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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
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On Saturday night, there is nowhere else to turn for answers,

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On Saturday night, there is nowhere else to turn for answers, and I could use some sincere advice.

Our daughter and her best friend are 15. Her best friend - I'll call her M - stayed with us a few weeks ago when she was having some conflicts with her mother. M has been acting out a bit - revealing clothing, new older boyfriend, some lying - and we've been supervising the friendship a bit more closely to monitor potential influence on our own daughter.

M's parents have been divorced for about 10 years. Today my daughter was over at M's house when M accidentally spilled a drink on the light-coloured carpet. The girls tried to clean it up, but when M's father saw it, apparently he became very angry and called her stupid and an idiot, and put his hand around her neck roughly and said, "you're dead". M screamed back and burst into tears. My daughter was horrified and very upset, but too afraid to say anything. She called me and I went over right away; outside in the car she wept and told me the whole story. Apparently M had also called her mother to tell her what happened but her mother did not do anything. I was not in a legal position to confront him or take M away with us, but went back to the door with her to pick up the rest of her things. Her father knew I was there but he was hiding in the kitchen. M was in tears and I took her hands and told her that she was a wonderful, warm-hearted girl and that she hadn't done anything wrong, and then I kissed her cheek, and we had to leave. But her eyes looked dead.

We have known for some time that M is falling through the cracks with her parents, but we did not know about this screaming and verbal abuse. My husband and I talked about this and know there is nothing we can do legally, and that confronting him may just make him more abusive. At the same time, I am also very upset for M and selfishly that this occured in front of my daughter, who is understandably worried and weeping about her friend, and furious with us for not doing anything. I don't know what to do and am concerned that if i start to make calls on Monday, i will only make things worse for M. I could use some advice tonight, at the very least to let my daughter know that we are trying to figure something out.

any advice you can give would be appreciated. I feel odd putting this out there on the internet like this, but no-where else is open on the weekend to consult. Thank you.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 6 years ago.

Hello and Thank You for using Just Answer. I am sorry that "M" has been experiencing difficulties with her parents and also that your daughter was a witness to one of the episodes. You can always call your local 24 hour child abuse hotline anonymously to get advice on how the situation should be handled. It would be a shame if something more serious were to happen to "M". That would be your best course of action. Do not confront the dad of "M" under any circumstance.

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