Jump to content

how to get my 5 y.o to make better friend choices?


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 Miss Chatterbox

Posted 29 November 2012 - 12:20 PM

sad.gif Does anyone have any advice on how to teach my 5 y.o how to make better choices with friends? She is in a class with a very powerful and dominant child who everyone is drawn to. this child seems to be able to do as she pleases at school with no consequences, this including physical violence towards other children including my own, wandering around the room and distracting others from their learning, emotionally bullying children and many other things.  We have spoken to our child about not playing with this child, but for some reason she and all of the other kids are drawn to her and go along with her.  Yesterday my child followed her and ended up in an out of bounds area at school, where through a total accident another child was hurt and even needed medical attention as a result of my child following this other kid and them both hurting someone else.  Coincidentally now the school acts and puts a consequence in play and makes a big deal out of it.  I am not excusing my child's actions, but am at a loss as to how to empower her not to follow this child?  Any suggestions would be helpful.  I just worry where our child is going to end up in 10 years time, making bad choices with friends.

#2 BadCat

Posted 29 November 2012 - 12:29 PM

With school nearly done for the year there is probably not much worth doing right now.  But are there kids who your child gets along with that you could arrange playdates with over the christmas break?  If you can help her to build a little friendship group before school starts again next year she will probably be less inclined to join in with Miss Dominant.


#3 AnnoyingAnt

Posted 29 November 2012 - 12:38 PM

You could always hope that this incident changes the way way your DD sees this domineering child.  I remember as a child reading alot of Aesop's fables- this one links quite nicely to the moral that "you are judged by the company you keep".  You can point this out to her but unfortately these are lessons she will have to learn on her own.  If you try to push friends away it can often have the opposite effect.  

As she gets older and wiser she will eventually gain the confidence to be her own person and not follow the crowd.  I can see that in my DS who is almost 8- he is just now starting to avoid other kids who are doing stuff he doesn't want to do instead of following along to try and be accepted.

#4 Peggybrown

Posted 29 November 2012 - 12:56 PM

Oh dear OP, its sounds awful and I can sympathise. My 5yo daughters in kinder have been caught up in a very similar situation this year. The child they are dealing with is manipulative in the extreme, violent and very dishonest and sneaky. My natural inclination is to like kids (I am a teacher and genuinely enjoy kids company and have several of my own) but the child we have been dealing with is extremely sophisticated in her manipulation. I don't know of anyone in our very large kinder group that likes this child, mostly we just struggle to feel sad for her. This child has got away with it all year as the teacher has refused to acknowledge it for what it is - which has been rampant bullying. Or the teacher has used the excuse that she hasn't seen/heard it happen so she can't do anything about it.

All I can suggest is start recording what happens as often as you can - especially any physical incidents. And start kicking up an almighty fuss at the school. Have meetings with the teacher, vice principal, and principal (even threaten to call in the department of education - check out which regional office of the department your school falls under and just drop that you have found this out in conversation with the school - they will poop themselves if they have any sense) and demand that a plan is put in place to help your child move away from the situation she is in. Also demand that she is put in a different class next year.

I trusted our very experienced and otherwise great teacher all year when she assured me that she was managing the situation in their class. The fact is she wasn't. She was protecting the perpetrator (whom she feels sorry for and is loyal to) and was blaming the victims. We got some advise from a child psychologist which helped one of my girls remove herself from the situation a bit, which has been great but this child still pursues her. Our other dd has become truly stuck in the situation - it has amazing similarities to an adult in a terrible abusive relationship that just can't get away. My poor dd also thinks she need to continue being friends with this child so it is protecting other kids from being hit and abused! I wish with all my heart I had stuck to my guns earlier in the year and demanded action be taken earlier - but I trusted the teacher and didn't want to be the one to 'rock the boat'... boy was that a mistake.

If the school refuses to co-operate in helping your child and dealing with the troublesome one (and if you have no older children it would also effect) I would seriously look at changing her school. Your dd is 5yo, yes? that means she has roughly another six years in primary school with this other child? If you really have concerns about the impact of this situation on your dd move her now while she is still very young and can build healthy new friendships and settle into a new school quickly.
I know this sounds an alarmist or OTT response but your DD is so little and our experience this year has taught has these situations can have a terrible impact.

