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how to handle mean girls

Posted by on Sep. 3, 2013 at 10:51 AM
  • 6 Replies
My daughter is 13, and is having an issue with 'friends'. For a little background, here's the deal. Her, Rachel, and Bella were all friends a few years ago in elementary school- she considered Bella her BFF. Two years ago, Bella moved away, but they maintained some contact through texting, etc. During that time, her and Rachel 'broke up' and were no longer friends as Rachel started being really mean and trying to be popular so she tried to get attention by making fun of my daughter. Lately, my daughter has been making an effort to be friendly with Rachel, not friends, but friendly so that things wouldn't be so awkward and tense when they saw each other. Fast forward to now. Bella moved back to our area about a month ago. My daughter was over the moon about this. But she finds out that Bella and Rachel have been hanging out a lot and leaving her out. She found out that they were attending the local high school football game together and hadn't invited her. My husband ended up taking our daughter to that game. She could see Bella and Rachel across the way, and texted Bella to say that she was there. She saw Bella look at her text and dismiss it, never responded. She came home broken hearted. The next day, Bella texted her and said 'oh sorry, just saw your text, my phone was dead yesterday'. Well this was the end of it for my daughter. She hates liars, and this just cemented the fact that Bella is more into Rachel than her, and is trying to be with the popular crowd. So she has just been ignoring Bella's texts, and this is her plan going forward. (they don't attend the same school, so they don't often just run into each other). I'm so sad for my daughter, she has been crying a lot about this. She is very non-confrontational, very much an avoider. I want her to handle this in her own way, as this sadly won't be the only time that friends do this do her. But I feel like she should say something to Bella, not a full on confrontation, just saying 'I saw you ignore me', 'you hurt my feelings'.... something. Should I encourage her to say something or just let her ignore her? Bella has not been a good friend this go-round, but I don't think it's right to just ice someone out. I don't think this is a good life skill! I really do want my daughter to be able to handle her own problems, just not sure how far I can or should encourage her. As a side note, if anyone has high school girls could you share what transitions take place from middle school to high school friendships? My daughter will start high school next year. I am really hoping that the norm is that some friendships change going from middle to high school- for everyone, so that my daughter has a chance to make some new, quality friends going forward. What was it like for your daughter? Any stories will certainly be helpful! I hate feeling that every other girl has a fantastic set of friends and my girl got stuck with the stinkers! Thanks everyone, I know this was long and involved. I appreciate the support.
by on Sep. 3, 2013 at 10:51 AM
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by on Sep. 3, 2013 at 11:04 AM
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I would encourage her to just leave it alone and move on. Work on strengthening the friendships she already has or try to make some new acquaintances that may turn into friendships. Calling out this girl will likely not help matters and may make it worse. She is clearly not interested in maintaining a friendship at this time with your daughter. Which is unfortunate but normal at this age and certainly does not reflect on your daughter. Many kids change friends in middle school and high school as their interests change. I know I didn't hang around most of the same people in middle school as I did in high school but it wasn't like we no longer liked each other we just sort of drifted apart as we got more involved in school activities and classes that were different and we had less in common. As adults far removed from those school days some of us have reconnected now that we have more in common again.

Good luck to your daughter, I hope she feels better about this soon!

by on Sep. 4, 2013 at 9:08 AM
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Actually I would do they same thing as your daughter. I also don't like confrontation. But Bella hasn't been a good friend to her and ignored her txt that she was also at the game. It should have been an easy assumption that she could see her by what she txted and she still ignored it. That's karma. Your daughter should cut her loses and stick with people who make her feel good and that she can trust. Good luck!

by on Sep. 4, 2013 at 12:19 PM

I have 3 girls and I have seen friends come and go.

It is very painful when friends change or let you down.

Last year my dds (11yo) bff since they were 7 - planned a sleepover with all the other girls in their group and left out mine. I was furious and confronted the mom (we had been friends forever as well). In the end the kid grudgingly apologized - but things are not the same. I am not sorry i confronted mom - she is an adult an knew this meaness was happening and allowed it - as long as hers was happy.

