• Keeping Friends

What can a mom do if her daughter can’t make and keep friends?

Published: October 16, 2015 | By | 1 Reply Continue Reading
A mom worries because her 13-year-old can’t make and keep friends.



I need some advice. I have a 13-year-old daughter who finds it hard to make and keep friends. She had a friend earlier in the year and they had a falling out. I told my daughter to just ignore her as their was a lot of nastiness from her and her mother.

Now every time my daughter makes friends, the other girl finds a way of breaking it up. I don’t think she wants to be friends with my daughter anymore but she just gets in the way of my daughter’s friendships.

My daughter made some friends over the last couple of months and everything was good. My daughter had some time off from school for a couple of days recently as she was in a show and had to practice. This girl moved in on those friendships and now they are all doing things together and leaving my daughter out. The other girl keeps inviting them over her house knowing my daughter can’t go.

My daughter has been extremely upset and it’s breaking my heart. She is a lovely girl and very kind so I don’t know why this keeps happening.

Signed, Worried Mom


Dear Worried Mom,

I’m so sorry your daughter is having these difficulties with her friendships. The middle school years can be the toughest for girls and their peers. Your advice to ignore her former friend was good, because she can’t change anyone but herself and her reactions to other people.

Friendships are voluntary. Most start as acquaintances and take a while to develop into solid relationships than can withstand tension. From your letter, your daughter may be too eager in pursuing friendships once girls have shown they no longer want to spend time together. Sometimes girls can try so hard their efforts come across as needy, which most people find undesirable.

You may want to talk to her teacher about observations about her social skills and maturity. Teachers observe so many same-age children they can often identify areas for improvement that parents wouldn’t notice.

You mentioned that your daughter missed school recently. If this happens frequently, it could be a contributing factor by separating her apart from her peers. Are there any friendships she can nurture through her shows?

One way to help your daughter build relationship skills and strengthen her problem solving ability is through role-playing. Have her role-play the other child and you play her role and model assertive communication. Then switch and let her practice.

If your daughter has a history of difficulty making and keeping friends, she might benefit from counseling to help build her confidence.

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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  1. Patricia says:

    Okay, so I know that I am going to get A LOT of slack because of this, however this is just my little weigh in. Take what you wish from it. My daughter is still younge, however I have many friends with girls in this age group and they all go through the same thing…and girls can be nasty at times…so here it goes..
    Tell you daughter to fake it!…. you know that saying “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer”, it’s kinda like the same thing. The way that I see it is that this girl wants to be friends with your daughter, but your daughter doesn’t. If maybe your daughter gives her a little, just to so that they could co-exist with each other, perhaps that will go along way. Your daughter doesn’t have to spend a lot of time with this girl one on one, however when they go out as a group at least she may be included.

    You never know, once she spends a little more time with this girl, you may see that her attitude will change….hopefully.

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