To be annoyed at this Mother who is discouraging her DS from being friends with my DD?

(63 Posts)
MrsMushroom Sun 27-Jan-13 23:07:53

DD is in reception and since she attended the attached pre school, has been close friends with a little boy.

She has quite a lot of friends but this one is special. He also adores her and she him.

When it was DDs parents evening last term, her teacher told me that they were discouraging the friendship because the little boy was too reliant on DD....they THOUGHT but weren't sure, that the dynamic wasn't good as he would not play with any others....they assured me that DD was not stopping him....just that together, they seemed too intense.

They began splitting them up.

This upset DD who missed her friend. The Mother spoke to me about it and said that she wanted her son to form friendships with boys...I understand that it is not good for a DC to only be friends with one child exclusively but does that mean the friendship should be discouraged completely?

I left things until this term and as DD was still mentioning the boy, I made a tentatve suggestion of him coming for tea at some point and the Mother did a nervous laugh and changed the subject.

Am I missing something? I have not had any complaints about DDs beaviour...she's kind and nice girl and she adores her friend. I know that the Mother has let her son go on other playdates with boys...she's always been terribly friendly to me in the past.

Shouldn't 4 year old's be allowed to be friends with who they like?

WorraLiberty Sun 27-Jan-13 23:33:25

I think so Ivehad but either the parents/school don't, or there's more to it than the OP knows.

It's hard to know exactly what goes on but I'd love to be a fly on the wall in my own kid's schools grin

I suspect it is nothing to do with male\female friendships and everything to do with the dynamics of the friendship.
And yes, parents do ask schools to help - I went in last week to ask that ds is encouraged to play with children other than a particular child - they don't play nicely together, they end up being mean and either my ds or the other child is upset. My ds really needs to embiggen his friendship group.

My DS is in reception, his best friend has always been a sunny little girl he has known since she was 2 days old. On starting school they were put into different classes. I think this was deliberate because their closeness was well known i think the school thought he would rely on her. I was very worried about it, so was her mum. However, in his class he is friends now with 2 boys and 1 girl, the irony, the girl is very shy and relies on him! His best friend who is in the other class meets him every day on the playground at lunchtime where they play chase and says she wants to marry him! (Suits me! I'll get on fine with the in laws!grin)

I suppose in a way the school have got what they want, in class time the both have to stand on their own 2 feet and in fact quiet DS is supporting a quieter child, which has helped him! But at play time they make their choices clear and play with who they want!

If the school or the parent are being this funny about it I would question was there an incident you were unaware of. Definitely speak with the school.

MrsDeVere Sun 27-Jan-13 23:38:43

Hi OP.
I don't know what is going on in the school but I had a similar thing from the other perspective.
My DS was at nursery and a little girl took a shine to him. She had a very forceful personality. DS is pretty passive but able to take care of himself.
He was ok with the arrangement but this little girl totally monopolised him.

I would have preferred DS to have the chance to mix with other children. Certainly NOT just boys. I felt that he needed the chance to play with a wider circle of friends and he wasn't getting the chance.

It was also quite sad for the other children who tried to join in. The girl pushed them out and it upset them. She would play with them until DS turned up and then totally ignore them!

I didn't make a fuss. DS wasn't unhappy or being bullied. I did mention it to his keyworker and she agreed with me. Unfortunately the girls mother worked at the nursery and she was VERY pleased with the arrangement so it was a bit awkward.

In the end I sort of left it tbh. DS was ok and I loved the nursery. I have to be honest and say I would have preferred it to be different though.

It really wasn't anything personal.

Ivehadbetterdays Sun 27-Jan-13 23:40:43

Haha so would I worra grin I don't get much info from DD (just turned 3) about what she gets up to at playschool, apart from a few boys' names!

WorraLiberty Sun 27-Jan-13 23:43:51

I get no info whatsoever until it's time for them to go to sleep

Then suddenly they wan't to tell me every minute fucking detail including what they ate for lunch.

