Worried about child's relationship with friend at school

(1 Post)
MargaretBeaufort Mon 19-Nov-18 11:12:16


I'd be grateful for any advice. My little girl is focusing all her energy on one friend at school. She has done since reception, now year 4. I have concerns about this friend who seems to blow hot and cold (not just indifferent but sometimes actively mean) resulting in my child being constantly on an emotional roller-coaster. Things will be ok for a few weeks, then we have tears and wanting to change schools for a week or so and then it settles again. This friend is often in trouble at school and my little girl, while thankfully often on the edge of whatever the incident is, seems to get herself involved. No child is an angel, I know, but there's a pattern: my little girl has never complained about anyone at the school being mean to her except this one friend. She has never been in any serious trouble (yes, the usual chatting when should be listening or whatever) except when this friend has taken the leading role (that's not my biased view, but the school has always made it clear that my little girl has been on the very edge of it).

In short, this friend is not the sort of friend who makes my little girl feel good about herself or their relationship. She has lied to get my little girl in trouble on more than one occasion. Thankfully the school always seem to get to the bottom of it and she is cleared. But it's not a positive relationship. As they are getting older I am getting more concerned.

My little girl seems to worship this friend and runs to her in the yard in the morning, putting her arms around her (this is rarely reciprocated) and leading her away from everyone else. Why would she do this when this friend is so mean to her? I don't understand it.

What can I do? School are helpful in not pairing them for activities etc. I don't facilitate contact with this friend outside school (apart from birthday parties; what can you do?). I try hard to encourage other relationships. She plays well with other friends, both from school and other activities. But it always comes back to this one friend at school. Whatever hobbies the friend does, my little girl wants to do. Friend joins a club at school. My little girl follows. She wants her hair cut like the friend. The list goes on.

I try not to make it clear that I don't like the friend. Although when my little girl is in tears and wants to move schools, I do suggest that the actions of this other child are not those of a true friend. I did wonder if it was a simply case of my little girl forcing her affections on an unwilling recipient, but given the number of requests from the friend's mum about meeting up and sleepovers, apparently at the friend's request, I'm not so sure.

One more thing to add: at nursery (which was not attached to the school), my little girl developed a similar attachment to the one girl there who was always in trouble. So I am worried it's something in her personality. That came to end naturally when she finished nursery and move to primary school.

Any help much appreciated.


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