Advanced search

Bickering five year olds. Is this normal?

(9 Posts)
Lavenderlane Mon 06-May-13 21:15:20

Can anyone tell me whether bickering is to be expected between five year olds?

My little one has a friend who she sees as her 'best friend' but when they are together they seem to start off being inseparable but always have at least one disagreement. They are very different in personality and their clashes seem to occur following my little one being bossy or too boisterous or her friend telling tales and getting upset over quite trivial things.

Recently I have watched them play at a few school friends parties and what has added to my concern is witnessing the little girls mum encouraging her daughter to play with other children. I am not sure whether this is due to her also having existing friendships with other little girls from nursery or because she doesn't want her playing with my little one. I would like to think I am objective enough to not belittle my little ones behaviours, but would also hate to think that people are thinking badly of me or my little one if there is something else I could be doing to help the situation.

Example's of their clashes are; 1)whilst holding hands on a bouncy castle the little girl fell pulling on my little one's arm, because this hurt her and little girl would not acknowledge she had hurt my little one, she pushed the little girl resulting in her crying and telling her mum that my little one had hurt her. 2)within a soft play area my little girl lay across a large cylinder. Her friend began to roll her which frightened my little one. My little one told her off saying "don't do that" in a grumpy voice and got off the cylinder. The little girl got on the cylinder and my little one tried to roll her. The little girl jumped straight off and ran to her mum crying and telling off her.

Whenever she puts her hands on anybody she is always told off and reminded of how she would feel if somebody did this to her and if she says something in a way that could be put better, she is asked how she could have said it differently. I think there is a fine line between being on her back all the time in response to her upsetting the little girl and her being told off for things that are not entirely her fault. We have tried to encourage her to play with other children but at the minute this is not working.

BabiesAreLikeBuses Mon 06-May-13 23:13:50

It doesn't sound like a balanced friendship which will always cause problems, maybe too much crying to mummy too? My 5yo dd also keen to have a best friend since starting school, i have been a broken record saying 'play with everybody and be kind to everybody' all year and she is starting to take notice, still has bf but plays with many more now... I think all you can do is continue teaching social skills that you value and encourage other friendships too so that if they do continue clashing your dd has others to play with

survivingthechildren Tue 07-May-13 12:08:40

Hmm... I have a 5 yo DD myself and this sounds quite familiar! I think part of it is having the parents in the background, and being in a new environment so to speak.

They are always at school together, and know the rules and behavioural expectations well. I think when mummy is there, the temptation to run to us for their problems is there. In a playground classroom, there isn't the one on one attention, and they have to get on with things really. The teacher would probably say to settle down and muddle along together, rather than hearing about (and therefore giving attention, whether positive or negative) to this sort of thing. I also feel there is a lot of stimulus at home, i.e. toys, games, etc., and it's all a little too much!

I just encourage playing nicely, and just let them get on with things as long as it's not turning nasty. (I know easier said than done!)

MsGee Tue 07-May-13 12:23:29

I think that this is normal. At school they start to develop their own friendships and fall out in the process of doing so. Its hard for parents to learn to take a back seat and some take longer than others.

My DD has a best friend and they are always falling out - I encourage her to make new friends and play with everyone as I don't want her to be too reliant on one friend or to exclude other children.

I probably fell in the trap of trying to sort out squabbles in the first term but at the age of 5 they can start to manage their own squabbles (as long as no bullying etc.) I tend to tell DD and her friends to sort it out themselves or simply state "Everyone has to behave nicely" and glare at them all grin.

I think the first year at school is tough for them - so just keep emphasising playing with others and perhaps say to the other mum somethign chatty along the lines of ... its hard to keep the balance of letting them sort things out themselves so they all learn social skills and wanting to jump in yourself...

LittleMissLucy Tue 07-May-13 20:38:34

I agree it sounds quite normal but perhaps as someone else suggested - not the best personality match. It can be exhausting when its like this.

Lavenderlane Wed 08-May-13 10:33:42

Any ideas on how I can encourage her to play independently from this friend? I have spoken with her teacher and she doesn't seem to have any concerns, but I am not sure whether this is because school is a more structured than a party. I suppose it could also be that her friend doesn't get the same response in school as she does from her mum. Whenever I ask who she has played with she will name other children but this friend is always there too. What adds to the problem is there are only a few girls in her class, which means at parties there isn't many other girls there.

LittleMissLucy Wed 08-May-13 17:19:03

I think the only thing you can do that might help a bit in terms of shifting her focus is encourage one-on-one play times with different girls from the class, outside of school and that may build up a bond with them. Sorry not to be more helpful.

BabiesAreLikeBuses Wed 08-May-13 22:18:03

I agree, inviting over various girls has helped my daughter branch out and feel more confident socially (having spent a term coming out looking overwrought and withdrawn from sheer noise and number of people to get to know!) fwiw your daughter's current bf may not be a prob, just that her mother seems to be handling this differently to you and shaping her in a diff way. I'd always be wary of a parent getting overly involved!!

Lavenderlane Thu 09-May-13 12:41:47

Thanks so much you have reassured me that it is not as much a problem, than an age appropriate stage that some children experience. I have invited a couple of friends round but get slightly paranoid that her friends mum might think I'm being funny! My DH keeps saying I can't keep everyone happy.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now