Dear American Girl,

One of my best friends moved away. She was thoughtful and kind and the glue that held my group of friends together. Ever since she left, everything has changed. We constantly fight and bicker, and a couple of the girls aren't even speaking to each other. Is there anything I can do to help us to be friends again?
-Friends or foes?

Here's your advice:

Don't try to be someone you're not—no one can replace your friend—but think about what she did to keep your friends together. What can you do to help? If, despite your efforts, your friends aren't responding, leave it that way. You can't force people together, but you can maintain friendships with the girls who are nice.
-Jackie, age 13, Maine

If your friends start to argue, take a deep breath and calm down. If you aren't feeling angry, you can think of something to say that will help and not hurt.
-Maggie, age 9, New Jersey

Suggest a fun activity, such as making crafts or watching a movie. You and your friends might have so much fun that you'll forget to argue.
-Jessica, age 13, Wisconsin

The best thing you can do is to just be nice to each girl. Remember, you can't make other people be friends, but you can try to be friends with everyone.
-Erin, age 11, Michigan

Sometimes when my friends are unhappy with one another, I remind them of all the happy times we've had together. It usually helps a lot.
-Isobel, age 9, Illinois

Talk to your friends and say, "I know it has been hard since our friend left, but we still have each other. I think the reason we're fighting is that we're sad. We should stick together to get through this, or else we might lose even more friendships."
-Cassady, age 13, Colorado

All of you still have one thing in common—how much you miss your friend! Write a nice letter together to send to her, and talk about how great she was. This might bring you closer together.
-Sophia, age 12, New Jersey

When my friends have been fighting, I've thrown a sleepover. Have your friends come over and play your favorite games. At first it might be rough to get along, but eventually they might have fun. If games don't work, ask the girls if they'd like to talk things out. Good luck!
-Samantha, age 10, Texas

Tell your friends that fighting is only going to pull everyone apart and make each girl lonely. Try to be the peacemaker.
-Lydia, age 13, Ohio

Do this activity with your friends: Ask each girl to write on a slip of paper one thing she likes about every person in your group of friends. Then exchange slips. Focusing on what drew you to be friends in the first place might put a stop to the fighting.
-Malia, age 12, Florida

When your friends start to argue, speak up. Let them know that they make you feel uncomfortable when they fight. Remind them that you all are friends, and tell them that you could all be happier if everyone would stop arguing.
-An American Girl fan, age 13, Washington, D.C.

Remind your friends that your friend who moved away was just one person. You shouldn't throw away all of your friendships just because one person moved.
-Lauren, age 11, Bermuda

Think of actions that your good friend used to do to keep your group of friends going strong. What did your other friends like about her that made her the "glue"? If you try to do the things that she did, it might repair friendships, and you could become the glue. If that doesn't work, it wouldn't hurt to have a heart-to-heart with your buddies. That way, you could think of solutions while working together as a team.
-Mackenzie, age 12, Ohio

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