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Unhappy about my 3 year old's best friend - long sorry!

(7 Posts)
KateAM Sat 09-Jul-05 13:48:32

My son is 3, has been to playgroup since September and will start school this September. As soon as he started playgroup he made friends with another boy a few months older than him. Within a few months I had concerns that this child was unacceptably aggressive as my DS came home with bruises, etc on him which he said his friend had done. I spoke to the playgroup supervisor who said other parents had complained about this child and she was keeping an eye on the situation.

Things seemed to calm down after this but recently my DS has been talking about his friend hitting, etc again. In addition this child is very badly behaved in other ways and I have noticed my DS copying him. This child is well known by all the other playgroup mums as being the 'naughtiest one'.

I'm not trying to claim my DS is an angel being completly led astray by someone else's child as my DS is quite capable of being a handful on his own... I just have this instinctive feeling that this child is a bad influence and I just wish my DS would stay away from him.

Recently this boys mother has been suggesting that my son come to play at her house, etc and I've been friendly but non committal. The last thing I want is to have a falling out with her as we live very close by and as well as the boys about to be at school togethe,r both have younger daughters who will be at playgroup/school together.

Sorry for the rant - I suppose I was wanting to ask if parents have to accept children will choose their own friends and you just have to accept it?

Thanks for any advice


purpleturtle Sat 09-Jul-05 14:20:47

I think I would be happier to have the other boy in my house, than my ds going there. Then you can monitor what happens, and decide how happy you are with it - even cut it short, if necessary.

Other than that, I suppose you could encourage some other friendships more - inviting them over to play etc, and hope that your ds shifts allegiance a bit.

nooka Sat 09-Jul-05 15:10:50

Hi, we had this. ds's "best mate" at school is a little on the violent and disruptive side. To be honest there is very little you can do about it. Your ds will chose who he wants to play with, and however much you say "why don't you play with x they seem very nice" or "why do you play with y, if they hurt you" they will go on playing with whoever they like.

However, you may find that there are silver linings to this. ds's "best mate" was also the boy that told him that his new glasses were cool for which I will be forever grateful. ds had previously said he wouldn't wear his glasses at school because other children would tease him, and we were anticipating problems (it's important that he wears them in the hope it will correct his extreme long sight). Now he is happy to wear them all the time.

ds now has a range of friends, some of whom I like more than others, but he still has his "best mate". We are trying to get him to come to our house to get to know him a bit better, but his mum is reluctant (we think she might be worried he won't behave himself). I'm not sure I would be happy for ds to go to his friends house, as we are not sure about his home set up and how much this relates to his rough behaviour.

Finally it does take two to tangle, and on observation we can see there is mutual element to the fighting/rough play. You just need to keep reinforcing your values with your ds and maybe they will end up rubbing off on his friend too.

Good luck - I know that it's quite a stressful situation.

FIMAC1 Sat 09-Jul-05 15:27:55

disagree with Nooka - even though you cannot choose who your ds plays with at school. it is your choice over who he plays with out of it, this boy sounds like one you would avoid! and one my ds would label 'naughty' and naturally avoids at school, I would not make any playdates with this boy - try and 'engineer' a more suitable friend? and hopefully your ds will see what a real friend should be like - he is only 3 and not able to make these sorts of decisions

geranium Sun 10-Jul-05 17:04:30

Do you think the boy's mother knows that he is considered a bit rough? What's her attitude to it? Could you have a quiet word and say you're a bit concerned about the bruises etc or is that unrealistic?

triceratops Sun 10-Jul-05 18:31:18

I would feel a bit sorry for the naughty boy in this instance. He has to learn what is appropriate in play just like anyone else. If you have not actually seen how the bruises are caused you may just be reacting to his bad name and he may have improved, boys do seem to play fairly roughly.

Does your ds want him to come to tea? You could invite him round once and see what happens. Please don't write him off without seeing how his behaviour is first hand.

KateAM Sun 10-Jul-05 19:50:04

Thanks for your replies.

I think the boys mother is aware to some extent of his 'reputation' and I've seen her struggling to control him. I've been a volunteer at the playgroup so have seen his behaviour first hand.

I think I will give a playdate a try (although won't be going out of my way to set it up...)

Thanks again


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