Thursday, 16 February 2012

She's my best friend and I hate her...

My daughter is cool. She is composed, capable and kind.  She is happy and strong and brave.

She is a softy. Her calmness leads, I suspect, to others taking slight advantage of her.

She has had a wonderful start to her new school year. She loves school and is keen and interested academically and quite passionate about ball sports - we have moved on from handball, to lacrosse and netball.

She is loved by her teachers and her friends - she has many - from all  years - people grin when they see her. She has boys as friends too - the cheeky mischievous freckle faced lad in the year above her is one of her closest allies.

But her "best friend" is, dare I say it, not someone I can warm too. She is too bossy. Too manipulative. Too mean. Too insecure - and her subsequent behaviour is unpleasant. Spoilt, perhaps.

It is only just now that my little daughter realises this.

We talked it over last night, she and I.

The best friend is an annoying brag, apparently. Who is mean to her at times.

I am so rubbish at giving advice. If it were me, and my "best friend" was being mean, I would ignore her, or tell her to fuck off and cut lose. Not, I realise, the kind of suggestion that will appeal to my girl.

It's a small class in a small school. They have years ahead of them. Repercussions are possibly rife.

What to do? I wish wish wish I could step in and sort it all out for her.

All I can say to her is "A friend is someone who likes you, who cares about you,  and who is not mean."

What would YOU do?

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PS This post has been brewing in my head all day - I am fretting - and then I go here to one of my favourite blogs and Kirsty has it all sorted. See? That is the connection blogging creates. xx


  1. I have no idea what I would do. Childhood is full of these things, I want to get in and sort it all out for my girls too, I will struggle when I just can't. But I know my parents never stood in for any of these things and somehow we made it through.

  2. Tough one. But if your girl sticks to her guns and only plays with people are kind and caring (like her), then surely it sends a message to the bossy friend? Sounds like your girl has more sway with other kids than Ms Bossy anyway.
    So tough!! Good luck xx

  3. My girls are sixteen and almost gets easier, but it also gets harder, much meaner and when they go to high school, any involvement we had as mothers completely disappears...mine also went to a small school, and it wasn't until she was in Yr 7 that my oldest broke down and told us she'd been suffering very subtle verbal abuse at the hands of a "bossy" who masqueraded as a my girl is in Yr 11 and is doing ok...sometimes I want to wrap them both in cotton wool and just watch over them, but I wouldn't be doing them a favour, as unfortunately they will continue to cop this sort of treatment from "friends' as they grow sad.

  4. I echo Karen's advice. Focusing on spending time with the people who enrich her life rather than detract from it is what's best to focus on. This is such hard stuff! Xx

  5. Oh, that's a tough one. In the end, they do what feels right to them, so all you can do is advise. Your advice that real friends aren't mean is great and hopefully she'll ponder that. Or maybe she'll dig a bit deeper into her friend and see what causes the meanness. Sometimes you have to break through the shell to find the real person. Anyway, bottom line is - middle school is effing hard.

  6. Mr5 has just started school, with only one other child from preschool. They weren't great friends last year, and now Mr 5 is putting up with this kid's frenemy behaviour. "why don't you play with other kids?" I ask. "because X is my friend". Hmmph.
    Two weeks into school and I realize Mr5 is fine, but I'm stressing about him not finding a true friend as I remember so much of the horrid behaviour in primary school, which is so much more tolerable with a true friend by your side.

  7. I have boys. They seem so much easier. They can have a punch up with a mate, and it'll all be sorted. Best friends again the next day.

    Good luck!

  8. That is tough, I have no advice, just my own crappy friendship experiences at school. Though I am still best friends with my bestie from high school and adore her, I find my judgement isn't always the best. Currently going through issues with a friend who has been on my case for a month about everything in my life. Tempted to write a passive aggressive post about it, but it's not my style. Wish I knew how to be a bitch sometimes, would make life a whole lot easier. xx

  9. It's bloody heart breaking isn't it. I also think it's how we learn, and how we thicken our skin for the big wide world. Doesn't make it any easier though does it.

    I had a frenemy who told me what jeans I had to wear, who I was going to go out with and then let me know that I had a reasonable body but wasn't much to look at. I escaped her by going off to boarding school - my mother never said a word about her, but there was a look. Mothers always know.

    When I look back now I realize my frenemy had so many issues of her own, she still does.


  10. We've been completely oblivious to all these issues the past 3 months and all the worries started again today when the kids started back at school. Your advice is great. What worries me the most is how young some of these mean girls are. I try not to say anything bad about the mean ones but encourage them to play with the really nice ones. Although, I remember my parents manipulating me like this and I knew what they were doing at the time so really, I have no idea either what the best way is!!!

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  12. Lucy, I encourage my little one to play with more than just one person at school. There is a particular girl we are not so keen on too and they were hanging out solely together. She started telling Miss 6 to ONLY play with her. This was not on so I simply said it is not okay to play with only one person, try and play with a group. So far so good for us. Miss 6 is developing new friendships but without making a big issue out of it. HTH.

  13. Oh wow, that is hard Lucy, so hard.
    I think you did the right thing.
    We always talk about how you play with everyone, that you're friends with everyone and need to be nice to everyone, I do worry about them being taken advantage of though by being nice to everyone.
    Not looking forward to these type of discussions.

  14. OH I can feel for you here....girls can be so nasty...I wish they could all get along..boys are so much easier!!

  15. Trust your girl to know herself and to be kind when this girl is horrid. Soon enough they'll have nothing in common and drift away.

    That's my advice. Because I know everything. Obviously. ;)

  16. One of the greatest skills in life is avoiding mean people and disturbed people who can harm us. That's not discussed a lot amongst us parents nor at schools, and yet it's so vital. Has taken me years and years and years but I think I've got a pretty good gut feel now. The kids don't, I am sure, they're so innocent. You've prompted much thought and we must start to chat to them about this.

  17. Don't look at me I stuffed that one up royally when my daughter was young. The girls didnt speak for 3 years. The irony is that now they are best friends. Go figure.

  18. I had a 'best friend' like that in high school. I am sure she is still acting the same way at age 38.
    Sorry I have no advice for you. x

  19. Identical. IDENTICAL. Here as well. xxxxxxx I don't know. But I am on my knees about it and continue to provide a safe place for her to talk and debrief at home. I am watching and listening very closely and doing nothing for the time being. It is not my place to determine the course of my girl's journey with this lesson, wherever it may lead. But gahhhhh it doesn't mean I don't want to steer her away! Right away! Love to you. I sympathise!


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