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Thread: Girl Drama

  1. #11
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    I would love some BTDT advice.
    My DD started 3rd grade yesterday and went to bed in tears because of issues with her "BFFs" She has been friends with one girl since kindy and has grown close with another girl that started last year. The two girls both love DD but don't like each other. The new girl seems to be acting very mean, as in tracking to be the "mean girl," if she isn't already. She is possessive (made a BFF contract for DD to sign last year) and started a club with DD that she told DD not to tell the other girl about it. DD did bc she wanted her other bestie included and the new girl threw a ball in DD's face. THEN - this is the part that gets me - told DD to promise they wouldn't tell their parents she had done it! I'm so proud of DD for telling me about it. It was eating her up that she had "promised" the girl not tell me and she was breaking her promise. Which, of course, we also addressed - keeping surprises, not secrets, how a real friend wouldn't a. hit her or b. ask her to make a promise just to protect herself.

    The 3rd grade is one big class with about 15 girls. I've advised DD to find other friends to play with. There are other girls DD likes in the class but she claims they play with girls she doesn't like. I've also told her to tell both of these girls that if they can't get along she won't play with either of them. She says she has but she's going to try it again. I've also told her she needs to call the mean girl out when she is acting that way. I don't really know how to solve the issue except to not play with the mean girl. The other bestie can be needy. She is an only child and the parents dote on and indulge her (not a judgement against parents of onlies, just this particular parent style).

    For now, I've given DD words and strategies and I've invited the only child over for a play date tomorrow so they can play one on one.

    I would love to hear from anyone that has dealt with the dreaded triangle of girls with any advice I can give DD. Her tears had me heartbroken last night.

  2. #12
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    I would definitely get your daughter to "break up" with second girl. She is clearly a queen bee in training and has picked your daughter as her underling. Nothing good is going to come from that friendship. She is going to continuously abuse your daughter by alternating punishment and praise in order to isolate her from any other friends. I know it's hard to get away from this girl unscathed but the sooner your daughter does it, the better. I am pretty sure once your daughter fully stands up to her and refuses to play her part any longer mean girl will lose interest and move on.


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  3. #13
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    We dealt with the girl triangle last year in 1st grade. DD was in the same class as a close friend that lives on our street. They were both friends with a third girl who they played with at school. This girl often threatened both of them that if they didn't do X, she wouldn't be their friend. Right before spring break, the disagreements were getting so bad between the three of them that the girls had to talk with the teacher and then the principal several times about how to be good friends to one another. The teacher suspected the other two girls were fighting over DD. After the last talk, DD decided that she shouldn't play with either one since it got her in trouble so she told them that one day. They both went to the playground monitor saying DD was being mean. The playground monitor said she had to play with them.

    When this all started, I talked to DD first about her behavior, assuming she wasn't completely innocent in all this. After three years of preschool + kindergarten at that same preschool, she'd been taught over and over how to be a good friend. I reminded her how to treat her friends. Then we discussed what she could do if one of her friends wasn't being a good friend to her. I told her if a friend wasn't being a good friend - doing things like threatening to not be your friend if you continue to be friends with someone else - that you should just go play with someone else, that you don't have to play with her. So I wasn't really happy when she was told she had to play with the mean girl.

    Honestly, it only got marginally better by the end of the year and I was happy for the year to end. This year, I requested DD be put in the 2nd/3rd grade blend (there is only one 2nd grade class + a 2nd/3rd blend) so that the girls would be separated. Luckily, the other girls are in the straight 2nd class so even if they have issues on the playground, it won't come back in to the classroom like it did last year.
    Marriage - 10/12/2003
    Lily - 9/26/2006

  4. #14
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    Thanks dragon and lars. I do think this is just the beginning of girl drama.
    lars: that does stink that the monitor told them they had to play together. I'm glad they are in different classes this year. Our school is just one class but they do get broken into 2 groups. I think DD is in one group and the other 2 are in a different group. That is probably the most I can ask for in this situation in terms of separation!

    DD told me that she played with 2 other girls today and the only child ended up seeking her out. I told her I was really proud of her for finding other girls to play with. I guess at lunch, the mean girl sat next to her and they ended up playing together. I didn't get too many details because I don't really want to push her too much on the subject. I'll ask about it again over the weekend.

    I bought 2 American Girl books - one about being a friend and the other about standing up for yourself. I plan to read them with both of my girls. I also bought "Little Girls Can Be Mean" for myself. I tried to hide it from DD but she saw it and exclaimed "But we're not mean girls!" It was cute and I was happy to reiterate that they're not.

  5. #15
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    Oh, the mean girl 3 some! That was the story of our life in 2nd grade. My DD was right in the middle of 2 girls. One was a spoiled youngest girl with 2 very older brothers, so very close to the only child you describe, and the other was the moodiest girl I've ever met in my life! They all got along well at first but the other 2 quickly became jealous if my DD spent too much time with the other. Lots of " we aren't friends anymore" but nothing physical thankfully.

    Honestly I took the approach that I just needed to be my DDs shoulder to cry on. I listened, asked questions about how certain things made her feel, and tried to help her define what a friend meant to her. Then when drama continued I would remind her of how real friends behave and encouraged her to seek out and spend time with those kids. It's heartbreaking to see them struggle with drama like that, but there's only so much you can do before you just hope they are confident enough to speak up when people mistreat them and find supportive friends.

