How to help DD's friend - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 11 Old 10-18-2010, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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15yo DD has an awesome friend whom we love. She's never had a close friend like this and she feels so heard and seen by a peer. It's wonderful.
As I said, we love this young lady and are growing more and more concerned about what is going on with her parents.
DD came to me furious and in tears about how selfish she feels her friend's parents are. I know that things can be distorted by teens but I have seen enough first hand to concern me.
The parents will not provide her with a bike helmet even though they require she ride her bike to school. This is roughly a 30-45 minute ride.
The school has the kids do a number of group/partner projects. Several times now when the girls have gone to the friend's house to do homework, the mom left the 2yo sister with them to babysit for hours....not just running to the store. The mother doesn't carry a cell phone and has on a number of occasions not told them where she is going.
I have stopped over there twice to bring something DD needed for a project and found the girls not only babysitting but cleaning up a kitchen that had at least 4 days of filth. Homework happens in between these responsibilities. I am a very lazy housekeeper and to have me recoil at the state of a house means it's bad. The whole house was not just messy but filthy!
Now, I'm all for kids pitching in but seriously, this is over the top. I have told my DD when they have a project, to do it here. Our house is closer.
Well last week they had a project that needed to be done quickly because they were going a class trip the day after and it's due when they return.
I said, sure, come over here. She can even stay the night.
She couldn't because she had to get home to babysit AND care for her grandfather who's had a stroke while mom went shopping for a belly dancing costume.
Seriously.
Grandpa doesn't live with them but they have him over for dinner sometimes.
The girls had to work on the project late that night. DD tells me her friend often doesn't have her homework done and is struggling to get it done early in the morning before school and in between classes.
I know her. She's a very serious student. Does not blow stuff off.
Mom is SAH. Dad is running a small business. He works both from home and an office.
DD is asking me what we can do.
None of my ideas are ideal. I fear they'll backfire. I also know I've been through some rough patches as a parent and I don't want to humiliate them.
Maybe objectivity will help.
What would you ladies do?
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#2 of 11 Old 10-18-2010, 07:30 PM
 
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All you can do is keep offering your place for them to study, and make sure the poor kid is aware that she can come to you if she needs anything. My kids have friends that I've felt like I want to 'save' too, but we just can't get too involved if someone doesn't want us to be.
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#3 of 11 Old 10-18-2010, 09:23 PM
 
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Pretty much what bedhead said. If you try to get too involved in helping the parents may very well intervene to avoid having to face their own issues.

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#4 of 11 Old 10-18-2010, 09:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know.
I told DD to just be there for her and to gauge whether her friend should know how much I know.
I emphasized maintaining trust between the 2 girls. I don't think I could do anything without harming that.
So I won't.
Thanks. I also just really needed to share this with folks that don't know the family. Kinda get it off my chest.
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#5 of 11 Old 10-18-2010, 10:08 PM
 
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Maybe your DD could ask her friend if she would like to go together to talk to the school counselor.
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#6 of 11 Old 10-19-2010, 07:33 AM
 
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Keep your house open to the child so she can have a place to go just to get away.I recall a girl who moved out of her home at 17.She got her own place.Sounds like this girl would be best off if she can move out asap,but I would not recommend she move in with your family.
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#7 of 11 Old 10-26-2010, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So sad. DD just came home and told me her friend was called to the dean's office because she's late to school every day and has a bunch of missing assignments. I SO hope she confides in him.
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#8 of 11 Old 10-26-2010, 11:26 PM
 
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Do you think you could anonymously advocate on her behalf?
She may not be able to confide in the dean but perhaps if a little birdie whispers in his ear he may be able to approach the issue from a different problem solving perspective.

Poor kid.
Karen

Blessed partner to a great guy, and mama to 4 amazing kids. Unfortunate target of an irrationally angry IRL stalker.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. ~ Buddha

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#9 of 11 Old 10-27-2010, 11:23 PM
 
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If you haven't already, buy her a bicycle helmet!

You can't solve her problems, but you can be there for her in little ways...
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#10 of 11 Old 10-27-2010, 11:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thao View Post
If you haven't already, buy her a bicycle helmet!

You can't solve her problems, but you can be there for her in little ways...
The last time Awesome Friend (AF) was here and had to ride home, I said: "Oh, you forgot your helmet, take one of ours. We have extras and I won't let you leave our house without a helmet."
That part is easy. She saves face and so do her parents.

She's here tonight and sleeping over.
Thank G-d.
The girls got a ton of work done for a presentation that's due tomorrow.
AF can stay all weekend as far as I'm concerned.
She's such a cool kid with so much on her plate.

DD told me AF confided in her former middle school adviser.
Same small school so hopefully she'll get some support.
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#11 of 11 Old 10-28-2010, 12:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiromamma View Post
So sad. DD just came home and told me her friend was called to the dean's office because she's late to school every day and has a bunch of missing assignments. I SO hope she confides in him.
This is a time when you could easily intervene on this girl's behalf. Call/go in and talk to the counselor (or the dean or whoever deals with these issues). Tell them that what you know and that you're doing what you can, but there seem to be some major family issues going on. Only tell them what you've witnessed. Express your concern. If she's confided in the school, then you will provide support for her story. If she hasn't, you might be able to raise some awareness.

I'm glad you were able to get her a bike helmet!

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