New friends but one child missing out(14 Posts)
I'm trying to not be that precious parent, and trying to allow my child to find her way through friendships but I'm finding our current situation tricky.
I'm a single parent to a lone child aged 8 (let's call her A) with mild developmental delay, so she doesn't read social signals very well. We've lived in our current house for a few years and there weren't any neighbour kids for her to play with, until a new neighbour moved in. She was also single parent with one child nearly 2years younger (lets called them B). They hit it off, and became like siblings.
All fine, all lovely, knocking on for each other and playing at every opportunity, for the last 3years.
Now, a new neighbour has moved in next door. Again, a single parent with two children - one similar age to our two (C), and one much younger (D).
They are lovely, we all get on, great friends, couldnt have asked for better neighbours/friends.
Now the difficulty...
Child C is very confident and dominant for their age, and has formed a close friendship with B. B is the same with C. They call round on each other all the time and are always at each others houses.
My child still plays with them both if they are about, but has to ask and push to play with them.They now only really play with her if the other isn't available. Its like she's become the backup. She's feeling left out a bit but the hardest part is that she misses her close friendship with B.
I've spoken to B's parent briefly about it, so as not to make too big a deal.
But I can't help for feel bad for my child whenever I see B or C heading straight for the others house to play, completely bypassing my child.
Do I need to just get over it? Should I talk to friend again? Do I just explain to my child that friendships change.....
Am I being unreasonable to be a bit narked that the parents don't seem to notice how exclusive their kids friendship has become?
yanbu to feel narked, but there's not a lot you can do about it. Neither the other two girls nor their parents have done it on purpose.
If you're good friends with B's mum (as opposed to knowing her because she's your child's friend's mum IYSWIM) you could try and facilitate times for the two of them to be together again, but TBH I think your best option is to help your dd to try and spread her wings with other potential friendships.
You're not unreasonable to feel it, but you are unreasonable to speak to them about it. Friendship isn't something that can be forced.
Us parents became friends and the children also got on so neither is as a result of the other, if you know what I mean.
When I spoke with the other parent it wasn't a heavy 'can I have a word'. It was a light friendly conversation, and she understood, so we're all still good.
I know you can't force friendships, but it was only the introduction of the third child that seemed to have reduced my child's inclusion.
But I get it. I need to let it go.
Thank you for the voices of reason!
(Also, for extra info, the children are mixed boys/girls)
YANBU we all get hurt when our kids are left out. But there is very little you can do about it, at some point they may fall out and then your DD will be the centre of the universe. This will happen over and over again through their childhood. I try to let it pass over me now, but it still hurts sometimes
Yanbu but not sure there is much you could do. I would expect the neighbours to encourage their children to actively seek out opportunities to play with yours, so it is sad that they don't. But whatever the specifics of a situation, children grow up and change, move house etc, and I guess you have been lucky to have a good set up for a few years.
I hope your dd is ok and it doesn't affect her self confidence
When you say they are mixed boys and girls, is it that yours is a girl and the other two are boys? Also yours is two years older? I think as they get older, children do seem to move towards friendships with their own sex. To be honest, my children never really hung out with the neighbouring children. We would have friends home from school. I'm quite a private person really so don't like kids in and out. When I first moved into my house though, my neighbour had two girls who were always playing out on the street with the local kids in the cul de sac across the road, and their mother told me, she hated it with everyone knowing her business!
When you say the group is mixed girls/boys, are B and C boys and your DD the girl? That might be a reason for B and C preferring each-other's company as they get older unfortunately.
Yanbu to feel upset for your DD. I'm sure it doesn't feel nice to see the two girls leave her out. However maybe the parents don't notice this, or would rather let the girls be a bit more independent and manage their friendships. Maybe try to encourage your DD to start other friendships.
Totally understandable. It's really difficult navigating letting things play out. Friendships in childhood are so quick to change and just as quick to restore sometimes too.
I have no idea what advice to give you. Just that DD is lucky to have you x
Thank you all for your thoughts.
My DD is a couple of years older but emotionally younger which is why she got on well with younger friends.
B is a boy, C is a girl.
I know this'll happen alot. I know it's me that needs to let it go. And I'm okay with that.
Could you maybe create some opportunities to get them all together? Maybe a movie afternoon and invite all the children or set up a trampoline in the garden? I would think encouraging your child to take the initiative and invite the other two to play would be your best bet rather than wait to be invited. I don't think you can interfere any more than that and you and dd will have to accept the friendships might have just run their course for now.
Yanbu to feel sad for her but all friendships evolve and change. The kids themselves change too so might have naturally drifted away anyway, even without child c.
Sorry. It is hard to see our kids upset.
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