My daughter lost her best friend. What to do?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MidwestMom, Nov 11, 2007.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Her two best friends now live right near each other. Their backyards actually connect. The two of them are always together and my daughter is really sad because BF1, her boyfriend since kindergarten, is never around her anymore. She is always with BF2 (who came on the scene two years ago). Now my daughter feels lost and cries a lot. I'm good friends with BF1's mom and I know we could talk about it, and she'd try to help, but my daughter doesn't want me to call about this, and my friend can't make her daughter want to hang around with mine. It's so devastating for my daughter though, although she has other friends. She doesn't seem to want to be with them outside of school. In a way, this child is much harder than my autistic son. She has many learning challenges (she is being mainstreamed this year, but it's a real strain for her). She is a very sensitive child who cries easily. She is part AA in a mostly white community. There are serious drug abuse issues on the birthfather's side, but so far doesn't seem like she has a mood disorder. I don't know if she counts as a difficult child--she isn't a behavior problem--but she's a hard kid to raise. It hurts my mommy heart to see my baby depressed. I'm not sure what to do or how to help her. My hub is a BIG He's very close to daughter, but when I told him her problem, he shrugged and said, "Tell her to just go over there and hang with them." How male is that? He doesn't understand female rules. Plus daughter usually won't go places without being invited. Did I mention I hate puberty? Daughter is 11 1/2, looks and acts older, and I am sure she is experiencing raging hormones in her body. I expect her to get her period any day!
  2. bby31288

    bby31288 Active Member

    Midwest Mom, I will get back to you on this.. I don't have time to write what I want to. But I am thinking of you and your daughter, been there done that!!!
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    While this is painful for your daughter, and for you to watch, it's pretty much a normal thing. It's hard to dift away from a friend, especially one that's been there for so long.

    But sometimes during the course of time people change and grow, and outgrow each other or the relationship.

    Poor girl. It really is tough though.

    I'd offer as much support as she'll let you, maybe try to peak her interest in other friends or activities. This friend may dift right back given time. I'd say the girls must've had alot in common to be friends since kindergarden.

    easy child recently reconnected with a boyfriend she lost during hs. Friend went one direction, easy child was in another. Now that boyfriend has been in college, moved away from home.....Well, the girls reconnected on MySpace and are right back to being good friends.

    It happens that way sometimes.

    (((hugs))) to your lil girl. I've been there done that with both of mine and know how hard it is for both Mom and daughter.
  4. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    Hi MWM~

    I have to agree with DaisyLover. Adolescent girls friendships are like the weather. Constantly changing and very unpredictable. Try to remain supportive of her feelings ... but I wouldn't suggest interfering.

    My daughter struggled with healthy friendships with girls. Girls can be outright mean and ugly. When she got to high school she made up her mind she was done with the drama and the heartache and learned to enjoy her own company. She was happier as a result.

    Let your daughter find her own way.
  5. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    Unfortunately, it's very common for this type of thing to happen. When Daughter's BBF got a boyfriend, she literally dropped all contact with Daughter who was devastated. It took a long time for her to work through it.

    I remember having a long time friend/neighbor, and when I new girl moved in across the street, I ceased to exist. Very painful and I was never included in anything that they did. Threes a crowd I suppose.

    I, and Daughter, survived. Yours will too.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the feedback (more welcome). I think what hurts her the most (and me) is that my daughter's ex-best friend is the sweetest girl on earth. She isn't a mean girl at all. She isn't trying to hurt my daughter. She just lives very close to this other very outgoing girl (also a friend of my daughter's) and they see each other literally every time they step outside. Plus the moms are close in age and have befriended each other. I'm a friend too, but older than both of these moms. I have nothing bad to say about this child. I think my daughter could deal better with it if she wasn't such a good kid. I know she really misses her, but my daughter isn't the type to "talk things out" and nothing will make her do it. So, as much as I'd love to help, she's too old for me to fix it.
    I do feel my daughter is at risk to get into trouble so I try to keep her as busy and as happy as possible. Fortunately, she loves sports and is in EVERY sport, and she does have other friends. Lately, though, she's been asking me if I can send her to the neighboring school next year (in Wisconsin you can "choice" your child into another public school). I think this is due to her hurt feelings with her two ex-best friends. I don't think I"m going to do it--feel it would be much harder for her to start at a new school than stay where she is known and already has friends. Also, she has a good Learning Disability (LD) plan in place here and is making good academic progress, even with a rather serious learning disorder in both reading and spelling (and a processing problem). Maybe I'm making too much of it--but I had such a horrible time in school. All the kids picked on me. Funny how you never forget the lonliness, even when you're going to be a (I'll have a grandbaby girl in March). Yet here I am still remembering...and not wanting my kids to have those memories. You guys are all so kind and compassionate. I sure hope I give back the same great feedback you always give me.
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I know what you mean. I had a horrible childhood as far as school was concerned.

