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4 year old getting left out from group of 3

(11 Posts)
goteam Fri 26-Aug-16 21:49:14

Three children have known each other since babies, us mums met in antenatal class. Two boys and my daughter. Over the last year, the boys are leaving my daughter out and not including her and basically beings a bit mean. I have become good friends with the mums but I think in a way they foster a 'best friends' type scenario with the boys which encourages exclusivity and make comments like 'X has been talking about y all week' not mentioning my daughter and calling the pair 'bestie's' etc.

Am I overthinking it or should parents try to encourage kids to be friends wwith everyone, I know you can't control everything but surely you can do that. My daughter is beginning to notice but I'm not sure how to deal with it!

Bagina Fri 26-Aug-16 21:56:39

Three just doesn't work, ime. It doesn't matter on the closeness of the parents etc. We have a family 'three' and we just let them get on with it, but it does revolve as to which is the left out one, so they all take it in turns to scream and cry! Ds went through a phase of being left out as the only boy. We just encouraged him to play with his own things , we also made sure he wasn't only socialising with that group.

goteam Fri 26-Aug-16 22:01:50

That's what DH said, three's a crowd. I just think parents have a role in encouraging fairness and inclusivity and basically kids not being over dependent on a 'bestie'. Whenever my daughter is with just one of them it's fine but I might not see them together from now on as it's upsetting for my daughter which upsets me.

catkind Fri 26-Aug-16 22:10:39

Dd has friends that work as a threesome and other friends that don't. Of her threesome, she is more attached to one than the other, but we're very careful not to say anything when they're all together and they do play together beautifully as a 3. On the other hand if one particular friend is around, everyone else goes out the window, they are best mates and while we encourage them to include others it would be pointless to pretend they weren't special friends. Wouldn't organise a threesome play date with that one as it wouldn't be fair on the third.
I think you're right to go for 1:1 meet ups for a bit. Some dynamics just don't work.

Bagina Fri 26-Aug-16 22:11:47

Yes you can encourage, and you should, but ime the harmony never lasts long. I've noticed a lot of children become aware of what sex they are at 4, then it's all "boys are smelly" etc, especially if they don't have a different sex sibling. I do think some people have more divisive personalities, even kids; they can play people off each other.

Just looking back at your own life, don't you remember it like that? Even now, it's very common for friends to find a bond by bitching about the third friend.

user1470997562 Fri 26-Aug-16 23:07:55

I remember feeling gut wrenchingly upset the first time dd was left out in this way. But actually it's something that happens a lot throughout school.

I personally think the best thing you can do is teach her how to cope with it. So given that it happens every other day in those first school years, you don't want her feeling outraged, affronted, dissolving into tears. You want her to say, oh well then, I'll play this instead or I'll join in with their game instead.

So what I'd do is just step in and play with her and not make a big issue of it.

Yes the two adults do sound a bit shitty harping on about besties. Rise above it would be my advice. And if it's really riling you, just stop seeing them so much.

goteam Sat 27-Aug-16 09:33:30

Thanks for advice. Absolutely Bagina, I know how kid friend dynamics are just like ours! The two boys are definitely leader / follower too. Second boy copies all of first boy's interests sayings etc whereas dd would never do that! Has her own mind and I've always been like that too. Maybe because she doesn't adopt 'sheep' mode she gets left out.

I do try to make sure it doesn't affect her and she is happy playing on own. I just can't help but think the mums are putting I into their heads that the boys are an exclusive twosome by referring to the as each other's 'best friend'. Not sure its that fair on the boys to foster a dependency either.

Bagina Sat 27-Aug-16 09:39:27

I know what you mean! I find that some women are so insecure; perhaps it's that? Or they just don't see it cos it's not their child being affected. I wouldn't like it if the other mums weren't encouraging them all to play together.

user1470997562 Sat 27-Aug-16 09:48:06

If you haven't seen it op, the Secret Life of Four Year Olds is really interesting. It gets repeated every now and then on tv.

goteam Sat 27-Aug-16 10:05:15

The mums are well adjusted confident women with large groups of friends outside of us mums. One is SAHM and the other has a v demanding job so mum one does lots of favours such as having her son for play dates a lot. I think working mum is the main driver of the 'besties' thing as it is very convenient for her. Not that I think she's exploiting it or anything just encouraging it more than she might otherwise.
Secret Life of 4 year olds sounds great! They are funny little creatures. As pp said just learning about identity, gender differences etc.

user1470997562 Sat 27-Aug-16 13:51:35

It is really interesting that programme, particularly the episode where two girls decide they'll exclude another one. Well worth watching - I learned quite a lot from it.

Yes you're probably right - if she's got a great support system there, she's just trying to cement those links I would think. They chop and change friends so much in the next few years, it's not one to worry about I'd say. I remember feeling like a protective lioness in those circumstances though. Fortunately I did manage to curb it in, otherwise I think I'd feel a bit ridiculous now. Judging by my dd's friends, they're only really starting to learn about being inclusive and looking out for one another at age 11 - it's been a long haul.

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