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dealing with childrens "friendships"

(11 Posts)
elfsmum Wed 04-Jul-07 10:33:52

DS1 is in year 2 and has a friend, or rather it appears to me he wants to be friends with this other boy but the friend doesn't.

there are a group of 5 of them, DS1 describes X as his best friend, he asked if he could come and play after school, I didn't know his mum so sent a note in with our phone number on, and invited her too as she doesn't know me, but she didn't call.

DS1 comes home and tells me things like:

X said I had yellow teeth today - he doesn't
X said I was annoying him today
X told me to be quiet I was annoying him
X said it was really quiet when I was off

at DS1 birthday party X came, and took pride of place next to DS1. His mum was there so I approached her and said they seem to get along, would X like to come after school, oh no he's scared of cats - seemed like a feeble excuse to me (the cats could be locked outside and disappear when there are boisterous boys about anyway) so I left well alone.

At a recent party that both DS1 and X were at DS1 followed X around, waited for him whilst he got a drink etc, I told him to stop and go and play with other children.

I saw X crying and went to comfort him, he said he had no one to play with, where's DS1 he'll play with you, no I don't want him to, he upsets me, why ? because he follows me round all the time

I then watched X watching out for where DS1 was and deliberately avoiding him.

they found out their new teachers yesterday and DH tells me X was excited asking DS1 what class he was going to be in and they're in the same class

DS1 tells me this morning that X said he didn't want him in his class as he didn't want to be on his table.

I've told DS1 to tell him he's being nasty, and it's his class too, DS1 has said he isn't bothered by what he says and appears to shrug it off.

I was bullied at school, felt left out, and have always found it difficult to make friends, so I could be projecting here.

DH tells me to leave well alone and just let him get on with it.

But it hurts watching my little boy go through this

any advice ?

Carmenere Wed 04-Jul-07 10:39:34

Your dh speaks sense and I think you may be projecting a little. Dd has a little boy in her class that she LOVES, she is always talking about him but he systematically ignores her. I know for a fact that he had a birthday party recently with lots of the class there, even girls and dd wasn't invited. It is kind of tragic but, hey, there is not much I can do and a lesson has to be learned too. Not everyone will like you in life, maybe your ds will learn to just like people who are nice to him iyswim.

I don't think it sounds like bullying atm, just keep an eye on him, that is all you can do really.

contentiouscat Wed 04-Jul-07 10:49:26

It takes a while for us all to learn that friendship is a two way street and not to bother with the "friends" who make us do all the work.

Your DS sounds like he has the qualities to make a good friend he just needs to set his sights on someone nicer.

His mum's reaction is strange tbh maybe he IS allergic to cats, maybe she is over protective - he has obviously learnt his social skills from her

I would try not to take his troubles to heart too much if its not bothering him - they do have constant ups and downs in their friendships at this age.

NotQuiteCockney Wed 04-Jul-07 10:51:52

Kids, like grown ups, don't like feeling pestered and pushed by friends. My DS2 isn't even three yet, and he's going through this. (He's the one being pestered and followed.)

Can you encourage different friendships for your DS1? Are there any other kids he likes in his class? I'd talk to him about not crowding people, to be honest, and about giving them some space.

SSSandy2 Wed 04-Jul-07 11:02:02

elfsmum must be hard watching him making advances and being rejected.

My dd is in the opposite situation and became very unhappy at school because of it. In the end I had to speak to the teacher and the boy's mum about it. The school is now doing a lot to keep the boy who has been pestering her away from her. I'm not saying your ds is the same but this boy wanted to be her friend and she didn't like him at all. Since she tried to ignore him and he felt rejected, he'd do or say mean things to her, seek her out, try to prevent her playing with other dc, call her names, even hurt her and I found in the end it became bullying.

At the moment, he isn't allowed to go near her in the breaks and she's starting to feel happier. Not sure how happy he is though. He isn't well liked in the class generally because he is a bit wild, tries to hug and kiss and thrusts himself a bit awkwardly on other dc. He'll develop more social skills with time I'd imagine.

We can't always say why we do or don't like someone but unfortunately it happens that we are attracted to people who aren't attracted to us. I think I would advise your ds to leave him be, seems it has become a bit of a game for the other boy to bait your ds in order to then reject him. I would want to put a stop to that. Promote other friendships actively. I think you should let this friendship go for the meantime.

elfsmum Wed 04-Jul-07 11:25:34

thanks for the replies, he does have other friends, and we have them round to play after school, he doesn't have any problem making other friends.

I have told him to stop following X round and to play with other children, but they are in the same group of 5 who have played together for the last 12-18 months.

DH has just emailed me and said "X is just being a kid and its what children do, DS had 5 friends in the space of 200 yards asking him what class he was going to be in and all where excited if they did not like him do you think they would bother asking? . just let him get on with it and stop worrying for no reason, remember X was the one crying at the party as no one would play with him, you need to let it drop or DS will start getting a complex."

right so I'll leave well alone, but be there to listen if he needs me.

elfsmum Wed 04-Jul-07 11:27:08

oh and I know he won't be horrible to X when we were talking and I said if he's being nasty tell him to shut up, he said we can't we're not allowed to say that, we can only say be quiet as it's nasty.

elfsmum Thu 05-Jul-07 13:23:45

walking to school this morning DS1 sees X, and says hello, he's ignored so he shouts "Hi X" and waves and is ignored again

so I put my arm on his shoulder to walk him into the playground, he stood and waited by the gate, clearly waiting for X, so I told him not to wait but to go inside and play with the other kids.

which he did - did I interfere too much ??

SSSandy2 Thu 05-Jul-07 13:25:12

No I don't think so. It is hard on you as dm I know. Maybe it hurts you more than ds by the sounds of things and perhaps, when you are not around, there are moments when X seeks out your ds and they interact well. I don't know.

Unionofcatholicmothers Thu 05-Jul-07 13:36:48

My ds was in exactly the same position about six months ago. It was really tough seeing and hearing him going through unpleasant experiences. Eventually he became very good friends with a boy he has a lot more in common with. I think he now wonders why he ever wanted to be friends with the other boy. Ds is very popular; the other boy isn't and he often says "Y is only friends with people who he can boss about". He also tells me when Y has asked if him and his henchmen can join in with my Ds' games. It will turn out well in the end.

elfsmum Fri 06-Jul-07 12:36:06

thanks for that, only 2 weeks left in school, then a nice 6 week break.

I think that they do have things in common they're both "geeks" don't like sport and much prefer Dr Who and things, I just think sometimes my DS1 can go on a little bit about it.

They played together yesterday and no reports of anything nasty (but then again I didn't ask)

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