Dear Your Teen:
My daughter’s best friend for the past five years got upset because her crush liked my daughter, so she told her mom that my daughter was taking everything from her. Her friend’s mom began harassing my daughter — calling her a slut and saying that she was going to kick my daughter’s butt. I have stopped all contact with the family, but I want to know if there is something else I need to do.
Harassed by a Friend’s Mom? Expert Advice
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 the loss of a friend.
Regarding the behavior of the friend’s mom towards your daughter, such threatening and disrespectful behavior cannot be tolerated, especially as 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’s relationship with her 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 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 would have a role in your daughter’s life, should your daughter resume contact. However, that is a choice that I would encourage you to make together in the future after taking some time to process and move on.
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, PsyD, MBA, is a clinical and school psychologist at the Child Mind Institute.