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encouraging other friendships?

(6 Posts)
thisisyesterday Mon 03-Jan-11 21:34:27

ds1 has a best friend. in fact, he has always had a habit of latching onto one person, to the exclusion of anyone else

I don't have a problem with this per se (I am the same, have "known" my best friend since we were 6 and 9 months old respectively!)
I think it's nice for him to have a special friend

However, it is becoming problematic for him in several ways:

when his friend if off school for any reason he really struggles. it is getting to be that he is very unhappy if this friend isn't there

he wants this friend to play with him all the time, and his teacher has had to talk to him about not monopolizing said friend.

friend feels that ds1 won't "let" him play with anyone else. we've spoken to ds1 about this, as have school, and tried to get him to see that it isn't ok to stop people playing with others, or not to "share" your friends

There are plenty of other children who like him... he just won't/can't reciprocate. He only wants this one child to his birthday party next month.
He says he doesn't want anyone else over to play (tho i may invite others anyway)...

I just don't know what to do- if anything?
what do you think??

Earlybird Mon 03-Jan-11 22:50:53

Talk to him about it.

Tell him that he wouldn't want to eat only one sort of food, play with only one toy, watch only one telly show, wear only one outfit, etc. And it is the same with friendships. Variety is good, and it is necessary.

This special friend may be his favourite, but he needs to play with/spend time with more than one friend.

In your shoes, I'd start inviting other children over for playdates to help your ds begin to interact with others in a positive way.

One final thought - can you get him involved in any group activities outside school that might help him interact with others (and so that school isn't his only source of social contacts)?

Earlybird Mon 03-Jan-11 22:51:32

How old is your ds1?

thisisyesterday Tue 04-Jan-11 09:00:02

i've talked to him about it til I'm blue in the face. As far as he is concerned he likes this friend better than anyone else and can see no reason not to play with him all the time.

I will invite some of the other children over for playdates anyway, although am worried it will end up with ds1 telling them he doesn't want them there, or tantrumming over not having his best friend

The problem is there is only so much I can do outside of school. While he is there he can choose to play only with this one child and I can't do anything about it

he will be 6 next month, he's in year 1

he is on the waiting list for our local woodcraft folk group, I will try and dig out their e-mail address and follow that up.
To be honest he has never been big on group activities, he finds it really stressful if there are a lot of other children around/
My other thought is Beavers though, if woodcraft folk still have a big waiting list. He has mentioned that before because a couple of other boys in his class go

Earlybird Tue 04-Jan-11 15:42:21

Are the two boys in the same classroom with the same teacher? Your post seems to indicate that is the case.

Perhaps it would be a good idea to request/ensure that the two boys are not in the same classroom next year so your son has a chance to branch out, and so the other boy isn't suffocated by your son's attention.

In the meantime, set up playdates with others, and follow up on the out of school activities.

thisisyesterday Tue 04-Jan-11 17:13:42

yes, they are. there is only one class per year the whole way through school so they'll be together until they leave

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