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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dd (11yrs) has a friend who she has considered her "best friend" off and on over the past 2 years. The problem is, her friend doesn't reciprocate on a consistent basis. Apparently she sometimes treats dd like a best friend (at school) but every week or so she does something mean to dd (usually she shuns her, or makes excuses not to hang out with her) and no longer is her friend....then a week later they're best friends again. This has gone off and on for 2 years now. This "best friend" likes to copy dd and pretend to be like her so she will look cool (dd doesn't like it, she wants her to be herself). But as soon as another kid shuns dd, she is quick to join them and leaves dd behind w/hurt feelings. When she's nice to her, she's really nice. And when she's mean... Dh and I both feel that she deserves better, and she shouldn't waste her time with this girl because she seems to just use her when it's convenient. It's frustrating what dd will put up with. We can see this has effected her self- esteem.<br><br>
Dd is a very sweet, trusting person. She's a people person and loves to play with kids of all ages. She speaks up against kids who are not nice to others (but are good at getting followers to join them), so that tends to get her in trouble with some kids. She's not girly-girl but she's not tomboy either. She's not a typical 11 year-old. And she doesn't really fit in with any of the "clicks" at her school. She often spends recess on her own when she'd rather have friends to play with. It seems that whether she has a friend to play with or not depends on what kind of mood her "best friend" is in. I keep telling her that maybe she'll have friends to play with if she stops waiting for the one friend.<br><br>
I know it is a maturity issue. I remember 5th grade when each day is a different friend. But dd wants at least ONE friend that will always be there for her. She sees best-friends in school and she doesn't understand why she can't have one too. I don't understand either. She's not a follower and she's more mature than most kids her age, so maybe that's why?<br><br>
She just always seems to attract the wrong friends. I don't know how to help her so it doesn't keep happening. If it was just one occurence, she would be fine. But history keeps repeating itself (this isn't the first "best friend"). As soon as I think she's moved on and learned from the situation, they're "best friends" again. She keeps wishing the perfect friend for her will suddenly show up at school and all her problems will be solved. I told her that might happen in high school but, for now, she has to deal with 5th-6th grade mentality and a small school. I feel helpless except to be there for her and to let her know what I think.<br><br>
Any words of wisdom? What have you done to help your dd learn how to pick better friends?
 

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mother sunshine. I read your post and envisioned me and my dd about 3 years ago, exactly. This type of situation is hard so I would like to start with a <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"><br><br>
is your daughter involved in any activities outside of school such as dance or martial arts? My dd (now 14) has found a wealth of like-minded friends at her dance studio and they have made all the difference when it comes to my daughter's faith in finding friends she wants to be with who will treat her with the same love that she treats them with.<br><br>
My dd had a friend since she and the other girl were age 5. This girl, when they hit about age 11, began tp pull the crap that your dd's friend is doing. It about killed me to watch my dd "take her friend back" after being treated like dirt time and time again. I would tell her to dump that girl, that she was too mean and not worthy of my dd's friendship. This made my dd mad at *me*. I had to learn to back off, put trust in my dd that she would work it out, and it took a while but man did dd finally get it. She doesn't speak to thatgirl anymore and is not bothered by that at all! Whew. You can imagine how proud I am that she came to that choice by herself.<br><br>
I'd say just be very open to your dd (which I bet you are already) and listen whenever she needs to talk about this situation. I think at 11 there are so many changes going on that a girl can get confused and wants so much to be more "grown up"..you know, in charge of her life (which is a good thing, I think) but remember-she'll want her mama and dad there too, for a hug or positive affirmation along the way. Offer to take her out for a milkshake or a trip to the bookstore when she's feeling crappy about the situation. Keep the lines of communication open<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
And like I said before, an extra class in a subject she's really interested in right now can be a wonderful way to meet friends. My dd's dance friends are like a second family to her. It's been the best thing for her.<br><br>
ooh, and regarding that copying thing...that used to drive my dd batty then too...now she just rolls her eyes because it still happens sometimes. what can you do. Just tell your dd you're sorry she's so cool people want to be like her <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
Best of luck to you!!!
