Girl friendships | Through a child’s eyes

Friendships are a huge part of children’s lives and one of the hardest things for parents to manage. How can you help your child navigate this murky terrain?

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Graciella says she feels like she’s in a “tug-of-war” between two sets of friends.

Watch this video with your daughter, and ask her if she’s ever felt what this girl feels. How does she know when she has a true friend? What are the three best ways you can help support her?

Get advice:

Robin Stern: How to handle girl friendships

Read more:

Why are girls’ friendships so turbulent?
Watching your daughter struggle socially can lead you to strange places. One mom found herself hiding behind a tree spying on her child at recess. Learn what experts recommend you really do to help your girl make (and keep) friends.

The myth of the BFF and other important friendship tips
Want your daughter to weather social storms and develop a strong sense of self? Check out these key principles every girl should know.

A book that explores girl friendships:

Lions of Little Rock
It’s 1958 in Little Rock, Arkansas, when two girls form a friendship that places them at the center of the battle over school desegregation.

Got a boy? Get insights into helping your son make good friends:

Unpopular… in elementary school?
“Unpopular” wasn’t a word I expected to hear, so young, and from my own son. I felt less equipped to handle the struggle over popularity than any parental challenge so far.

How to help your child make (and keep) friends
Learn what to it takes for kids to be socially successful.

Why are some bullies so popular?
Kids dominate their social scene with strategic use of mocking, gossip, and exclusion.

Video transcript

“I used to have a really good friend but she moved away to Maryland. When I found out she moved away, I was crying like crazy. I wouldn’t stop. I don’t really think I have a best friend. I have a lot of friends but no one has taken her place. My friend got into jump roping, and so she just wanted to start a jump rope club. And so I joined and then she said six people were too much, and so my friend, she couldn’t join. I think she feels like it’s a little bit unfair that I’m hanging out with the jump rope club. But I think she’s okay with it. Well she told me it was okay. And I would hang out with the jump rope club and then spend as much recess time as I can with her, before all the other girls find out that I’m not jump roping. They’re really nice to me. They’re really helping me with my jump roping skills but I kind of want to take a break for a little bit. If I could have it my way, I would play wall ball. I would only wall ball when the jump rope girls don’t call a mandatory meeting. We’re planning to perform at our school talent show, so I need to practice. I’m not sure how I feel about it because I want to hang out with all of them. I feel kind of like, in a game of tug-a-war. I kind of worry about not getting a move down, because well when one of the girls, who isn’t as good, she says like ‘I can’t do it. I practiced really hard but I can’t do it’ they say like ‘you can’t do the routine with us if you can’t do it.’ I think she definitely feels like she’s going to cry. I’m scared that’s going to happen to me. It’s really fun and I want to be a part of it, and you get this jerk in your stomach. When someone tells you that you can’t do anything, it makes you feel like you want to cry. “


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