Queenbee advice needed

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-13-2003
Queenbee advice needed
13
Fri, 06-13-2003 - 10:42am
My daughter was labeled a "queenbee" by her former best friend's mom. The group of girls stopped including my daughter over three months ago. This mom also says that she was outed because she is mean and intimidating. I say that's like the pot calling the kettle black! She became mean because the girls were always flaky and letting her down. Now the friendship we enjoyed with this family is on shaky ground. Has anyone had any experience with this kind of situation? I am feeling that I need to support my daughter and my friend has criticized me as being too involved in her life.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 06-13-2003 - 12:07pm
Maybe your friend is just a little off the mark, but it does sound like you're pretty involved with your dd's life. Never had that experience, so I can't offer advice.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-20-2003
Fri, 06-13-2003 - 12:18pm
I'm not trying to be mean but I think you are *both a little too involved. How old are these girls? I have 2 teens and one thing I've tried to do from the beginning is to stay out of it - what happens is you end up arguing with the parent and before you know it the kids are back to being friends. Step back.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-13-2003
Fri, 06-13-2003 - 5:36pm
The girls are 14 and I agree, I don't want to interfere with what is going on. She has been a close friend for years and although I tried to avoid the conversation with her, she wouldn't let up. My daughter has successfully dealt with the girls on her own. She has found new girls to hang with and seems to be quite happy. I guess my dilemma is how to handle this 'friend' of mine, but after typing all of this out I think I have my answer. Time for new friends for me too!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 06-13-2003 - 5:47pm
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The whole group is ostracizing your daughter? This sounds like it may be more than one mom's doing.

Without provoking flamage, is it possible they're right? That your daughter may be how they say? Even in pot-kettle-black situation, the pot's still black, right?

Firefly

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 06-13-2003 - 9:59pm
Yes, I've BTDT. When my dd was 14 too, as a matter of fact.

My dd's then best friend's (I'll call 'bff') mom, M, and I were super close friends and had been over the 5 yrs our dds were best friends. My dd and bff hung out together with a group of about 6 - 8 girls who'd been friends for many years. There was one girl in the group, J, who had been 'out for blood' regarding my dd since she started at the school and had gone to the most extraordinary manipulative and conniving lengths over the years to create problems for my dd. Everyone knew what J was like - kids and parents alike - and it didn't really have a lasting effect until 4 months before gr 9 was over and not for reasons of being a 'queenbee' but for other reasons. M and I talked a great deal about what was going on. Bff drifted more gradually away, still being 'friendly' at school but invites, calls, etc. stopped. It culminated in two of the most unbelievable scenarios you could imagine. M KNEW what was going on - it was she, in fact, who was reading message histories to me over the phone or listening in on phone calls - but she bought into the end lie more because I think she could not accept that her dd would either have been sucked into such a horrific scenario (& I do think her dd WAS sucked into the 'finale') or that if her dd HAD been aware of what was going on, that she couldn't accept her dd would have anything to do with it.

Our friendship had to end. It's almost impossible to be friends with people who do not like your child or act or talk like they don't like them. I have friends who have no kids at all and it's not an issue. I have friends whose kids don't hang out with mine for any number of reasons but they aren't bad mouthing my dd either. What I won't have are friends who think they know my kid better than I do and proceed to think they need to tell me how I am or am not parenting; what areas I'm lacking in or my kid is lacking in. I wouldn't have friend in my life who did that regularly no matter WHAT area it affected whether it was work, housework, other friends, a marriage or anything else. That isn't a FRIEND. A friend can tell you the truth of something, and SHOULD - but it crosses the line when they become pushy, critical, know-it-alls about something in YOUR life.

