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Thread: Girl Drama

  1. #1
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    Default Girl Drama

    I thought I had until the pre-teen years to worry about girl drama, but it's here. It's making me sick to my stomach and worried and I don't know how to handle it.

    Our next door neighbors have a daughter who is a year older than my dd. They've always played together, but there are a few cultural differences that we are dealing with, where the seven year old is not allowed out of the house in the sunshine (her skin might get too dark, which apparently is a negative in their culture), and she's not allowed really to do much of anything. She's also in a lot of home based activities and always has to practice piano or violin or do her Sylvan Learning Center math or whatever. The seven year old has not always been very nice to my dd and they've butted heads often. As a result, my six year old dd found another friend who is exactly her age (further down the street, but still a neighbor) who likes playing outside and has more free time, and they've grown close. Sometimes the three of them play together, but there is always drama about somebody being left out or somebody not wanting to play the same thing, and it's a big headache. The other girl gave my dd a "best friends" necklace (when I saw it, my heart sank...I knew there would be hurt feelings), and the seven year old saw it, and that started an issue. I was told yesterday by my neighbor that the seven year old has been crying every single night because my dd is playing with the other girl. She was very upset and made me feel terrible. I said that I wanted the girls to all play together, but they take turns ganging up on each other, and I'm sorry the seven year old is left out. There are reasons why she is left out (mainly because of her mother's overprotectiveness and slamming her kid with activities leaving little time for playing). I told the mother that (in a nicer way), and it turned into a rather large, upsetting argument that left me in tears. I've prided myself on teaching my dd to be kind to everybody and not leave anybody out. Teachers have told me she's a friend to everybody, and while she's not perfect, she is a kind soul. I can't force her to play with somebody, though...especially when it results in so much stress.

    I honestly don't have the stomach for this type of thing, and I worry that it's going to get worse. I didn't sleep at all last night. Has your dd been through this? How do YOU handle it? Is it normal? Gah. My ds has friends over constantly and aside from the small squabble, there have never been these huge issues.
    Maxwell Davis born 2.24.05 Riley Elizabeth born 8.11.07Daniel Dwight born at 21 weeks. Always in my heart. Gabriel Thomas born 1.2.11

  2. #2
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    Girls are like that. I once student taught at a school that had very large combined classrooms (co-teaching situation) and one of the teachers said that one of the many positives of that situation was that if one group of girls excluded someone, there was always another (several really) group for the girl to join, so it wasn't so traumatic and isolating for those girls who had a hard time fitting in.

    The other mother was being a mama bear and following her instincts, but this is not a situation where she can really exert any control. It is neither your problem, nor your daughter's. It is just a fact of life that not all people, or groups of people, mesh well together.

  3. #3
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    I'm sorry you're dealing with this! It's amazing how upsetting it can be to see your child struggling through these social things. I've definitely been there.

    What I've seen repeatedly (and friends have told me the same) is that it's very common for these things to happen when 3 girls are playing together. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but often one person feels left out.

    I wouldn't look at it in such a personal way as the parenting or personalities causing it, I suggest taking the perspective that the dynamics between the 3 girls simply aren't working. Encourage one on one play, and if the 7 yr old's mom is upset just say that the girls get along best when it's one on one, so no one feels left out. Hopefully next time the 7yr old has free time she can get together with your DD.

  4. #4
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    I just had a conversation about this with DD's kindergarten teacher! DD was in a small kindergarten class of 5 girls. There were 2 groups of 2 girls (who all really liked each other, but paired up to work together) and then a bully who was left out of everything. If one of the four girls was absent, it was a nightmare because of the dynamic of 3 girls. The four girls were great together, but the three was a disaster.

    Honestly, I don't think this is your issue at all. Your DD is a kind person who prefers to play with the other girl, and it's more convenient. This is the other woman's issue (and her daughter's by default). I just don't see anything that you can do to either a) get her to play more, or b) make her nicer.

    ETA: I have many friends who parent like your neighbour. My heart breaks for the kids, but the consequence is that they just don't have time to free play, and they often don't have enough experience with free play to know how to do it. It sounds weird that kids can not know how to free play, but I see it constantly among many of my prof friends who really, really push their kids to be high achievers.
    Last edited by Pine Tree; 08-01-2013 at 04:12 PM.

