When/how much parent involvement in teen drama

Reply Fri 29 Apr, 2016 10:38 am
Background – my younger teen is currently very involved in basketball. She is on the town travel team and a club/AAU team. On her town team she is the best overall player. Her club team there are many very good players that their talents complement each other.

In town, the daughter of the coach (call her town girl) does not seem to like my daughter. She is mean to her in a sneaky way. For example, town girl will invite the entire team to go hang out except my daughter and one other girl. She will let everyone else know we going to the high school basketball game and everyone wear their shooting shirts. She just leaves my daughter out.

Flash to club – this town girl is the only girl from town team that is also on her club team (she just in the past year became part of the team). My daughter starts in club, but town girl is not good enough to start. My daughter was best friends with another girl (call her club girl) on the club team. Club girl had issues with girls on her town team so they had things in common – club girl even said I am worried about girls from my town trying out as they will take all my club friends away.

So the ineventable happened – town girl and club girl got together and now they hang out together and club girl is not accepting any other invitations from my daughter. I explained to her that she has lots of other friends on her team so ask a couple of others to hang – she has done so and she has gotten even closer to some of the other girls. So no direct issue.

Flash forward – my daughter is just coming off an injury – playing very limited time in order to build back up including practices and games. In practice, club girl is yelling at my daughter about getting back quicker, not doing this or that right (some of which was club girl’s fault; some of which was my daughter just getting back into form). I normally like to have kids handle their own affairs, but I am fearful this will hurt the team dynamic.

I know the mom very well so I called her. I told her about how upset my daughter was about club girl yelling at her. I also mentioned that I understand she is hanging more with town girl, but understand girls should make friends with whomever they want and my daughter is doing likewise. Mom downplayed the yelling and blamed it more on her daughter being concerned about a game they did worse than they should have the prior weekend.

Do you think town girl is influencing club girl? Is there anything I can do or should do about it? When? Is there a point we should even discuss with the coach? We know him very well personally as well as a coach. There is also the issue with the town team and the coach and his family - political town stuff and a question if she should play town travel next year as a result.
Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2016 05:54 am
I think I'd talk to the Club coach.

I'd probably approach it as the other girls are pushing your daughter to play harder and you're worried that she will reinjure herself and not be able to play at all. No coach wants to lose a starter so he'll probably keep a closer eye on things.

Teen girls can be the worst people on earth. I absolutely think town girl is influencing club girl; they probably bonded over trash-talking your daughter. Luckily those kind of relationships burn themselves out pretty quickly. Club girl will probably find herself on the receiving end of town girl's ire eventually.
Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2016 06:41 am
Town girl has a little bit of mean girl in her. I know her mom well .. town girl mom. They have a large family and I don't think they see what town girl is doing. I had mentioned to mom that my daughter and this other girl on the team are left out of things. I did add .... even though I didn't think it was true....that her daughter isn't intently being mean just she has been friends with the other girls longer.

Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2016 07:09 am
I also talked to my daughter about speaking up for herself...asking club girl if there was a problem and why she is treating her this way? The funny thing is my daughter is the first to step up for another kid when she sees someone being mean or bullying yet she doesn't for herself.

I am going to monitor before speaking with club coach but if any of this continues I will kind of take this tactic.

It's funny with the town team because they don't want to include her on social things, but when it comes to games they sudden ingle ask are you better...are you going to play.

Yeah teen girls can be mean. I can see this club girl clinging to town girl as she lacks confidence and is always down on herself whereas town girl likes to be a ring leader.
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Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2016 07:53 am
I think one of the hardest parts about having a teenager is the almost constant reminders of how much adolescence sucks. The shifting alliances and pecking orders and finding where you fit in is so much work.

Your daughter sounds like she's able to move between groups well and I think that's a real plus once you reach adulthood but when you're young it feels like you're always on the periphery. I'm glad she has basketball to keep her occupied. I think it's especially important for a girl to have a place where she is valued for something beyond her social currency.

Mo has been on both sides of the popularity fence and he learns so much more about how to be in the world when he's on the "wrong" side. Still, I think it's easier with boys. Their ways of friendship are different. Sometimes I feel like an anthropologist studying a foreign culture.
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Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2016 12:09 pm
Let me chime in here too: yes, teenage girls and the drama that surrounds them is unpredictable and I found it very hard to stay out of it. I did, though!
I had to! I am a problem solver and I tend to take over and resolve things, but that's exactly what I wanted to avoid. Jane needed to learn on her own to assert herself and handle situations handed to her, herself.

The methods weren't always what I had hoped for, but she did solve the problem she had with 2 other girls (they all were 14 years old at that time).

Regardless what the issue is, my advice would be to butt out and let the
girls handle it themselves. The minute you interfere, it will get worse - trust me! I know it is our nature as protecting moms' to shield our kids from
everything unpleasant, and not interfering is the hardest thing for us, but unless they're physically threatened, we have to have faith in our kids that they'll manage just fine.

Linkat, from what you described, your daughter knows how to get around town and club girl - she chose to be friends with other girls and it seems she is doing well. Once these 2 meanies realize that your daughter simply moved on to better postures, they'll find out that perhaps they maneuvered themselves into a corner.

I know it's hard for you, but just reassure your daughter that she should remain confident and assertive - looks like she's already there!
Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2016 07:22 pm
Having raised two children who are now in their 30s, and having gone through many of these 'friendship' things with my daughter, I agree with CJ that you should stay out of the issue, other than counselling and supporting your daughter, of course.

I would not have called the mother. Your children are too old for that kind of interference. And what is the mother going to say? What did you expect to happen? Kids, girls especially, form these very changeable alliances - it's a fact and there's nothing you can do about it other than comfort your children and try to explain it's human nature. There are always rotten apples so it's best to give her tips on how to accept and deal with it.

Speaking to her as you have done gives her options on how she chooses to deal with different situations - one day she'll be at Uni or work and are you going to call the profs or bosses? These are LIFE lessons and that's more important than an individual situation.
Reply Sun 1 May, 2016 07:41 pm
The issue here is the team. It would be one thing if it was just schoold or similar, but we are talking about a team of 12 girls that need to be able to work together to be successful. She can't just hang with the girls she gets along with. Otherwise I would let her work it out.

We did have a conversation similar to what you said...standing up for yourself. The funny thing is she is the girl that steps up when another person is being teased or not be treated well. My husband was approached one day by this one man we know. He told him how our daughter stepped up for his stepdaughter .. she was being treated by her friends in a very mean way. My daughter heard and went and approached the girls that were being mean and basically gave them the riot act. Then had this girl come sit with her and her friends. We had no idea. This step dad is a high school basketball coach and has offered giving her some help in her skills as a result.

Any way I pointed out that I cider and asked why she doesn't do the same for herself. I told her she us worth it. I told her not to be mean but to confront it. And gave her examples how to approach so it isn't mean but direct.

In either case this weekend games club girl was very nice to her so it appears her mom spoke with her. I think in this situation parents and the kids are invested in the team so the dynamics are different.
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Reply Sun 1 May, 2016 07:43 pm
What happened or at least what the mom told me she would do was to tell her daughter her place is not to yell at her teammate....that is the coaches job. They are to be supportive of one another and it appears from the weekend that is what happenef.

The other thing is this sort of team is the type that would likely be together through high school...they are in middle school now. They don't all need to be best friends but they need to be respectful of each other. They have the potential to win nationally ..(which in reality is east coast) we were in top 8 last year. Having conflicts would impact the team.

My older daughter's high school team had the talent to win their division in state...there was so much drama among the girls that they fell way short of their abilities.
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