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Teens & Destructive Friendships
Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Teens, Preteens, & Young Adults > Teens & Destructive Friendships
Wow, I am at my wit's end, and am feeling really crushed by this situation. I hope someone can help or provide ideas.
My daughter, 13, is deeply involved in a relationship (friendship with another girl) that is very destructive to her, and by now to our family. Their friendship has always been quite volatile, and has now reached the point where *every* time my daughter talks to or spends time with this girl, she ends up in tears, or so foul-mouthed and angry that she cannot communicate with us in her family at all.
She constantly reports that ''X'' ''sucks'', ''calls her names'', ''is mean to her''. This is what I see / hear when I hear them talk - constant criticism, nasty tones. No sign of any happiness, love, positive interaction, or uplifting feelings.
It has gradually gone from bad to worse. I have talked with my daughter about it, but almost as a ''rebellion'' against me it seems, she will not listen to what I have to say.
It is now bad enough that I want to completely end their friendship; tell my daughter she can no longer see this girl because it is causing her so much harm (to her self-esteem, happiness, etc.) It is also having effects upon our whole family as my daughter has become so sad and angry, so often, about this girl.
Is my putting a stop to my daughter seeing this other girl even reasonable? How can I influence this friendship so it isn't so destructive? What do I say to the other parents? Is there any professional I might turn to for help?
I used to think I must be imagining how bad it is; I no longer believe it is my imagination in any way.
She does have other friends, but will usually report that ''Y'', or ''Z'' doesn't want to hang out with her because they have other, better friends. (She has often referred to ''X'' as her ''best friend'' in the past).
What would you do? I am tempted to call the other family and tell them I don't want my daughter spending time with theirs. Do you have other ideas? Do you have a kid who has gone through the same thing? How did they come out on the other side of it?
I feel the worst for my daughter as I think she deserves MUCH better than this (and I am probably projecting into the future where she might become involved with boyfriend(s) that treat her badly...). But I also feel bad for everyone in our family. Please help, if you can! Sad and angry myself; mostly feel badly for her
This did cause some conflicts between my daughter and I but I don't regret my actions. My daughter learned that I expected that the people she hung out with treated her with respect, and were at the very least ''law'' abiding, and those are the kinds of friends she has relationships with today.
I know it's not easy but stick to what you want for your daughter. She will appreciate it later. Mom of a High Schooler
And, I' think the best time to suggest this is the next time she's feeling bad about this friendship--maybe not right in the immediacy of the moment, but after things have settled down. At some point she'll be ready to listen. And when you tell her it's ''for just one day'' it all seems so much more do-able. You also will want to admit to her that although you understand as much as possible what's going on, she's the one going through it, so it's much harder for her than you. (Think about it, would you be at all sad if you never saw this other girl again? Admit that to you daughter! Let her know that you're on her side, but that you also get that she's the one who has to live with this.)
Good luck to you. It can be so unbelievably hard to watch our kids when they're hurt. Keep loving her and talking to her and encouraging her.
All my best wishes for both of you. Feel free to contact me if you want to.
I know it is difficult to live with this situation, but I think it will get worse if you try to enforce a breakup. anon
I have a 13 year old daughter who is hanging out with a couple of kids I do not like. My daughter is generally a kind and respectful person who doesn't lie and tends to want to participate in activities like her sports and other after school classes. She has a lot of other very nice, friendly and motivated friends but lately she has chosen to spend most of her time with a small crowd of kids who are low achievers who tend toward secretiveness, petty crimes (stealing money from parents)and mischief. These kids live closer to us than my daughter's other friends so it's easy for the girls to visit at a few moments notice. One girl ditches school often and never seems to have homework so she has lots of free time and desire to play with my child who does have homework.
I have had a pretty hands-off policy as far as limiting who my child can see but I do limit when she can hang out with her friends. I insist that she does her homework but after she's done she wants to play with her friends. My daughter's grades and motivation and attitude have slipped recently. I'm wondering if there's a correlation between her chosen friends and her attitude/grades and whether I should get involved in her social life...and if so, how.
I'm curious if other parents have advice for me. anon
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