  5. #5
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    We have 4 girls on our street within 1 year of age with each other. The oldest is turning 7 in September, the other three all turn 6 this year. The 4th girl doesn't like to play outside as much as my DD and the other two, so it is frequently only 3 of them. We have had issues from time to time. Girl 1 and Girl 2 will play more together (their moms both SAH, I work) for awhile, then my DD and one them will play more together. It goes in cycles. What I, and the other parents, have done is tell them, over and over, that whoever wants to play can play. Occasionally two will "gang up" on the other one and us parents try to nip it in the bud as quickly as possible. For the most part, the girls do a pretty good job about being inclusive. We have a new almost 6 year old girl moving onto the street this weekend and I'm curious to see how the dynamics will change with the new addition.
    C & B - 5.13.06
    DD - 9.15.07
    My LJ

  6. #6
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    I agree with Pine Tree. I would try to leave it to your DD as much as possible. Obviously she prefers to play w/ the other girl, and that's okay. She should be kind to the 7yo, but she can be better friends with the 6yo if that's how she feels, IMO. To the mother, I would just try not to engage with her about this where at all possible. If she insists, I would say something vague about how you have decided to let your DD make her own choices, or something. Honestly the mother is trying to make this your 'fault' when really it is her. Maybe she knows that and she's just projecting b/c she feels bad, I don't know, but I would just try not to engage in it.
    isabella noelle :: 12.7.09

  7. #7
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    I'm usually a parent who likes the kids to work it out themselves. And I agree, the fact that the girl is crying and upset that the other two have BF necklaces...well...that really is not the OP's problem. But sometimes stepping in and putting up some parameters is ok. I'm just going to clarify my post and say the reason I'd encourage your DD to choose one on one play is this part:
    Quote Originally Posted by scout View Post
    The seven year old has not always been very nice to my dd and they've butted heads often. As a result, my six year old dd found another friend who is exactly her age (further down the street, but still a neighbor) who likes playing outside and has more free time, and they've grown close. Sometimes the three of them play together, but there is always drama about somebody being left out or somebody not wanting to play the same thing, and it's a big headache.
    If your DD isn't having a good time with her, she can come home or stop playing. If the other girl isn't being nice or is being a bit of a bully, your DD is more apt to recognize that and leave. But if all 3 are playing, she's probably more likely to stay (because she wants to play with the nice girl still). Except the 7 yr old will still be there upsetting everyone, so the other two might get mean back and start excluding her. Not a great cycle.

    The other thing is that your DD might need some new skills and strategies for dealing with this girl. Maybe you could talk it out with her and help her come up with some ideas of what she can do when the 7 yr old does x, y, or z to her.

  8. #8
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    Thank you for the help and sharing your experiences.
    it was a nightmare because of the dynamic of 3 girls. The four girls were great together, but the three was a disaster
    That is the truth! Three girls....no good.

    The other thing is that your DD might need some new skills and strategies for dealing with this girl
    Earlier this year, when the seven year old was being a bully, I'd role play with my dd, which was helpful. Thanks for reminding me that I need to give her a new set of strategies for this new situation.

    My dd is pretty laid back and go with the flow, and the drama seems to be following her. I'm hoping with the start of school, the situation will diffuse a bit.
    Maxwell Davis born 2.24.05 Riley Elizabeth born 8.11.07Daniel Dwight born at 21 weeks. Always in my heart. Gabriel Thomas born 1.2.11

  9. #9
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    My DD began to deal with some girl drama in the last half of her last year of preschool (the girls were all 5) and then at the beginning of kindergarten. I was surprised that it started as early as 5, but apparently that is quite common. For DD, a lot of the drama revolved around one single girl who was very possessive and liked to be the "director". In preschool she mostly caused issues by latching on to one other girl and not letting any other the other girls play with her, but occasionally she would "grab" one another girl and prevent anyone else from playing with that child. It resulted in a lot of girls feeling left out a lot of the time. That particular girl was the only one my DD went off to kindergarten with. In the beginning, she latched onto my DD (the only person she knew) and wouldn't let my DD play with anyone else. DD didn't like that but it got worse when the girl no longer wanted to play with DD but wouldn't let DD play with anyone else. She wanted DD to hang around waiting as the "back-up plan" incase said girl couldn't find anyone else to play with. There were a couple of occasions where girl was playing with a friend, DD was playing with a friend but girl would go over to my DD and rip her away and tell her she couldn't play with said friend. It was bad for a while and even though I role played with my DD and bought her a few books about bullying and standing up for herself, she struggled with it. Finally the teacher had a word to the girl in question and it improved dramatically from that point onward. If you're looking for a book to help your DD deal with the 7 yo when she is a bully, the American Girl book "Stand up for yourself" (or something along those lines) was good and easy for my DD to read and understand.

  10. #10
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    kemorr Thanks for the book idea, and for sharing your experience.
    Maxwell Davis born 2.24.05 Riley Elizabeth born 8.11.07Daniel Dwight born at 21 weeks. Always in my heart. Gabriel Thomas born 1.2.11

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