How to I help my 12 year old daughter with very mean spirited, manipulative friend.

Laura - posted on 09/06/2011 ( 1 mom has responded )

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My 12 year old daughter has a very mean spirited, manipulative friend. I know & tell my daughter that this behavior is based on her own insecurities. But it doesn't help when my daughter's feelings are being hurt. This girl is in my daughter's group of friends & is popular among them. And so far as I know, this behavior seems to only extend to my daughter. She will tell my daughter that kids at school told her that they hate my daughter. This girl makes plans with my daughter then changes them last minute when something better comes along, in front of my daughter & me. (which I have called her on & told her that was hurtful & rude) I told my daughter to nurture relationships with friends outside of this"Clique", which she has. Now this girl is befriending these girls & excluding my daughter.



I am getting very upset myself.



I am good friends with the girl's mother & help her out ALOT with transportation etc, but am now beginning to say no more, so as to minimize extra contact with this girl. The mother is very career focused & a little "ditsy", disorganized & preoccupied.



It almost seems that this girl wants to be my daughter (She calls herself my other daughter - She came up with that herself which I always thought was a little bit of manipulative behavior).

I can't believe that I am letting a 12 year old girl upset me. But I can't allow her to upset my daughter, anymore.



I feel that if I encourage my daughter to cut ties with this girl completely that she will manipulate the other friends. Then my daughter will have no friends at school. (My daughter has a few friends outside school & gets along well with everyone. She is sweet & her school friends like her, but I can see them being manipulated too as this girl is quite dynamic. My daughter doesn't, & shouldn't have to, have the manipulative skills to navigate through this.) I tell her to just be herself & things will work out as the true colors of this girl will be revealed. But I hate to see my daughter suffer.





What do I do?

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Rhonda - posted on 09/06/2011

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Since you seem to have a relationship with the girl, why not sit down and talk to both the girl and your daughter together? My philosphy is if I understand the motive behind a person's actions, I can deal with the actions. I'm not talking about the "motherly interrogation" talk, but sit down over a bowl of ice cream and talk to the girl about her actions and how they make others feel. Not just from your daughter's perspective, but how her behavior affects how others look at her in general. If a child wants to hang out with my kids, like it or not, they open themselves to my inquiries about their treatment of others, especially my child. What you might find is a very confused and insecure little girl that needs some support and reassurance of her own. Bullies are usually unhappy kids trying to find some validity, attention and self-worth anyway they know how. Pull back the layers and see what you find.

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