish)-friend (who struggles with making friends) more?(6 Posts)
Hoping for some common sense perspective on something that keeps going round & round in my head & can't talk to anyone cos everyone knows everyone! Thank you
My dd went to high school with close friend, both v shy. My dd blossomed in terms of confidence & friends (tho she's still sensitive), sadly friend hasn't yet. They're now Yr10 & it's been very on & off for four years. Basically my dd would like her friend as a 'casual friend' but not there all the time. At the beginning I encouraged her to look out for her more (our families were good friends & I wanted everyone to be happy) but over time she often thought I was criticising her when I did that or was taking friend's 'side' against her. There was probably too much information sharing between me & the friend's mum. For a while now we havent talked about it, but it hasnt got any better & friend thinking of moving schools/forms. Having her old friend in same class makes difficult situation worse. I feel terrible & keep thinking about whether there's anything I should/could do or my dd. But on the other hand I'm not sure my friend's mum's perspective (ie that you can kind of make them be friends) is true either. I don't think my dd has been objectively cruel but doesn't want to be with her all the time & is ambivalent about some minor issues between them in the past.
Sorry for the long post. Any perspectives very welcome, whether they make me think differently or not.
I think you need to step back, you are way too involved. Your dd is not responsible for the other girl. She still wants to be friends, but doesn't want to be with her all the time. Sounds entirely reasonable to me.
Let her manage her own social life. For teens, part of growing up is learning how to be friends.
Realistically what can you do though? You can't demand that your DD is closer friends with this girl and if you did demand you can't enforce it. All you can ask of your DD is that she is not unkind. I have been, still am in a similarish situation with Y9 DS. A close friend of mine has a DS that my DS was reasonably good friends with in the past but isn't bothered about at all now and I'm sure that my friend thinks I should "make" my DS include her DS more. Can you try to move your friendship with the parents onto an adults only as opposed to family friends level? I have tried to do this with my friend, with some success.
It is up to your dd . As a mother i wd try not to pressure my dd . Most of us have been in this sit somewhere sometime. Teenagers - and mums- are very aware who is not in the group and are terrified of being tainted by leftoutof the groupness.
Having a girl in year 9 I know you can do nothing to influence their friendships. It just doesn't work & is frankly too controlling. I feel bad for your daughter's friend, but it could be better for her to be 'forced' to make friends away from your DD. This is from a mum of a girl who doesn't make friends easily, but she is not interested in my opinions of what she should do about her friends, ex-friends, etc. I think as long as you say - don't be mean - that's all you can ask. I have said that to DD when she has decided to 'dump' friends in the past!
Thank you so much everyone, it is a relief & a huge weight lifted to hear that actually, as I thought, I can't really do anything about this problem and shouldn't expect my dd to either (within hopefully the boundaries of kindness). As you say Kamer it was pressure from my friend (the mum, who is actually really lovely, hence the greater guilt feeling) that has made it so difficult as well as caring for the girl herself after knowing her for so long. I have tried to convert my friendship into an adult only one but that's been hammered every time the friend thing has blown up again. Anyway, I am grateful for the 'permission' to take a step back & hopefully as with these things new friends might develop as my dd's friend gets older etc. Many thanks.
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