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Feel Bad for my Daughter.


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Old 29th August 2017, 12:33 PM   #1
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Feel Bad for my Daughter.

What would you guys have done in this situation?

Backstory - My daughter has these 2 friends who she has known since kindergarten (she's 13 now) She has gone through times where she has been very close with both of them. The 2 friends however, have never really gotten along. A couple of years ago, one friend (I'll call her D) talked my daughter into calling the other friend (I'll call her J) while D listened in and heard J say lots of mean things about D. When J found out that D was listening, she was very hurt (understandably) and her parents would not allow my daughter to hang out with J for a while. During that time my daughter and D also got in a big fight about it and I had my daughter pull back from D.

After a few months when that happened J's parents allowed my Daughter and J to hang out again and things seemed to be going well. (My daughter had also wrote and sent an apology letter to J's Dad about the incident and he refused to read it)

Then towards the end of the last school year a couple things happened...
1. J started getting very distant with my daughter for no reason that she is aware
2. D offered my daughter what she felt was a sincere apology for her actions over the last couple years and my daughter opted to accept it
3. We moved to another city a couple hours away.

Before we moved, my daughter tried reaching out several times to J, who was supposed to be her best friend, wanting to make plans to see her as much as possible before we left and was always ignored by J. So my daughter started hanging out more with D. Once we moved, my daughter still would reach out to J any time we were planning to be back in our old town to try to get together, but was always met with her text being ignored, or an excuse as to why she couldn't get together with her. J has also not once reached out to my daughter to try and maintain a friendship with her since we've moved.

D on the other hand has made a lot of effort to see my daughter and be a friend to her since we've moved and is always excited when we are down to visit with her. D does have some concerning qualities....The fact that she dresses much too old for her age and has a huge interest in boys, and has been known to be mean to her friends in the past....However for me, I feel that her recent actions in her friendship with my daughter have redeemed her for the most part to me. She recently got suspended from school for getting in a fight with a girl (who started it according to D's parents and have a pending lawsuit against the other girls parents)

So now, last night my daughter again tried to reach out to J to see if she would like to get together soon for a visit. J responded telling my daughter that her dad doesn't want my daughter over to their house anymore because she has been hanging out with D. (this also seems sudden considering J and my daughter HAVE hung out together since she has also been reconnecting with D)

My daughter came crying to me because she feels like since the first incident (about 2 years ago) has tried very hard to regain J's parent's trust in not making bad choices and is very hurt that they would judge her based on the actions of another person without taking into consideration that my daughter is overall a very good kid....She gets good grades, is respectful, loves J, is polite and well behaved. She said she does still want to be J's friend, but of course feels very uncomfortable about it as well as is put off by the lack of communication by her friend, J and doesn't want to be the only one to put forth an effort.

I told my daughter that it doesn't have to be black and white - that she can still be J's friend and be there for her without doing all the work to maintain the friendship. I told her to be there for J if she ever needs her, but to start putting her efforts towards the new friends she is making in our new town. She asked that I let J's parents know how hurt she was so I sent a text to her mom letting her know my daughters feelings were hurt, but that we understood their decision as one that they felt was best for their daughter. I also let them know that we are always here for J and that our door was always open to her.

Sorry for the long post. I'm so hurt for my daughter to lose her first best friend, and in the way it was done. Any other advice you have to help my daughter move past this would be appreciated.
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Old 29th August 2017, 12:59 PM   #2
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I'm sure most of us who have daughters go through similar situations. I did not get bogged down in the emotional ups and downs of her varied friendships. That stuff happens.

I think the important thing is to listen and ask pertinent questions so you can be aware of what's going on. In case anything truly harmful or detrimental arises.

Next, it's important to guide her through the process of developing productive firiendships. Making sure she learns the lessons she's come across. Like how participating in malicious gossip can damage friendships. How apologies aren't always accepted and wrongs aren't always forgiven.