My dd is still "friends " with this girl but has moved on to better people in her class that really value her and would never act that way. My dd was sick of the cliques and the back stabbing - the sleepover was the last straw. She still talks with the meanies and will occasionally hang out on a play date - but they no longer mean all that much to her. It ws a painful growing experience - but she came out much stronger and I am proud of her.

I agree its best not to confront the girl - she can blow it off and add fuel to her fire of blowing off your daughter by now making her feel defensive. She can make things way worse for your girl by saying she is a stalker ect.. - girls can be horrible. Just let it go and try to find better people.

by on Sep. 4, 2013 at 5:27 PM

It's really true what they say about middle school years - they suck for the kids and the parents. My dd is 13 - same age, will be in high school next year. My dd went thru what your dd is going thru in the 6th grade. She was very popular, and her BFF from elementary school was very jealous of all her friends - one day, one by one, all the girls my dd was friends with told her they didn't want to be friends. Literally in one day. Everything was fine the day before. We found out it was her BFF that got all the girls to do it. And when I say all the girls I mean about 15 kids went up to my dd and told her they didn't want to be her friend. School didn't do squat and when I called her BFf's mom (we were friends) she ignored me but text me to say it was for the better and that she wished us luck. She was obviously manipulated by her dd and didn't know the truth. It was hard for my dd the rest of the school year. Fast forward now - all of those girls have come drawling back to my dd but my dd chooses her friends wisely. My dd is an honor roll student, plays softball, volleyball, and rides horses competitively so she has a lot of friends in different schools in town. So all those little mean girls try to suck up to her. My daughter never wishes to be in that popular crowd ever again. She smiles and says hi when she sees these mean girls but will never hang out with them again! It was hard for me to see all this happen bc my dd is so kind - but letting her deal with it was the best thing bc she learned a lot! Just be there to listen and hug her when she needs it. Good luck - it's hard but I bet these 2 girls have their own drama so they are doing your dd a favor.

by on Sep. 4, 2013 at 6:44 PM
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Girls will be girls this is not always the most fun time in the lives of tweens. You were her age once, I was also, there are tears one day and lots of laughs the next.

Have her get involved in something, a sport, church group, singing, painting, whatever.  She will need somthing else to focus on other than the mean girls, boys, Facebook etc.   She also needs to know that she cannot control what other people do or say, but can only control how she reacts. 

So when this type of thing happens again and it will, make sure she keeps her dignity and self-respect.  She will feel better about her self and not stoop down to their levels. 

Also, every girl goes through some type of negativeness with friends, make sure she knows she is not alone and when she is with her friends, don't let them treat other friends badly.

by on Sep. 5, 2013 at 8:35 AM
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My daughter lived through the same experience your daughter did... only the names are different & they all did go to the same school.

My DD tried hard on & off to fix their lost relationship but ... being "popular" was more important to the other girls.

By 9th grade her "Bella".. Justine, had begun having sex, drinking & doing all kinds of crap to be "popular". So my DD pretty much gave up. Sad thing is, girls like that spread rumors, tell lies and tell old secrets just to make other kids interested in what they have to say, 

For my DD, Justine will always be her BFF, but they have no relationship. After graduation Justine did come over to apologize to my DD for ending their friendship the way she did.

High school was a let down for my DD. (and her dad & I) As she approached senior year we expected the kids who gave her a hard time would have grown up some. Shoot, most of those kids were old enough to vote for president. But their behavior was still no different (maybe worse) than when they were in middle school. Their problems were all more serious.. drugs, pregnancies... car wrecks & deaths. But they still acted like children.

 I'd just encourage your DD to move on. Bella isn't ready to have a mature & respectful friendship. I wouldn't encourage a confrontation of any sort. They may just make the girls resent her more & later your DD may become the target of lies, rumors & spilled secrets. High school kids have no "lives". They are just teens with families, they go to school & home. Play video games & hang out with peers. They make up stories so they sound interesting.... ya don't want your DD caught up in their make believe drama.

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