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Or is this normal for 4 yr old girls?!

(48 Posts)
moochy1 Fri 15-May-15 15:53:45

DD is 4 and her "best friend" is hateful to her! Don't get me wrong they are both feisty and my dd can stand up for herself to a certain point, but yesterday she came home from pre school crying again, because her bf had said spiteful things again and had hit her. On playdates they play well for all of 10 mins and then all hell breaks loose, the bf always starts it with horrible comments, shouting, pushing, my dd doesn't ever say mean things back or hit, but she does shout back and they end up screaming at each other. I'm fed up of giving dd 3 chances to play nicely then every time having to take away her favourite toy or carry through the threat of having to go home, when I feel like it's not even her fault, she's kind of been driven to shouting or screaming back. After another hellish 2 hrs the other day we left while the bf's mum had her hitting & screaming at her & my dd sobbing because her bf had hit her and said she hated her.

It always kicks off on play dates whereas when they're at pre school together it's more subtle, it's usually along the lines of; not letting anyone else play with dd, following them about if they do saying horrible things until they cry, she says if they tell a key worker she will hurt them, it's driven away a few good friends dd also had at pre school they are too scared to play with her! So I'm keeping up playdates with them in the meantime and telling dd she must tell a key worker, but she never does, her answer is to go and play with a little boy she likes and her bf isn't bothered by this for some reason, she will go off and play with a boy she likes, it's only with other girls.

They say they are best friends and have moments of being sweet to each other, but mostly what I witness is the bf being spiteful, shouting, snatching, saying silly things like she's the best at whatever it is they're doing, my dd will stand up for herself to a point, say she's being mean and tell me or bf's mum who tries to discipline her but it just kicks off again 10 mins later and dd is shouting back or wailing again. I've told dd we're having a break from playdates with her bf as she was so upset last time, and I was too but obv had to hide it!

Is this normal behaviour for 4 year old girls?! Aibu to want to stop this friendship? They start the same school in September and I'm dreading them being in the same class.

Feminine Fri 15-May-15 15:59:31

I have this exact same problem.
My daughter is six though.
I'm not sure what to do either.
It doesn't help that her mum thinks her an angel, and is almost apathetic in disciplining her.
What l can say, is that (at school) you may be able to chat with the her teacher regularly...

LomaLinda77 Fri 15-May-15 16:02:09

My son is that age and it doesn't sound normal to me at all based on my experiences with his class (they start school at 4 where we live). YANBU. I don't know what the best approach is, but it sounds very unusual.

Lioninthesun Fri 15-May-15 16:07:49

It seems fairly normal to me - DD is 4 in August. She has 3 very good friends and one of them sounds like the bf in your story. My dd is very attached to another friend (her bf) and she follows her around a lot at nursery, they play well together and although they bicker and are not great at sharing each other with other friends, but generally it is just bickering "I want that - waaa!" or "NO! You have to be Anna!". The other friend who sounds like your dc's bf is more sneaky and will snatch toys and hold them above dd's head, teasing and goading "Do you really really want it? Hahaha!". She has recently pushed dd hard twice when dd wanted to play with her or stand near her - both times dd cried afterwards as she literally fell over onto a tree stump scratching her leg the first time and off a beach break wall onto the stones last time. I tried to say to the mum it is about sharing but the mum thinks it is about me telling dd she can't always get so close to people if they don't want it. I think no child should be allowed to shove or push another without a reprimand, but I think her mum thinks it is fine as she is quite small, esp compared to my dd. I think she is worried about her being bullied when she starts primary, and so wants her to be able to 'defend' herself - but she isn't actually ever bullied or needing to defend herself. Her child scratches her and kicks her though so I think has a few aggression issues which clearly aren't being dealt with...not my place.

I think the only way to sort it out is to give them a break from each other and not arrange play dates until you feel more comfortable leaving them to play nicely. You can't parent for people and if you feel your child is being treated badly, protect them by not putting them in that situation if possible.

Amber76 Fri 15-May-15 16:09:11

I have a 4 year old dd. Its not normal at all.

Stop the play dates with this particular child - clearly the phrase 'best friend' is being mis-used. Don't put your child in a situation where this sort of behaviour is likely to happen. If there has to be another play date then be prepared to leave at the very first sign of trouble.

In preschool how can this be happening? Is there an issue with supervision? Talk to the teacher - an argument should never be able to escalate to hitting in a classroom environment.

I would speak to the school and see if it is possible to have your dd in a separate class in September.

Friendships at that age are fluid and can change do easily - you owe nothing at all to this other child or her mum. Try to foster friendships with other kids in the group.

halcyondays Fri 15-May-15 16:14:38

I don't think it's normal. I'd stop the playdates, she will make other friends.

BrieAndChilli Fri 15-May-15 16:15:03

I had this with dd in reception. Her 'best friend' would kick and pinch her, spit on her drawings an scratched her on the arm so deep she still has a scar 2 years later. They would play lovely together most of the time but there was a lot of jealously and there was 3 of them in a little trio so lots of in fighting,
Dd then got hit over the head with a rolling pin!! But that incident coincided with he little girl moving away so I left it.
DD and the 3rd girl are now best friends and get on lovely (whereas before they used to get pitted against each other) and dd plays with all the girls in her class and has a lovely set of friends
Obviously you can't make the other girl move! But just encourage her to play with other girls and hopefully she will break away

funnyossity Fri 15-May-15 16:16:42

I don't have girls but don't see why any child boy or girl should have to put up with that on a playdate.

Fair enough things happen at nursery and in school but I'd stop any dealings outside tbh.

funnyossity Fri 15-May-15 16:18:59

I always say also "it's good to have lots of friends" and never use the term best friend, although sometimes there has been a particularly close friend, I've always encouraged other friendships alongside.