    But you know what, I've yet to meet an adult who doesn't at least to some degree feel that they'd been picked on or pushed aside while back in school. Like I said, varying degrees from very mild to severe. Still I rarely come across a person who feels they were the social elite back in school. (and when I do I often ask myself why as they seem snobby and such. lol)

    Honestly, I'm beginning to believe this is a normal part of growing up. Part of that learning to build and keep relationships. Of course that doesn't do much for easing the pain of actually living thru the experience.

    You daughter sort of reminds me of easy child when she was young. She had a real problem voicing her feelings and talking things out with people. HA! Not these days. lol Quite the opposite is true. lol

    I wouldn't change schools. Does sound like a kids solution to a problem. (overkill) It's important for her to learn how to deal with this and hopefully learn to express herself honestly with her friends and other people. It was a tough lesson for my easy child to learn, but she finally did.

  8. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    One thing you could do for your daughter (and like the others before me said, I think this is a natural part of growing up) is to motivate her to invite another friend over. Try and foster another friendship. Bring another frind home on the bus with her on Friday. Invite someone over to spend the night on Saturday and paint nails and watch a movie. I think, were I her mom, that's what I would do. Try and promote some social activities with some other of her friends.

    I have to say that I do believe it is important for girls to have a best friend. It just seems that life is smoother with someone to share your secrets with. Those preteen tragedies are made easier with a confidont who understands.

    When girls loose their best friends at this age, they truly look inward for the reason. They have a hard time accepting it was not because of something they did or said. Being a preteen is tougher than being a teen, in my opinion.

  9. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Hi MWM,

    I didn't raise girls, but I was the odd man out most every time so I know the pain even though it's been many decades. I wish I knew then what I know now about being myself and not worrying so much, but I think it's been established that it's typical tween behavior.

    Since she's not the "outgoing" type would she welcome an opportunity to journal her thoughts? Say maybe you buy her a diary of sorts with a little lock? Or find a space to put a larger notebook in that no one finds? Journaling helped me about that age and it's been a life long tool for frustration and learning about myself. Some of the stuff I wrote, OMG I laugh at my own self. But that's what journaling is about.

    As far as being in the neighborhood with AA or AW kids - I don't know if that matters to our kids like it was beat into our heads. It's a tough call as a parent, but my son has told me over and over that I'm OLD SKOOL. The more I go to young adult functions the more I think he's correct. It matters - but not to them as much as it seemed to matter to our generation. My son makes friends wherever he goes - I love that he adopted the I don't care about your looks, abilities, brains attitude. It's a beautiful thing about him in a person that can otherwise be so ugly at times.

    If journaling isn't an answer can you find a club/group or something that would keep her interested? My son actually turned down EVERYTHING we suggested until it came to Stomp dancing. I nearly fell out of my chair. I thought - baseball, boys club, chess club, art classes, motocross, and you pick Stomp? Whats next double dutch? (Which he said - naw I can already do that and braid hair) We laughed but he was serious.

    I'm sorry for her feeling ostracized. And at this age there isn't much that I can remember I wanted anyone to do for me except give me what I wanted and well - to know my Mother is to know that THAT was not going to happen. We did a ton of stuff = don't get me wrong, but I still send her a list for Christmas every year asking for a pony. Last year she sent me a picture of a crying child with a ghostbusters sign over the pony and the caption said NOT YOUR PONY. I got the message - This year I'm asking for a donkey! (that ought to chap her ...) haha.

    Sorry for the struggle.

  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Star, my daughter is VERY social!!! I can't keep her in the house. She has a reading/spelling disability and isn't interested in journaling her thoughts. But she isn't quiet at all, just reticent about sharing her feelings with her friends. Also, where I lived and live there isn't a great big deal about color. It wasn't a huge issue by the time I was a young adult either--I dated out of my race and didn't think twice about it. Still, it makes her different and kids don't like being different. She is, however, a very beautiful girl and gets compliments about her looks.
    Although she has other friends, this girl was her BFF and they were together all the time. She has other friends, but I know that for her it's not the same thing. As for activities, she's in a skating club that meets once a week at our local roller rink (and she's really good on the ramps) and plays every sport you can think of--this year she even played Pop Warner football!
    I think part of the reason she and her best friend are growing apart is that my daughter is very active and her little friend has a heart problem and can't be that active. Still, they always had a very special bond and I know she's hurting from the new alliance. This second girl was also one of her best friends. They haven't turned AGAINST her, but they don't bother to call her since the two of them can just walk through their yards and have company with each other. It's like my daughter isn't necessary anymore. My daughter is very sensitive so I worry.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    "Tell her to just go over there and hang with them." How male is that? He doesn't understand female rules.