  6. #16
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    We also dealt with this quite a bit this summer with almost all of the girls heading into 2nd grade. All the girls we got together with this summer are real friends, not just classmates. And yet, there was definitely some of the territorial "BFF" stuff, plenty of leaving a 3rd girl out and at one point, DD's BFF, who is a fabulous little girl with a fabulous family, smacked DD right across the face (at which point both burst into tears and the BFF begged me not to tell her mom). I fully admit that I saw plenty of "mean girl" behavior from my DD as well. I would be very surprised if your DD is not also exhibiting some of the exact same behaviors she is having trouble with in her friends.

    So my take on it, it's all normal at this age and the girls need to figure it out. We can give them empathy and suggest words to use and what actions to use and not to use. We can model good friendship for them and set up the one on one gtgs to help out. But I think that unless you get into real bullying (which I did not see in your post), this might be one where you need to let your DD work it out on her own.

  7. #17
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    I thought I would update on our girl drama year. I know I posted about some of this in another thread.

    This has been a very enlightening year to say the least.

    DD continued to have a hot and cold friendship with "M" and "E" remained a steadfast friend. There were 2 back to back incidents, however, that have really distanced my DD from M.

    First, I hosted a playdate with M and her little sister with my DDs (same ages, same grades). It was actually at the request of their mom as she was busy that day and couldn't get a sitter until later in the day. In the car on the way over, I very clearly laid out for the 4 of them that the older sisters were to play together and the younger sisters were to play together. I reminded them when they got here and I flat out told the olders that if the younger sisters got upset or cry or ANYTHING, I would immediately assume it was the olders because they are supposed to be role models. Yes, harsh but M is pretty black and white, so it was a good strategy. Within 2 minutes, M is in my YDD's room taking her AG dolls and her sister is yelling at her to stop. I immediately confronted her asking why she was in that room when I had just told her to play with my ODD (who was in the bathroom and unaware of what was going on). That's the first thing. 2 more things followed but I didn't know until the next day. First, M put a padlock on my YDD's backpack w/o telling my ODD but gave her the key to it. Apparently, she had been asking my dd where ydd kept her AG dolls and her backpack at school and then, once here, sneaked down and did this. Second, the older girls took and hid ydd's ipad because they didn't like the music she was playing on it. That is completely my ODD's MO and I was upset with her.

    I talked to ODD about M's behavior as well as ODD's role in it all. I told her that M was not invited to our house until after February break (arbitrary). Then, I called the mom and told her about M's behavior and that the girls weren't allowed to have a playdate together until February.

    From the point that ODD and I had our initial conversation, her perspective on M's behavior has changed.

    Fast forward 2 weeks from the play date and we have our book club meeting. It's the 3 girls (ODD, M and E) and one other girl, L. At the end of the meeting, the 4 girls went down to play. E accidentally hit M with a toy. M immediately raced to tell her mom and then ran out of the house. E came out to apologize but M avoided her. And, yes, it was completely an accident according to my dd and L (who doesn't go to school with us and has no opinion on the girls). At school, M made it into this huge deal, told all the other girls, and would plug her ears every time E tried to apologize, or she'd just run away. As the week went on, M added to the story, saying now that my DD was laughing at her when it happened (untrue). I told DD just to keep her distance and find other girls to play with and we talked a ton about friendship and I read her articles, etc.

    I didn't reach out to M's mom this time because it wasn't really my DD that was involved but finally she called me and I told her that her dd's behavior was not entirely appropriate and I told her what DD and L had said happened in the room. Basically, I didn't just let her think her DD was some angel.

    Since then, M and DD don't really play together at school. DD doesn't think she's a "true friend" and sees her actions differently than she did before. She really has opened her eyes to mean girl behavior and the drama is pretty much gone.

  8. #18
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    bloomwood - I'm glad to hear the drama is finally over and that your DD's eyes have been opened to how a true friend acts. That is what I want my DD to learn - that you don't have be friends with someone that is not a true friend - there will always be someone else out there that really will be.

    Our year has gone a lot better too. The two girls that caused issues last year are in the other class this year and for some reason, even though the kids are all on the playground together twice a day, they tend to play with whoever is in their class only. DD has made several new friends this year that are in her class this year but were in the other class last year. One is even a swimmer like DD.

    And I am grateful for all the friends she has outside of school (friends from preschool years, friends of our friends, friends from activities). It gets kind of exhausting trying to plan play dates, sleepovers and family dinners all the time so she can see these kids regularly since she doesn't go to school with them but I've realized the kids I like best are mainly from outside of school.
    Marriage - 10/12/2003
    Lily - 9/26/2006

  9. #19
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    lars - interesting you mention that you like the friends the best that are from outside of school. I feel the same way. "L" mentioned above is a friend from preschool and she and DD have such a fun, giggly, no drama relationship that I don't feel she has with her current school friends. Thankfully, DD is in a few activities that give her opportunity to hang out with our preschool friends without too much effort on my part. But, I do know what you mean. I'm happy it has been a better year for your DD too. Someone told me "something magical" happens at 8 and, now that we are closer to 9, it does seem to have truth. (just in time for puberty to hit, I'm sure!)

  10. #20
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    After DD's awful experience with bullying last year, my radar is always up. But yesterday DD said that her teacher asked DD to sit with a girl A at lunch because A needed someone to be nice to her. I know the mom so I texted her and it turns out that A is dealing with mean girls and is having a really hard time. I feel so bad for her, but I was also so happy that the teacher asked DD to be her friend and support her.

    Girl drama SUCKS!

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