• Keeping Friends

Tween friends who live on the same block

Published: July 5, 2015 | By | 4 Replies Continue Reading
A mom is upset that another child on the same block excludes her daughter from a threesome.



‘We moved to new street a few years ago and were very excited because there were other kids my daughter’s age on the same block.

Everyone got along at first, but then I noticed a girl down the street who is the same age as my daughter (10) but a grade ahead of her, wasn’t being so friendly to my daughter. The other girl would deliberately exclude her at the bus stop, told her in the bus that she hated her, etc.

This was upsetting to my daughter, as she really gets along with everyone pretty easily. There is a third girl their age who is in the other girl’s grade, who lives directly next door to us and gets along well with my daughter and they hang out often. The two other girls are also friends and I’m noticing recently this is bothering the girl who excluded my daughter so they all can’t play together.

The reason I’m writing is because of what I saw yesterday. My daughter was inside with me and saw the other girls walking up the street together, and hid behind a wall and “peeked” at the girls walking together. She didn’t want to be seen. This was upsetting to me. I don’t want her to feel like she has to hide like that.

I tried to explain to her to be the bigger person and say hello to the girls and see where it goes. Can you offer any advice? My husband thinks I’m looking at it through rose-colored glasses and if they don’t get along, just leave it alone. They’re not going to get along with everyone. I agree, but this is right on our block!

Thanks for reading.

Signed, Linda


Hi Linda,

Watching your daughter feel excluded must be so difficult. Both you and your husband make good points about navigating the often-rocky roads of tween friendships.

He is correct in that not all children (or adults) get along or make good friends for each other. I’m sure your daughter has already been exposed to this concept in school. Although she is young enough that she still needs your coaching and suggestions, she’s too old for you to “fix” things for her directly.

She will never know if the girl who excluded her is open to friendlier interactions unless she tries. My first thought is that perhaps this girl feels threatened because she sees your daughter as competition for the other girl’s friendship. Has your daughter ever tried to include them both when they play? If not, doing so could be an important icebreaker.

Whatever your daughter decides to do, she should take extra care so that the friend who likes her doesn’t feel like she’s caught in the middle. Since the other two girls are in the same grade and have known each other longer, your daughter might end up on the short end if the girl in the middle has to choose between the two. Remind your daughter that even under the best of circumstances, threesome friendships can sometimes splinter into twosomes.

I hope your daughter can work things out. Even if she can’t, your advice about taking the high road and being friendly is important. She can be friendly, without being a doormat, because she’s a nice girl and she doesn’t need to be unkind in return. She’s only responsible for doing her part to improve the situation. You should also encourage her to be friendly with other kids she knows from school or extracurricular activities.

Good luck for an easy summer for your daughter and her friends.

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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Comments (4)

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  1. Patricia says:

    I have a 10 year old girl with many friends on my street and have to deal with this type of situation everyday. In my experience girls do not exclude girls because they don’t want them around, it’s because they lack self esteem, are selfish and are attention seekers and they they want that girl to themselves and to be the center of attention. And yes, it comes out of jealousy most times. And sometimes it’s just as easy as the girls just want to spend time with each other and nobody else.

    This will continue on for years and years to come. I was just having dinner with my three nieces (age ranging from 20 – 25) and they all expressed sadness for the exact same reason – being excluded from outings by a group of friends. My advice to them was to make the first move with their friends all the time. When you feel like going out, call or text someone, if they say no – move onto the next person and so forth.

    Although the girls on the street somewhat get along most times, if my daughter gets excluded or is not included in a play date (for whatever reason), I teach her to let it go and call another friend to have a play date with. It is a waste of time and energy to sit in a corner and sulk. If you do that, you are the one that is ruining your day.

    I think we are doing a dis service teaching kids from a young age “to all play together” – reality is that once they get older, kids will exclude kids and they will not know how to deal with their emotions. I think it’s better to teach them that if somebody doesn’t want to play with you – it’s okay, find another kid to play with on the playground and move on. Kids thrive on excluding kids out of play, and seeing them sulking in the corner, it’s like a sense of winning of some sort. It’s better to show them that not playing with them doesn’t affect you and that you can and will are have fun without them.

    Just my thought of the day.

  2. Maddie says:

    Leave it alone, Mom. It is hurtful but you cannot force friendship on people. You getting upset over it will just create more distress in your daughter.

    “Yes, it’s hurtful to be left out, but it happens to everyone in life. Concentrate on your other friends and hobbies.”

  3. marinakis says:

    very well said jared!..i too in the past when i was younger thought that if u tried to be “nicer” to people that didn”t seem to like u,then eventually they would like u….HUGE MISTAKE!..learned this the hard way, but at least learned lol!!…if someone is like that, don”t lose ur time or energy, it’s their problem and move on to more positive people and situations!!

  4. Jared says:

    This sounds like a hurtful situation, and I agree with the husband. You can’t force someone to like you. Believe me, I’ve tried the “high road” idea numerous times in school(as a child) and at work(as an adult). When someone doesn’t like you, it doesn’t matter how “nice” you are to them.

    People generally exclude someone because they don’t want that person around, not because they want that person to “try harder to be a friend”.

    The exclusion could be due to any number of reasons: 1) Jealousy 2) Something your daughter said or did that this girl didn’t like, etc. Any time I’ve wanted to be friends with someone, and they did not reciprocate, I wound up wasting a lot of time and energy–only to be hurt in the end.

    You wouldn’t force a romantic relationship with someone, so why is friendship any different? Tell your daughter that there are plenty of other people to be friends with, and if someone doesn’t like her, they aren’t worth her time. Otherwise, she may get the did that it’s her duty to pursue relationships to her own detriment.

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