The Nice Advice: Going separate ways sure is hard to do

Published 9:00 am Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Nice Advice by Leah Albert

Dear Leah,

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I need some advice.  I would like to know what I should tell my children about the loss of our friendship with another family.

My kids are 8 and 6. We’ve spent a lot of time having play dates and outings with this mom and her son. And we have many fond memories of our times with them. My friendship with the mother, however, has been going downhill over the last few years, and now it’s become apparent that she doesn’t want to be friends anymore. I’m actually starting to feel decently comfortable with this situation as our friendship had kind of become a burden.

She hurt my feelings often, acted like she is better than everyone else, and pretty much only called me so she could complain about her problems. However, I know we will run into them around town and see them at other friends’ events, at which she and I have vowed to be civil. So I don’t want to bad mouth her to my kids or say anything I’d prefer for them not to repeat because they probably will.

My 8 year old keeps asking when we are going to hang out with my now ex-friend and I keep making up excuses as I’m not sure what to tell him. I hate hiding this from my kids as I’m sure they can probably sense the anxiety when they mention this person’s name. What should I tell my kids as to why we no longer hang out with these people?

Signed, Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Dear Breaking Up,

It seems to me that your friendship has come to a mutually agreed-upon end. Stop making elaborate excuses, and simply tell your children that you and this woman are no longer friends.

Definitely don’t badmouth her or you will make the situation even more uncomfortable for both of you. Instead, explain to your children that some friendships last for many years, even a lifetime, while others don’t as two people find they have gone in different directions and no longer share common interests.

You might also say that you have fond memories of the times your two families spent together, but now it is time to move on to make new friendships or to deepen connections you already have with other families. Take care!


Leah Albert is a fictitious character. She likes wine and writing. Don’t ask her to be a matchmaker. Do send your questions to Leah at