Ok, experts. Need parenting advice on what to do with easy child's girl fight. Help?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If smoke is coming off the page, it's because I'm ticked off.
    Last weekend, hub and I took the kids to an overnighter at a waterpark. easy child asked three friends to come with, and they paid $20 each to stay with us. The next day, my difficult child son wanted to go home early to ask his girlfriend to homecoming and hub didn't want to stay all day either because he wanted to watch the Packers play so we told the girls that we were going home early. However, they still had wrist bands and could stay for the rest of the day IF they all called their parents and their parents said it was ok. If not, we'd take the girls home with us and drop them off. All three girls said they called home.
    One girl, I'll call her Sara, nodded with the other two that she had called home. We left and picked them all up at 5 and dropped them off at their various houses.
    That night, Sara got into trouble because she hadn't called and (get this) her parents said WE were irresponsible for leaving them alone (they are 12, can swim, and I thought she'd called home). That ticked me off right then and I wanted to call them to set them straight, but easy child begged me not to call.
    Yesterday, easy child started crying hysterically because Sara had left her a mean message on her computer. She'd told easy child that she was a horrible friend, called her all sorts of names, made up all sorts of lies and said she would tell everyone at school so that she'd have no friends. I had to talk down easy child and tell her that NOT everyone would believe her. Remember, this all started because Sara got into trouble for lying and obviously didn't tell her parents that she had told us she'd called home. The girl is being hateful to my daughter. BUT...she doesn't want me to call Sara's parents.
    Now Sara's parents are not the most stable couple. They have split up and gotten together again. I just found out from easy child that they both drink too much and once, when easy child was sleeping over there, had left them alone until 3am. THAT ticked me off. At any rate, she won't be sleeping there anymore, but Sara is giving her such a hard time and easy child is sensitive. I have to exert all the willpower on earth not to call these parents and at least tell them the truth. easy child cries every time I mention calling them: "You'll make it even worse." Arrrrrrrrrrgh.
    What would you do? And how to you help your kids through these times? My only other daughter did drugs at age 12 and I never went through the normal "mean girl" stuff with her. I had other things to worry about. While I'm glad I don't have those ugly issues with easy child, I am not sure how to handle this stuff. I never went through it as I would find one good friend every year--I hated the way crowds treated each other.
    My daughter goes to a school where there are only fifteen girls in seventh grade, so she can't just mingle with others. All the girls are sort of intertwined. There are many three little groups. One has another "mean girl" in it. The other group she says are "geeks." I told her to hang with the geeks. She doesn't want to.
    Can we say CRAZY?
    With all this girl stuff going on, I have to get autistic son ready for homecoming and I feel under a lot of pressure. Hub told me just to chill out...lol. He's nice about it, but he doesn't understand girl wars.
    I feel guilty being stressed out over such minor stuff when I know so many of you are under so much more pressure about more important things...
  2. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    I think maybe you boo boo'd in taking the two girls word for it that it was ok with their parents - and that the call should have been made by you or husband to check to see if it was ok with their parents -been there done that with same boo boo with my eldest years ago :) To be honest, I would have been upset had I let one of my kidlets go with somewhere with a parent(s), and found out that they were just left without supervision for a few hours, and no one called me personally to ask if it was ok. The world isn't as kind anymore, all kind of weirdo's are lurking everywhere..

    As far as the 12/13 year old drama of I am not going to be your friend anymore senario, I think maybe its pretty typical girl stuff when they hang in bunches of three or more - would bet in a week or so they will have made up like nothing happened. But understand its much easier to up the ante now via computers and texting.

  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Ok, I'll give you my opinion but it's looking at things from a little different angle. I think you need to talk to the parent and I'm surprised the parent hasn't already called you. This has nothing to do with easy child and the girls have no reason to be mad at her but it sounds like when at least one of them got into trouble, your easy child got blamed.

    The other parents' perspective: I can only relay how I felt when my son was 12yo and he tricked people into thinking he was allowed to spend the night with another kid. My son did not come home after school and I had no idea where he was so I called school and they said he had gotten on bus to come home so I called police. The next morning, my son showed up to school- on a bus with another kid who he jhad spent the night with. He had told that Mom that he had called me. I thought it a little odd that she bought that given that it was a school night, I had never spoken to her and didn't know her son, my son showed up unexpectedly after school with no change of clothes, and just told her that he had my permission. I was appalled that she bought that story- So, I called her and had to leave a message. She called me back and said those thoughts did cross her mind around 11:00 pm that night and she had wondered if difficult child's mom "had been at home worried if he was ok or not". I was speachless- just standing there on the phone wondering "then why didn't she call me just to make sure that I knew where my son was and that he was ok". Then she said "I figured he's 12 yo". And I'm thinking "what do you expect from a 12yo".

    I know- your situation is not so extreme because the parents did not expect their girls to be home at that time and they weren't left worried about their kids all night long. But, the parents are probably wondering why you gave their daughter's that much credit that they wouldn't just tell you what you wanted to hear so they could do what they wanted without verifying any of it.

    I see where you are coming from, too, though. I understand that you didn't think you needed to. So, that's where the frustration lies, in my humble opinion. The parents are mad at their kids and at you- a little- but they probably are wondering if most other 12yo could be trusted more than their's. It's just that they knew their's couldn't and they expected that you knew that too.

