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Ask Rosalind: How to Talk About Peer Pressure and Friendship Feuds

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Q. My 8-year-old daughter doesn't want to be as close as she's been with a friend anymore. I think it's beneficial for the girl and her mother to know this is due to her behavior. How should I bring it up?

A. I'm hoping your daughter has told her friend in a direct—but kind—way what exactly she's doing that your daughter doesn't like. If she hasn't, she needs to. If she has and the behavior hasn't changed, you can tell the other parent: "This is really hard to talk about, but my daughter has told 'Alice' that she doesn't like (X) thing Alice is doing. My daughter doesn't feel that Alice is listening to her, so she's going to take a break from her for a while." If the other parent gets upset, be polite but hold firm. The bottom line: Your daughter has the right to choose her friends and back away from people who aren't treating her well. In fact, this experience offers a good chance to practice a skill she'll need throughout life.

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