Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My daughter's friend's mom hates my kid; what should she do?

My 17-year-old daughter has a friend whose mother hates her (my daughter). According to my daughter, it is because she sat on a pool table at their home 4 years ago. My daughter weighed about 95 lbs. at the time. I am sure there had to be some other incidents where my daughter irritated this woman. She reads her daughter's emails and I would guess at sometime my daughter wrote something that gave this mom the wrong idea. This mom has a reputation for having a bad temper and getting so angry every profanity you can imagine comes out.

There have been several incidents of this kind in the past. This anger was aimed at all of the girls. However the grudge she holds is only against my daughter. After the pool table incident I told my daughter not to go to their home anymore and she says she has stayed away.

This problem reared its head again: My daughter and her friend are part of a group of about 12 girls. They all go to the same high school. Her friend is pregnant, and the group wants to give the girl a baby shower, which would include all moms.

My daughter says she is uncomfortable being around this woman since she has this grudge against her. This woman actually said she would not go if my daughter were there unless she had changed.

My daughter plans to make sure she works that evening so she can avoid going. I think that is probably a wise thing to do as I would not want there to be another incident.

Any thoughts?


I’ve been a 17-year-old daughter, and even though I was a pretty good kid, there were times my parents didn’t quite get the whole story. Oh, I told few outright lies. I thought then, and often still do, that my mother could read my mind. So lying seemed pointless and, frankly, less smart than either telling the truth or avoiding anything lie-worthy in the first place. But I might have left out a few choice details now and again.

Like me, maybe your daughter hasn’t told you everything. You seem to accept that there’s probably more to this woman’s ire than the pool table incident of four years ago. I don’t mean to suggest that your daughter is a bad egg, but it’s always possible that her friend’s mom has some legitimate reason for being displeased with your daughter.

However, even if she does, she’s certainly not behaving like the adult in this story. Yelling and cursing and holding grudges and “hating” a 17-year-old girl? Yikes. No, if your daughter committed some serious transgression, the mother should have called you or, at the very least, calmly asked your daughter not to return to their home.

If I were a mom, I might be tempted to go all mama-bear and defend my kid from this woman, who sounds unstable and immature. However, even in my advanced years, I can remember being your daughter’s age, and I’m fairly sure I wouldn’t have wanted my mother to intervene. I think your daughter’s plan to avoid her friend’s mom is probably a good one. It’s too bad that she’ll miss the shower, but at 17, she just doesn’t have any negotiating power in that antagonistic relationship.

Your daughter might be completely blameless. But consider asking her to take a mental inventory of her behavior and honestly assess whether she did anything that would make even a more mild-tempered parent see red. (Emphasis on mental inventory in order for there to be honest assessment.) No matter what, there’s still no excuse for the way her friend’s mom has handled the situation, but your daughter might have to admit to herself that she shares some responsibility for this rift.

Thanks for writing,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with HTT's assessment of the situation with the daughter--something might have happened which the daughter hasn't exactly been up front with her about. It sounds like this other Mom is angry and verbally abusive. Perhaps her daughter used your daughter as a scapegoat at some point. Or maybe the miffed Mom blames her own daughter's situation on the friends she hangs with instead of accepting responsibility as a parent. Regardless, miffed Mom should have called this writer and discussed any serious conflict with her.

But I disagree with the daughter essentially hiding from this verbally abusive parent. If the circle of friends are throwing the shower, then the friends should be there--they are the hosts, it's their party for their friend. If miffed Mom has a problem with one of the hosts of the party, she should stay home. Let her throw her own shower and invite whomever she wants. If the Mom who wrote in attends the shower with her daughter, I think it appropriate for her to say something to miffed Mom if and only if miffed Mom gets confrontational or otherwise behaves inappropriately toward her daughter.

If miffed Mom feels comfortable bullying young girls and can't come clean enough to either behave like or discuss the situation with adults, chances are she's too chicken to be confrontative when there is a room full of other Moms, including the writer.