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sushimi
sushimi asks:
Q:

How can I help my daughter overcome her friendship troubles?

My vibrant and social daughter has been having troubles with one friend or another for weeks now.  All is well in our home and she is very open with her daily activities and encounters with school.  She claims "the friend" all of a sudden starts to be mean and excluding at recess and then feelings become hurt.  We are trying to figure out a way to get through these times and right now it feels as if my daughter is the only one struggling with this "friendship" stuff.  Any insight or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  :-)
In Topics: Friendships and peer relationships
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
May 14, 2008
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What the Expert Says:

Unfortunately this is a very common behavior among girls- although that fact does not make it any easier for you as a parent.  I'm not sure how old your daughter is, but it sounds like you have a good relationship with her in that she feels comfortable sharing her day with you.  Open communication and acceptance of her feelings will help her tremendously through rocky times with her friends.  

There are several things that you may want to keep in mind as you help your daughter.
1.  Listen to her stories & empathize with her feelings.
2.  Be careful not to get too emotionally caught up in it yourself.  Discuss what happened that day, then try and let it go & set her up for a positive day the next day.
3.  Avoid making any judgmental comments about the other girls, it is likely that your daughter will be friends with them again in a couple days or so.
4.  Give your daughter lots of hugs, praise, spend time together, and let her know how much you love her.
5.  Use her experiences as a teaching tool to talk about how she treats others.

Unfortunately, we can't protect our kids from having their feelings hurt by others, but we can help them to feel good about themselves.  If the behavior from the other girls is making her feel bad, make sure that home is a place that she can relax and feel good about herself.  Helping her work though this situation will set her up for success in the future and strengthen your relationship as well.  Hopefully things will work out soon, it is great that you are reaching out to best help her through this time!
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Additional Answers (1)

kat_eden
kat_eden , Parent writes:
Hi sushimi,

I have two boys so I haven't felt that exact pain in our household but I can tell you from speaking to all of our friends who have young girls that you are NOT alone!  It's heartbreaking but it seems that most little girls end up going through this at some point.  And unfortunately how it seems to work is that they take turns being the "out" girl while the other girls band together against her.  

My best friend swears by the book Odd Girl Out by Rachel Simmons.  She says it really helped her understand what happens in "girl culture" and how to help her daughter handle it all in a healthy way. (http://www.amazon.com/Odd-Girl-Out-Culture-Aggression/dp/B0013L2DZ0/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1210694936&sr=8-1)  

Also we have a number of articles here on education.com about the social behavior of girls.  This one might help:  http://www.education.com/magazine/article/When_Clique-y_Girls_are_Grownups/  

You may even want to check out some of the bullying articles on our site.  While it doesn't sound like your daughter's in any physical danger, you might find some of the coping strategies helpful.

Good luck and please let us know how she's doing!

Kat
Education.com Community Team
> 60 days ago

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