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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I decided to remove my post and replies as I realized that this thread was being used to bully me into believing that I am a bad parent. I feel confused and sad that I allowed myself to even be put in this situation. I am not a harsh person and the use of the word vitriol to describe me was very hurtful. Moominmamma and Linda on the move, I am sorry if I rubbed you the wrong way with my words or way of thinking but I think that the manner in which you replied was neither constructive nor thoughtful.
 

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Your daughter is 14; this is not your issue. Whether she accepts the friend back or not is entirely her choice. And if she's like most 14-year-olds well-meaning parental advice that tries to redirect her on social issues will be worse than useless. Your role will be to support her if / when it does all go south.

It's tough to see our kids at risk for harm, whether physically or emotionally. But letting go, letting them make their own mistakes and eventually learn from them, that's part of what is required of parents of teens. Stay strong.

Miranda
 

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I agree with mooninmama. Your job at this point is just to be in the wings, not to direct, not to encourage or discourage the friend (provided this person is not physically dangerous or a significant drug user). The comments about the other girls mother sound a little bit like the same thing the girls are struggling with. There are a lot of assumptions being made about the motives of the other family, the smear campaign, etc. Your daughter may be worried about displeasing you if she wants to be friends with this girl again, since she knows you so heartily disapprove. This may actually increase her desire to move toward this friend.
 

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Your daughter will learn from this, no matter what she decides. My daughter had a friend who was really mean to her at times and it broke my heart...She would lie and do anything to make her scared, jealous, sad, worried, etc. She not only relished in making her emotionally upset, but she was also physically aggressive....but I saw my daughter toughen up. At times she acted mean, just like her mean friend, and I was worried that it was rubbing off...then I realized she wasn't like this with other friends. She was only giving her mean friend a piece of her own medicine. I was pretty proud of her for being so strong.

I am sure after the bad experience she will be more cautious if she decides to hang out with her again. Just encourage her to keep other friends and to not be so exclusive...just in case it happens again.
 

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I think just being the adult who can reflect the situation back to your daughter is the best thing you can do and will definitely help. Like others have said, you can't make the call for her, but you can help her to think through what she wants to do (and offer to enforce anything if she decides she wants you to, veto plans, etc)
 

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What your daughter is going through is the normal part of the social development in teens. What she experiences and how she deals with it all is just as important as learning how to walk. The fact that your daughter can talk with you is the best thing that can happen :). If they are coming for advise, all we can do is guide them to look at what choices they have. Occasionally I asked my SD what her choices were and which one felt right for her. At times I knew it wasn't going to work but I had to bite my tongue and say nothing. This was her learning experience not mine :) Yeah I know, sitting back watching your children get hurt is horrible but if I didn't allow this to happen, how was she going to deal with these situations as an adult?
 

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We are living in a world where individuals are becoming less nice to each other.
Does retaliating by cutting someone out of your life and refusing an attempt at reconciliation promote or oppose that trend?

I see a different sort of teaching moment here.

Miranda
 

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I'm in total agreement with you, Mama. Lessons from the school of hard knocks happen to most of us in their own time, no need for us to stand by and watch a train wreck about to happen to our child if we are able to intervene and stop the impact. There will be plenty of unavoidable pain. And our children will cope and survive because they have seen us cope and survive. I was bullied at your daughter's age. It was terribly painful emotionally. There were multiple adults around and none advised me or intervened and they all were very aware of it. My parents didn't even know, because those other adults didn't bother telling them. It didn't toughen me up. It made me feel alone, isolated and exposed. I did not trust my peers. I did not trust the adults because I felt I could not count on them to help when I needed help. It didn't teach me about healthy relationships. And later translated into self esteem issues that made me vulnerable to abusive men. I survived it all, but if I could spare the same experience for my child, I would.

I'm hardly a helicopter mama, but if my child came to me with this type of social issue (it's relational aggression, one of the worst forms of bullying) and asked for my advice, I would tell her exactly what I thought and what I would do if I were in her shoes. And that is that mean people suck and should be avoided and put out of our lives. I applaud you for standing up for your daughter and for yourself.

I frankly do not understand suggesting that the apology of this awful "friend" should be accepted. It looks like a classic abuser pattern... Hurt and humiliate the victim, then apologize, regain their trust, then do it again. Who has time for that?

In the movie Bully the adults are shown as the worst enablers. The boy who was so terribly abused refuses to shake hands with the titular bully and is scolded for it by the Principal of the school. It's painful to watch.
 

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I was bullied at your daughter's age. It was terribly painful emotionally......

relational aggression, one of the worst forms of bullying...

Hurt and humiliate the victim,
I must be reading a different thread... I read about a young teen who moved into a different social circle and began ignoring and excluding a former close friend (and I agree that can really hurt), but the most heinous act described was of going out trick-or-treating with a new friend, something Pepin's daughter wasn't even home to witness. I didn't read about any emotional abuse or bullying or humiliation. And the trick-or-treating thing was described as the worst episode.

Maybe worse happened, I can't pretend to know, but there hasn't been any mention of it here. I guess we all read these threads in our own ways.

