Y6 boy friendship issue(8 Posts)
I have a friend "Jane", who has a son "Jack" in DS (year 6)'s class. Small one form entry school so not a huge amount of friendship choice. DS and Jack have moved in and out of being friends since reception. At the moment DS is not that into Jack. No falling out and Jack hasn't done anything wrong, DS just isn't that keen to hang out with him and doesn't find much in common with him at the moment. Jack doesn't seem to have noticed and phones/calls on DS and doesn't seem to mind that DS is not that enthusiastic.
If Jack was any other boy in the class, I would leave the friendship or lack of to sort itself out as long as DS wasn't actually being rude or unkind. As Jane is a close friend it is a bit more awkward. Jane is very sensitive about most things and has a particular bee in her bonnet about Jack not being popular (which I think is unfounded, DS says Jack has friends and is perfectly happy and from what I've observed this seems to be true). Jane has commented to me many times how little Jack is called on/rarely phoned/not invited to things and sometimes explicitly comments on how what a good time socially my DS has by comparison. This makes me feel bad and I have actually lied on occasion. I.e. Jane phones for chat, says Jack has been in front of tv for ages, I say, yeah DS also, square eyes, eh, when actually DS is out with other friends.
So because of this I feel I do have to meddle a bit in the friendship. For example, today DS was at another friend's house down the road. Jane phoned to say Jack was on his way over to call on DS (she had texted earlier to ask if DS was playing out but I had missed it). I then called DS to get him home so he could be there to hang out with Jack for a bit. DS was rightly furious with me (not in front of Jack). I know I should have just said sorry DS isn't home but got flustered...
I know this micromanaging of a nearly 11 year old child's friendships is madness but Jane is a good friend and I don't want to cause any upset for her or her DS. How do I balance that with DS's right to choose his own friends?
sorry but you will have to have a chat with her, your son is 11 and has the right ot chose his own friends.
You can't (micromanage). Nor can she, which is difficult if she is insecure.
You could point her in directions of outside school clubs so that Jack can make friends in additional to those in school.
Jack goes to various clubs and has friends. He is not a vulnerable child, it is more Jane that is a little vulnerable iyswim. You are both right, I am going to have to take a step back from trying to manage DS and Jack's friendship. Unfortunately I can foresee that this will damage my long standing friendship with Jane.
You risk your son disliking Jack or one of the other boys (or your son) saying something to Jack. Finding out that a boy is being forced to hang out with you is far worse than a friendship naturally cooling.
You will be doing Jane far more favours by helping her see that Jack is fine and doesn't "need" your DS than you will by pretending they are/forcing them to be friends.
I was a bit like Jane with DS1, but the fact is that boys are not like girls, they tend to run as a pack and are quite happy being friendly with a large group rather than necessarily having close or exclusive friendships
crazygracieuk, yes that is a good point.
durab I'm not sure how I would go about convincing Jane that Jack is fine though. I was thinking of just trying to steer our friendship into being more about adult drinks, etc. and not about the boys. It is DS' birthday soon and he wants to do an expensive activity that he can only choose one friend to take so that will bring things to a head as I know DS won't choose Jack.
Perhaps reassure rather than "convince" , but you seem sure he is OK
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