Your responsibility as a parent is to guide her into being a successful adult. Not shield her from the lessons of life. Sometimes they are harsh. Seemingly unfair. But, they can be an opportunity to learn and grow. Make sure she does that.
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Old 29th August 2017, 1:01 PM   #3
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This is so hard, and it seems clear that D is at the root of it. However....having been the mother of a child who has been hurt, I can understand J's father's feelings, as I am certain you can.

I would say that whatever friendships your daughter has, she should strive to make them healthy friendships with healthy people. I'm not so sure D is healthy.

I remember being 13. It seems like those friendships will be forever central to one's life. The reality is that they usually aren't. Oh yes, I do have one friend who's been a friend since 9th grade, but we live away from each other, and local friends are closer to each of us now.

Has you daughter thought about why she was willing to go along with D's plan? Do you think she has grown since then?
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Old 29th August 2017, 1:32 PM   #4
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I definitely think that D is a root problem, however my daughter was feeling very bad about moving and wanted to be around friends before leaving. She was the only one that showed any real interest in making plans with her. It helped my daughter feel better about moving away.

My hope is that with time her new friendships here in our new town will flourish and her friendship with D will dwindle...but in the meantime it has been a good crutch for the adaptation of moving. (This is her first major move, and as a 13 year old I'm sure we can all understand how hard that was for her)

Of course my daughter has and will make mistakes in her friendships, and I will guide her as well as I can to look for the good in things, and to treat her friends well if she expects the same in return. I do feel she has grown from the initial incident a few years ago, which is why she was so hurt by J's parents. She feels like (and I tend to agree) that she has worked really hard to be trustworthy and good. I have seen instances in her IG account where she has had the opportunity to be hurtful, inappropriate, or act foolishly where her other peers were doing so and chose not to behave the same way.

My daughter did make a mistake in how she handled the situation last night. The mistake my daughter made last night was telling D what J had told her. (AND YES I LET HER KNOW SHE SHOULD NOT DO THAT!!) We talked about how it is unwise to share conversations with one friend to another, especially when the details are about that other person. And how even when it is not implicitly implied to keep it between the two people in the conversation, it should be a given (exception is when an adult should be contacted over dangerous or reckless behavior) But we talked about how Gossip is nothing but hurtful and to keep these things to herself.

I have a couple of friends from middle school who to this day are still my closest friends even though we live far away from each other. I think my daughter feels like she should have these kinds of friendships also, it's a learning process for us both on how to navigate gaining and losing and keeping friends.
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Old 29th August 2017, 1:42 PM   #5
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When I was your daughter's age, I did something really stupid (though I thought it was well-intended at the time), and lost a friendship. My friend's mom kind of took on the role of J's father. I felt terrible.

About a year later, she sent word through a mutual friend of ours that I was forgiven. We are now FB friends and chat from time to time.

In 6th grade, 3 girls were really mean to me for several months. A year or so later one of them and I became close friends.

Sometimes it just takes time.

As she makes new friends and her time with D dwindles, she may find that J comes around and things work themselves out.
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Old 29th August 2017, 6:11 PM   #6
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I am sorry for your daughter. I hope she finds a new circle of friends soon and is happy and thriving in her new community.

As a parent, I likely would have been more like J's dad. It's not so much the original problem, the call with D on the line, for which your daughter appropriately apologized for. Things happen, people grow, move on.

However, as a parent, I would have discouraged a friendship with your daughter based on what I consider to be a lack of judgement in your daughter continuing to spend time with a trouble-maker, D. You have a list of items that happened at the end of the school year. Your daughter started to reconnect with D, and that is when J pulled away, yes? They are very likely related, IMO. I suspect that J would have maintained the friendship if your daughter didn't reconnect with D.

Peer groups are incredibly important and honestly, their influence will soon outweigh yours for a period of time. Your daughter is likely to continue to make poor decisions as long as she is spending a lot of time with other kids who make poor decisions.

So I can understand J and her dad's position, and it's the path I would have chosen. It's not that your daughter is a bad kid, it's just that I would have encouraged my daughter into a different group of kids. It's a sum-based judgement, not the individual parts.

