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My DS is bes friends with the class 'naughty child' - a problem?

(19 Posts)
PrinceCorum Mon 15-Apr-13 14:35:09

Well, I am well aware of how harmful it can be to label and stereotype a child, and I am all for trying to avoid self fulfilling prophecies/labelling effetcs, ostracizing kids, etc., etc. BUT - my 5 year old's class does have a bit of a class clown who is always in trouble, always goofing about, often in the head teacher's office, etc. All the other parents know about this child being the worse behaved and some explicitly discourage their children from playing with the child. So I'm not sure how to feel about the fact that my DS is more or less best friends with this child. Should I discourage this friendship? If so, how to go about it? The thing is that my child is occasionally getting on the teacher's radar for poor behaviour, and I have noticed that it's always when he is in the company of this other child, usually at play time. I feel guilty about trying to discourage my child from playing with another child, BUT my child's behaviour is seeming to suffer because of it. Examples include firing off F bombs at home, and when aksed where he heard such language, he says it is from the child in question; challenging teacher authority, being violent towards other children - almost always when in the company of this other child. Any thoughts, comments? How do you gently encourage your 5 year old to broaden his rather small friendship group and how do you suggest he could make a better choice of best friend?

LibertineLover Mon 15-Apr-13 14:37:00

I'll be watching with interest, as I'm in exactly the same situation, helpful I know smile

SirChenjin Mon 15-Apr-13 14:41:16

You could encourage him to mix with other children by inviting them over to play and getting him involved in a range of after school activities. At 5 you have plenty of time to get this nipped in the bud, but leave it a couple of years and he will be guilty by association.

I'm afraid I wouldn't be worrying too much about being gentle or subtle tbh!

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 15-Apr-13 14:48:46

We're in the same boat here too. I asked at the last parents evening about ds2's friends and was told by the teacher not to encourage this particular friendship.

I've invited some of the other boys from ds's class home after school for a play and to stay for tea. Ds keeps asking for the one child to come that I'm not keen on but I'm saying that I don't have his mums phone number and I've never seen her at school (think she's often late and sometimes GP's pick up) so we can't arrange it.

I've also swapped him from school dinners to packed lunch as they get slightly different play times and the naughty boy goes for dinners.

He does play with other boys, but thinks of the naughty boy as his best friend.

At the moment, I can't think of anything else that I can be doing so will watch this thread with interest!

DiscoDonkey Mon 15-Apr-13 14:53:36

Invite other children over to play as others have said and even if his behaviour is influenced by other children I would come own hard on him for swearing and violence.

DiscoDonkey Mon 15-Apr-13 14:54:23

Friendships are faily fickle at this age chances are they won't be best friends next year

PrinceCorum Mon 15-Apr-13 14:54:46

Hi - have you said anythign dirctly to your son encouraging him not to play with the child? if so how did you frame it?!

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 15-Apr-13 15:00:15

No, nothing about not playing with the one particular child, but lots about playing with others.

He's quite stubborn!

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 15-Apr-13 17:19:22

Well he's come home today saying that he's not friends with the naughty lad any more - his best friend is now one of the loveliest girls in his class!

Wonder how long it'll last?!

SirChenjin Mon 15-Apr-13 17:34:13

Fingers crossed it lasts a while! Maybe you could also have a chat about what makes a good friend, and what kind of person it is good to be friends with? The earlier they start to understand that the better as far as I'm concerned.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Mon 15-Apr-13 17:52:24

My dd often says that another child is naughty. I just told her that some children struggle a little with learning what is expected of them and knowing how to behave. I told her that she needs to concentrate on how she behaves and let the teachers and the child's parents deal with them.

I also explained that they are all still very young and how lonely it would be for a child whos still learning to not have any one to play with.

I don't think you can force children to be or not be friends with a child and you just have to try and ensure that you remain consistent in what u will and won't allow.

tumbletumble Mon 15-Apr-13 18:00:42

My DS1 was best friends with the naughtiest boy in the class (recognised as such by parents and teachers) from age 3 (at pre-school) to 6. I did worry about it a bit, but decided not to interfere. I liked the boy's mum which helped. Eventually they drifted apart, mainly because DS1 (now age 7) is now obsessed with football and the other boy isn't interested.

However, DS1 is very well behaved and the other boy didn't seem to have any influence on him in that way, so not quite the same situation as yours.

LittleMissBunnyoni Mon 15-Apr-13 18:39:11

I'm watching with interest too as I'm having the same problem, but he only wants to invite his friend around, noone else!

It's really difficult isn't it? Luckily the teacher recognizes that my son is easily lead astray and knows he is easily influenced so they are keeping an eye on things, but he is copying the behaviour and its very difficult. My sons behaviour isn't perfect but he isn't naughty, just a normal 5 year old, but I can already see some influence.

bruffin Mon 15-Apr-13 18:54:15

My DS,s bf in primary was the naughtiest boy. The teachers encouraged it because DS was the good influence, rather than the boy being the bad influence. DS was allowed to being in magazines for him to read at carpet time because he would read them, otherwise he would muck about.
Another of his friend had adhd and nil concentration span but again didn't seemto get DS into trouble.

LibertineLover Mon 15-Apr-13 19:06:05


LibertineLover Mon 15-Apr-13 19:15:10

ooops, ^^that was my naughty 5 year old while I ran a bath!

cory Tue 16-Apr-13 09:18:37

The most important thing your ds can learn in life is that he is responsible for his behaviour and that if he misbehaves then he will get into trouble. Be welcoming to the friend, make it clear to your ds that your job is to manage his behaviour and that you never listen to excuses.

My ds is by nature one of those amiable children who could be easily led. But he also knows that if he misbehaves, I will not be interested in what anybody else did or told him to do.

newgirl Tue 16-Apr-13 11:18:36

i think teachers are pretty wise to this stuff - they move tables all the time, to give kids the chance to make new friends - they often play with who is sitting nearby.

my bf at primary was considered the naughty girl - she was a bit of a handful to me but also fascinating and very bright. I could have played with the 'nicer' girls but they seemed very boring to me. ps i didn't turn out to be a delinquent

IwishIwasmoreorganised Tue 16-Apr-13 18:36:33

It lasted one day! confused

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