DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter made a new friend at camp this summer, and they hung out a lot. I think it may have been too much, though, because now, several weeks after leaving camp, the new friend is MIA. These two hung out so much -- almost every day after camp. They had several sleepovers and really seemed to hit it off. After their last sleepover, it seems like something happened, although I can't figure it out from my daughter. Both girls are 9 years old, by the way. Now, whenever I call to coordinate time for them to spend together, the mom comes up with a reason that it won't work. I asked my daughter about it, and she didn't have a clue. I know that my daughter can be intense. Given how much time they spent together, there is a chance she may have been too pushy in trying to make friends. In any case, what do I do now to manage my daughter's feelings? She is sad that this new friend seems to have cut her off entirely. Should I ask the girl's mom if something happened, or just let it be? -- Broken Friendship, Charlotte, North Carolina
DEAR BROKEN FRIENDSHIP: You may want to contact the girl's mother and ask her directly if something happened that you don't know about. Since you know your daughter's behavior, bring it up. Ask if your daughter was too pushy or if something else occurred to turn her daughter off. Perhaps the mother will tell you -- if she even knows.
If you don't get a response but the schism continues, help your daughter focus on other friendships and on her schoolwork. Sometimes relationships end awkwardly. All you can do is your best to help make this one end with clarity. But it takes both sides to figure that out. What you can manage for sure is preventing your daughter from begging this girl to pay attention to her again. Help your daughter to move on if that's what the moment requires.