OMG. Parents of pre-teen girls, I NEED ADVICE!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MidwestMom, Jun 17, 2007.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Help, help, help. In this neverending battle with pre-teen girls (and my daughter is very Learning Disability (LD) and not too confident) what would you do about the girl wars? My daughter went to the public pool and her BFF was with another friend, and they both ignored her. N. came home and said, "I guess R. has another best friend." I told her to go over anyways and play with them, but she said "They didn't ask me, so they must not want me to go" and she wouldn't. I suggested another kid, and she said "She's not home." I suggested a THIRD child and she said, "She's boring." Now she's pouting and feeling left out. All right, I realize this is NOT difficult child proportions, but how do moms cope with this? It's my second daughter, and my first one coped with middle school nastiness and insecurity by becoming a drug addict. Believe it or not, her popularity skyrocketed once she used drugs. The phone never stopped ringing. I want to encourage THIS daughter to feel good about herself in constructive ways, but I'm not sure what to say to her. I can't MAKE her ask if she can join in. She wants me to call her friend's mother to ask if she can play. I said, "No." I feel SHE has to do that. She's 11 already,and I feel SHE has to do it. At the same time I keep thinking about my other daughter and her incredibly scary drug years. How do you get insecure children to deal with this? She already knows everyone in her grade, since there are only about thirty-five fifth graders. She is in lots of activities and is well accepted. Some of her friends can't play. There is the neverending problem of kids of divorced parents who have to see "Dad" every other weekend so they aren't always around. That's a BIG problem for N. Another is N. herself and her personality. I try to do "girl" things with her, but what do I actually SAY to her when she comes to me with stuff like, "R. isn't my best friend anymore." I already said, "Well, talk to her about it." She shook her head. She won't. Can I scream now? Mothers who have successfully glided insecure girls through these years, please help. She is a pretty T pre-T, yet she's making me tear my hair out. My difficult child isn't causing me once ounce of grief because he's so comfortable in his autistic skin, but N. is going to drive me to drink (a lot)!
     
  2. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    My dtr is 10, but she is a easy child. She gets very over the top emotionally. I sometimes wonder, difficult child or easy child? I just let her go to her room and work thru it herself. She usually comes out with a better attitude. I do not know if this would work with your difficult child. good luck, lately I have more problems with easy child dtr than with difficult child son. Better living thru medications.
     
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Ack! This is a hard age. I was very lucky in that my easy child was ingenious and thick skinned. (How I gave birth to her I'll never know... I took everything so personally at that age.)
    I'd recommend Queen Bees and Wannabees... and time alone with-your daughter, having Starbucks or something that makes her feel grownup.
    Wish I could offer more.
     
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Who wrote Queen Bees and Wannabes and what category is it under? I'll hop off to the library tomorrow. I NEED THAT BOOK...lol.

    N. just got a call from R. and she went to her house. I don't know if I can survive this again.
     
  5. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    One thing to know about girls this age is that EVERYTHING is a major deal. It is possible to have and lose a "BFF" 10 times in a day. My older daughter did much better with one or two close friends than with a big group of acquaintances. I, too, got sick of her coming to me every 10 seconds with "Sally is not my friend. Susie looked at me crosseyed. Janey likes Katey better than me." I finally started asking her what she thought she could do to feel better. You are right, they need to figure these things out for themselves, and 11 is not too early.

    This is THE. TOUGHEST. AGE. 11 years old was when Copper decided she knew everything. And that I knew absolutely nothing. It does get easier in HS.
     
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hehe. Well, I knew N. was overreacting. R. and her have never had a fight. Yes, you heard it right. Two girls, together from second to fifth grade have NEVER had a fight. When she started with "she's not my friend" my brain just fried. I really need to stop taking this to heart.
    I did order "Queenbees and Wannabes" a few minutes ago. I look forward to reading it so I can help my daughter navigate these years. With my oldest daughter, it didn't peak at eleven. It continued on. I want this one to handle things better than the other did.
     
  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    MWM, here's a link on amazon.com to Queen Bees and Wannabees:

    http://www.amazon.com/Queen-Bees-Wannabe...82133000&sr=8-2

    Nicole is at a tough age. A has definitely lived through some of this already, and M is just starting. We find that sometimes planning activities and inviting a friend along really helps. Unfortunately, the kids seem to do better when they're not left so much to their own devices. I also agree with spending one-on-one time with your daughter. Chatting over Starbucks has really started some good discussions with my daughters over the years. It's really important to keep the lines of communication open as kids head toward the teen years.

