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Long friendship comes to end in fight

Words from withbarbara by Barb Lustgarten-Evoy

Dear Barbara

I have an 11-year-old daughter who is devastated right now. She and her best friend of the last two years had a fight last week and her friend refuses to talk to her. The other girl seems to have moved on past our little girl and is not only not accepting any conversation, she has completely shut our daughter of her world. Unfortunately, that includes all their friends as well, leaving our child without any friends at all.

What do I say? How we do we handle this? I can’t say that it will get better soon because she won’t believe it. She sulks every day and comes home from school and goes straight to her room. We tell her to ignore the mean stuff she sees online but she keeps going back to it. What can we do to help?

Signed: Please Help us to Help Her!

Dear Help

I am so sorry when I hear these stories, knowing that somewhere a little girl is crying herself to sleep over having lost a relationship that once meant a great deal to her.

Two weeks ago I used a quote that had been in an article about Amanda Todd suggesting that to tell a child to turn off (and to expect it to be done) social media is highly unlikely and far more challenging than you might imagine. It may seem like she is punishing herself, but it’s simply her way of staying connected to her ‘old world’; even if just a little bit.

You are better off to try and distract her than to tell her how to feel and to think. I suggest that you refrain from insulting her friend because even though you see her hurting your baby, she still matters to your daughter. Remember hearing that the difference between love and hate is a very fine line? Well I was told, that the real opposite to love is actually indifference and that as long as she is still feeling and still crying, she is still invested to some degree in this relationship.

Consider taking her out for walks, doing crafts, baking and/or styling her hair. Maybe pick a film to watch together and/or go out for a cookie. But do something with her and do it more than once.

By doing these kinds of activities, you will be reinforcing your own love and commitment (without the speeches they tend to ignore at this age!) while simultaneously helping her to rebuild some lost strength and confidence. You may speak to the school to ensure that they are aware of the current situation and not trying to force the old relationship.

Before long, she will bring home a new friend and this will be a long lost memory, the likes of which most of us can still recall.

Barbara Lustgarten-Evoy is the owner and operator of Fergus Educational Services and is the owner/author/presenter for all WithBarbara Seminars and Lectures. To ask a question or for more information, please visit www.withbarbara.ca or email info@withbarbara.ca

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