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Abusive relationships:
“My daughter's best friends are being mean to her.”

Dear Annie,

My daughter is 16 and two of her very best friends have become very close themselves. Now they are leaving my daughter out and saying mean things, like talking about their plans in front of her. They know this is hurting her. One of their mothers is clearly jealous of my daughter being more popular than hers. She also plans things and leaves my daughter out. I have bent over backward to always include both of these girls. If we have one spend the night Friday the other is invited for Saturday and after they both come over, lately they are even cutting my daughter out here at our house! What can I do?

Sad Mom

Dear Sad Mom,

Of course it hurts you when your daughter is hurting from the rude and insensitive behavior of friends. And it is probably doubly confounding as you have "bent over backward to always include both of these girls." You've done the right thing in your graciousness and you've modeled good behavior for your daughter. Of this you may be proud.

Clearly one of the other mothers (the one you say is "jealous" of your daughter) is not being such an admirable role model for her daughter. That's unfortunate.

But you can't control that woman's behavior. Nor can you control the behavior of your daughter's so called "friends".

My best advice for you is to stay out of the fray. Talk to your daughter and tell her why you aren't comfortable with the behavior of these two girls. Tell her that it hurts you to see them exclude your daughter and that frankly, while they continue this rude behavior, that you don't much feel like opening your home to them. That's YOUR choice.

You might also let your daughter know that it is HER choice to put up with rude and hurtful behavior. You teach people how to treat you. If your daughter stays silent and let's these girls be mean to her, then she's sending them a message that says "What you're doing is OK with me." If that's not the message she wants to send, then she needs to tell them so.

In friendship,

Annie

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