#5 Team Awesome

Posted 29 November 2012 - 01:01 PM

DD1 has had no real friends this year due to such a child as she won't toe the line though no physical bullying only emotional bullying exclusion type stuff which isn't really a part of the school's bullying code which is much better than the previous school we were a part of a few years back and of course teachers just say go play with someone else. Whenever teh bullying child chooses to leave someone out for the day/play time DD1 plays with them. she had several lovely days recently when they bullying child was away and got to play with several children.

I recently came across the book "little girls can be mean" I haven't gotten very far as DD3 has gotten very clingy of a night time and wants to be hugged all day long but I can see it'll be helpful from what I have read.

Good luck.

#6 Cat People

Posted 29 November 2012 - 01:06 PM

If this girl is as bad as you are saying, what is the school doing?  Have you spoken to them with your concerns?

I don't think this is about friend choices.  You need to teach your dd how to say "no"; that it's ok to say "no" to friends.  Do some role playing with her, about good and bad choices.  At 5 she would mostly know the difference between right and wrong and she needs to exercise that judgement.  Your post does sound like you're making excuses for her - that it was all the other girl's fault.  While this girl may lead others astray, your dd went along with it.  All through life your dd is going to meet people who will ask her do things she may know is wrong, she needs to learn how to say no.  You can't protect her from 'bad choice' friends her whole life.  Role play with her, tell her stories of when you were at school and how you handle similar situations and talk to the school (very important if what you say is true).

#7 Leggy

Posted 29 November 2012 - 01:09 PM

QUOTE
Whenever teh bullying child chooses to leave someone out for the day/play time DD1 plays with them.


Yeah, we had this problem when I was at school. Whenever someone from the queen bee's group fell out of favour, she'd come join our little circle for a while. Eventually it ended up eroding her power, so she at least couldn't get others to help her in bullying anyone in our group. In our case though, there were a few of us in the "not-under-her-spell" group.

I second the suggestion to help DD build up other friendships over the holidays, and try to get her in a different class next year. Eek. Hope it works out okay!

#8 Leggy

Posted 29 November 2012 - 01:11 PM

QUOTE
You need to teach your dd how to say "no"; that it's ok to say "no" to friends.


Oh, this too, definitely. We've had to teach ours that she can refuse to do something her cousin wants, especially since said cousin has started using her as a guinea pig for exploits that might be dangerous :S

#9 boatiebabe

Posted 29 November 2012 - 01:20 PM

I think really you just need to keep the lines of communication open with your DD. Talk to her about making good choices etc.

My DD was one of the youngest in her kindy class and there were a couple of very domineering girls in that year. There was always some drama or other going on with one or all of these girls - not necessarily with DD but a lot of other girls too.

It was an up and down kind of Kindy year and Year 1 with some of these girls, but I always kept encouraging her to seek out the friendship of the girls who were 'nice' and didn't buy into the mean girls games.

I didn't encourage after school play dates with the meanies but did with the nicer girls.

When there were any incidences of bullying etc with DD either at school or out of school activities I let the teachers/instructors know about it. I wasn't pushy but I did expect it to be dealt with.

DD is now in Year 3 and life is pretty cruisy at school for her. She has figured out that she doesn't want the drama of hanging around with certain girls (even if they are prentending to be 'nice' that week) because she has been burned in the past.

Pretty much everyone (including the teachers) have figured out who the trouble makers are, so they don't get away with much.

We also have a bully (boy) who tries to terrorise our street, so we have had quite a bit of experience in dealing with bullies unfortunately.

#10 Dylan's Mummy

Posted 29 November 2012 - 01:26 PM

We had this problem with my SS. There was a boy in his prep class who was "naughty" and my SS and a few other boys looked up to him and got into trouble with him.  He also started doing things of his own accord too, possibly because he though it would make him popular r the centre of attention. There were certain kids who weren't allowed to play with each other and certain kids who weren't allowed to be in the same class together.

This year, half way through grade 4 we moved him to a new school because he was getting into too much trouble. We have had no problems at all sine changing school, he doesn't get into trouble and his learning has improved. I wish we would have done it sooner.

I would only reccomend changing schools as a last resort.

What is the school doing about this child? Have you spoken to them about it?

#11 luke's mummu

Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:40 PM

Can you ask for her to be placed into a different class next year to this child?

