Edited by lava - 8/25/12 at 1:50am
Hi, mama!! I saw your post in "new posts" and I'm new to the teens section and my DC is only (almost) 11 so take all of that with a grain of salt...
Though I wouldn't use the word if you hadn't brought it up, I do think you're overreacting. I think there are "too many pronouns" in your post, IYKWIM. Meaning, that there is too many "she said" that "she said" that "she said" to be able to rely on this information. I think that if your child is happy on the team and likes her teammates -- and is being invited to parties things are OK and it may be best to back out of the drama.
I think that you are your child's best role model for how she interacts and responds to this sort of thing. I think that if you, yourself, refuse to get into the drama, she will likely do the same. KWIM?
But, still -- it must have been HARD to hear this.
IF she wants to go, let her go. They can't dislike her that much if she was invited. GIve her the option that you'll pick her up if she wants to leave(ie, feeling left out again). At her age she needs to work through this on her own.
These girls may be very different if there isn't a game involved. Some people have a win at anything belief and a player that isn't as good as they are(due to experience if they've been playing for longer) can make it seem like she's holding them back(even if she isn't).
You know, I don't think there is a 12-year-old girl on the planet that doesn't get talked about behind her back. Remember that girls this age can be very insecure and the instinct for self-preservation is in high-gear. Just because they "agree" when a bully personality is in the room doesn't mean they truly feel that way towards your DD. It sucks. It's frustrating. It's also part of the age. If your DD isn't feeling rejected, if she's learning and enjoying her time on the team, I'd try to focus on that aspect. If she wants to go, let her go but also make sure she knows that if she wants to come home, you'll figure out some excuse to pick her up that doesn't make her look like it was her idea.
My DS 11 played basketball this summer. It was his first time and he was actually pretty good for a beginner but he was in a league of mostly older boys who had played from age 5. DS WAS pretty useless on the team to be honest. However, the other boys were kind to him and he learned a great deal. I'm sure they talked about his lack of experience and ability behind his back but overall, it was a very valuable experience.
I would absolutely talk to the coach about the bully girl's activity during practice and games. She should not be manhandling your child period. I'd also give the hosting parents a little heads-up that there are some personality issues within the group making some of the kids uncomfortable. I know I always keep an extra close eye when I know there is friction.
If I were you, I think I'd back way away from this situation. I think it's one thing for 12 year olds to go through friendship issues but it's an entirelly different thing for adults to join in the drama. I know it's hard to see from your end because your child is at the recieving end of some of this negativity BUT there is a lot of gossip and negativity coming from your end as well. I don't say this to be hard on you -- I think your situation is difficult and it's one that I would struggle with also. That said, you can guide this whole situation in a positive or negative direction -- it's up to you!! Rise above this and your child will also. You will also attract the positive folks from this group rather than those interested in stirring the pot. In the long run, you and your child will be better off.
I agree that this is something almost every kid goes through at some point or another. The BEST thing a parent can do is help them learn to rise above. Your daughter may decide to move on to new interests/pursuits and new friends. Or she may choose to show them that she is NOT useless by working her butt off to become a better player than she is now. My son chose the former. My daughter chose the latter.
Now... that may not stop the talking/cattiness. If they all go to school together, have other common ties, etc.? It just may be as it is. It's up to your daughter how much she loves playing. My daughter prefered to play than not, and just sucked it up. She played for her HS team (went to a different school - long story), played for a club team, played for a women's team, etc. Was passed up for a captaincy... But ended up being unanimously voted as MVP her Senior year. Because she was - even the Mean Girls couldn't deny it. She's now playing in college, as a Starter in her Freshman year. She's the only one from her HS team.
I agree with what the others have said.
I would let my child attend any party/gathering that they were invited to and wanted to attend. I send them with a cell phone, and they can always bail out early if they want to.
I think you are trying to protect your child from life, and that won't work. My goal at this stage of parenting is independence and life skills. So for me, the questions would be "how do I foster my children developing more independence in this situation?" and "how do I help them develop skills for their whole lives in this situation?"
Part of that is to stop talking to the other mom about it so much and requesting that she get more information from her DD. That isn't fair to your DD -- you are taking things behind her back and trying to run her life. It also may put stress on your relationship with the other mom -- I wouldn't care for another mom wanting me to pump my kid for information to feed it to her, especially if the information just upset her. That's just a toxic dynamic. Try having positive conversations with other parents.
Have some faith in your DD. Let her find her strength. She doesn't need a perfect life full of perfect peers to be OK.
And while the motivation may be differnt? The result is the same. You, too, are talking about your daughter behind her back.