    This is a long way of getting to this: None of the frustration pertained to easy child- and the fact that the Mom hasn't called you yet does indicate a little oddness in their family. However, in my humble opinion, I think you should talk to your daughter and explain why you need to call that Mom and then call her. Let her know that you were not aware that you needed to verify what her daughter told you about getting permission and that you would appreciate it if she would talk to her daughter and explain to her that this is not easy child's fault. That's just what I would do anyway.

    The friendship might be damagad by all of this but if it is, I tend to think it's because they are just being raised differently and sometimes that leaves kids without having too much in common. I think that because you mentioned that the parents had left these girls by themselves until the middle of the night. To me, that is neglect and unsafe at that age. So, the dynamics in their household are probably a lot different than in yours. (And no, it is nowhere close to logical that they would leave them until 3:00 am but get mad at you for this, but people are not always logical.)

    After all- you are planning for a homecoming!! (I love the way you mentioned that difficult child wanted to come home to go to his girlfriend's house!!)
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2008
  4. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I'm confused -- why is Sara mad at your daughter? You didn't tell the parents, your daughter didn't tell the parents, so what is the issue there?

    Mine was bulled a lot at that age and constantly begged me to not interfere. I rarely did and the one time I did, it did get ugly. I think I did the right thing, though -- it was going to get ugly regardless of what I did and at least the parents had a clue as to what kind of child they had (not that they cared).

    However, your situation is somewhat different. These girls are friends. My daughter's bully was not a friend, just a really mean girl. Are the other girls that went treating your daughter badly? That would be a huge factor in whether I would get involved. The pack mentality is incredibly high at this age. If they're following Sara, I'd definitely stay out of it because it will make things worse. It will be all of them picking on your daughter, not just the one. If the other girls are in your daughter's corner, then I'd be more willing to call the parents. I do think they deserve to know the truth, but not at the price of your child.

    One thing to remember is that girls fight a lot at this age. So, enemies one week, bff the next. If you talk to the parents, the odds of the girls ever speaking again are probably slim (unless they join the parents are jerks club). Honestly, I think I would have blurted out the fact Sara lied when the parents accosted me. It probably is too late to do much about it now unless Sara's behavior escalates. If it does, then I would definitely be talking to the parents. Otherwise, I think I'd let it go for now.

    (Sorry for the length and the rambling. I was kind of thinking aloud as I typed, tring to reason out what I would have done.)
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    OK, first thing: The other girls haven't taken sides. My daughter is NOT one to talk it over with her friends. She hasn't discussed it with the other two girls, but she did go to the homecoming pep rally with one of the kids she was at the waterpark with.
    Secondly, we live in a very small town and I pretty much know most of the parents. The other two girls did call home. Nobody was angry about anything--our kids do things together all the time--shopping mall trips, camping, etc. Sara lives in the boondocks and I don't know her parents well--just that they used to own a bar and that there are alcohol problems. I've never known them to be overprotective at all. Onto the situation:
    I don' t know how Sara's parents found out. She didn't tell easy child, just blasted her. My guess is that Sara said she'd be home before she got home and when she wasn't, she said, "Well, I couldn't get home because easy child's parents left." Which is true, only if she had called and been denied permission, we would have driven her home. easy child doesn't know the whole story, nor do we. I can tell you that Sara will never come with us again as she lies. I'm not used to that with easy child's friends. Sara's parents didn't call us to find out if we were going to follow the kids around the park or anything (we never do that--this was an indoor park and I can't handle the heat in the waterpark, and my daughter and son never need us to follow them around). She wasn't concerned about her daughter before we took her. I would have called to find out what they planned on doing. Frankly, I never had any kids this young who made things up, like staying overnight without telling us so maybe I'm just too naive. I learned :) Even my druggie daughter was good about checking in until she hit around sixteen.
    If I knew more about what had gone on, I could help my daughter more, but I don't know.
    I certainly won't bring kids with anymore unless I know the parents well. But that doesn't help my daughter deal with Sara at school...
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2008
  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I would walk or drive over to Sara's house when I know that her parents would be home. I would calmly apologize that Sara had stayed without their knowledge at the water park, mea culpa, won't happen again. When that is understood, they need to know that you would never have done so if Sara had not told you that she had called and gotten permission, as had the other two girls with you.

    Wrap it up with "I'm really sorry to hear that Sara was upset and has been angry with easy child over this. I hope that the discussion at school with people who were not involved, and between the two of them regarding fault will stop."
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think there is a lot of common sense being suggested. I would problem talk to the parents with an "I'm sorry. I misunderstood the situation. I hope I can communicate more clearly with you in the future. What can we do to help the girls mend their friendship?"

    I might not say the mend their friendship part.

    I WOULD call the school counsellor and get her advice on the bullying aspect of this. Have her work with pcdau to handle the bullying. If your school doesn't have any bullying info I can send you a link to the stuff our school has on it. They have VERY effective bullying programs in elementary, jr high and high school.

    I think computer bullying needs to be addressed with ALL the girls. Well, all the kids in your daughter's grade. It is a big issue, and it is what Sara is doing.