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child being manipulated by best friend?

(16 Posts)
keeponkeepinon Wed 23-Apr-14 22:08:47

I don't know who to talk to about this. My 7 yr olds 'best friend' is basically preventing her from mixing at school and developing any friendships with other children, often telling her she is not to play with anyone else, and I don't think my child is tough enough to tell her no. Half the time they are best of friends and the other half she comes home crying because of something mean thats been done to her. I don't know whether this child has many other friendships and she clings to my child because shes the only one who will stick around. I've talked to teachers about it but how much can they really do? Its up to my child to realise that she's being pushed around half the time and to have the strength to walk away. How can I help her? I am really worried that this is spoiling her other friendships and wil affect her socially, esp as we'll never get away from her til at least high school.
It also doesnt help that her parents are also extremely persistent in asking her over constantly and I don't know how many more times I can politely turn it down! Its never just a couple of hours out for tea, its always for a sleep over and I'm just not comfortable with it.
What can we possibly do to help our child find her way through this without losing her other friends during school?
Really really troubled by this.

HolidayCriminal Wed 23-Apr-14 22:11:35

Have you talked to the school about the dynamics?

How many in their year group?

Imsosorryalan Wed 23-Apr-14 22:16:24

I feel,your pain! My dd who is now 6 made friends with the bossier little one in the class I think. Last year, she was exactly the same as yours. Came home crying as they had argued etc but not able to play with others.

I enrolled her in a drama group, to help raise her self esteem. It's worked wonders! We have also role played situations at home with one of us ( sometimes her) 'being bossy' and what to say.
She is still friends with the child this year but can now say no without feeling like she is doing something wrong. Good luckthanks

nancy75 Wed 23-Apr-14 22:16:46

This seems quite common with girls, we had the same with our DD.

I would recommend inviting a variety of other children home to play (not all at once!) One of dd's teachers told me that on the day a child is going to another's for tea they often spend that day playing together at school in anticipation of going.

keeponkeepinon Wed 23-Apr-14 22:17:02

Yes but what can they do if it largely appears that they are happily going along together? They've talked to them about it but it lasts about five mins. If she was happy then it would be ok but the number of times she's come homr crying because of something mean she's done to her, its so frustrating that she forgives her and moves on!
Class size pretty standard, 25-30.

ASmidgeofMidge Wed 23-Apr-14 22:17:03

Watching with interest as have a similar situation. Fwiw I requested a meeting with teacher and a strategy of separating them for certain activities (other child would always ensure she and my dd were paired up or in the same group) has worked to an extent. I encourage other/wider friendships - eg talk about how it's good to know lots of different people and invite variety of friends for play dates, not just same child all the time. My dd also does some activities outside of school to build her confidence with new people.

ASmidgeofMidge Wed 23-Apr-14 22:17:55

X-posted with everyone!

LtEveDallas Wed 23-Apr-14 22:20:27

Keepon, I can't be of any help, sorry, but my DD is in the same boat. A friend that is pressurising her not to be with anyone else.

So far I have tried being 'nice' (maybe friend is actually lonely, maybe you should try to get more people to play with you both, maybe you should show her that you can be friends with everyone), I have tried being 'harsh' (friend isn't your friend, friend is bullying you, friend is jealous of you) and I have tried talking to the school (all they did was move DD onto a different 'learning' table and DD feels even more isolated).

Thankfully we are moving in the summer so for us it's not endless.

I hope someone else can help, I will watch with interest.

Oh, just thought. I've ordered the book "queen bees and wannabes" that I've seen recommended on here. I'm hoping that will help.

keeponkeepinon Wed 23-Apr-14 22:23:18

Thats a good suggestion about tge role play/drama group. I often think she's just too kind and the heartbreaking thing is that when I suggest she sticks up for herself or walks away, she says yes but I don't want to hurt her feelings! Gaah!!
We do invite others round and they play wonderfully. And in any other situation she mixes with anyone just great. But at school, its tge only place I think she doesn't mix so well. And it all seems to stem from this. We are so worried for her having to get through this by herself as we can't be there to help her every day. We'll never truly know what goes on in the playground.

keeponkeepinon Wed 23-Apr-14 22:28:26

Blimey so we aren't the only ones going through this!? Thanks for your responses. We've tried every angle, you've mentioned but I think it cones down to her deciding she's had enough and moving on and this is the one thing I cant do for her!

I'm going to look up that book.

Its so hard to know what the right thing to do is. Do you encourage or discourage the relatiibship or just leave it to nature? I cant leave it to nature cos I reckon it'll just get worse!

nancy75 Wed 23-Apr-14 22:42:42

As they get older they do get wise to the fact that the friend is manipulative.
We still have the problem to some extent - when dd comes home upset i talk through what has happened and try to make her see why what is going on is horrible, for example if the child has said DD is not as clever as her I ask DD would you say that to someone else? Why not? Why is it ok for child to say that to her.
She is slowly getting the idea that she doesn't have to put up with it.
In dd's case the other child is very academic and I think part of why she likes to be with dd is so she can compare herself and make herself look good.

nancy75 Wed 23-Apr-14 22:43:57

Sorry posted too soon! I haven't told dd not to play with the girl but I never invite her home for tea, we just invite the nice kids!

ThornOfCamorr Wed 23-Apr-14 23:30:26

Hi I feel for you OP and could have written the same a few years ago. Just posted about bullying and the child in question used to be close friends with my daughter. She completely dominated her day at school hence changing classes. Now she still will not leave her alone and in a malicious manner. They have another friend and the child now also gets her to make my daughter feel bad. It seems to be a common theme among certain girls of the 7/8 year old age range. My daughter just wants to play and doesn't understand the politics or rough behaviour. She is just a nice girl. Reading your thread with interest and shall look at the book suggestions. Can't believe it's gone on for so many years if I am honest.

keeponkeepinon Mon 30-Jun-14 19:29:27

I did enrol my dd in a drama club and she really enjoys it. Its only been a few weeks but I'm sure it'll be good for her self confidence. I've ordered queen bees and just waiting for it to arrive. We have spoken to the school numerous times about it and it seems that they are pretty much kept apart during classes which I am vety glad about as this other kid distracts and demands attention constantly. Since they did that earlier in the year I have seen steady improvement in my own dd academically which we are very happy about. But there's still the playground problem and we can't have any control over that.
This kid is really manipulative and I've ovwrheard her telling my dd not to invite anyone else over. This happened the one time we did let her over to play - we wanted to see how they were together - she even slammed the door in the face of my younger little one who wanted to join in - I told her in no uncertain terms that in our house everyone plays together or not at all. She's just so so pushy I've never known a child so pushy. She approaches me and asks me straight out why I won't let my child do this that or the with her, and even goes as far as to blame my littler ones for random stuff! Its bizarre! Frustrating and I am genuinely quite troubled for my dd. The parents never seem to have any control either. I just don't know what to do! how can I help my dd to see she is being controlled and that this 'friendship' is not a healthy one??!

keeponkeepinon Mon 30-Jun-14 19:30:48

Btw she never got invited over again after that one time! We wanted to see how they were playing together and itcconfirmed our worries.

NotCitrus Mon 30-Jun-14 19:56:13

Ds is only 5 but had this so I asked the teacher to help. Apparently various kids had the same problem so they had New Friends week where everyone had to play with someone new at playtime. It worked really well but I don't know if a teacher could make that happen with older children - maybe if it were presented as a challenge?

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