Dear American Girl,
My best friend and I love to spend time together, but lately, whenever she comes over to my house, she seems to be more interested in hanging out with my brother and his guy friends. We barely get to do things as just the two of us, and I'm starting to feel frustrated. How can I get my friend to be interested in girl time again?
-Not one of the boys
Here's your advice:
Even if your friend was hanging out with a sister instead of your brother, it still hurts that she isn't spending time with you. The next time she plays with your brother and his friends, you could playfully say, "Hey, I thought you were here to hang out with me." If she doesn't pay attention to you, walk away and she just might get the message.
-Katherine, age 13, Massachusetts
If you can, invite your friend to come over when your brother isn't home. If he goes to a regular sports practice or if you know he'll be at a friend's house, that might be a good time to have your friend over for just girl time.
-Madison, age 12, Kansas
If you and your friend have a favorite game that you like to play together, ask your brother and his friends if they want to play it for a bit. That way, everyone can be in on the fun.
-Lili, age 11, Illinois
Have a heart-to-heart with this girl. Use sentences that start with "I" instead of "you." For example, instead of saying, "You never spend time with me anymore," say, "I feel left out when you hang out with my brother and his friends instead of with me."
-Alexa, age 10, Michigan
Why not invite your friend to do something outside of your house? You could ride bikes around your neighborhood or catch a movie.
-Megan, age 13, Massachusetts
This might be a time in your friend's life when her attention is turning to boys. Be patient and give her a couple of weeks. If she's still leaving you out in order to hang out with your brother, try taking a break. If you give her some space, she might realize that she misses you.
-Claire, age 12, Virginia
Tell your friend that you care about her and you miss the time you used to spend together. Remind her of all the great times you've had, too. It'll help her to understand how important her friendship is to you.
-Eva, age 9, Michigan
It sounds as if your friend thinks your brother and his friends are pretty cool. Why not join in on the fun? You can always have girl time later, once the boys move on to something else to do.
-Madeliene, age 11, Florida
Suggest a game that both the boys and the girls would enjoy playing. That way, you can still have fun with your friend and you won't feel left out.
-Grace, age 12, Michigan
Instead of trying to push your friend to hang out with you more, you could calmly say to her that you miss "me and you" time. You just might get one-on-one time more often.
-Katie, age 11, New Jersey
As friends get older, they develop new interests and discover new activities that they enjoy. Try not to get mad or feel aggravated that your friend is spending time with your brother and his friends. It might be hard, but do your best to be patient with your friend.
-Della Marie, age 10, New Jersey
When my friend comes over, she always gushes over my little brother and sister, and sometimes it bothers me, which is why I talked to my friend about it. Pull your friend aside and talk to her about how you feel. Maybe you could suggest that once a month, you two can have a "girls' day." That way, you won't grow apart.
-Abigail, age 11, North Carolina