To discourage DD's only friendship..(20 Posts)
DD is five, she is in reception. She has struck up a friendship with a boy in her class, Timmy (not his real name.) Timmy came over for a few hours on Friday night, and was, by all accounts a bit of a nightmare. Namely calling DD a “fucker”, showing me various bits and pieces he had stuffed in his pockets that he had stolen from school and announcing he had a letter in his school bag “again” for hitting and punching other kids. His general behaviour while at our house was pretty bad too, refusing to come down to eat, lying about things DD had done and really they barely actually “played” together, Timmy preferred to sort of do his own thing while DD kept asking him to play. He has been over a few times before and while he is always a bit challenging this time was by far the worse and it really struck me that DD does not actually “play” with him at all!
I am aware that Timmy is pretty much the only child DD plays with in reception; she is desperate to play with the boys (Most of who don’t seem to want to play with her). Timmy seems to have isolated himself from most of the boys due to being very rough so he and DD seem to be thrust together. On the one hand I don’t want to ruin DD’s only friendship. I have tried to encourage other friends and have had a few girls over to play (who she actually plays with much better) but DD isn’t interested and adamant Timmy is her “best friend” - she has some kind of boy/girl issue atm and is determined that boys are better/more fun(?) and she wants to be one of them. I feel bad for Timmy too, I know he has a difficult time at home and don’t want to cost him his friend.
I don’t think DD is any kind of special snowflake by any stretch of the imagination. But she is not violent, doesn’t steal and has never heard the word fucker. Her behaviour has gone a bit downhill recently (lots of strops and a lot more tantrums – quite probably absolutely nothing to do with Timmy!) WIBU to discourage this friendship? Was possibly thinking of speaking to her teacher to encourage other friends? Is this ok? Or do I need to toughen up and hope that DD has enough guidance to know right from wrong regardless of who she plays with? I know Timmy hasn’t influenced her particularly yet but I really don’t want him normalising swearing, stealing and generally bad/violent behaviours, particularly as she doesn’t really hang around with anyone else (refuses to play with the girls/boys don’t want to know!)
This is probably a terrible suggestion but could you enrol her in some sort of boy after school activity? Like a sport or scouts? Football or karate or something? To meet other people who are not little potty mouths.
Not sure what to do about Timmy tbh. Feel for him but he sounds a nightmare.
Thanks, I have looked into a few clubs for her but am just worried this won't really help her in school where it only seems to be Timmy who she ends up "playing" with
Friendships are very fluid at that age. One "best friend" after another. He will be history at some point, soon, your daughter having decided that she's had enough of his antics.
Mrsfuzzy I want to but Dh feels that would be a bit OTT. Also an a bit paranoid about coming off as some sort of snob "that little boy's not good enough for my dd" sort of thing. Also I wasn't sure if this is the sort of thing teachers would deal with - it doesn't really fall under the umbrella of education - wouldn't she just say the kids are free to play with who they wish?
Scarlets - I really hope so, though this "friendship" has been blossoming since September and she now outright refuses to play with the girls and no other boys seem to want to give her a chance..
At this age, teachers deal with friendship issues all the time. It is at least as important as any academic issues. I would definitely talk to the teacher, who ought to be able to help a lot.
When my DS was younger he had a best friend who was badly behaved both at school and when he came to play. Not as bad as Timmy by the sounds of it - no swearing or stealing - but things like not listening, not doing as he was told, and yes some violence towards other kids.
I can't say I was delighted, but I did tolerate the friendship, asking the other boy over to play and letting DS go there on play dates. I liked the other boy's mum which helped, and DS's behaviour was always fine. I breathed a sigh of relief though when the two of them drifted apart! (After about 3 years!)
I would recommend having a chat with the teacher. School (and especially reception) is very much about emotional development as well as academic progress. Google 'early years goals' - loads of them are about relationships, feelings etc.
I'm pretty sure that your DD's teacher would happily try to help widen DD's circle of friends. Its certainly something that my own DD's reception teacher was very helpful with.
