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Ask the Expert: My Daughter’s Ex-Best Friend’s Mom Threatened Her

Dear Your Teen:

My daughter’s best friend got upset because her crush liked my daughter. She told her mom that my daughter was taking everything from her. That led to her mom acting inappropriately toward my daughter. She called her a slut and said that she was going to kick my daughter’s butt. I have stopped all contact with the family, but is there is something else I need to do?

EXPERT | Mandi Silverman, PsyD, MBA

I’m sorry that your daughter is going through this stressful situation. There are two different pieces to the puzzle here—the situation with the mother and losing a friend.

Let’s start with the friend’s mom being mean and rude to your daughter. We should never tolerate such threatening and disrespectful behavior from an adult. But especially when it is being directed toward a child. I applaud you for stepping in and stopping all contact on that front. That is a wise decision.

As for your daughter losing a friend, we often see that our interpersonal relationships have their ups and downs. While the highs are fun and exciting, it’s the lows that we often need to focus on as a way to grow as individuals and  choose to maintain relationships that are important to us.

There are certainly times when loved ones and friends will show us what seems like their true colors and we will decide to remove them from our lives. There are other times when best friend issues cause a relationship to be challenging and a brief break or pause is helpful before coming back together, connecting, apologizing (as necessary), and moving on. At this point, it may be helpful for your daughter to take a break and assess later on whether it’s worth resuming contact if this friend is an important one.

There is, of course, the issue of how her mother and your daughter will resolve their differences should your daughter resume contact. However, that is a conversation that I would encourage you to have in the future after taking some time to process what has happened and get some distance from it.

Lastly, check in with your daughter to see if she has any lingering questions, thoughts or feelings about the situation. This is to ensure that she is not quietly struggling with the effects of what happened.

Dr. Mandi Silverman, Psy.D., MBA, is a clinical psychologist at Positive Developments.

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