Yes, just let the friendship drift. It will anyway. Be pleasant when you do talk. If she starts in on your dd, which it sounds like she's doing, tell her that you gave some thought to her comments that you are too involved with your dd's life, you think there may be some merit in it (even if you don't think this) and so discussions regarding your dd and/or you and your dd's relationship is closed now. Think of it - if what SHE's going on & on about is true & YOU are too involved then what is SHE doing not letting up on it anyway? Who's obsessing about it then?? Doesn't sound like YOU. EVERY group of girls go through one being mad at someone nearly constantly. They get over it, like some poster mentioned, quickly - USUALLY - and when they don't, yeah, the thing the teen needs to do is find new friends, which your dd has done AND she has handled *that* part of it.

So, whether or not you are or aren't 'overly involved' (& I don't personally think it sounds like you are. Moms who are too involved this way are fretting over what's happened WAAAAAAY more than their teen is & making their kid's problem THEIR problem - even after it's resolved - and you sound like you're just glad she's made new friends and seems happy) the friendship issue with your friend is an entirely different matter. Even if the girls were still all friends and your friend decided to rag on about your dd being a queenbee, mean, manipulative and that you're too involved is still something that a 'friend' does NOT do.

Letting it drift means fewer confrontations. Being pleasant, being busy. REsponding to comments or questions about what your dd is doing with non-specific AND NON-emotional responses usually deftly turn the conversation away and if it doesn't, just say you really don't know what the issue is. Your dd has new friends. The old group are happy, she's happy. Who's too involved now anyway? :-)

Good luck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2003
Sat, 06-14-2003 - 9:44am
I can honestly say this is a hard situation. We sort of had the same thing here and it's worked out okay. You may have to distance yourself for a while but hopefully the your friendship with the other mother can return once the fight winds down.

My kids both went to a small country school so there wasn't lots of kids. I became friends with one of the neighbours whose children were the same age as mine. She was and still is a great person although we are no longer as close as we once were. During elementary school she was quit competive and especially during the later grades she liked to infer that maybe her kids were just a little better than mine. Okay her son had girls calling him day and night and my son wasn't quite so popular. Her daughter was quite smart and did really well in school. She also was quite popular. She became too busy for my daughter and I recall my daughter saying to me that she didn't understand why kids liked Tara better than her. She said Tara can be really mean to people. She would sometimes spit in other kids faces...(in grade eight). I would just reassure her that eventually kids value other things. Sure enough when high school started Tara didn't have many friends. She was considered loud and obnoxious. My daughter says now it's like she's trying to be cool.

I had a hard time with the situation in elementary school. I held my tongue a few times with my neighbour. Now things have gone the opposite. She's not happy with the way her kids have turned out. And I know that it must be a source of pain for her. On the other hand, other than my worry about my daughter and her possessive boyfriend, I'm proud of my kids accomplishments. My son who was so unpopular in elementary school has so many friends now. The phone rings off the hook. He's never home on the weekend trying to find something to do. He usually has to may a decision on where he's going to do.

I know it's hard to stay out of the situation but truthfully the girls are 14 and at that age where they are going to be making new friends. I always encourage that although the kids move on that they don't break those ties with the old friends. I'm suggesting the same to you and your friend.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 06-14-2003 - 1:45pm
I'm not sure if you were responding to my post or to the original poster but I'll respond on the assumption that it was to mine :-)

In many cases, I agree with you. I have another friend I've known and been close to for 16 years. Her kids are 9 months older, a year younger & 3 yrs younger than my dd, turning 19 this month. I knew she didn't particularly "like" my dd for many many years. She didn't belabor it or even directly infer it. It was more in lack of interest or responsiveness in matters regarding my dd. I didn't like this but as long as it didn't affect my dd OR as long as she didn't take it on herself to criticize my dd outright I lived with it and our kids are grown up, never hung out together past the age of early elementary and we are still friends now. She was also still concerned for *my* sake if I was up against situations that concerned *me* about my dd. And she cared about what happened to my dd as she'd care about most kids.