#12 JJ

Posted 01 December 2012 - 09:02 AM

I think people like the girl you describe are very good at manipulating others - so don't be too worried about your DD making bad choices - I think it's quite possible that she has been manipulated to the extreme, maybe even blackmailed. I agree with PPs who said she needs to learn how to say no and protect herself, but in this case she may not have made a choice of her own free will, if you know what I mean.

The other thing I think is that kids need to make bad choices sometimes and learn from them in order to be able to make better choices down the track. If you think about it, we've all made bad choices in our lives and hung out with people who were a bad influence. But I'd like to think we've learnt from our mistakes and are in a position to make better choices as a result.

I do understand your worry though. My DD was friends with a girl like this and it sounds a lot like the situation Peggybrown described. It was terrible and just like in Peggybrown's situation, the school did nothing, protected the bully, blamed the victims, pretended not to know anything about it even though several parents had made several complaints, etc. My DD got involved with this girl because the girl had no one else and my DD is a natural "social worker" type - always looking out for people in need... and yeah, unfortunately it backfired big time, and the girl thought she owned DD and wouldn't leave her alone for even a moment.

The child was a master manipulator, very sneaky and would lie to your face without batting an eyelid. If she got called out on her behaviour, such as saying terrible things to/about people she didn't like (which happened several times as she would do it right in front of us parents), she would say she was just kidding, and expect to get away with it. Obviously she had issues, without a doubt, but that's what the school kept using as an excuse - she's from a difficult background, blah blah blah, so just deal with it. I still get angry when I think about it - it was disgusting. I pulled DD out of the school at the end of last term for a whole number of reasons, but this situation played quite a large part. Sure I could have requested that they be put in different classes next year (which is something you should do IMO), but being a small-ish school, they would still have had plenty of contact.

My DD is still traumatised, but she has learnt a lot about choices. Basically the best I could do was to talk to her all the time, take her seriously, keep telling her what I would do, but ultimately she had to make her own choices.

And as for dealing with the school side of things - as I was actually told by one of the head teachers, if you want justice for your child, you really do have to make a fuss. It would seem that some schools as a whole aren't very good at dealing with this kind of thing. In our case, they didn't really start paying attention until I got very, very angry one morning and threatened to pull DD out on the spot if nothing was done. Similarly, a friend whose daughter was also bullied by this child had to get very firm with them and demand that her daughter be protected, or else. Sadly the "let's just have a sensible conversation about this" approach didn't work. Sometimes you really have to make a lot of noise before anything gets done.

Sorry about the essay. Wishing you the best of luck with your situation. x

Edited by JJ, 01 December 2012 - 09:05 AM.


#13 Soontobegran

Posted 01 December 2012 - 09:22 AM

Unfortunately this is something that just happens and has happened for a long as my memory serves me.
There is almost always a dominant child in a classroom, one who seems to manipulate their surroundings by ensuring they 'allow' only certain children into their circle and these children are usually those whom they know will not take away the power from them.

At first when I saw this happen I was furious with these children but then I realised that they probably had their own set of problems that meant this was the way they behaved.

The trick is to empower your own child and I did this by encouraging my children to have play dates with other likeminded children who were also often being dominated by this friend.
They do break away eventually, sometimes you have to enlist the help of the teacher and be sure that the teacher will be well aware of the situation and is already attempting to rectify it.

Aside from that I think our children have to find their own way somewhat when it comes to making friends. There will be times that we wonder what the attraction is but unless it is toxic then I left it to run it's course and as they become older and more mature children tend to be drawn to those of similar interests and personalities and thats when they make really good friends.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Share the little things that make you smile

We're giving away a Mountain Buggy nano, the ultimate travel stroller - and here are some of the great entries so far.

Toddler pleads for return of "stolen" nose

A two-year-old's reaction to a game of "got your nose" shows it doesn't take much to make a toddler cry.

The 15 photos new parents share (and five they don't)

From the first scan photo to the baby covered in cake at their first birthday party, there are 15 photos most parents seem to share - and some they don't.

Doctor sings first Happy Birthday to newborns

His job is to deliver babies, but this US obstetrician also has a unique way of celebrating the miracle of life.

Breastfeeding friendly café goes viral

A photo of a breastfeeding-friendly sign in a cafe has been posted to Facebook and shared by hundreds of mums around the world.

First look at the Bugaboo Bee3

The newest Bugaboo Bee ? the Bee3 ? offers a variety of improved features, including a much asked-for bassinet and a rainbow of colour combinations.

