3grls7sistas's picture
3grls7sistas

clashing personalities

I got a phone call from one of my 8 year old daughter's friend's father. He said my daughter called and left 4 very rude messages on his daughter's cell phone. The messages varied from saying "I hate you and you ruined my day" to "you better find a new school, and don't try out for the talent show because your voice is horrible,and everyone will laugh at you" My daughter said all this just because the girl bought the same boots my daughter just got a couple days before. I know my daughter was in the wrong for this, so I made her write and apology to her friends father, and she is spending the evening in her room, with no TV, or phone privileges. Where my problem lies, is what to do about the overall situation these girls have been "friends" since kindergarten, but they have this love hate relationship. Actually the friend really loves my daughter, but my daughter doesn't really feel the same. She says the friend is always copying her, and telling lies about her to other peers. I told my daughter she doesn't have to be friends with her, but she does have to be cordial, and respectful. She says that her teachers said they have to be friends, and put them in a friendship counseling group at school. I don't know what to do, I don't really feel it's fair to be forced to be friends with somebody, even if they are just kids, these two girls just do not get along. As adults we get to choose our friends. Should she be forced to be friends with this girl, and should I be forced to have to hear the drama everyday about what the girl did because they are forced to hang out with one another??



sammeewade's picture
sammeewade

first of all, i dont think that ur 8 year old should have her own cell unless she can only use it 4 important calls like her parents or 911 (just in case). Im 11 years old and I STILL dont have my own phone (not even 4 emergencies). I dont think that she should b forced 2 b friends with this girl, though.

acitez's picture
acitez

What is the goal of the friendship counseling group? I'd talk to the counselor and find out what the expectations really are.

Family expectations could play a role here. "I know that she bothers you, but in our family we are respectful and kind, especially to people who bother us."

2xstepmom's picture
2xstepmom

The biggest concern here is that your 8 y/o daughter made 4 hurtful and cruel phone calls to a peer. This needs to be addressed by your family and possibly a professional to make sure something like this never happens again. Making phone calls like this is harrassment and your daughter could get into real trouble for this very negative behavior.

The in-school friendship groups that I have been involved with professionally do not force anyone to be friends or hang out with one another. The point of the group is to teach peers how to get along and provide the neccessary tools for doing so to the participants. This helps all members of the group to choose their friends wisely and to appropriately express themselves when they do not want to be friends with someone. Your daughter needs to learn to tell an adult when someone is bothering her by copying her or telling lies about her to other peers. She will learn that "imitation is the highest form of flattery" as my mother used to say and I passed this on to my daughter. Your daughter will not be forced to be friends with anyone with whom she does not choose to be friends, though they may still associate somewhat if they are in the same class.

If you think about it, as adults we do not always get to choose those with whom we have to associate. In the workplace adults often are "forced" to associate many hours a day with people we would not choose as friends. Also, many times in extended families, for example, I do not care much for my daughter-in-law's family but am forced to associate with them out of respect and consideration for my son, his wife and now my grandson. Same with my ex-husband's wife's family. And sometimes neighbors. Your daughter needs to learn the skills to be able to appropriately deal with many situations she is going to have to cope with throughout her life. If you do not want to continue to hear the drama everyday, you can find out what your daughter is being taught at the friendship group and help your daughter to let go of the drama and learn to get along with her peers.

Best of luck to you both.

jacmay's picture
jacmay

I agree with 2xstepmom and just to add, I can't imagine an 8yr even being mature enough to say such things. I would nip this in the butt now or you are going to have a host of problems when she is a teenager. I don't remember my son doing that per say, but he has been spoon fed & spoiled and now doesn't know how to handle rejection or discipline. I don't think one night of discipline is strong enough and not sure who your cell provider is but you can put parental controls (at least with ATT), and only allow her to dial certain numbers or block certain numbers it is an awesome tool.

Best of luck to you and I would seriously nip this now!