    Good luck. I know this stuff is not easy.
     
  8. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Sorry -- I was posting as you did.
     
  9. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    Ugh! This stuff is so tough deal with. I took it to heart, too. It would be like a knife got put to me if one of Daughter's friends suddenly "rejected" her.

    I see this kind of stuff at work, too. Girls that are best friends, suddenly sworn enemies. Then, the next week, they are friends again. There's a lot of unspoken jealousy, and anger, that girls this age just aren't quite equipt to cope with, let alone express, yet. You need to keep a open and noncondemning ear through this period. Heck, I suppose, as a parent, we ALWAYS need that. However, this is when it really starts getting put to some use!

    I've read Queen Bees and it helped somewhat to understand. The middle school years were very difficult for Daughter. I'm so glad they're over.
     
  10. neednewtechnique

    neednewtechnique New Member

    I am what you could call a "REFORMED" queen bee, I guess....I am only 23, so my reign of terror only ended a few years ago. I am not proud to say it, but in this case, I may be able to offer some advice.

    It is sad to say, but your daughter is faced with an incredibly difficult situation, and the fact that she refuses to invite herself into an event that she wasn't invited to CLEARLY shows that she recognizes one of the WORST AND TOUGHEST TRUTHS of MIDDLE SCHOOL DRAMA. It isn't right, but the girls that "invite themselves along" are the ones that get the bad reputation and start getting picked on. They won't do it to her face, and most of the time they would still allow her to come, and would even be nice and have a good time with her, but then the minute she turns away, they will talk about her behind her back....not to mention they will try to secretly plan things so that she doesn't find out about them, which will FURTHER make her feel left out.

    As sad as it is to say, by refusing to insert herself where she wasn't invited, she really has made a wise choice. As for how to fix the problem......

    My first suggestion would be for her to be the one to take control and do the inviting. As you mentioned, there is always something going on, and things seem to get in the way, but if you can plan a special event for her and a friend, a few weeks in advance, she can start to build her relationships with her friends back up, one at a time. Once she is comfortable with them again, try inviting a few at a time for group activities. After a while, things will go back to the way they were, and she will forget the whole thing ever happened, and so will her friends. That IS ONE OF THE GOOD THINGS about that age...these things don't last very long (at least not normally).

    Another suggestion, which SORT OF relates to what your daughter was asking of you about calling her friend's mom..... I would not call and ask if she could come over, but if you and the girl's mom have somewhat of a relationship with each other, you could always make a friendly phone call and just explain that your daughter is feeling like her daughter might not want to be her friend anymore, and ask if she knows whether something happened or see if she would be willing have a friendly chat with her daughter about their relationship and see what's going on. Then give them a few days, and give her a call again. Maybe by then, her mom will be able to convince her to take some one on one time with your daughter and they can work on their friendship.

    Hopefully, this makes sense and sounds like it might work for you. I know this is a rough age and a tough time for your daughter, so tell her to just hang in there!!!!!
     
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks! This last post was VERY helpful. I can't relate to it because I never cared about fitting in, being popular, etc. I just wanted one best friend I could count on, so I never played the social games. I guess my daughter understands the rules.

    Actually R. isn't a Queen Bee. If anyone is, my daughter can be at times. She says that at her lunch table, if she says, "I'm going to get another fork" the girls will jump up to get it for her. It puzzles and amuses her and she is a nice kid. She told me, "I never ASK them to, but they do it, so I let them." She really does seem well liked, but she doesn't have much self-confidence.

    We also live in a tiny village, so there are only about thirty kids in all in the entire fifth grade. That makes it a little bit easier because they all know each other so well that things tend to blow over faster. However, there is also a flip side. If everyone decides to turn on a kid, there is little else to look for companionship as there aren't a lot of alternatives.

    I'm trying to teach my daughter not to depend on others for her self-esteem, to hang with family a lot, and to spend "down" time away from the girls (and boys!) that she's friends with. She doesn't seem to go out of her way to cause drama for herself or grief for others.

