Am I meddling in my daughter’s quarrels?

Mother: “My daughter (13) went from primary school to secondary school with a group of friends. But now they keep arguing with each other. The girls often shut her out. When my daughter asks if they want to do something nice, no one can, and then she finds out later that they did something with each other, and not with her. She finds it especially bad that her best friend no longer makes time for her. My daughter never really cries, but this made her cry. I know the parents and the children. What is my role in this? How do I guide that?”

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Show understanding

Tischa Neve: “This is a classic pattern: when children go in a group from primary to secondary education, they think they can keep it together, but a lot will soon change. New friends and girlfriends are added, they are entering puberty. Friendships do disappear.

„I would only check with the other parents what happens if you know them very well, – ‘John, do you also see that the friendship changes a bit?’ – but not otherwise. It is part of the adolescent’s developmental tasks to learn to deal with this themselves.

You can help her by listening to her story, and by showing understanding for her emotions: ‘How annoying for you’; “I understand you’re sad.” You may also think it’s a bad trick on the part of the girls, but it doesn’t feed the quarrel. You don’t have to compare it either. It is also sad.

“You can help your daughter think about possible options and solutions without taking over from her. For example by asking questions: ‘What would you most like to do?’, ‘What could you do yourself?’

“Do not be too afraid of a child’s grief and frustration; it’s part of growing up.”

express displeasure

Bass Delivery: „Around Christmas, the proportions in a new class have changed a bit; Then new friendships are formed. As a parent of a child in secondary education, you no longer have an active role in this. Due to the sentimentalization of education, we see that parents interfere with their children for much longer, but as soon as children leave primary school, there is more distance and it is no longer up to parents to directly interfere in such quarrels. But of course it is good that your child can come to you to discuss it. We should not be laconic about being excluded or being excluded; that is very painful. You can tell your child that it is nice to involve others, but that no one is obliged to be everyone’s friend.

“For your daughter, this may be a reason to learn to express her justified displeasure clearly. She should be able to raise an issue like this directly with her best friend: ‘What is going on here?’, ‘I find this very annoying.’ Being able to raise something directly is an important skill. That often doesn’t happen. People avoid the small pain in the short term at the expense of the big pain in the long term. It takes courage to be able to inquire about what is going on, and you can encourage her to do so.”