Saturday, July 21, 2007

When teens have fall outs ...

About a year ago Jenn and a friend of hers were spending the night together after an evening at church with her friend's family. As life would have it, the two managed to do something stupid which was about to get them in trouble. After I had picked Jennifer up from their house I received a phone from her friend's mother. We discussed what she had discovered and the need to get together to talk about what had happened. I talked to Jenn to get her side of the story then called the other mom to set up a time to meet. For whatever reason, there didn't seem to be a good time for her family to entertain a discussion. When the girls returned to school the other parent had instructed her daughter not to have anything to do with Jenn. She was crushed!

Both of the girls were at fault for the misbehavior and yet Jenn was getting the butt end of the punishment deal. I told Jennifer that I had forgiven her and her friend, but apparently the other parent didn't. As time passed things would get worse. Jenn wasn't allowed to call her friend until she was off restriction. When she tried to contact her after it was over she was still not allowed to speak to her friend (her mother's rules). The friend began to treat Jenn with such disrespect that there were days Jenn was miserable. I tried to no avail some days to get her to understand that this was no way for a "Christian" family to treat another Christian. It went on for months and eventually Jenn took what she could get from the situation while at school. They seemed to be talking again but there wouldn't be anymore after school activities together.

One day the mother called to talk to Jenn and tell her that they had missed her and wanted her to come to a birthday party for their daughter. I was more than concerned about this sudden change in the parents boundaries. I called the mother back later and we had a nice chat and I explained that I was not at all comfortable with the sudden change, that Jenn had been through a lot of ugliness as a result of them not getting together with us to talk back when the incident occurred. I told her I would have to think about this relationship going any further than one they could maintain during school.

There is more to this situation than meets the eye. I watched the drama unfold during their time apart, and what I saw was one person contaminating the life of another. I watched as my daughter tried to take all of the responsibility for what the two had conspired to do together just to hold on to a friend as her friend belittled her and acted as though she was not worthy of her time. Why is it so hard to get our children to see that when someone, even a friend, treats them with such disrespect that they should step back and possibly move on?

This friendship may have survived had it been a healthy one; however this didn't seem to be that sound. My prayer is that this family will get the help it needs before there are greater problems to handle. Jenn has moved forward, has a new best friend and is beginning to let the people that cause drama in her life to move along. She is growing up quite nicely and I am thankful that she wants more for her life than drama and stress!

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