My dd's best friend's mom, M and I have a different story. We tried to deal with the fall out in *our* friendship. I didn't end the friendship because her dd and mine went separate ways - although it definitely would have hampered our getting together for the initial few months as it was very painful for my dd. I can't imagine telling my dd I was getting together with M when her best friend - and all her other friends - were being unbelievably mean and hurtful and usually M and I got together for coffee at each other's houses. I'm not sure I'd have wanted to sit over at her house, where they were all congregating all the time either while that was going on. I let the friendship go because (a) in the height of the worst situation, M chose to believe something that was so outrageously a set up. Further, when the KIDS INVOLVED in the set up ADMITTED themselves to what had happened, she still chose to disbelieve their admission. I think it was more important to her to believe that her dd could not have been involved in something like that in any way - irregardless of whether her dd had been fooled or actively took part. Then, M also backtracked on so many things she'd told me, going from denying something she'd told me to minimizing something she'd always thought was so tremendously important that I felt I'd seen a side to her I could not trust again. Remember, M was who was the one hearing in on phone conversations and reading ME IM messages - she KNEW what the kids were up to. Someone who can bury their head so deep isn't someone I can trust. I was never so disillusioned or disappointed in a friend in my entire life. And the end of that friendship WAS incredibly painful. Six months after the fact, when everything had finally died down, I did try to mend it by writing an email which didn't go anywhere. Some things are not resolvable. And when the unresolvable areas involve areas that are of great importance to at least one of the two people involved, such as integrity, respect and truth, it's better to let things go without rancour.

So yes. If this original poster and her friend - whose situation is different from mine - can just let things be, and the other mom can stop implying that the poster's dd is mean, manipulative or a 'queenbee', perhaps their friendship has a chance to survive. If the other mom continues I don't think it could.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-16-2003 - 12:09am
I have to say that I don't think you're "overinvolved." My DD and myself have recently been through a similar experience.

Her relationship w/her bff of 9 years has come to an end and this is after months of the bff baiting her and trying to turn other kids against her. The mom and I had been friends for 9 years, too. The mom thinks her DD is always the holy, innocent one and while I held my tongue for many years about that, I'm not willing to anymore. I am not blind to when my DD is nasty to other kids, but in this case I KNOW that this is mostly the other girl's doing.

Also, the mom was always sort of overly critical of my DD. My policy is to never offer unsolicited criticism of another person's child unless the child has done something dangerous to my DD, so this didn't sit well w/me.

DD and I have basically pulled off of these people. We include the girl in group activities w/other of their friends so nothing is exclusionary or pointed, but we don't make an effort to make plans w/them individually. The mother is very proud and probably has picked up on the fact that I don't call her or make plans w/her, but she will never be the one to move first or try to "talk things out", so, oh well.

Best of luck to you. These situations can be very difficult.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-21-2003
Mon, 06-16-2003 - 9:01am
Hi, Since I don't know how old your daughter is, it's somewhat difficult to answer. I would say, however, that it sounds like you may be a little over involved in your daughter's friendships. When girls are in their early teens, friendships shift quickly. They are also rather vicious at that age, and things can be said that are very hurtful. It sounds like your daughter is better off without these girls, and should focus on finding friends that will be kinder to her. I know....easier said than done! Did you hear this mom call your daughter a "queen bee"? Or is this what your daughter heard? Sometimes there is wrong informtion passed along. Although it's difficult not to care about your daughter's feeling, if you can keep a calm and cool head about things, that may help your daughter to figure out which friendships she really wants to keep, and which ones are better off ending. Good luck!
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-13-2003
Mon, 06-16-2003 - 12:20pm
Hey, thanks everyone for all of the wonderful input. To Kkiana, you really sound like you know where I am coming from. The friendship with the mother of bf is probably going to fizzle based on the same reasons you said. We saw each other this past weekend and I was cordial but I just feel that time needs to pass still. Also, not that we haven't all been duped by our dd, but to take the recountings of a 13/14 year old as ultimate truth is naive. Like they say, there are three sides to every story, your side, my side and the truth. Trying to keep an open mind. What I am seeing is that part of the reason for the major shift of the group seems to be revolving around social issues with boys. I think maybe I'm glad that my dd isn't ready for all that.

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