Dr. Johns has a warning: Mothers have to be careful not to overdo their involvement if the situation isn't serious. Smothering a daughter prevents her from finding and feeling capable of devising her own solution. On the other hand, Mom is underdoing it if she doesn't find out what's going on.
Dr. Mary Lou Johns, Ed.D., CPCC, and a retired Chicago, Illinois, middle school principal, is currently a life coach. She has several hints to help moms address this problem.
"Changing a friendship group" could signal trouble in a child's life, Johns says. It is an appropriate time for Mom to step in. However, before doing so, she should try to decipher what motivated her daughter's actions. This could be a daunting task if a mother has failed beforehand to get to know her daughter and develop a relationship. "Moms have to be proactive. I have seen mothers who think everything is fine, but her daughter is considered an outcast."
Hopefully Mom's insight will be clear enough to make an initial determination whether…
- Her daughter is not being accepted by other girls.
- This is part of her daughter's experimental phase—"Kids are poised to rebel so that they can make choices."
- Her daughter has crossed the line and this is really a cry for help.
- She must simply endure and know that this phase with her daughter shall pass.
Once you have made that determination it is time to state your concerns.