That said, time heals. This may all be water under the bridge in another few years. Your daughter and J may become friends years later, or J and D may have faded away as your daughter gets immersed in her new life.

This is all emotional and hard social training. I think you did the best thing you could by texting J's parents and leaving the door open.
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Old 29th August 2017, 7:17 PM   #7
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Your daughter started to reconnect with D, and that is when J pulled away, yes? They are very likely related, IMO. I suspect that J would have maintained the friendship if your daughter didn't reconnect with D.
I'm sure it's related, however she did start pulling away before then, which in turn caused my daughter to move more towards D after getting her feelings hurt a few times by J, which probably snowballed. I just wish they would have spoken to us sooner about their concerns (or really at all) instead of having J just ignore my daughter for so long before finally telling her she couldn't hang out with J anymore. Because they didn't let us know of the issue they had for so long, it resulted in my daughter continuing to try and see J and getting her feelings hurt when she just didn't respond.

I definitely can understand where they are coming from, and I respect their decision, but I think they handled it bad.
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Old 29th August 2017, 7:29 PM   #8
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There seems to be a lot of drama. I didn't read every single detail in the opening post, but got the gist. I think your daughter just has to accept that all actions come with consequences. Plus, even close friends grow apart; so it's unrealistic to expect to be friends with someone forever (even married couples get divorced often). Perhaps your daughter can try to be friends with J again when she's older, when she can make her own decisions without the influence (or protection) of her parents.
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Old 30th August 2017, 3:09 AM   #9
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My daughter went through similar teen drama with some of her friends. The best thing you, as a parent, can do is to listen and be supportive. You will also need to guide your through the teen-girl drama maze, and help her recognize situations that arise.

Your daughter should be learning how to set boundaries with her friends (ie: Like not allowing one friend to eavesdrop on a conversation). Be a leader, and not a follower. She should try not to allow a "friend" to lead her astray, or feed any drama, because it is a hungry beast that she may lose control of. It is the painful way to learn a lesson.

My daughter came home several times distraught over teen-girl drama. I listened. I was supportive. I also told her that the friends that she feels like she cannot live without would very likely end up a distant memory by the time she was out of high school. She graduated last year, and the majority of the drama ended as people went off to college, moved away, or just simply outgrew childhood friends. She still maintains two close friendships, and is happy to be free from the drama. What devastated her only a few years ago now makes her laugh at how absurd much of the drama was.

I am not minimizing how your daughter is feeling, because I saw how hurt my own daughter was at times. I hope your daughter is able to find a friend or two that won't engage in the drama that is so rampant in that age group. Just be there for her, and if needed you can let her know 1.) it's normal to have a fallout or two with a friend, and 2.) there will be opportunities to make other friends, and sometimes it is the best thing that could happen to her.

Good luck!
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Old 30th August 2017, 11:25 AM   #10
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There seems to be a lot of drama. I didn't read every single detail in the opening post, but got the gist. I think your daughter just has to accept that all actions come with consequences. Plus, even close friends grow apart; so it's unrealistic to expect to be friends with someone forever (even married couples get divorced often). Perhaps your daughter can try to be friends with J again when she's older, when she can make her own decisions without the influence (or protection) of her parents.
I also wanted to add that, perhaps your daughter can learn from this experience that sometimes relationships cannot be forced. She has made it very clear that she wanted to stay a good friend of J's, so it's up to J (and her parents) to accept this offer of friendship. As long as your daughter has tried, she should just respect J's space and move on, and should have no regrets.
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Old 30th August 2017, 12:13 PM   #11
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I also wanted to add that, perhaps your daughter can learn from this experience that sometimes relationships cannot be forced. She has made it very clear that she wanted to stay a good friend of J's, so it's up to J (and her parents) to accept this offer of friendship. As long as your daughter has tried, she should just respect J's space and move on, and should have no regrets.
I agree, and she's working on that. I've been trying to encourage her to make plans with her new friends here and so she is doing that. She has her first "boyfriend" (Yes we have specific ground rules, I've met his mother and we agreed on ground rules, ie no alone hang outs, group outings with friends is okay, they are allowed at each others houses as long as a parent is there, and not in each other's rooms, doors open or not) So that is keeping her happy and occupied.

