• Keeping Friends

A mom worries that her 13-year-old daughter can’t keep friends

December 15, 2015 | By | 4 Replies Continue Reading
The daughter can’t keep friends because when wind up losing respecting for her.

QUESTION

Hi,

My daughter who is 13 years old has no problem making friends but after six months to a year, whatever friend she’s made starts to show no respect towards her. She can’t keep friends.

She is such a sweetheart and treats all her friend so kindly. In a 4-year period she is on her second round of friends and there is always one girl in the group that squeezes her out and the other girls allow it.

Is 13 years old too old for me to get involved and call the one girl’s parents and get an explanation of her daughter’s action towards mine?

My daughter has had a very hard time moving on from this group of girls. She kind of made friends with another girl but after a while, she too, is disrespecting my daughter while my daughter once again puts her friends on a pedestal.

Please help me with some answers. My daughter is so heartbroken by the ways friends treat her and needless to say how broken my heart is, too.

Signed, Worried Mom

ANSWER

Dear Worried Mom,

I’m sorry your daughter is having difficulty keeping friendships. You’re right that at 13 years old, your daughter is too old for you to be an active participant in conflicts with her friends. Becoming involved would probably make things worse for your daughter.

If your daughter places her friends on pedestals, she’s giving them too much power and changing the balance from equality to one where she is less important than they are. She may even feel “lucky” to have a friend. A healthier perspective would be for her to realize she’s worthy of the relationship and of equal importance. I can see how she might feel fortunate to have a good friend after her recent track record, but this mindset is self -defeating.

The more objectively you can see your daughter, the better you’ll be able to notice behavior patterns that contribute to her difficulty maintaining relationships. This is important because she can’t change her friends, but she can learn to better select, raise her standards, and alter anything she may be inadvertently doing to alienate others.

If she suffers from low self-esteem or sadness for more than a few weeks, professional counseling might spearhead positive changes.

Good luck.

Signed, *Amy Feld


*Amy Feld, PhD, MSW has trained and worked as a child psychologist.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this or any other post is intended to substitute for medical, psychiatric or clinical diagnosis/treatment. Rather, all posts are written as the type of advice that one friend might give to another

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Category: KEEPING FRIENDS

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  1. Suzyq says:

    I have some good experience in this area as a child, I suffered low self esteem and have always been a kind person, not unlike your daughter I suspect. Girl friendships are not easy. May I suggest you find a very positive way of assisting your daughter to learn to value herself and believe in herself more. Learning techniques that help her to strengthen herself inside and those other key strengths will make the difference to her relationships and also importantly her life as she becomes an adult. These things will affect her in her working life whatever that may be as how you view yourself is a large factor in how others in the workplace may treat you, or even consider you for a job role, it could be a opportunity for something really worthwhile as well that could be affected. Kind unfortunately doesn’t always win you friends or help you win in this world sadly as others who are perhaps a little vindictive – especially at this age of girls can use it against her. A good friend said to me that sharing kindness and yourself in a large way should be reserved for those with the same heart. Hopefully this makes sense…
    If your daughter can strengthen her inner self and learn those key tools in friendship by valuing herself and relying less on the judgement of others she will be come a well sought after friend.
    Be there for your daughter but don’t be negative on her shortcomings, or others’ towards her as this is a part of growing up. Supportive and not pushy parents are the best. Don’t forget to offer hugs if they are required!

  2. MARINAKIS says:

    13 IS TOO OLD?…WHAT ARE U SMOKING?

  3. Mrs. Chen says:

    Worried mom,
    I agree with Amy that 13 is too old for parents to intervene.

    I have a 15-yo girl and a 12-yo girl, so I know this age group well. Most of them want to appear “cool” and want to fit in. That is why no one will speak up for your daughter. They are also afraid that if they spoke up for your daughter, they’ll be the next target.

    Unfortunately, there’ll always be a ringleader who wants to increase her own power in the clique and will do so by stepping on whoever she views as the most vulnerable girl in the clique. If your daughter, as Amy puts it, feels “lucky” to be part of this clique, this power-hungry ringleader will sniff her out and target her.

    The best your daughter can do is to walk away with her head held high. I know it’s extremely difficult for her to do so. But she needs to show these girls that she will not tolerate disrespect. Many girls in this clique will secretly respect her for it, because she is doing something that they themselves don’t have the courage to do — to walk away. Even if your daughter has to sit by herself at lunch, it is still better than being a punching bag for her former “friends”. You’ll need to be there for her every step of the way and give her the support she needs to stick to her guns.

    Best of luck to you both.

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