Dealing with DD's toxic "friend" - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 12-17-2013, 12:27 AM - Thread Starter
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So DD is in an all girls school, she has a group of friends that she usually hangs out with and I'm ok with most of them but one, and actually the other girls dont like her but DD has convinced them that she is "cool" besides all of those comments she makes DD will just say:

"They never told her is not allright to say that"

"She was having a bad day"

etc, etc, etc making excuses for this kid's behaviour, which is typical of DD she thinks that everyone in this world is nice she is just very trusting and has a lot of love for everyone but as much as I love that about her I absolutely hate it because she can be a little naive sometimes, but its just her she sees the good in everyone it doesnt matter how small that "good" might be. 


Back on topic, this kid has made homophobic, racist, she makes fun of other kids because of the way they look, and she also brags like crazy ontop of that, she is not a good kid and I've talked to the mother and she even encourages the behaviour, the apple doesnt fall far from the tree I guess. I also noticed that the complaints about her have increased ever since the beginning of the school year. She is 14 years old she is not a baby anymore and she should know what things are right and what things are not ok to say it doesnt matter how sheltered you where your whole childhood it doesnt give you a reason to be a little jerk. And I'm sorry that I'm putting this harshly but I cant stand this kid anymore. The last straw was yesterday, the girls were working on a school project in our house and this kid proceeds to talk about South African and how the white that lived there where low class citizens, the apartheid and how she agreed with it and other unecesary racist remarks. She knows, and all of my daughter friends know that I'm South African and even if she didn't know that is not something you say if you think that way keep it to yourself. I was not happy and also I was very offended that my country and my culture was being trash talked by this little jerk in my own house. I dont think I overreacted when I told her to leave immediately and that I didnt wanted to see her around here or my daughter anymore. Dd agrees that her "friends" behaviour was not acceptable but she thinks that ignoring her is a mean thing to do. I'm also talking to the mother tomorrow because she was not happy that I made her kid go home by herself ( our house is around 2 blocks away from hers) I seriously don't know what this woman wants to talk about with me but its surely to excuse her daughter's comment. Im also planning on notifying the school which has a zero tolerance policy to racism. 


I personally dont think I overreacted. I just need your opinion mamas, and also I want DD to see how she should not hang out with this kid anymore and that she shouldn't feel guilty that she will have no friends at school because nobody likes her due to her attitude I dont even know what to tell my DD anymore, she is just too naive. 

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#2 of 11 Old 12-17-2013, 11:39 PM
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If you feel like she was racist then of course she shouldn't be in your home. Apartheid was a horrible thing and it is hard for kids to understand it without making negative assumptions about the people who kept it in place so I think she could also have been trying to understand that aspect of the subject they are studying too. Without being there it's hard to know. I do remember thinking the same thing about white South Africans as a child. We had years of learning about oppression of African Americans in the US, learned about the KKK, the unit on slavery, then apartheid in South Africa. As nasty as this girl might be in other ways her words in this case may just be a sign that the school should address the topic in a different way.
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#3 of 11 Old 12-18-2013, 08:23 AM
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My DC is a bit younger than yours (13 in September) but we don't talk about other kids so much as we talk about behaviors that either she or I don't appreciate. 


In the case of the comments about South Africa, I would like to think that I would have used that as a teaching moment...and maybe tried to take it a step further and asked that both kids take my lessons to school for reinforcement from the teacher.


Something similar came up for my and my DC and her friend (though I did not suspect any negative undertones, just lack of knowledge). My DC and her friend were talking about their trip to a Jewish cultural museum and somewhere in the conversation my DC's friend talked about Jews being a race. I told them that I had read a few things that made me think that the concept of Jews being identified as a racial group is problematic and I encouraged them to clarify that with their teacher. 


Ok, so there's that...


But, my DC does have a friend who I don't love the influence of. It's super complicated. I am not comfortable telling DC this outside of discussing behaviors but both consciously and subconsciously I think I discourage a close friendship between the two. But my DC being a big younger that still works because she's not generally autonomous when it comes to getting together with friends, yK?  


As far as walking home alone...


I think it's important to uphold whatever spoken or unspoken agreements you have with other families when it comes to adult supervision. If she normally walked home alone -- sure, just send her home. BUT, if she normally gets picked up, or if you or you DC walk her home or whatever I think a family should stick with that commitment regardless of behavior. 


If behavior is really bad in your home....


