Script: How to Disagree With a Friend

If you notice that your child is experiencing distance or tension from a once-favored friend, you can support – from the side. If they are uncomfortable sharing what the problem is, you can still help.

  • Would it be okay if we talk about some ways to make it better?
  • Do you think your friend understands the problem?
  • Can you think of some reasons they (… whatever they did to hurt your child’s feelings)?
  • Suggest they start by saying to their friend, “I need to talk about something that is important to me, and I’m uncomfortable about it. Is it okay if we talk about the problem?
  • “I think you might be angry with me – because you’ve stopped talking with me – but I really don’t understand why.” Can you help me understand?” Or …
  • “I know you probably didn’t mean to hurt me, but the other day when you ( ) and I was really embarrassed. And sad. That’s why I haven’t spoken with you.”
  • Or whatever your child tells you. Help them explore it and find the most direct and non-judgmental way to say it.
  • “Remember, all the reasons you used to get along so well – are still in there. These kinds of things happen to everyone. You just need to put some words to it and you can find your way back – together.”

ROLE PLAY – Suggest role playing the conversation. If you know what to expect, then you can be ready. Want to give it a try? “I can play you – and you play your friend.” This approach reduces the tension a little. Get silly.

Try it a few times in a few different ways. Let them figure out what works best for them. It might take them a few days to actually reach out – but – when they do the odds are better that it will go well.