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DD has messed up her friendship and is very sad - help!
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Tom5000 · 03/03/2015 11:34

Hi,

my 12 year old dd has got herself in a right mess. She had a very close friend, who was also part of a close group of friends that included my dd.

However, she fell in with another girl outside this group and, without going into to much detail, as a consequence she has become very peripheral to her old friends. This new 'friend' has now dropped her, and she now finds herself excluded from the old group and her old best friend, and basically feels very sad and alone.

I don't think there's any overt hostility - she's just no longer included in their w/e social activities, so finds she has little in common with them at school, and it's also caused some heart-break over a school outing (the group haven't asked my dd to be in their dorm at sailing camp).

She feels totally responsible, but has no idea what to do and nor do I. She's desperately unhappy, as am I, and I'm kicking myself for not intervening months ago when I saw that something had changed in her relationships.

Any suggestions?

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Joyfulldeathsquad · 03/03/2015 11:37

Friendships at this age are really hard. I would tell her to reconnect or reach out to one of the group and try and spend some time with that person and maybe that could be her way back in.

Tbf my dd is 19 and has just split up with her boyfriend who she dumped all her friends for and is having the same problem .

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Tom5000 · 03/03/2015 11:54

That was part of my thoughts, Joyfulldeathsquad. One minor wrinkle is that the ex-BF in the group is now very close to another member of the group (who was also a good friend of my dd). So I don't want to encourage my daughter to just approach either the ex-bf or this other ex-friend alone, since that would look a bit like divide and conquer iyswim.

I wondered about arranging some fun activity - go-karting or go-ape or something - and getting her to ask these two friends. Does that sound like a good idea?

The poor thing - she was so happy and confident (perhaps too confident), and now she's absolutely miserable and her school work is suffering.

In tears now just thinking about it.

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NickiFury · 03/03/2015 11:57

I think that outing sounds like a great idea. I would definitely do that. It's a hard lesson but a good one to learn and she's learning it early, which is also good.

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Tom5000 · 03/03/2015 18:27

Bugger. It's turning out to be worse than I thought. Somehow, she seems to have ended up with no real friends at school at all. Not bullied, but essentially excluded.

She's is absolutely miserable and dreading every day of school. Wife and I at our wit's end with worry.

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Chilliplantbox · 03/03/2015 19:09

Deliberate, prolonged exclusion is a form of bullying. I would have a word with the lead pastoral teacher.

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AugustaGloop · 03/03/2015 19:19

I have been on the other side of this. When I was in year 6, my bf became friends with another girl and started largely ignoring me. We had been really close since we were about 3 (lived across the road from each other). I was really devastated for a while. I did have other friends, so it got better over time. If old bf had fallen out with her new friend and tried to become close to me again, I am not really sure I would have been open to this as I had been really hurt. I would not have been horrible or anything, I just think I would not have trusted her enough to become full on friends again. I guess a bit like the childhood equivalent of a partner being unfaithful.
If old bf might be feeling like this, might it make more sense for your DD to try to make other friends rather than these ones who might feel she has burnt her bridges? I do feel for her.

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Howcanitbe · 03/03/2015 19:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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Mintyy · 03/03/2015 19:29

Its a hard lesson to learn. Buoy her up and support her all you can at home, by all means, but don't try to manufacture or manipulate friendships for her. That will never ever work!

If she spends a few weeks at school with no mates then that is something that millions of children go through. Help her to get through it. Help her to understand why it went a bit tits up for her. She will find other friends, I am sure of it.

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Tom5000 · 03/03/2015 20:00

All good advice, or at least things worth thinking about. Many thanks.

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Heartofgold25 · 04/03/2015 09:02

Exactly the same happened to us, and I felt partially responsible too for not seeing it coming, but on reflection we can not micromanage our dds friendships, they need to be able to experiment and have confidence to make new friendships and try out different things. I think you need to reassure your dd it is okay to have lots of different friends and groups, so she does not feel she has done anything wrong.

I did feel the same as you and a need to help dd put things right. I arranged a few days out with all of the group invited (to avoid the divide and conquer) We had a sleepover here and I put serious effort into making it fun. I took them to the cinema and arranged something different every weekend (It was utterly exhausting for us but did the trick) and most importantly I emailed all the mothers individually and directly to find out the plans for the holidays to ensure we were included. I would invite your dd bf over too to play, there is no harm in organising lots of play dates and it will help your dd.

My DD also spoke to her closest friends from the group and told them she had missed them, this really helped as her friends then made more of effort and they started playing again. I think she had a heart to heart with her bf from the group too.

It took a few months but we got there, and now it is fine, I am sure it will be the same for you.

PS I most certainly would not go into school with this, I would definitely take the reins and run with it from home. If you get the school involved you will upset all of the very people you are trying to win back. Besides I would not call it bullying, they are simply accepting your dd decision to have other friends, I doubt the school will do anything at all, and it will make everything much worse.

PPS Almost everyone has been in this situation before, please don't worry.

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Tom5000 · 05/03/2015 14:25

Well, I thought I'd give an update.

We did involve the school, but very gently and making it clear that this was not a case of bullying, but just a very sad and upset girl who had managed to muck up seemingly all her relationships at school, including her bf, through an error of judgement. How this will work out, we've yet to see, but although she was initially appalled that we'd taken this step, she does seem happier to know that something is being done.

Still all very sad. My wife was tidying my dd's room to make it nice for her when she got back, and came across a last-year's birthday card to my dd from the ex-bf, and it was heartbreaking to read the expressions of genuine love and affection expressed in it. Damn, now I'm crying again... ttfn.

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Redwineplease42 · 05/04/2015 20:29

Get used to it I'm afraid DD is 14 had two solid years of this they need to work it out for themselves. As much as I'd like to fix all DD's social issues it does them no favours as I learnt the hard way . I'd advise no contacting/emailing parents over holiday things as they are at that age now they organise you agree it may cause your DD more issues getting involved in that way.
Your DD may learn not to drop good friends for cool kids however my DD has gone on to make the same mistakes over and over in a desperate bid to be one of the "popular" kids which backfires every time.

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