    I so appreciate others who are young and were involved in "girl games" giving me the scoop. I was a very "different" kind of child who hated cliques and rejected social norms (I wouldn't be caught dead as a cheerleader or at prom). I rebelled against my own peers! At the same time as not going to prom on purpose, I rejected any sort of drugs or sleeping around. I was weird...lol. So I don't understand the social games/rules. If you have any other tips for me to pass along to my very social daughter, please share. I so appreciate it! There is no way I'm going to be able to make her not care about popularity, so I have to learn about it.
     
  12. ellenr1

    ellenr1 New Member

    Girls can be so mean, and I speak as the object of the Queen Bee's scorn when I was 10/11, and the mother of a soon to be 11 yr old Queen Bee.

    When I would see her behavior veering into Mean Girl-dom, I'd tell her that her friends will not put up with her attitude and she had been come back down to earth fast. I even asked one of her ladies-in-waiting if my easy child is bossy, and she looked down at the ground and didn't want to answer me. I spoke to my kid after that. Of course she denies it, but at least she knows she does have to answer to me, and she knows I'm watching from a distance. If she gets a reputation as a Mean Girl, she will feel the icy sting of isolation when people get sick of her attitude. She lost a friendship with a very sweet little girl a couple of years ago, and I believe that it was because she got too bossy and demanding. And she was terribly hurt.

    What I worry about is if she insults or hurts another vulnerable child. I've warned her that if she abuses her priveleges with the cell phone or computer, she will lose them.

    Next September she enters middle school and I am dreading it...in our urban/suburban affluent area, 12 is the new 18....
     
  13. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    it is not just girls. My difficult child male does this same exact thing. He had a best friend, separated by divorce of his parents, they moved away. difficult child craves for a best friend. I here every day, I'm going to his house. Then..he has someone else going so I can't go. This is with everyone. I can name kids in his middle school, and he has something mean to say about everyone. And most of the time he ends with "they hate me". Then a few hours later he is at their house. Three does NOT work. My difficult child will always be the one picked on or the one who goes home. He can be annoying at times, so don't know if it is him or others. I started a new thing with him. He knows everyone in his school. So I took his yearbook and am going through each picture and he is to tell me something nice and good about that person. He can do it.
     
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks to both of you.

    My daughter's class has as group of boys that the teachers feel acts like the girls...lol. My biological son grew up with a bunch of boys who acted like little girls too. He was a marginal popular kid who would often go to school and find out everyone was angry at him, although he didn't know why and nobody would tell him why. Then he'd come home all upset. It was very "girly." All the moms complained to each other about these group of boys being vicious.

    As for Girl Bullies, this is a very serious issue. I am just now learning how to help my daughter make good decisions and stay strong. She's not a mean kid--in fact, she's the one who will invite the one autistic boy in her class to her party, whereas nobody else does. Still, as of now, she is one of the more popular kids at school. I'm afraid that her kind nature and sensitivity will do her in. It's sad, but she isn't mean enough to stay popular. She tries to stay away from rumor spreading and isolating other kids, etc. I hope I can help her hang tough. She has her own insecurites--adoption, she's bi-racial, she's Learning Disability (LD). I hope middle school doesn't change her. She's such a good kid.
     
  15. neednewtechnique

    neednewtechnique New Member

    I actually graduated from a class of 38, so I know what your daughter is feeling. As I mentioned before, I am a "reformed" queen bee, and you are EXACTLY RIGHT about what you said. Such a small group, they know each other well and things DO blow over quickly, but at the same time, again you are right that when they turn on someone, there isn't really anyone else to turn to.

    Sounds like your daughter's friends really do respect her, I know it seems silly, them going after a fork for her, even without her asking, but that does show they respect her. Which as long as she remains nice and doesn't get bossy, she should be back in business in no time. I know that most parents have concerns about their child being the "queen bee", but honestly, in a place that small, that's the best place to be to survive!!!! Just keep reminding her to rule with kindness and not with terror. Unfortunately for me, I didn't learn to rule with Kindness until about my junior year, so I had a very long "reign of terror" and managed to hurt some people very badly throughout all of that. Since high school, I have managed to mend some of those relationships, and I am actually pretty good friends with some of the girls I used to terrorize.

    It's so funny that you mentioned not being caught dead with a set of pom-poms....I used to think I couldn't be caught dead WITHOUT mine....lol.
     
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