Miranda
 

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I must be reading a different thread... I read about a young teen who moved into a different social circle and began ignoring and excluding a former close friend (and I agree that can really hurt), but the most heinous act described was of going out trick-or-treating with a new friend, something Pepin's daughter wasn't even home to witness. I didn't read about any emotional abuse or bullying or humiliation. And the trick-or-treating thing was described as the worst episode.

Maybe worse happened, I can't pretend to know, but there hasn't been any mention of it here. I guess we all read these threads in our own ways.

Miranda
I read this:

For no reason, her friend stopped including her at lunch and basically ignored my daughter. My daughter did her best to make contact by asking her to eat lunch with her, hang out and text. It all fell on deaf ears....because her friend had a NEW friend that was requiring all of her time.
To me that's exactly relational aggression.

Relational aggression, also known as covert aggression,[1] or covert bullying[2] is a type of aggression in which harm is caused by damaging someone's relationships or social status.
 

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Relational aggression is about something that reaches beyond the two-way relationship. It's about damaging relationships and social status with others. No longer inviting someone to eat lunch with you isn't relational aggression. It's hurtful but it's not covert bullying.

Relational aggression would be telling other girls you won't be friends with them anymore if they invite your ex-friend to the lunch table. It would be spreading false rumours about your ex-friend so that no one wants to hang out with her.

Again ... maybe those things were also going on, I don't know. But nothing like that was described upthread.

Miranda
 

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I'm with Miranda. She's 14. She can decide for herself who her friends are. One person deciding they don't want to be your friend any more isn't bullying or relational aggression. Those terms refer to more serious things than a friendship running its course.


I would be a sounding board and do a lot of active / reflective listening. But I think if we aren't letting our kids handle their own social life at this stage, we are NOT getting them ready for college and adulthood. Micromanaging their lives so that they don't learn only hurts them in the long run -- it means they have to learn those lessons in bigger ways when we aren't around.


Also, the roof at our house is no more mine than it is my kids. I don't get the "under my roof" mindset at all.


I'm not advocating being friends with the other girl, I'm advocating letting a 14 year old figure out her life for herself rather than having her mommy tell her who she can and can't be friends with.
 

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I'm sorry the OP has left the thread. It is so heart-breaking to read how much this situation has hurt her and her daughter, because unfortunately, my 13-yo DD has a pattern of doing this to her friends. I have shed a lot of tears over it, even today, actually. In my DD's case, it is solely because she is immature and lacks good friendship skills. She doesn't know how to work through any conflict in friendships, so she just disappears and tries making new friends. She did it to her best friend this spring, and just did it to her boyfriend last month. While I have come to understand why she does it, and we have been working for years on her friendship skills, it is intensely painful to watch her cause pain to these kids who have no idea what happened. She's hurting herself just as much, because she's depriving herself of these wonderful friendships that were not irreparable.

My husband actually does the same thing. It's completely baffling to me, because I stay loyal to friends for *years* past the point where it's healthy to do so. There has to be a happy medium somewhere, and I pray my DD finds it.

I have told DD for years that when she ghosts a friend, she can't expect them to take her back if she changes her mind. I have been shocked at how easily some of them forgive her. I would never be able to rebuild trust with someone who hurt me like that.
 

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In my DD's case, it is solely because she is immature and lacks good friendship skills. She doesn't know how to work through any conflict in friendships, so she just disappears and tries making new friends.
{{{Hugs}}} I don't think this is unusual for young teens. To me it seemed like a huge leap to assume "abuse" and "bullying" and "people suck." There's a human being at the other end of whatever hurt the OPs daughter experienced, and that person is probably struggling too. Nothing wrong with boundaries, it's the judgment and vitriol on behalf of the parent, when the daughter was actually rather undecided, that seemed kind of over the top to me.

Miranda
 

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I already said that my daughter is figuring it out for herself and that I am not telling my daughter what to do! Where did I say I was?
The bottom line that I think we as parents need to speak up about is this (at least under my roof): mean people have no place in our lives -- whether it is family or friends for any length of time.

And as is the case with this ex-friend and her mom, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. These people have no place in our lives anymore. We will accept this as a teaching moment.

This makes it sound like you are calling the shots, not giving your DD space and grow up and figure things out for herself. I'm just going by what you said in your post.
 

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My first thought when reading this thread was that no, this isnt something that a person should just expect when 'growing up'. Personally, i never experienced it. I experienced the vague formation of group to exclusive/gossipy friendships around the age of 12, and remember thinking i didnt want to be part of it, and just remained friends with everybody. So maybe some people do this around that age. So what. Crap happens to everyone, regardless of our age, and i dont agree that tween and teens have to put up with more of it that any other age group.
Sure, mom should be there to listen, and support her daughter. But my instinct as a human being, would be to run a mile. Who wants this kind of nonsense in a 'friendship'? If the girl really does have remorse for her behavior, then the kind thing to do would be to give her a chance to show it. But it would have to be good.

I get tired of the ' its all part of growing up' mantra. Sounds like, 'boys will be boys'.

Yes, excluding someone from eating at a table with their friends is downright mean and close to bullying.

Be there for your daughter, but dont dismiss this hurtful behavior as 'just part of growing up'....:yawn
 
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