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Fighting with the Mom of Your Kid's BFF

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Have you experienced a tiff with the mom of one of your kid's best friends? I have -- and here is my professional opinion on what you can do to mend the rift or leave the friendship altogether.

two women arguing

Dr. Michelle Golland: I could feel Maria's pain and frustration when she shared the story of her recent blowout with a friend who happens to also be her daughter's BFF's mom. I have two thoughts about this issue and have personally experienced both.

1) The friendship will heal because you both are actually friends and want it to heal.
2) The friendship will never recover (even with your best efforts) because it never actually meant that much to your friend in the first place (or she simply can't deal with ANY conflict).

Okay, I know the second one is really harsh -- but true. Often as women, we bond quickly and think we have close friendships, then soon realize that actually ... "not so much!" -- and you're certainly not close enough or deep enough to survive a fight. For relationships to pass the test of time, they will at some point have to deal with a bump in the road, a fight, a disagreement, low blood sugar, too much wine ... whatever! Let's face it: Fights happen, people disagree and no one is perfect!

You see, the real test in our relationships is in the repair. Do you pick up the phone, do you acknowledge your part in the disagreement and can your friend do the same? Can you agree to disagree but still remain friends and love each other, warts and all? It is the repairing of the conflict that makes us closer. If your friend doesn't want to repair the friendship, then it may mean you were never that important to her in the first place -- or she is unable to deal with conflict at all. In either case, I say it's better to not be friends. I certainly don't need people in my life that I don't matter to, or people unable to handle the bumps in a relationship. I am too old and too tired to be in high school again.

Now on to your daughter and her friend. In theory, their friendship should not suffer or be impacted by the waning of your friendship with her mom, even if it is due to a fight. The problem is not knowing how the other person is going to manage the conflict with her child. Hopefully, she will be mature and keep the fight to herself and not involve her daughter -- and then there should be no issue for the girls to continue their friendship. 

If it comes out that there has been an argument between you moms, then you can use it as a teachable moment for your daughter. You can explain how, even as adults, friends disagree just the way she does with her friends. You can express how you care about your friend and always will, but that sometimes friendships end. You can ask her about her friends and how she deals with disagreements with them. Has she ever lost a friend or worried she would if they got in a fight? How would she tell her friend she was upset? It can be an important moment to explain to your daughter about how to repair friendships after an argument -- or how to move on when the friendship ends.

next: The Same But Different
4 comments so far | Post a comment now
HappyCampers March 11, 2010, 8:56 AM

You are SPOT on! My son’s BFF has a mom who is also my close friend (and our next door neighbor!). We got in a big disagreement about 4 months ago & we are working to repair it. I am the one who runs away from conflict. But our friendship means a lot to me so I have been trying to “get over” myself & my tendency to ignore & run away from problems to try & repair our relationship.

GREAT article & your “number 2 point” really hit home. I said “hey! That’s ME!” Thank you for writing.

Ariel March 11, 2010, 5:03 PM

How about dis 4 a story. Mother takes over her 18 yr old daughter when she was pregnant at 16, and her mom took her son away frm her and dont let her see him only when she goes 2 her moms house unexpected just 2 see her little boy. Now she’s pregnant again w/ twins and still fighting 2 get her son back. What can she do plz help…….

pharmacy tech April 11, 2010, 7:23 PM

Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!

Delana Guritz August 14, 2010, 11:51 AM

I’m with Larry on this one

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