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How to help DD (almost 5) with friends?

(4 Posts)
Deliaskis Fri 29-Jan-16 16:44:59


DD started reception in September and is due to turn 5 in a couple of weeks. She has a very close friendship with a boy who she was at pre-school with, and is generally a bit reluctant to make other friends, although she does talk to the other kids and plays with them, but only when he is not 'available'. The thing is that I am concerned this isn't really a healthy friendship for DD anymore. I have always tried to encourage her to play with other children as well (usual conversations about it's nice to have lots of friends, you might not always want to play the same game as x so how about playing the other children, etc.), but she still really focuses on him. He has now started to be a little bit mean to DD, I think because he knows she will always be there at his beck and call. They only ever play the games he wants, she ends up being the character or person who she didn't want to be, etc.

How can I encourage her to make other friends, to not play with this boy if he is being mean, and how can I help her understand that if a friend is being mean or making her sad, they're not really a very good friend at all. I know they're still only little, but I am kind of worried about how it might affect her self esteem if she lets this boy kind of dominate her.

She is naturally quite timid and I want to do everything I can, whilst she is still young, to learn to recognise how good friends behave versus those who aren't really very good friends. Any thoughts on how I can do this?

I do arrange play dates etc. with other children, but a lot of her pre-school friends kind of scattered to many different schools, so that's not really helping with this situation.

Any ideas for how I can help her be brave enough and strong enough to stand up for herself with him? Any ways I can encourage her to play with other kids? Are there any books anybody can recommend that I can read with her to help her understand?


NorthernLurker Fri 29-Jan-16 17:15:11

I think I would talk to her teacher about it. It would help a lot with friendships if they can put her in groups with some other children too.
Also are just inviting other girls back for playdates? It would help if she had another boy to play with who wasn't quite as intense.
Otherwise just keep backing her up - if she mentions playing games she doesn't want to, then work out with her how she could say no and ask for another game. Praise her for everything she does well obviously and maybe try and let her set some agenda for you in different activities so she gets used to making decisions. You could then try giving some gentle opposition so she has to stick up for her view and then praise her like crazy when se does that. So for example you might ask her to go and pick a top to wear and when she comes back you could say that you like another one too so can she tell you why she wants that one. You will have to be really gentle or she will just go back and swap for 'yours' but if you can get her to say why she picked that one and then praise her decision making she will start to get the sense she can make good decisions.

amarmai Fri 29-Jan-16 23:01:56

role play with her - she can be this boy and you can be her. You can model for her how to be more assertive. switch roles and let her practice different assertive responses.Invite other kids for playdates and have the boy come sometimes so you can observe thier dynamics and encourage her to put the role play into practice.

Deliaskis Sat 30-Jan-16 17:15:06

Thanks for replies, plenty to think about. I had thought about role-playing but more in a cajoling way ... "what do you if you don't want to play trains again?" Etc but have always got the feeling she will do/say one thing with me, but something else with him. Doing it more subtly as you are suggesting sounds like a better idea.

Many thanks for replies, I appreciate it.


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