Lecturing other people's kids is tricky!  I do it...  It's disguised as friendly talks but I do use our carpool time to express to DC and her friends what sorts of things are ok by me and what things aren't. Sometimes I use this as a way for my DC to pass the buck to me in terms of behavior. "Not being allowed" is pretty freeing for a kid this age, I think. Other times I will use this time to speak to the group about behaviors I'm concerned about. A great trick is to speak to the entire group (in your case, both kids) even if you really mean to address just one kid. I think that takes some of the stress out of the situation. 


I think talking to the other parent is a good way to go. And with the school. If a child is really struggling with developing socially acceptable (and ethical!) values, I think a teacher needs to be VERY hands on when it comes to assigned group work on sensitive topics. Your child should not be roped into a group project that is expressing questionable views. 

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#4 of 11 Old 12-18-2013, 06:25 PM
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So a minor was in your home, annoyed you, and you kicked her out? I can see why her mother is up set with you. You are the grown up, so your responsibility is to keep her safe. Kicking her out wasn't an great option.


Did you calmly explain to her why you found her speech offensive, or did you just listen until you couldn't stand it and then blow up? From your post, it sounds like the later. This could have been a chance for you to talk to her calmly and help explain things to her than she doesn't understand.


At this stage of parenting, I think it is naïve to believe we can choose our children's friends for them. We can say who is allowed in our home, and we can say where our children can and cannot go, but we can't stop our kids from talking to who ever they want to at school. At most, we can shut down the conversation with our kids so that they do not tell us what is going on in their lives, and that is what I suspect you are doing with your daughter.


Rather than forbid the friendship, I would coach my child on how to respectfully shut down racist conversations, and why it is important to not allow them in our presence.



Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post

Lecturing other people's kids is tricky!  I do it...  It's disguised as friendly talks but I do use our carpool time to express to DC and her friends what sorts of things are ok by me and what things aren't. 


I agree, but I think that respectfully explaining why certain types of comments are allowed or not allowed IN YOU OWN HOME or car is very, very OK. Even small children can understand that different places have different rules. This girl is plenty old enough to learn that many people, including the OPer, do not want to host conversations where certain races or nationalities are stereotyped. That is a straight forward concept. When in doubt, don't talk about race. Talk about something else. It's just about being polite, having social skills.


There are boundaries, and we can draw them. We just need to do so respectfully, and calmly. Not because our buttons got pushed, but because the behavior is hurtful.

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#5 of 11 Old 12-18-2013, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


I agree, but I think that respectfully explaining why certain types of comments are allowed or not allowed IN YOU OWN HOME or car is very, very OK. 


I agree. That's why I said it is tricky but I still do it. :) 

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#6 of 11 Old 12-19-2013, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by sissa78 View Post

I personally dont think I overreacted. I just need your opinion mamas, and also I want DD to see how she should not hang out with this kid anymore and that she shouldn't feel guilty that she will have no friends at school because nobody likes her due to her attitude I dont even know what to tell my DD anymore, she is just too naive.


Well, from what you have described I personally do think you over-reacted. I understand that as a South African what she said probably pushed your buttons, but you're the grown-up. You should be able to stand back and deal with your feelings constructively. What you can teach your dd is how to be firm about your values and personal boundaries while remaining clear-headed and respectful. I think you missed an opportunity to do that in this case. If I know anything about teens it's that you can't make them not admire someone or not want to be someone's friend. What you can do is show them how to be friendly with someone while remaining true to their own values.



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#7 of 11 Old 12-19-2013, 03:55 PM
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It sounds like this girl has been a problem for some time. It sounds like it was "the last straw". I have been there, and I know how that feels, so I sympathize. Kicking the girl out was not the answer, however, you now have the opportunity to calmly discuss things with her mom. I was in a very similar situation. The mom didn't take it well, but I can only hope she eventually comes around and gets her daughter some help.


This girl was all about making my daughter scared, sad, jealous, angry, and trying to get her in trouble, etc. My daughter was younger and looked up to older kids, so she would play along, but I could tell it bothered her at times. My daughter actually started to act like her sometimes, but only with her. Negativity breeds negativity, I suppose. Finally the girl's behavior got worse and worse...then she started touching my daughter inappropriately and trying forcer her to kiss her....I started remembering little things that happened over the past year, like the time I walked in to find my daughter hog tied, with both girls smiling like it was fun....and the time she kept trying to tickle my daughter in a private area. It hit me like a ton of bricks that this girl had serious issues...and the attempted make-out session and groping was the last straw for me.