I know what they ate for lunch...I bloody made it and put it in their lunch boxes angry grin

MrsMushroom Sun 27-Jan-13 23:50:14

Letmeintroduce I never said I'd keep inviting him did I? hmm

No I never and as for embarrassing myself...nope...I'm pretty sure I'd not do that thanks.

MrsMangelfanciedPaulRobinson Sun 27-Jan-13 23:52:52

I think if my child was playing solely with children of the opposite sex I would ask the teacher to gently help steer them in the direction of playing with at least some kids of their own sex. Perhaps that is what the boy's parents have intended for the teacher to do?

Floralnomad Sun 27-Jan-13 23:55:41

I wouldn't go in to the school , they're unlikely to tell you any thing different to what they already told you . Has your daughter made other friends to play with ? If so I'd just move on , as other posters have said if the little boy really wants to play with your daughter at playtime the school will not be able to stop him . If he's not playing with her he obviously doesn't want to ,and for whatever reason the other mum doesn't want them playing and that is her business .

Letmeintroducemyself Mon 28-Jan-13 00:00:48

Thank you for getting stroppy with me - no you didnt another poster did, "If DD should ask again for the child to come to tea or whatever, of course still invite him."

And you suggested going back to the school again.

MrsMushroom Mon 28-Jan-13 00:06:03

Yes introduce I did suggest asking the school what it's about, I think that's reasonable...it's my child's happiness we're talking about aswell. hmm And your posting manner is abrupt. SO it's reasonable to expect a stroppy response.

Flora yes...she's made other friends too. she does seem to play with him at playtime still....her and some others as far as I can make out...that's what my being a bit sad about the whole thing is about really. I'm not SAD-sad...just think it's a shame really.

Letmeintroducemyself Mon 28-Jan-13 00:09:10

That would be to do with one handed typing while breast feeding at the same time - not because I am rude.

You have already been told by the school what the issue is - hence why I suggested asking them again would be embaressing for you and also for them.

They will not be able to disclose to you any more than they already have.

WorraLiberty Mon 28-Jan-13 00:09:59

I don't see the problem if they're still playing together at playtime?

They don't need to be joined at the hip in class...especially if the boy is too reliant on her and the school agrees.

Maybe the Mum used the 'boy/girl' thing as an excuse because it was easier than explaining what the teacher had explained to you?

Either way, as parents we have to accept that not all parents see our kids as ideal friends/influences on their kids.

And with Infants being as fickle as they are, this probably won't be the last time you feel sad for your child over a friendship.

In fact I can guarantee it.

HollyBerryBush Mon 28-Jan-13 06:26:44

By the end of year 2, as they start to think about moving into juniors, that lovely innocent friends-with-everyone starts to naturally disintegrate and girls gravitate to wards girls, and boys to boys.

Let me give you my story about DS3 - he's agentle soul (autistic) the girls adored him, but the natural split came, and he just could not be accepted by the boys. It lead to dreadful bullying and self harm. I removed him from the school as the Head was utterly useless in stopping it.

Maybe the teacher knows what is in store for a soft/gentle/quiet boy if he doesnt strive to make male relationships now.

Joiningthegang Mon 28-Jan-13 06:54:32

I love mine having different sex friends, bit if this mum doesnt then you are going to be banging your head on a brick wall. I would be encouraging some other friendships - boys or girls - change the things you can, accept what you can't

But you are not bu in being upset or annoyed by the situation.

TotallyBS Mon 28-Jan-13 07:07:19

If the OP was about two boys or two girls would we still be having the same conversation?

MN is full of posts from parents whose DC has only one close friend and how, after a falling out with said BF, DC now hates school. The mum is probably trying to avoid this pitfall.

So all this boy/girl thing is IMO a red herring.

Tailtwister Mon 28-Jan-13 07:43:14

That's a shame for both children. DS1 was very much like this, he seemed to enjoy the company of girls more than boys at that age and had one particular little girl he liked to spend time with. Over time (he's nearly 5 now) he started to join in with the boys more, but he still seems to find girls more interesting (if that's the right word!). I think he sometimes finds the rough and tumble with the boys a bit much and likes some of the imaginative play the girls do.