Childcare costs, not paid leave, the real issue for parents

Given the choice between maintaining their wage for six months to have a child, or having a reduced rate of pay for a time but a better deal on childcare when returning to work, there are no odds on what most working parents would choose.

Win a Mountain Buggy nano

We?re giving away the new Mountain Buggy Nano - the lightweight travel buggy! So show us the little things that make you smile for your chance to win.

We lost three babies in two years

Our first pregnancy ended the way we all expected it to - with a healthy, happy baby in our arms. What a true blessing he was, for we were not to know the heartache we were about endure.

Family turned back from doomed flight MH17

'There must have been someone watching over us and saying, 'You must not get on that flight,' says mother who narrowly avoided boarding the Malaysian Airlines flight which exploded in mid-air over the Ukraine last night.

The myths and facts about "normal" breastfeeding

When it comes to successful breastfeeding, there is a wide variety to what is "normal", according to new research.

Adorable Skeanie loafers for kids

Your little toddler or preschooler can now get their nautical on with a new range of classic loafers by Australian show brand Skeanie.

My baby is hypermobile

For months, I have been telling myself not to worry that Jasmin isn't crawling or walking. This week I heard the term hypermobile for the first time.

When you don?t bond with your baby

They say that there is no bond greater than the bond between a mother and her child. But for some women, the mother-baby bond takes more time and effort to develop.

Yumi Stynes: Having a baby after a 10-year break

After a long break, Yumi Stynes gets a reminder of the pain - and the pleasure - of giving birth.

Grieving father asks for help to Photoshop his daughter's image

When Nathan Steffel's daughter Sophia died from a liver condition at just 6 weeks old, he reached out for someone to create a beautiful image of his little girl.

Raising kids in a 'low media' home

Can you imagine a life without TV or computers? Some parents are opting for a low-tech, screen-free life for their kids.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Win a Mountain Buggy nano

We?re giving away the new Mountain Buggy Nano - the lightweight travel buggy! So show us the little things that make you smile for your chance to win.

Be careful what you say, your baby is listening

The importance of speaking to your baby even if they are not old enough to answer back has been highlighted by new research.

The beautiful moment a baby was born at the side of a road

It's not where she expected to give birth, but mum Corrine Cinatl is delighted that her daughter's roadside arrival was captured in a series of beautiful photos.

Doctor sings first Happy Birthday to newborns

His job is to deliver babies, but this US obstetrician also has a unique way of celebrating the miracle of life.

The Nappy Collective starts new drive

It's that time of year when the dedicated volunteers at The Nappy Collective do their bit to help out mums and children in need - and they need your help.

Baby shower cake wrecks

From misshapen cake babies to questionable text, from odd colour choices to internal organ recreation, these are the baby shower cakes that taste forgot.

Photographer captures the beauty of adoption

The love of a family is usually tough to capture on camera. This is an exception.

Pregnancy progression photo ideas

Want to record your pregnancy as your belly grows? Here are some creative, fun ideas for photo shoots along the way.

The myths and facts about "normal" breastfeeding

When it comes to successful breastfeeding, there is a wide variety to what is "normal", according to new research.

Tin can craft and DIY ideas

Got a few old formula, Milo or coffee cans around the house? Use these fantastic upcycling ideas to create items for around the house and yard.

Dads meet their newborn for the first time

Emotional photos of two fathers meeting their newborn son have resonated with viewers worldwide, attracting thousands of Facebook likes and shares.

Skin safety isn't just a summer worry

Lax about the slip slop slap with your kids as weather turns cooler? Here's a reminder as to why we have to remain vigilant for our children?s future health.

Personalised baby gifts

We've scoured the internet to find gorgeous personalised keepsakes and nursery decor to record baby name and dates. They make great gifts for christenings, name days and birthdays! (All prices in AU.)

Creative sleeping baby photoshoots

See how some parents and photographers have captured sleeping babies in unusual positions and using different props.

DIY kitchen and food hacks

DIY your way to a better kitchen and make cooking easier with our clever hacks. (Some content reproduced with permission from mashable.com.)

Winter warmers for babies and toddlers

Your baby or toddler will be nice and snug in these beautiful and fun winter pieces. Most are hand-made or knitted, and they're all designed to keep your little one toastie - and adorable!

 

Mind, body, beauty, life

Making time for me

We look at your wellbeing, covering health, relationships, beauty and fashion, mind and body.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.