My child's best friend is also her bully
My daughter has become best friends with the same girl who bullied her for two years. It started in the 1st grade when this little girl would decide who her other friends could talk to and play with and who they couldn't. My daughter was often the girl being left out. In the 3rd grade, the little girl befriended my daughter. I cautioned her that she was NOT to exclude anyone because her new friend told her to. Now, the relationship is still what I would consider emotionally abusive. Her friend 'gives her advice' in the form of insults about her hair, her clothes, everything.
I feel empathy toward this little girl. She is going through a tough time at home with both her parents sharing way too much about their marital troubles than a 9 year old is ready for. I know in my head that it's due to her own lack of confidence that feels she has to do this, but I don't like the way she is managing to erode my daughter's self confidence.
I managed to evade play dates over the summer in the hopes that their friendship would cool naturally but now school has started up again and the stories of what her friend tells her have started up as well. '...says I need to change my hair. '...says I shouldn't wear this.' '...says I have to stop eating that or I'm going to get fat.'
I've tried putting distance between them by being busy every time a play date is suggested, but they are still together at school every day. Any advice?