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Separate DS from his best friend?

(4 Posts)
ragged Thu 30-Jun-11 23:47:07

DS is just 7.
Sometimes I think he's just boisterous & immature, in a bad moment I'm convinced he has ADHD & ODD & maybe worse. He had a behaviour IEP from last Sep-about 4 months ago (but not on any IEP now). A lot of adults dislike him.
Until start of y2 he had a strong circle of friends but that splintered and for a while he had seemingly no friends. Last 6 months or so he talks about a classmate, "Joe", increasingly labeled "my best friend."
Tried to invite Joe for tea 4-5 months ago, his mum very unfriendly. On 2-3 occasions DS has bounced around her feet asking if Joe can come play or if he can go to Joe's house (as politely asked as any fairly manic 6yo could ask). Always seems very clear she dislikes DS (gossipy school gate so who knows what she's heard, also she occasionally helps out in the classroom). I barely recognise Joe's mum, don't even know her to say hello to.
DS wanted badly to invite Joe to tea for his birthday, I don't have the heart to ask again.
I had resolved to ask school to separate DS & Joe for y3, hoping that DS would find a new/friendlier best friend. But what if DS found a worse new BF, or went back to no friends at all? Also, DS behaviour in school always terrible at start of new school year; maybe Joe is a steadying influence?

I suspect DS teacher has actively encouraged friendship between DS and Joe (maybe Joe has social problems, too?). I plan to ask DS teacher if she thinks Joe is a steadying influence, and decide from that whether to ask HT to separate them for yr3. Parts I need help with, suggestions welcome:

1) Not getting emotional, esp. tearful, when I talk to school staff.

2) Should I explain more about DS friendship problem with Joe to his teacher, I don't expect her to fix it, just maybe she needs the background to assess whether Joe is a valuable in-class influence for DS?

3) WWYD, AIBU to think maybe DS should be separated from BF with unfriendly parents?

4) If DS does end up staying in same class as Joe (& staying close friends), how do I smooth it over with him long term about why Joe will never come around to tea/play/etc.? Esp. if he hears Joe has been to play/tea elsewhere?

I will try to identify some other boys for DS to invite to play, haven't found clubs to be useful for promoting friendship. Please forgive me but for now I don't want to try to tackle bigger issues (possible ADHD, etc.), I just need to concentrate on this immediate concern.

Sorry this is so long; I may not get back on MN until tomorrow pm to reply.

MrsGravy Fri 01-Jul-11 09:42:34

I think you are over-thinking the entire relationship between the boys because of the mother's response. As long as that is the only issue and your DS hasn't said anything else to worry you I don't really see any need to go in and talk to the teachers or consider seperating them. I can see why you are worrying with the issues he's had in the past but, really, if he has a friend he enjoys playing with do they have to be a 'valuable in-class influence'??

I certainly wouldn't seperate them because Joe's mum is unfriendly, some parents just are. I also would try really hard not to second guess her reasons for not letting him come to tea (although I do understand why you are worrying about this) - they could be nothing to do with your child but all to do with her being over-protective/really busy or something. I also believe you just be honest with your boy if he asks why Joe is never allowed over, tell him you don't know. Because you don't! Sympathise with him, ask him if he'd like anyone else over instead but otherwise don't try and explain too much when you really don't have any facts or information to explain with. I think I'd also ask Joe for birthday tea seen as it's important to your DS - he can see then that you understand how important it is and it's beyond your control if Joe isn't allowed.

One thing that makes me really sad about your post, you say other adults don't like your DS - how do you know that? Poor boy, I would hope I would never ever let another child or mother think that I didn't like them even if I found them hard work. I can't help but wonder if you're surrounded by miserable adults and your DS isn't at fault at all!!

JeremyVile Fri 01-Jul-11 09:58:39

I think that if your ds is a good and kind friend to Joe, his mother will come round (or perhaps this is just the way she is and not a reflection of her opinion of your ds?)

Do you think ds treats Joe well? Because the other mother may be getting a very different impression of the friendship?

I think I would ask the teacher what she thinks of the friendship - how well do they get on during the school day etc and I would make a big effort with the other mum, try to engage her in conversation, perhaps hold off on invites for the time being and just orchestrate a few friendly chats.

ragged Fri 01-Jul-11 14:20:58

Thanks for feedback, I will try to take those points on board. I suppose you can guarantee most long messages posted at midnight are over-thinking it a bit... smile.

Unfortunately, MrsG, it's pretty obvious when people don't like your child! Apart from saying things like "I don't know how you deal with him" (and not in a friendly way), they might over-react to something he's done (which is what makes me think he has a reputation). I've no idea if he's a good friend, he's probably impatient & too quick to anger or use his fists (like he is within family).

There are a few things the other mum has done which make me suspect it's her not me or DS with the social problem, but it's hard to get perspective (and I am trying not to dwell on it). I cannot think how to orchestrate a chat, she gives off unapproachable vibes to me, and I don't know any of the other people she chats to, even. It's the just the way DS wants the boy to come round but he won't that got me down, I will concentrate hard on finding somebody else to come around instead.

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