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Mom Talk: Adolescent Girl Should Take the High Road

Have a question about relationships? Email columnist Diane Young at diane@thelyfexperience.com

Question:

My 12 year old daughter and I are having a disagreement. She had a fight with her best friend and now that friend has turned some other girls against my daughter. This other girl lied about the cause of their fight. My daughter is miserable and feels isolated.

She wants to let all the girls know via Facebook that this “friend” is a liar and she (my daughter) is not to blame. I say take the high road, don’t respond and let this blow over. My heart aches for my daughter because I went through a similar experience when I was her age, but I think she’s wrong to post something about it on Facebook. What should I tell her?


Answer:

Many readers will identify with your letter because most adolescents have experienced disagreements with friends. Too many 12 year old girls look outside themselves for validation of their worth. Your daughter seems to have a need to prove her innocence to her peers.

I agree with you that your daughter should take the high road. Name-calling is stooping to a low level even if she is defending herself. Whatever is posted on Facebook has far-reaching results. It’s out in cyberspace for all her contacts and perhaps others to see and those words can’t be taken back. By trying to “make” her peers believe her, she is letting them know that she is desperate for their approval.

She can get through this (hopefully temporary) situation by showing the others that sheis confident and secure about herself and not the person described by her “friend”. It may be difficult to endure the isolation but the behavior she chooses speaks volumes. You might want to share about your past experience and how you resolved it. Instead of being at odds, you and your daughter might feel more connected.

Diane Young of Fair Lawn is a certified empowerment coach whose practice, The LYF Experience focuses on relationship and career transition coaching. LYF stands for Love Yourself First and her clients achieve success through personal development. Diane is also the founder of The Unemployed Optimists, a networking and support group for people in transition. Contact her at 201-791-5241 or diane@thelyfexperience.com.

Karen August 24, 2011 at 07:10 PM
I see your point but I feel like the girl needs to feel less isolated and shouldn't get crapped on for no reason-she could say on FB what the truth is without calling out her 'friend'-it's not always good to look like u don't defend yourself
Megan August 25, 2011 at 05:23 PM
"Certified empowerment coach." Groan. So relatable. Really. Come on. How about some real moms with real mom common sense and wisdom to lead the discussions, sans exclusive, white-collar-only, uppity, removed, yuppie acronyms......more hands-on. Give me a break. About the issue: Facebook is opening a huge can of worms. Don't open it. It's asking for the OTHER girls to then use it to voice THEIR opinions which will then fuel the fire and make everything worse. Girls fight. It stinks, it makes the girl want to bury her head in the bedsheets, and never go to school. But it's normal and happens to ALL. She has to plow through, because the stuff subsides, under normal circumstances. She can also pull her friend aside and talk one-on-one to target some resolution, say "Hey- this bites- whatever this issue is- life is short- I MISS you- let's bury this and move on." Yes, keep an eye on it, but raise her to be strong and capable and confident to handle herself without broadcasting her life on social media. Have her cling her other alliances and activities and remind her that this crap WILL subside.

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