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Helping Your Teen Girl With a Changing Friendship

by Maggie McCormick, studioD

The social relationships of teen girls are often fraught with drama. As a parent, it's hard to watch your girl go through the heartache of these girl fights. Relationships are bound to change, though, and you can do your best to give her the tools to deal effectively with the emotional roller coaster.

Talking and Listening

Aim to be the kind of parent your daughter can come to about any problems, even if it's something she might be somewhat embarrassed about. You should be a source of unconditional love. Make regular "dates" with your daughter where you can talk about what's going on in her life, particularly if you notice she's seeming a bit down or that certain friends haven't been around much lately. Your daughter needs a place where she can talk about her feelings of sadness, betrayal and anger. When appropriate, offer advice on how she can make a situation better.


It's normal for teen relationships to change quickly, according to psychologist Irene S. Levine, PhD and author of "Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup With Your Best Friend." A fight one night may blow over the next day. Sometimes, what she might need the most is the opportunity to forget her troubles. If she's feeling down about a break up, for example, go out to watch a funny movie or take her to the spa for a pedicure. This can shake a bad mood and help her move on.

Forging New Friendships

Ending friendships is a part of life and you may find that your daughter is getting shut out of her former clique. If this is happening, the KidsHealth website suggests that you encourage her to start something new in order to make new friends with common interests. Taking an art class or joining a sports team will get her to meet new people, people who may not know the troubles she's had with others.

Stepping In

Though it's normal for teen girls to have the occasional spat, your teen shouldn't be made to put up with bullying just to toughen her up. If her "friends" are consistently being mean to her -- putting her down, starting rumors about her or making her do things she doesn't want to do -- you need to step in on her behalf. Notify the school administration about what's happening and if you have a relationship with the other girls' parents, you can talk to them as well, though KidsHealth states that it's better to do this with a mediator, like a school administrator, present. In cases of bullying, it's important for your child to see that you will fight for her, even when she feels she can't fight for herself.

About the Author

Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.

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