 

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As with Susana, this could be my daughter (nearly 14). Her "best friend" lives up the street, and it's an on again, off again friendship. After speaking my mind to kiddo the first few times, I've stepped back and let her handle it. She's not your typical 13yo, and I think a lot of what she goes through with some of her friends is due to jealousy and to her being atypical. She is extremely driven - not in a competitive way - but she has to be HER best, whether it's school, sports, art, whatever. As a result, she's an excellent student, an excellent athlete, an excellent musician, not a teacher dislikes her, and the list goes on. To top it off, she's not at all hard on the eyes. Her "best friend" is really a nice girl. But.... she's not that smart, and she's not athletic, and.... really all you can say is she's a nice girl. Most of the time. But it's hard to be "best friends" with someone who you feel is so much better at everything. So I understand how she sometimes feels the need to strike back. It's not nice, but it's understandable.<br><br>
As for how to help her make friends.... it's hard. Luckily, mine tends to befriend a lot of kids, so there's usually a couple who she can do something with. She's entering HS next year, and has applied to a science-oriented career academy. I hope that, if she gets in, she'll meet like-minded kids. The biggest problem is that they'll be relatively far-flung. But we can work with that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> Thank you mamas. Thank you so much for your heartfelt posts. It really does help a lot.<br><br>
You both are right. I need to step back and let her decide. I've slowly been learning this, I just needed that extra kick. I just read your posts to dd. She's beaming a bright comforted smile right now, just to know there are other girls who have gone or are going through the same thing.<br><br>
Susana, thank you for making me realize that when it's her decision, the more proud (and responsible for herself) she will be for it. Dd is involved in outside stuff (volleyball, surfing, guitar). I am hoping the new volleyball team she is on will be the comfort group you spoke about. She's new there so hopefully it'll happen for her. I just wish school would provide her with one good friend, since she's there for a good part of each day...<br><br>
mtiger, I could've written your post. Your dd and friend sounds like my dd and friend to a T. I knew a large part of it had to be jealousy, and I do understand. But I don't understand her consistently "punishing" her for it (though I know there's nothing I can do, it's dd's choice). I just wish dd would find another friend who is good at her own things, or at least secure with herself. Then they could be happy for each other being good at what they're good at, and not jealous. Good luck to your dd and the science academy!<br><br>
Thanks again mamas. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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WOW your post brought back a flood from my teen years. I was in the same boat as your dd. I remember friends deciding I wasn't worthy for their presents for a couple of days, then all a sudden all would be well again.<br><br>
I don't know if this would help your dd, but because of my experiences as a child now I value a true friendship, I think I chose better now as an adult. I have built an amazing group of friends. I consider myself very lucky in the friend department. When my Mom passed away I thought a couple of my friends would show up. I couldn't believe it when I walked into the funeral home and there were like 30-35 friends waiting (they got their extra early) in one large group. I saw all their faces as I walked into the room, and I was overcome with emotion and just started to cry. Hugging them all.<br><br>
It hurts watching our children go threw this. I am watching my dd deal with this same issue in the 1st grade. I get notes from her teacher saying she is worried about dd cause she thinks she is anti-social. My dd isn't anti-social, she just doesn't want to play the "game" of friendship. She is often playing by herself during recess. When I asked her if she was sad about it, she said no that she prefers to play by herself, rather than be bossed around by the other girls.<br><br>
It hurts my heart. I remember it too. I want to fix it, and I can't. My niece went threw this, and this year she started middle school. I asked her how it was going and she said it was great. She told me that this year she decided to "play the game". Which I guess is good for her cause she has "friends" now, but also hurts my heart cause I'm afraid she is loosing herself.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 
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