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Navigating "Girl Drama"

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
My dd, 8, is a very outgoing, very social girl. She makes friends everywhere, all the time, happy and funny, etc. Kids really like to be around her. One of her friends is my ds's classmate (almost 11) -- she lives close to us, and USED to be at our home all the time. This little girl is very, very smart, and is really pleasant around us, but for whatever reasons, she doesn't have a lot of friends. Recently a girl the same age as dd moved in across from us, and dd spends a lot of time playing with the girl -- the older friend has given her the cold shoulder since. My dd is pretty confused about it all, as she can't see that she's done anything wrong (and she hasn't).

I told her that sometimes there are girls that will want her to be their only/best friend; MOST girls won't be like that, but it does happen. I also told her that she can choose her friends and doesn't have to apologize to anyone for having a variety of friends.

She feels bad, as if she's responsible for making the older girl somehow turn on her. I would love to give her some way to map it out, or to make better sense of it for her, but I don't know what to tell her. She's really tender-hearted and the situation is really hard for her Any thoughts on how to put things in perspective or words of wisdom I can share with her?
post #2 of 7

I never understood these kinds of issues, which is probably why I've had mostly male friends my entire life. I don't know what you can tell your daughter, though reassuring her that she should have friendships that make her happy will be the best track for her.
post #3 of 7
Your dd hasn't done anything wrong, so I'd keep giving her that message. I'd talk to her about the fact that she can't control how other people behave or respond. As long your dd is still being friendly and inclusive, then she is behaving well. She can't control whether the other girl accepts her overtures.

Is it possible that the other girl, heading into her teens, is more interested in playing with older girls now? The timing with your dd's new friend may be somewhat coincidental. Or perhaps interacting with two 8 y.o.'s has made the 11 y.o. realize that she wants to find friends who are closer to her age.

If she has awkward social skills, she may not be able to manage that transition away from playing with the younger girls very well. So she's using the cold shoulder because she's uncomfortable about disentagling herself from the friendship and can't do it gracefully.

As far as your dd is concerned, I think you're on the right track reassuring her that she's entitled to pursue friendships with anyone/everyone she wants, as long as she treats her old friends well.
post #4 of 7
I remember really enjoying younger kids when I was about nine or ten. But, by about 11, I lost interest in it, and preferred to play with kids my own age. There's also an age where you get a little sullen and just want to sit in your room listening to music and want to be alone. I think I was much older when I went through that stage, but I think it's just part of getting older.

Your daughter just needs to hang out with whoever she enjoys. We all find our niche in the world, and we all change as we get older.
post #5 of 7
What is the older girl's mother like?
My dd has a very good friend but sometimes has to deal with girl drama that is very much influenced by the mother. If either my dd or her daughter would play with someone else, the mom would start over dramatizing it like it was a major breech of loyalty or something. We're not talking about anyone being left out, just the girls both happily playing/talking with other people. I would always say how nice it is that they are both growing their group of friends or something. But I do think that sometimes dd's friend participates in shunning or exclusionary behavior based on the current rantings by her mom. Sigh....
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
I hadn't really thought about until I read the responses, but it may be a difference in maturity -- in that the older girl is perhaps at the age where she wants a "best friend" whereas dd isn't there yet; and it is possible that the older girl wants to move on, but doesn't know how to do that, so this is her solution.

VisionaryMom, I don't get it either! I had lots of friends as a child and got along with everyone; the manipulation/freezing out thing never happened to me but I did see it happen in other circles and it always confused me.

Mom2PonyGirl, the mom is quite nice and easy-going, but it sure could be that some of her values/expectations are coming into play.

thanks for the ideas --- of course now I'm not sure how I'll survive REAL adolescence.
post #7 of 7
From what you said, your dd hasn't done anything wrong. We're currently in a situation where dd8 is being excluded by her previous good friend. I'm not sure how much her mom realizes and how much she's in denial, but her dd will say things that are really hurtful to my dd. All of them plus another girl were together and the Previous Close Friend said, "I can't wait to leave to go have a playdate with OtherGirl."

It doesn't sound as if your daughter is like this, but figured I'd throw it out there. Maybe your dd doesn't think she's saying anything hurtful, but the other girl is more sensitive. She could always just ask. We've been completely honest, and, in our situation, Previous Close Friend's mom has acted like dd and I are way too sensitive. In our case, I'm all for having multiple friends, just think that tact should be involved.
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