Lots of schools have activities overseen by the lunchtime supervisors that involve whole groups of children - games, races, etc.
But don't worry over it too much. As others have said, friendships change quite a bit at this age.
If you'd rather she didn't form a strong link to Timmy, can you fill after school with other activities to leave little time for playdates? I don't think playing at others' houses is important at this age, maybe now the weather's starting to get better (fingers crossed) she'll enjoy some park trips where she'll meet other children? Or swimming lessons after school or scouts. If she mixes with other kids outside school, she might gravitate them when she sees them in the school playground.
Personally I would discourage her by just not allowing any play dates with him after school. But I wouldn't say anything and would just let her carry on at school as friendships change quickly at age 5.
Asking the teacher to help DD widen her friendship group is absolutely fine in my opinion.
Setting firm ground rules with Timmy when at your house is also fine.
- we don't swear in this house
- we sit at the table when asked
- we look after property
- keep hands and feet to yourself
And a clear line that not behaving will mean parent is called to collect early.
If you are firm then either his behaviour will improve at your house, or parent will get fed up being asked to collect early and the playdates will stop.
Now the weather is nicer, football in the garden or park might be good?
I had this in Yr1 DD was best friends with a boy who was a bit aggressive and violent - it all came to ahead when she complained to me that he was regularly screaming in her face at school - went in to see the school and it turned out they were sat next to each other as she was a good calming influence. Whilst this is a lovely idea it did not work out practically and i got her sat on another table Teacher agreed if she was getting upset by behaviour was best to do. I do think you need togo in to the school and have a chat - if only to work out how to extend her friendship group
I told teacher when my reception DS was hearing that sort of language. They tackled it immediately as was something they didn't want in school.
Talk to the teacher, don't say that "Timmy" isn't good enough, but perhaps say you are concerned that your DD is a bit isolated and struggling to make friends, saying that she wants to play with some of the other children, but they won't play with her. That while it's nice she has a friend, you are concerned it's masking that she's struggling socially.
The teacher could arrange for her to sit with other DCs, do things with them, and you can ask if there's any others that she seems to get on with (boys or girls), even if she doesn't play with them at break times. Then try to arrange play dates with any of the others she gets on with.
Re out of school activities, ask some of the other parents in the class what they have signed their DCs up for, if you can get her doing swimming or judo or other after school/weekend classes where there's some DCs from her class, she's more likely to build a relationship with them if she's used to playing with them outside of school.
We had similar issues in that DC1 seemed to make a very strong but exclusive friendship in reception, it came to a head when this friend was off sick for a week and DC1 kept saying there was no one to play with him. After that I spoke to the teacher, she separated them and worked on DC1 being in groups with other children. Now he's in year 1 and while he's still good friends with this child, he's got lots of other friends and plays with.
I would get to the bottom of why your DD refuses to play with the girls. Has she said why?
A significant number of my (mostly male) friends throughout school were thoroughly unsuitable from an objective (or parent's) point of view. They were good friends to me though. My parents tolerated them without criticism provided they followed the rules of our house. I wasn't led astray and have perfectly normal friends now.
Let her play with Timmy, but I suppose you could limit playdates. I agree about asking for help extending her friendship group and trying to get her into activities outside school.
Really, the key message to give your DD is never to put up with violence, name-calling or unkindness from anyone.
Thanks allI will defiantly have a word with the teacher
and hope the friendship fizzles out fast
Agree. Definitely have a word with teacher. She will probably already have an idea about a couple of girls that might be suited to your DD.
I would not have anymore play dates with Timmy, if he steals at school, might be yours next!
And do find out why your DD won't play with the other girls, are they inviting her to play but she won't join in? It might be better finding activities where there's other girls from her class there, rather than trying to find ones with other boys from her class, get her to see that the girls can be fun too.
Don't invite Timmy over again, anyone else the teacher mentions she's played with or sat with, suggest they come over for tea.
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