Advice about ds friend(26 Posts)
Hi, my ds has just started kindergarten with a few weeks (Aus)
Before this he went to preschool a few days a week, he and another boy at preschool who only went 1 day became friends. This boy loves ds but is quite possessive of him.
If ds wasn't at preschool this boy would get upset and his mother would just bring him home as 'it wasn't worth the tantrum'
They are now at school together and in the same class. I asked the teacher to keep an eye on it as the boy can get rough.
Ds has lots of friends in school who weren't in preschool but he's telling me this boy won't let him play with them, is telling them ds hates you, I saw him first and pulling him away.
I tell ds he can play with whoever he wants and to tell a teacher if anyone is being rough. Ds says 'I have to play with this boy because he has no friends without me, he gets mean and then so sad'
I've broached it with the mother but she is almost of the same opinion, she thinks her boy can't make new friends and is only rough because he loves ds so much. She had a bruise one day because her ds hit her in a tantrum - he wouldn't go into class & hit her as he didn't see my ds there.
I feel for him, my ds is his security but it's not fair on ds to take on this stress. He comes home sad because he's not 'allowed' play with his other friends. This boy was v sick as a baby so his parents are protective of him.
I've made a meeting with the teacher for next week, I do feel sorry for him but I need to protect my son.
The mother told me today she is going to send her so to after school care because ds goes, she doesn't work and doesn't need after school care, she said it's such a relief to have my ds as it takes the pressure off her!!
It isn't your DS's responsibility to be the little boy's whole world. Kindergarten should be very used to this and will have ways and means of helping them both. His mother is being very unfair, although I do understand.
When my DS and his Best Friend were playing together to the exclusion of all others, preschool deliberately encouraged them to play apart for a bit every day. The children were a bit bewildered by the idea at first but now have a good circle of friends (both nearly six now).
Is there only one kindergarten class at your ds's school? If not then ask if he can be moved to the other class. If there's only 1 class maybe ask if your ds can be put in a different group within the room so the other boy can only be with him during free play. I had similar with my eldest dd. 1 boy just clung to her constantly. Not to the extent your son has to put up with but she couldn't make other friends and he would just cry if the teacher split them up. In the end we moved (unrelated reasons and possibly a bit drastic!)
I think the teacher needs to speak to the Mum as well. It isn't fair on your son. I can kind of see where the other child is coming from as my first son is like this a bit. He has some special needs, so it is possible this boy does too...nothing major but finds social interaction a bit difficult so fixates on one person at a time. However, I have always encouraged him to make other friends as it is not good for any child to be so dependent on a friend (sadly, didn't work, but I did try). It has hurt him deeply in the past when the object of his obsession goes off him. Your ds may well go the other way if this boy is too overwhelming. It is best for both boys to have a bit of space from each other, so the Mum definitely needs to get on board with that instead of making it worse by putting him in after school.
I think the being rough is a bit of a red herring and does come across as you are being overly negative about the other boy. I would focus on him being so possessive and obsessive of your son.
I do feel sorry for him but I need to protect my son
I think if you speak to the teacher with this attitude then you should be fine. Your son is your primary concern and I would have thought the kindergarden will know how to handle this. What a difficult situation OP.
I think it's very hard on both boys, none of the other kids want to play with him as he's mean to them and his mother doesn't encourage him to play or make friends with anyone else as ds is the only child he wants to play with.
I've been declining play dates with them and ds plays with neighbours, other friends in activities etc.
It's a v small village, she is local and I'm only here a short while. She's had a few falling outs with other moms over his behaviour.
What makes it more annoying is the fact she went to the teacher and asked to make sure they're together because it's the only way he'll come to school.
If you're only there a short while, she really needs to get her son some other friends. Is thinking long term at all? What is it going to do to him to lose his friendship with your ds when he is so dependent?
Oh I don't mean to be overly negative about him, I really do feel for him and I'm sad he can't make friends. he pulls, pokes and grabs ds when hes talking to others kids. Maybe I am focusing on that too much, it's hard not to when it upsets my ds.
My dd at 9 has just had this problem and it has taken some difficult (for me) conversations with the child's mother and the school plus the fact that it came to a head when she attacked my dd to take a step back.
Your ds is not, and should never feel, responsible for another child's happiness, do not let it go and do as much a you possibly can to ensure that it doesn't continue as it is not good for either child.
Do not worry about the other child as your only responsibility is to your own.
OK, if it's really pronounced. It does sound like he has some SN. It needs to be looked at, so everyone can be more understanding of him, and he can get the help he needs. Your ds sounds lovely btw.
I don't think the boy has special needs, his mother says they spoiled him as he was sick as a baby and now he gets too difficult if he doesn't get his way.
I'd just like to deal with this in the kindest way possible to everyone.
You may be right Merry, I don't know, ds's cousins have special needs and we have spoken about being kind and patient with them, he is very good with them.
I feel I'd be overstepping the boundaries suggesting special needs to his mother.
Thank you hilly, I'm sorry your daughter had to go through being attacked.
If the teacher doesn't do something, I'll speak again to the mother, I'm hoping the teacher will too.