During that year that they were friends, I would yell and lecture sometimes about what is/is not appropriate when she would do something disrespectful. I used to address all of the kids, as to not single anyone out (as someone suggested). I can tell you that does not work with the ones who have serious issues...they will continue to push your buttons. They also like getting the other kids in trouble, so an adult addressing all of them as one group is a victory for them. My poor kids weren't even the culprit and I was constantly lecturing them when she was around. I can't tell you how many times I heard "but mom, it wasn't me!". It's like a game for them. They love to manipulate people and situations. They find a way around your rules and it gets worse and worse. I don't know that this girl is the same as the one you describe...but even so, it's good to talk to the mom to get it out in the open or it will keep bugging you.

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#8 of 11 Old 12-19-2013, 03:57 PM
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i think you overreacted too.


i know two blocks for a 14 year old does not sound as much... but you dont know the whole story. plus no matter what i always try to respect another parents parenting guidelines whether i agree with them or not. 


and yes as pp pointed out. i dont try to choose my dd friends. since dd was 10 i have never become involved in what was going on with her friends. they were able to sort it out after more tears. 


and like pp we as a family also focus on the deed not the person. 


i hear you. i understand how you must have felt. i am so sorry that you had to hear that in your own house. but... it happens. it has happened to me too - from adults tho.


i think its time for you to sit down and have a talk with ur dd. i think how you see her friend and how she sees her friend is quite different.


i think you need to hear from your dd what their relationship is and why she continues to be a friend even though she doesnt like what she says. 


i think your dd is a wise soul. 

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#9 of 11 Old 12-19-2013, 08:01 PM
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I don't think you overreacted. You have every right not to be insulted in your own home. And making a 14 y/o walk two blocks by herself is not something so outrageous.


But I agree with PPs that you can't choose your kids' friends. Also, I don't know how involving the school might be constructive. They bear no responsibility for how students choose to behave outside class.

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#10 of 11 Old 12-20-2013, 06:03 AM
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It is very tricky. I have had to deal with this from my kids' friends in the past and the way I see it, I can be an adult giving a very different view to the one they get at home.


I do think that apartheid is a very complex issue and the whole question of how the white population were complicit in it is still something that I don't really get, as an adult. I really, really struggle to see criticism of the white population under apartheid as racism. Especially given that South Africa was divided politically and economically on racial lines. 


I am (mostly) white, and British, and that brings with it a whole lot of stuff around imperalism and empires and tbh I just take that on the chin. I live in an area where there can be strong feelings towards the English (which I am), but tbh, I am able to recognise that because of what people who come from where I come from, and who speak like me, have done, there are going to be assumptions made about me, and it is my job to counter them. I see a huge difference between being called on coming from a group who has oppressed others , and racism, which to me requires a level of embedded power. I can say, yes, my people did bad things. I can make sure my kids have the basics of exposure to Welsh culture as best I can, learn Welsh myself, join Welsh folk/ ceilidh bands and take the Owain Glyndwr quips on the chin. I can do my best to counter the stereotypes and assumptions which my predecessors have generated. And I can listen to people. I would never, ever, call racism. 


I suppose my feeling is that I would need to hear the conversation, but I am not ready to condemn a teenager who doesn't get why the white population stood by and did little or nothing during apartheid. Because I am in my 30s , I remember when apartheid was actually something white South Africans of my family's acquaintance in London actually defended, and I can't honestly say I get it either. My family revisited this whole thing with Mandela's death and I have to say, my kids' reaction was about the same. How could people stand by amid such atrocities? How could they possibly think it was ok? I'm genuinely interested to know, but I'm not prepared to tell my kids that they shouldn't question the actions of the white population-and it was the white population, that's the whole point- lest it be considered racist.


ETA listen, I just reread your post. Its possible I've entirely misunderstood and this kid was actually supporting apartheid. If that's the case, I think its something different. I dunno, rightly or wrongly there are things I won't tolerate in my home. I've had to tell the kids friends that we don't tolerate sexism or "boys vs girls". I've done it nicely and constructively, but at the end of the day I don't allow it. And I talk very proactively to my own kids, actually I am almost grateful that these situations allow me to model a response. But I don't tolerate this stuff and I'd ultimately ask a kid to leave or be picked up. At the end of the day, looking to the long term, no I can't control whether my kid is friends with them but I can make very clear my own response, and hopefully in ten years time if they hear a homophobic quip they will have the confidence to challenge it. That's actually more important to me than whether they have one particular friend or not. I have the strength to stand up to this stuff because my parents modelled for me how to do it as constructively yet firmly as possible, i know it can be done without the sky falling in.

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#11 of 11 Old 12-22-2013, 10:14 PM
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OP, you could be describing my oldest stepdaughter's best friend.  :(

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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