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6 year old with bad friends? AIBU??

(12 Posts)
busymumster Wed 17-Apr-13 12:57:26

Hi there, I wondered if anyone has had similar experience to me, and how you resolved it? Alternatively, AIBU and will my interfering make matters worse?

My 6 year old is a very pleasant, happy little girl. This has been confirmed by teachers, nursery staff etc. She is well liked, and has always had a lot of friends and has been popular with other mums too.

She is best friends with a little girl who is often nice, but also has a mean side. For example, she once hit my daughter and I have seen her trying to stop her playing with the other girls. At parents evening the teacher said to me that I should try to encourage my daughter to move away from this friend and to play with others, which I took as a really strong message coming from a teacher. The supervisors at after school club have also said the same thing to me.... So I have some confirmation that this is not all in my mind!

Further to this, I am really uncomfortable with the level of supervision when my daughter goes to play at the friends house. They are allowed to play out at the front of the house without an adult, which I would never allow at home. The little girls parents seem to have different values to me, and I am sure that these differences will only get more difficult as the girls get older.

I have spoken to my daughter, who is very loyal to her friend and insists that everything is OK. I am not convinced, and I am thinking of asking the school if my daughter could change classes to get some distance from this girl. AIBU?

Molehillmountain Wed 17-Apr-13 13:00:53

I can understand your concern, but if you've spoken to your dd and she is keen to continue the friendship then I'd leave it, although perhaps not do play dates unless you dd strongly wants to. I would be really surprised if they moved your dd's class over a friendship issue, and even more surprised if they did because you asked.

squeakytoy Wed 17-Apr-13 13:02:44

I cant see why 6 year olds should not be allowed to play out unsupervised as long as it is ony in front of the house, unless they lived on a very busy main road..

survivingthechildren Wed 17-Apr-13 13:09:10

Hmmm... I completely understand where you're coming from, only the thing is, it can be hard for you to say anything (as you've already discovered) without her going on the defensive.

I think friendships like this tend to dissolve over time. I had such a "friend" in primary school days. Eventually we all realised she was a manipulative little bully and moved on. There was no fall out, it's just we never saw each other after we went our separate ways after school.

I would just keep encouraging you daughter to be kind, stand firm to this girl, etc. You can't micro manage friendships, but you can give her the tools to deal with this. Maybe speak to the school about doing this for the new school year, it would be a disruption to your DD to move her now.

busymumster Wed 17-Apr-13 13:11:00

Thanks for your responses. I guess it's not just the supervision thing, also that the teacher and after school club people are telling me I need to get her to distance her from this friend....

I would guess it is unusual for a teacher to make this kind of comment?? Would this change your opinion for letting them get on with it?

DeWe Wed 17-Apr-13 13:17:55

If they don't standardly change classes around then I doubt they would do it except in extreme circumstances.

Also, speaking as a mother who has had girls with best friend in the other class, it's not as easy for them as all that.
They'll probably play together at break and lunch-so the other girls in the class will not see them as potential friends because the times they need a friend to play with-they're not available.
If you're saying the other girl bats other children away from playing with your dd, then she will continue to do this with the other class girls-while potentially making friends of her own in the original class. So your dd ends up even more dependant on her.

And if your dd is the only one to change class (and that could only happen if the other class is under 30 too) then she will have a lot of asking "why"?

The teacher suggesting you encourage your dd to move away as friends suggests more than the other child just having "a mean side". It could be that they seem too dependant on each other, or that they wind each other up, or that they distract each other.
I doubt a teacher would tell you to try and keep your dd away from another child simply because the other child could be mean sometimes. If that was the case they're basically saying a child who can be mean shouldn't have friends.

IloveJudgeJudy Wed 17-Apr-13 13:21:09

I had a similar sort of situation with DS2. Luckily, I managed to talk to him and get him to see that they both weren't good for each other. The teacher agreed with me so I don't think they sat on the same table. I encouraged DS2 to play with others. They weren't bad boys singly, it was just together they were not a good combination.

Perhaps you can say to your DD it would be better for both girls if they didn't play so much together and should get different friends. I sympathise, though, as ime boys' and girls' friendships are very different. I would encourage your DD not to discuss it with the other girl, but just to play with others.

Molehillmountain Wed 17-Apr-13 13:22:59

Do you happe to remember the exact words used by the teacher/supervisor?

GruffaloAteMySocks Wed 17-Apr-13 13:24:15

A teacher told you to encourage your child to not be friends with another child? That seems a bit.... hmm to me.

iseenodust Wed 17-Apr-13 13:28:35

I would leave the school situation as it is. However I would actively be encouraging other friendship groups eg through Rainbows or gymnastics etc.

busymumster Wed 17-Apr-13 13:44:04

Thanks again for the replies. The wording that the teacher used was something like that DD is a really lovely girl, the dynamic of her friendship with X is sometimes difficult, and that she has been trying to encourage DD to play with others instead. She was keen to point out that DD is a lovely girl and well behaved etc.

I was also really surprised that a teacher would get involved in a friendship, and I take it that they wouldn't do this unless there is a real issue.

They do swop the classes round each year in our school, so swopping over the summer wouldn't look too odd. I have made an appointment for a chat at the school this afternoon, so I might get a bit more info then.

busymumster Wed 17-Apr-13 15:06:58

Ok, just to keep you updated, the head of year also recognised the issue. She was lovely and plans on sitting all the girls in the class down together to talk about friendship. She is also going to put another little girl with mine to encourage their friendship, and if all else fails plans on moving the classes round next September.

Glad I wasn't going mad, and also glad it is going to get sorted out!

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