  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I know!!!!! MEN (said with extreme exasperation).
    Hey, how do you get those icons? I have no clue how to get them on my posts and they are very expressive. I'd love to use the one above myself right
  13. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Use the reply button instead of quick reply. You'll see a smilie in the little boxes. Click on it and all the smilies are there.

  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    This is something that happens through teen years but it doesn't stop it hurting. I remember easy child going through this - her best friend was very easily 'won over' by other girls and through primary school would sometimes avoid easy child because another girl had told her she had to, "If you want to be my friend."

    This girl was also very gently, very caring - but very insecure, she was always scared of hurting people and would choose the path of least resistance; she perceived easy child as someone who could cope better without her for a while, than the mean girl putting the emotional thumbscrews on her.

    easy child coped in two ways:

    1) She let her friend know that she WAS hurt, that she understood the dilemma but felt honesty and honour should have been valued more highly and the 'mean girl' told to stop the emotional blackmail.

    2) She didn't cut off her friend, but she did make new friends while she waited for mean girl to lose interest in manipulating their friend and leave her to find her way back to easy child.

    easy child has moved on well in life. Her friend is still a bit of a professional drifter, always concerned about what people think about her and scared tat people mightn't like her. "Mean girl" became promiscuous and got involved in drugs (not in a big way, just enough to escape the parts of herself she doesn't really like) and professionally has amounted to nothing. She still manipulates people, including her parents.

    And for something I did in a similar situation, back when I was young - I made friends with my rival. Genuine friends. That way, I wasn't too dependent on just one person as kindred spirit, I had more possibilities. It also meant I got included more when friends in common got together. Getting out and about in a small group is healthier in so many ways, rather than a too-close friendship with just one other person, which excludes everybody else for both of you.

    If this isn't really possible or won't work (as it wouldn't have for easy child, because 'mean girl' was very jealous of easy child's apparent self-confidence and brains) then there is a different pathway. First, she has to learn to be her own best friend - she needs to learn to value herself. Not easy at 13. Then she needs to find another friend to share this with. begin slow and gentle, invite another girl around for an informal craft session (perhaps making Christmas cards or scrap-booking). Or invite a friend around to watch a classic chick flick.

    In the meantime, keep in friendly touch with earlier friends but make it very clear she isn't being needy, she is happy for the new friends to get to know one another, she will get on with other interests while she waits for them to get over all this.

    OK, she might have to pretend a little, but this will work. To be attractive as a friend you need to seem as if you don't need or feel desperately about wanting friends. You need to project confidence and love for everyone. The popular girls aren't always the pretty ones or the smart ones, they are the ones who make other people feel good and emotionally pampered, but with honesty. When you talk to a good friend who makes good eye contact, who seems genuinely interested in you, who asks you how you are and means it - you become someone others will seek out for a friend.

    And if she practices these skills on friends, she will also reap the benefits later on when boys really get big in her picture!

    I hope she can feel better over this - but to openly get upset over this is not going to help her relationships. Avoid seeming jealous, because only someone who is needy, needs to be jealous. And the more jealous you seem, the less inclined people are to want to be friends - they could be the next target. Think of what our perception is of what a jealous person looks like, or sounds like - do you want to be around someone like that? Few people do.

    So finding ways to turn any jealousy into something positive is going to work so much better in so many ways. And often, it also changes the feelings themselves, if you can change other manifestations of the jealousy.

    I gave up jealousy 35 years ago, when an ex-fiancé tried to make me jealous with his new girlfriend. I noticed his look of triumph when I expressed curiosity about the girl, so I did the only thing I could do - I made friends with her. If I was curious about her, I would find out from the horse's mouth and not from the horse's ****. And in the end, she & I spent so much time chatting, she had no time for him - it was delicious! She was a really nice person, we got on very well. I could have burned a lot of emotional energy on hating her, but instead of constantly feeling angry and mean inside, I was happy with a new friend and every day realising more that my former creep of a fiancé was good riddance - for both of us.

    Doing the unexpected, being warm and generous - it feels good and other people like to be around it.

    Walk in the sunshine, not in the dark.

