KidsInTheHouse the Ultimate Parenting Resource
Kids in the House Tour

Trying to understand my 9 year old daughter's BFF triangle struggle

Posted March 21, 2018 - 10:21am

Hi there,

My 9 year old daugther, SS, is smart, astute, friendly, excels in class, pretty and is mature in certain respects. I believe she is emotionally intelligent but is also emotionally sensitive. She really wants to be a "best friend" with another girl, JB, in her class. JB is a sweet, innocent, and very pretty girl and raised with a lot of self importance not to the point of a bully - she just has more confidence in her mannerism and knows she can get her way around things. I'm deliberately using the term "pretty" because I think SS likes the prettiness and the confidence with which JB carries herself. SS and JB are good friends but JB is very close to another girl JC who is also in my daughter's class. JB and JC live next door to each other so have more opportunity to meet and bond. SS gets to meet these girls only at school or occasional play dates I've tried to manage (being a working mom) with JB during my off days but not as frequent. I've also tried having both JB and JC come over to my place to hangout with SS in the hopes all three of them can come closer but that ended up in SS witnessing JB and JC exchanging that friendship bond that SS wants to have with JB.

We've always boosted SS's confidence in everything so it could also be that she doesn't find anyone else to match up to her the way JB does. However, SS has also occasionally expressed a few struggles with friendships with other classmates. So I wanted to understand whether SS is doing this because she realizes JB matches her in certain respects or whether SS is very self conscious and lacks self confidence and looks up to JB for her confidence.

SS has mentioned how she resents JC's bond with JB and believes SS and JB can be better friends. I've had a talk with SS and tried to make her understand that she needs to let JB realize on her own whom she wants to be friends with. She can also try to get close to both JB and JC and they can be trio BFFs. I've also tried to encourage SS to hangout with other girls in her class in the hopes that she will find that bond with them. Even though SS has managed to get close to one of the other girls, she is still more interested in JB's friendship.

As one of her way to get close to JB, SS is buying BFF charms and little Knick-Knack gifts for JB. JB graciously accepts them, wears them but is too innocent/naive to notice/realize why SS is doing this. I personally find this as a problem because I believe she is trying to "buy" JB's friendship. If this has started at the age of nine, I fear that it will continue as a model to build relationships which I find completely wrong and believe she should be dissuaded from using this technique of making friends. She also uses this technique with us by writing little notes/apologies to me or my husband when she's punished for misbehavior. I need help to:
- talk to my daughter and help her cope with these friendship problems.
- know if this is a sign of another root cause/problem when your child tries to "buy" other's friendships?
- understand if her being astute is a strength but her being sensitive a weakness?
- make her emotionally strong
- understand if this a sign of onset of lack of confidence or a complex that someone else has something more than you?

Thank you for your time.

1 post / 0 new