Can you actively arrange play dates with other boys from his class, at your house, to give him a chance to make new friends. I think you are being very kind, but it sounds like a lot of stress on your DS.
I'm familiar with a very similar situation. In that case the obsessive one ended up hitting the object of obsession a few times if he tried to play w someone else. The teacher worked to keep them apart as much as possible and it helped. I think you need to help your ds in this. He sounds like a lovely little boy but it could be a bit bewildering for him at this age when the ideal would be being able to play with a wider circle. I'd go through the school though rather than the parents, and ask for their help. good luck
i think it sounds potentially SN too. Its inappropriate social boundaries and i think its possible to be sympathetic to him and ask the school to work with trying to encourage the boys appropriate friendship skills, and not let them just rely on your ds to placate him
It does sound like potential SN to me. I understand you can’t say anything to his mother about SN. You could tell the teacher that you don’t want this boy depending on your DS all the time because it’s making your DS unhappy.
Something you might suggest to the mother: the school could help her DS by setting up a formal “circle of friends” for him. That’s a rota of children who volunteer to spend some time with him, say once a week each, under adult supervision. My DS’s school set one up for him at lunchtimes because he was overwhelming his little group of pals (he has social SN). It’s a way of expanding a child’s social circle without anyone getting overburdened (you don’t have to say that last phrase to his mum ).
It's definitely worth talking to the school, and keeping on at them until you feel it's resolved.
Ask them to tell you exactly what they plan to do to manage the situation and prevent your ds's social interactions being damaged with other children, and every couple of days go in and ask them how the plan is working.
This has the potential to make a really big difference to your ds's next couple of years at school as the other children make other friends and then don't consider your ds. Although I'm not sure what you meant by 'I'm only here a short while' but if that means you are moving on to another school soon, then your ds will need this time to learn social skills even more.
I find it hard to believe a teacher would react positively to the mother's request re: your DS, as it is to his detriment and would surely need your co-operation.
Oh, hell no!
Funnily enough I've just raised a similar issue at Parent's Evening. The teacher was very receptive. She says it is not good for any child to be completely socially reliant on only one other, and she has been separating my child and the other one already for this reason. The other child has been complaining about it.
It is really not on for the mother effectively to be expecting your child to meet this little boy's needs in school, let alone at after care as well so she can have a break (do tell your son's teacher she actually said that, by the way).
My DS has been told that being best friends with someone does not mean always doing what they say or letting them hurt you. That seems to have helped, he is standing up to the other child more.
Thank you all, it's good to get a few different perspectives.
I'm not sure what the teachers response was to the mothers request. They're not sitting next to each other but they're always put in the same group.
I think part of the issue is ds never complains to anyone at the school about the boy's behaviour because he feels sorry for him and it may come across that he wants to be with him all the time.
Ds can actually be quite assertive in saying no to him and he's not afraid of him or anything but he feels responsible for his happiness and that's too much for an adult let alone a 5 year old.
I've been feeling quite angry with the mother for putting my son in this position but I want to sort this out so the boy doesn't get hurt.
I would be happy to help with any strategies or suggestions as long as it's not to the detriment of my sons welbeing.
He gets quite upset at the thought of kids having no friends but it's too much stress for a little boy.
Hopefully when I speak to the teacher they can work something out with the parents.
Let us know how it goes. I can't believe the mother says he is spoilt, but continues to cave in to every request! The SN is more because of his obsessiveness over your DS and not the tantrums etc. I would speak to the teacher and write a list of all the things you have concerns over. Hopefully she will pick up the SN possibility but unfortunately at this age, a lot of the push for any diagnosis comes from parents and not the school. It may be that by the time he is 8, the school are more onto it, but it's a shame if it has to take that long. I don't think you can speak to the Mum, unless it comes up in a conversation, but it's not really fair for her to keep her head in the sand. Perhaps if you draw back a bit too, she will realise that everyone is drawing away from her son and do something about it. If she is genuinely interested, she may even ask why and give you an opportunity to express your concerns.
In my ds's case, I asked the teacher to keep an eye on his relationship in Y1 and she did try to separate them as much as possible. But my ds could not let the friend go, and to some extent the friend didn't want him to let ho. She could also see that my ds's 'friend' was very controlling and even abusive towards my ds, so it wasn't a relationship that worked well for anyone. By Y2, I asked for him to move class. He is a lot better now. He has a friendship with another boy where they are pretty much in each other's pockets, but it's mutual, so it works.
I can't believe the mother says he is spoilt, but continues to cave in to every request!
I can believe that absolutely. The mother is (probably) trying to account for his behaviour and she’s doing it by blaming herself. It’s often easier to do that than to fear that your child has a real inner problem.
The SN is more because of his obsessiveness over your DS and not the tantrums etc.
Both together are potentially signs of SN, more than either on its own.
But really, the best thing OP can do is to flag up the issue about her own child and make sure the school are managing that properly. There’s not a lot more she can do for the other boy.
My ds was split up in receception, from a friend that he trailed after at nursery. They were really good friends at home and it wasn't an issue for either of them, but nursery and school rightly decided that they should be in separate classes.
I'd be concerned about after school care too. Talk to them as well as school.
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