  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the advice!
    Marg, in our small town there are only fifteen sixth grade girls and this will continue until the end of high school unless somebody moves or somebody moves HERE. There's no real "mean girl" syndrome and the popular crowd is iffy. In fact, my daughter thinks others think she's popular, but how popular can ya be with fifteen kids? My daughter has very good social skills and knows better than to act needy...she can play the game. It just hurts. She has other friends. She misses THIS friend. And she won't tell her friend that she misses her out of pride. At any rate, I do know this is a girl thing and I also know it's very hurtful. This was her special friend and no other friend can take her place, at least in her mind.
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    MWM, sounds small like our area. Although in our village the kids have to go 'to the mainland' to go to high school and over there, there are many different schools. Usually only one or two will be at the same school, but they all travel together twice a day. When you add up all the kids in the same grade making the trip, it would be about the same number. All the high school kids (plus a few primary school kids who travel away from the local school) make up two small boatloads. One, if you cram them in. About 100 kids. And with only the ferry captain and maybe a deckhand to keep an eye on them, plus a tricky route with shoals and sandbanks, a lot of mischief and bullying happens on the boat trip.

    And yes, here is where some kids sit together and exclude others, and sometimes it's just too crowded to fight your way through a crowd if you didn't actually get on the boat at the same instant.

    It hurts. I wish I knew something to help her take away the pain. I did gather from you that this probably wasn't a 'mean girl' scenario, but this can sometimes creep in, or colour an associated situation.
    All I can suggest is that your daughter stays polite and friendly to the two, and finds herself some other friend to cultivate. She might not be able to confide much especially to begin with, but it also can open the door to getting back with the other two as a foursome (for some weird reason, healthier than a threesome) and maybe enlarging the group.

    My best friend will tend to pick up lame ducks. I don't know what that says about me - but we enjoy talking together. However, there have been times in the past and will be times in the future, when she will brush me off because someone else needs her and she knows I will always be there and can look after myself. So I wait. Find something else to do in the meantime, unburden elsewhere if I have to.

    I didn't get a chance to talk to easy child 2/difficult child 2 about this, but I suspect she'd advise your daughter to register on a site like Gaia. When she got into it, husband checked it out thoroughly. He likes it, felt it has good safeguards and some healthy communication-based activities. difficult child 3 now has a Gaia link too, he's been 'chatting' to other kids, sometimes about his own problems when he gets upset. I've shoulder-surfed a few times, it makes him feel good to have friends, even if they're online. And easy child 2/difficult child 2 is also one of the popular girls, although she does put up barriers. Those she lets past her barriers are strong, true friends. (One of them is the son of a bloke who stalked me - the kid is a great bloke, the dad is just plain weird - but easy child 2/difficult child 2 has maintained the friendship despite the hassles I was having with the boy's dad).

    Give her a hug for me. She WILL be stronger for all this, but for now - yes, it hurts.

  17. Daka

    Daka New Member

    MWM, I realize it has been quite awhile since you posted this but I am just now dealing with a similar situation with my daughter. She's 10 and will be 11 in 4 months and her best friend since kindergarten has not only taken up with some other girls but they tease her for her clothes (althought my daughter says they wear the same clothes). He former boyfriend has also given them her personal info on her problems (ie. a form of clubfoot so that her feet hurt all the time and she doesn't run very well, and she has some preemie emotional tendencies) so that the new girls pick on that too. I have given her all the love and hugs as well as a bit of tough love. By that I mean that she needs to let the old boyfriend go and stop trying to make her like her (my daughter asked to paint her nails black to please the mean group) and to find new friends. Anyway, I was wondering how things worked out for your daughter and what you did through the process, because as you said, it's so hard to watch, I have never been angry at any of my daughters before (my other is 9 ADHD and SVT) until now. I can't understand how she can treat my daughter like this, she turned on her so very fast for no reason, no fight, etc. and I know they are kids and preteens but to use personal info is overly cruel to me. So again, how is the situation now, I truly hope your daughter has healed and found more friends.

    KC (also in the midwest but not a small town)
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi, there.

    All's well that end's well.

    We got the school involved and they did an awesome mediation with all the kids. Because they all truly had deep respect for their friendship, they at least laid off the teasing, and, as time went on, they admitted how much they missed one another. To make a long story short, the school was fantastic, the mediation was out of this world, and tonight my daughter is sleeping over at this friend's house along with a bunch of other girls.

    My daughter is a bit older (she is in seventh grade) and our school is very small and almost family like so maybe that helped. But I'm all smiles and so is my daughter. There is hope.
  19. Jena

    Jena New Member


    i'm sorry i'm so late to this. I just wanted to say that i understand where your coming from, difficult child is soo sensitive as well and so is easy child when it comes to this particular issue.

    just wanted to offer some support, and so sorry i'm late to it :)
  20. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Sounds like things are slightly better, MWM.
    This is a hard age for girls. In fact, my daughter is still going through it at 18!
    I can't believe the things they do to one another. I would not call a single one of them a friend. Grr.
    She'll learn someday.