In any case, I don't think it's necessary to split children up. Their friendships are very changeable at reception age and over time I'm sure he would have widened his group of friends by himself. It seems a real shame to upset 2 children who up until then had been really enjoying each other's company.

Tbh OP I don't think there's much you can do. If the other mother is hell bent on splitting them up there's not much you can do about it.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 28-Jan-13 07:56:00

I think there is a difference between discouraging a friendship with your dd, and encouraging this boy to form wider friendships.

The school providing opportunity for the boy to mix with other children doesn't mean they are actively discouraging a friendship with your dd. It's good that the school is encouraging wider friendships for all the children, especially if in their opinion a friendship is becoming too intense.

The same goes for the mother. She might want to encourage her ds to become friends with more boys, but that doesn't mean she has a problem with your dd. the mother will have next to no control over who her ds plays with at school, and even the school will have very little control over who the children choose to play with during free flow time, and especially at lunchtimes.

lljkk Mon 28-Jan-13 07:56:25

Some of these statements are ridiculous, gender mix of friendships and toy choice doesn't matter in reception. They all mature together and accept changes as they happens, it takes until mid yr1-yr3 before gender divides tend to happen naturally. There's no need to interfere in reception to protect a child's future reputation with same gender, ffs.

DS1 rode a magenta girl's bike to school well into yr1. DS2 wore pink shoes to school and brought in pink toys on Toy Day in yr2. They've got no lingering girlie labels.

orangepudding Mon 28-Jan-13 07:58:05

I think its a shame but the school probably have a reason to do this.

My ds is in reception and his best friend is a girl. They play really well together but play with others too both together and individually, this is really important. His best friend isn't a mothering type, if she was I think they would need to be seperated a bit. Ds is however mothered by some of the other girls in the class, they change him for pe!

Sneepy Mon 28-Jan-13 08:09:39

Read between the lines: "relies on her" means your dd might be bossy, domineering, possessive or controlling. Likely he's been upset about it at home ("I wanted to play with Y but X wouldn't let me" "We always have to play what X wants to play") and his mum thinks he needs to widen his circle. I'm guessing it has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with the boy's unhappiness. Why don't you encourage your dd to form other friendships--when things calm down, they'll go back to playing with each other on a more casual basis.

greenfolder Mon 28-Jan-13 08:14:52

my dd turns 18 in a matter of weeks

she is still friends with2 boys she knew from reception. i would chill out about it tbh- their friendship may well endure. one mother of one of my dds other friends did everything she could to stop them being friends- never found out why but we all survived!

NoTeaForMe Mon 28-Jan-13 08:16:50

I understand why you feel upset for your daughter, but to be honest I can really see the other mothers side too. Her son is struggling to make friends and relies on your daughter throughout the day, he needs help to make other friends and in turn that means discouraging him from always playing with your daughter.

I used to work in schools and this was a concern a couple of times. Reception/Year 1 children especially would sometimes make that one friendship and wouldn't try to make any others. When their friend was off sick or in any other situation they were lost, it's not the best thing to have one best friend to the detriment of all other friendships!

Try not to see it as a bad thing for your daughter but as a positive for her friend. If they're still playing together at lunchtimes etc then the school haven't stopped them completely.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Mon 28-Jan-13 08:21:48

I can understand the nursery doing this as I've a few friends whose children its happened too. As long as they are doing it to encourage his social skills or because they don't think they are a good influence on each other (i had a friend whose child was encouraged to make other friends because whenever she hung out with her best friend they would bully other kids).

But the mum stopping the friendship because your child is a girl . . . well that's just stupid! It doesn't mean he'll never have boy type friends!

Perhaps the mum is worried he'll catch the gay! hmm (sounds like my sil who forces her son into football, won't allow him to play dress up and will only let him wear dark colours!)

MammaTJ Mon 28-Jan-13 08:27:07

fuck I was just about to say perhaps they are worried he will catch the gay, when in fact the gay can only be catched by always playing only with people of the same sex. The best cure for the gay is people of the opposite sex.

OP go in all guns blazing and explain this fact to them!! grin

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now