Losingmyreligion Fri 15-May-15 16:20:37

Distance yourselves and ask the school ig thy would be prepared to put them in separate classes. Preschool seem a bit lax tbh.

worksallhours Fri 15-May-15 16:23:43

Stop the play dates immediately. This child is repeatedly hitting your dd, and it is not acceptable.

I would also speak to the school and request that, if possible, your dd and this girl are placed in separate classes in September.

No-one in life is under any obligation to have to put up with other people's behavioural problems, unless they have a duty of care to that person, and that goes for people who may be four or forty.

Never take bullying lightly. It ruins children's lives. If the bully refuses to alter their behaviour for any reason, then remove your child from the bully.


BrainSurgeon Fri 15-May-15 16:27:49

No idea if it's normal or not but it certainly is not a good thing!!!

I would stop playdates, this is most definitely not a friendship. Surely your DD can find a friend who can play nicely?

worksallhours Fri 15-May-15 16:31:51

I would also add that this situation is not a "friendship". Do be careful not to accidentally lead your dd into thinking that this is how "friends" behave with each other, and that as a "friend", she has to put up with being hit.

It is really bad modelling, and you don't want her to learn that, in life, you just try to ignore poor behaviour from others in the hope it improves.

queenruth Fri 15-May-15 16:32:26

Stop the playdates. Get your dd off the radar of this girl. If it's like this now, it'll be utterly vile when they're 12 or 13. Like worksallhours says, bullying ruins children's lives.

DuelingFanjo Fri 15-May-15 16:33:27

I'm not sure it's just a girl thing. My 4 year old son and three year old Niece can be like this with each other. Particularly the who is best or who won or who came first thing.

One thing you could do - rather than encouraging your daughter to tell a key worker, teach her to tell the other little girl 'I don't like it when you do that' so that she learns it is OK to tell other people to stop. I told my son to say 'I would like to be your friend but I can't if you are going to hit me'.

kissmethere Fri 15-May-15 17:00:26

No this doesn't sound normal sorry. i think you're right taking a break from play dates it sounds very stressful.
Ds has a friend like this and she is a nightmare! I've really restricted any visit and her mum looks at me pleading sometimes to let her come over so she can have a break.
I'm afraid I'd be phasing her out. Sorry if that's harsh.

Lioninthesun Fri 15-May-15 17:21:06

Yes, you can tell her that if people push her or hurt her or does something she doesn't like she doesn't have to play with them. If she has no choice and the other person is acting badly, sometimes the best thing to do is walk way. I struggled with telling dd that one around her 'pushy' friend, but I do feel it is for her safety. I haven't had to say that about other friends as it isn't a problem but dd is aware this child lashes out and so I feel she should be more careful when approaching her to share something. I feel lucky we won't be going to the same school if I am honest!

AgathaChristie01 Fri 15-May-15 17:26:18

You're absolutely right to stop the play dates. You want your little girl to be happy in her own home, and this sounds very stressful all around.
I would also have a chat with the relevant teacher and see about splitting them up at playtime also.

nellieellie Fri 15-May-15 17:29:59

Don't rely on a preschooler to tell the staff. Talk to them yourself, ask whether they have noticed this behaviour, and state your concerns. Maybe they can observe them and do something about it. I have come across this behaviour a lot with girls. At that age, 'sharing ' friends can be very hard for some children, and it is not uncommon for children to become possessive of someone they see as a best friend. I would have a chat to the mum if poss and say that they are not getting on well at the moment, and play dates should be on hold for a while.

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 15-May-15 17:40:31

It can be normal, but I would be discouraging the friendship and keeping the preschool staff informed that there is a problem.

when you chat to your DD I'd also try encouraging her to be positive about the advantages of having lots of friends instead of just one. If a child is nasty to mine I encourage them to tell staff, but also to not play with that child and find someone nice instead!

Flinstones Fri 15-May-15 17:41:11

Unfortunately this is normalhmm I have a 14 yr old daughter & believe me it only gets worse, some kids are just horrid & girls are worse.

teatowel Fri 15-May-15 17:45:12

As a child I had a controlling friend like this. It started when we were 5 and continued for years. She was the perfect little girl for teachers a very pretty child. If I tried to do anything she didn't like such as playing with someone else she told downright bare faced lies to a teacher about me hitting her or some other unkindness.They always believed her. I was absolutely powerless. Even as I write this I can feel the unhappiness I suffered for years. It is a very subtle kind of bullying and fairly unusual I think. I told no one because there was no one to tell. At least you are aware of it. Drop contact with this child and get yours in another class.

christinarossetti Fri 15-May-15 17:49:23

Yes, stop any out of school play dates and speak to pre school teachers.

Regardless of whether it's noal or not, it's unacceptable and the adults around the children need to intervene.

EthelCardew Fri 15-May-15 17:49:46

My DD is 4 and I've never experienced anything remotely like this. I would certainly NOT be inviting this girl over again - playdates are for friends who enjoy being together!

There's obviously going to be the odd tussle over a toy or tears when they don't get their own way but surely hitting and massive tantrums between 'friends' are not normal?

I would encourage her to think about who she likes to spend time with in her class, who makes her laugh and is kind to her, and explain that that is what friendship is. Help her make sense of the situation and realise the differences without damning this other girl directly.

Really, it's not healthy for either of them to let this situation go on.

woolymum Fri 15-May-15 17:52:05

sounds normal to me unfortunately. i agree with pp's above - you need to stop the playdates, tell the teacher, and request a seperation.
i used to stress repeatedly that friends don't behave this way and to play with other people until friend A learns how to play nicely.
eventually either they will play nicely or your dd wil find a much nicer friend so win win

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