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Cher, Teacher
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 21422
Experience:  Extensive Experience working with Children/Teens; M.A. Teacher/Tutor 40+ yrs.; Parent of 2
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My 15 year old daughter had a neighborhood friend she grew

Resolved Question:

My 15 year old daughter had a neighborhood friend she grew up with 5 years ago (for 5 years they were friends). As they got older and we moved (when she was 10).. they had different interests. We have remained good friends with the parents, and see them at least once a year. The thing is, this girl will not give my daughter the time of day.. she will talk to my younger daughter (13 years old) about shopping and clothes and boys which are her main interests.. she lets everyone know she is very popular at the school etc. My daughter has no interests in those things.. she is more intellectual and into computers and the arts. Whenever this girl is around my daughter trys to start a conversation with her and she gives one word answers and makes it clear she doesn't want to have anything to do with her .. she intimidates my daughter and she ends up crawling into herself and lets herself be intimidated. It hurts me that for a day or two they can't find something in common. Any suggesti
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Cher replied 8 years ago.

This girl sounds selfish and self absorbed. No one is 'forcing' her to be 'friends' with your daughter, if they've grown apart and don't share the same interests since they were younger; however, she could be polite and not hurtful for those 1-2 days you visit, together. Her parents should help her be less self-centered and more giving. If you feel this is not going to happen, and you also don't want to jeopardize your friendship, may I suggest the following: if you go to visit these friends, would it be possible to have your daughter stay with relatives or a good friend of hers in your area, and not accompany you, so she doesn't have to be made to feel uncomfortable in the presence of this girl? If they come to visit you, your daughter can also spend the weekend or whenever they visit with her grandparents, a friend, etc.

You can say, oh, I'm sorry our other daughter couldn't make it, she had previous plans to _______and add an interesting activity.

On the other hand, your daughter, at this very important age, should gain more confidence within herself, with your help, and not 'allow' herself to be intimidated by this former friend. If the girl has more in common with your younger daughter, now, maybe she's not as mature as your daughter, and that's fine, but your younger daughter could also insist that her sister join them for activities, conversations, etc., and not make your 15 year old feel left out.

You can't force kids or adults to be friends; either they share common interests and enjoy each others' company, or they don't; but if these annual meetings cause angst for your 15 year old, I would not subject her to that, and tell her she doesn't have to go, as long as she has an appropriate place to stay, which you will arrange in advance. However, you also should work on some self-esteem boosting exercises with your daughter, so she's armed with the tools she needs to cope, now, and later in life. She'll be a better, happier, more confident person for that.

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