3grls7sistas's picture
3grls7sistas

Thanks everyone for all the wonderful advice. But just to clear the confusion, my daughter does not have the cell phone, she called her friend who is the one with the phone, because I am with all of you I don't believe children should have a cell phone, until they're old enough to buy it themselves, and pay the bill. I know the one night in her room wasn't enough punishment for this situation, my fiance and I were discussing the proper discipline measures for this because I know its a BIG thing that she did. Since my original email I have talked to the principal at my daughters school, and we have set my daughter up with single counseling at her school. I know with behavior like this there has to be an underlying issue. I have an 11 year old as well, and she does not behave in these shocking manners. With my 8 year old it has been totally different, and I have tried all the same techniques, and they have all failed. I am concerened that it is much deeper of an issue than I can handle alone. You see for an 8 year old she has had to deal with more than any child should. In the last 5 years she has lost a grandfather, my 19 year old neice in-law was murdered, her dad and I split up, a friend of the family took his own life, her grandmother has been in and out of the hospital, I started a new relationship, and to top it off their father just got out of prison on Oct. 9, and the very next day his father was in a terrible accident, and he has been undergoing numerous surgeries.
Basically I am aware of how serious and dangerous her behavior is, and am trying to find the right answer as to what to do. I don't want her to spend her life on "time-out" which is where were headed if this doesn't get resolved. I just breaks my heart to see such a wonderful little girl with so much love and beautiful personality when shes happy turn into well a monster when something bothers her, she lets the littlest frustrations consume her, and ruin her day. I have tried to explain to her how bad this is for her. Being educated in the health field I am very aware of the health risks that can occur due to stress, and anger. I have tried many different techniques for her to express her anger, like tearing up paper, or screaming in her pillow, keeping her physically active, writing down her feelings(this is difficult because she has a learning disability, and can't spell very well but she still tries, and I told her it didn't matter, as long as she knew what it said). Her punishments consist of no phone priviliges,writing apology letters, time-outs, no dessert, and recently since we got a TV no TV, but nothing seems to work.
She starts her counseling on Thursday, and after 2 sessions the counselor and I are going to sit down and discuss the next step.
Again Thankyou all for such wonderful, advice. And Thankyou for not judging me. I have never been on a site like this, and was nervous about the feedback I would get. I try my very best to be a good mom, but know that I am not perfect, and don't always have the answers. Anyone who has any ideas on how I can deal with this I am still in the air on the punishment, and my fiance and I can't come to an agreement.

3grls7sistas's picture
3grls7sistas

Thank you 2xstepmom. Your advice was so helpful. After looking at your profile I see that my daughters situation may be something you've seen a lot in your professions. I was wondering if you'd be willing to give me some more suggestions on how to deal with my daughters behavior, because I just don't know what to do anymore I think she might need serious help, and I don't have the money for a professional.

acitez's picture
acitez

She's written a letter of apology and been restricted from activities she enjoys.

She's eight years old and it sounds like her life is in some kind of war zone.

Punishing her into having the behavior of a healthy child is not going to work. She has had how many profound traumas in the last couple of years? It is certainly predictable that she would behave in unacceptable ways. Focus your attention and energy on providing for her and for her sister their basic human needs for safety and for belonging. Take the time to teach her how to treat others, how to handle frustration, how to overcome fear. A good therapist can help you with these things.

3grls7sistas's picture
3grls7sistas

yep I feel the same way and thats what my fiance and I have been arguing about lately because he always wants her on time outs, or to have extreme consequences for these negative behaviors, where as I feel she needs love and encourgement, with all that she's been through. He put her on the 5 hour time out, all I asked her to do was write the letter, and when he found out that was her only punishment, he accused me of not disciplining my girls. Which maybe I am a little more patient, and lienient cause I myself came from a household with 12 siblings. (8 of us being girls), so I know what girl "drama" is like, and am very familiar with sibling rivalry, so little things don't bother me. I know her behavior needs help, I just don't know what to do, I try to take the time out to teach her how to treat others, and handle her frustrations in positive ways, but I haven't been able to help her, and with my fiance now in the picture it has been even more difficult because he doesn't see my "hurt little baby" like I do. To him she is just a disobedient 8 year old how has no respect for authority, to me she is my misunderstood wounded soul crying out for help, and I am a Mom trying to save my little baby before it's too late, because I know the path shes on now is only going to lead her to trouble.