I also let her know that we have to respect J's parents wishes, and like someone else said, it may not have to be forever. I told her about a best friend of mine that I've been friends with since 5th grade, and how after graduating h.s. we got in a fight and didn't really speak for 2 years. And now it's like that never happened and we are close as ever despite living 400 miles apart from each other.

I appreciate everyone's words and advice. I tend to overthink things as part of my anxiety issues. My daughter probably hasn't given this whole situation more thought than I have lol! I just love my children very much and never like to see them hurt or upset. (unless they are being jerks and need to be put in their place. Even then I don't like it, but I don't want to come off as coddling my kids lol)
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Old 30th August 2017, 3:58 PM   #12
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I agree, and she's working on that. I've been trying to encourage her to make plans with her new friends here and so she is doing that. She has her first "boyfriend" (Yes we have specific ground rules, I've met his mother and we agreed on ground rules, ie no alone hang outs, group outings with friends is okay, they are allowed at each others houses as long as a parent is there, and not in each other's rooms, doors open or not) So that is keeping her happy and occupied.

I also let her know that we have to respect J's parents wishes, and like someone else said, it may not have to be forever. I told her about a best friend of mine that I've been friends with since 5th grade, and how after graduating h.s. we got in a fight and didn't really speak for 2 years. And now it's like that never happened and we are close as ever despite living 400 miles apart from each other.

I appreciate everyone's words and advice. I tend to overthink things as part of my anxiety issues. My daughter probably hasn't given this whole situation more thought than I have lol! I just love my children very much and never like to see them hurt or upset. (unless they are being jerks and need to be put in their place. Even then I don't like it, but I don't want to come off as coddling my kids lol)
Understandable. I think you're doing great, all your daughter needs in this situation is your attention, support and to be an active listener when she needs to vent and air her grievances.

There will always be this kind of drama in a teenagers life.
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Old 30th August 2017, 4:12 PM   #13
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I think as her parent, the best thing you can do is acknowledge and validate her feelings. Outside of that you have to sit back and watch. These relationship issues and how she handles them is what forms her into a healthy balanced woman.

It's easy to say, very difficult to practice, my daughter is roughly the same age.
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Old 3rd September 2017, 11:42 AM   #14
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Your daughter needs to be very careful with her friend D as she sounds like and instigator and clearly is able to manipulate your daughter into hurting other peoples feelings. I hope she learned a lesson from this and questions D's intentions if she ever asks her to do anything where the results are less than nice.

At that age you do form great friendships but you also grow and let go of those friends who don't grow with you. I have kept a handful of those friends over my lifetime.

Every experience is a learning experience. Hopefully she knows how not to treat her friends if she expects a long lasting relationship. Who knows, they may reconnect when they are older. In the meantime encourage her to make more friends and value the relationships. If D is bothered or jealous then maybe she should reevaluate that friendship.

Good Luck
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Old 10th October 2017, 2:45 PM   #15
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I know I'm late to the game but I feel the need to comment on this.

I feel like J choosing not to be friends with your daughter (or her father not allowing it) anymore is perfectly reasonable. Your daughter may not have been the instigator but she was a willing participant in the drama..D and your daughter bullied J, and now your daughter is paying the price for her actions. Losing a friend is a tough pill to swallow, but an important one.

I'm very sorry that she's sad, and it must be really tough to watch your daughter be hurt by J's abandonment, but as hurt as she is..imagine how J felt. Your daughter has learned a valuable lesson in human relationships..I can't imagine she'll ever double cross a friend like that again..can you?

It sucks to watch your kids make mistakes and suffer for them, but it's all part of growing up. I hope she has a new group of friends in your new area and is happy. This situation is perfectly healthy and it is preparing your daughter for life in the real world.

Best of luck to you and to her.
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