My daughter is very upset. Her friend tells her other people don't like her and lies to get her in trouble. Why are kids mean to their friends?


Your daughter's willingness to open up to you about her friendship woes says very good things about your relationship with her. Above all else, keep those lines of communication open so she will continue to share with you. Young children engage in exclusionary and bullying behaviors for a variety of reasons. Very young children are often unaware of the effects of their actions on others. Older children may act out of their own insecurities or other negative feelings. We cannot control other people's actions but we can make choices about our reactions. Focus on your daughter's feelings. Let her know that you notice she seems sad or withdrawn after spending time with this friend. Listen to her when she tells you how she feels. Help her brainstorm strategies for coping with this problem and let her chose one idea to try first. Encourage her to participate in activities that will help her make a variety of friends. Build up her confidence so she knows she is strong, talented, and wonderful--the type of girl anyone would want as a friend. Ultimately, we need to empower our children so that they can 

Candace Lindemann

Children's Author & Education Consultant

Candace Lindemann is a published children’s writer and educational consultant. She holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. You can also find Candace blogging at http://NaturallyEducational.com. While Candace’s degrees prepared her for a career in education, she’s found that the best preparation for parenting is on-the-job training.

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