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Would our you ever suggest to your child not to play with another child?

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#1 msro82

Posted 23 December 2012 - 09:51 AM


Just wondering if others do this? My mother did this to me as a child, had a falling out with my best friends mother and then I was forbidden to play with my best friend. We still played at school, but it was difficult. I always swore I wouldn't intervene in friendships with my own child.

Fast forward DD is 5 just finished Kinder. She has been with this one girl since they were 6 months old and her behaviour is bordering on bullying, the girls went through daycare together and now they will go through school together (thankfully in separate classes, but still see each other in the playground). They also do a sporting event together.

Some things that have happened recently - This girl threatens DD (and others) things such as "if you don't do what I say, your parents won't feed you", "if you don't do what I say, I will hit you",  she pushed DD recently (and other children), I have witnessed her lying about something that happened with my DD (other impartial people saw it and vouched for DD). There is lots more, but these are the most recent events.

For some reason DD gravitates to this child, despite all of these things. DD is very social with lots of friends and certainly wouldn't be left by herself if she didn't play with this person.

I have had chats with her about how friends treat people, and this isn't the way friends act towards each other. Would you up the encouragement to play with other people?

The mother is quite a bully herself, frequently smacking, yelling and threatening the child (same things that the child says). She always makes snide and rude comments towards my DD (and some other children) and also at some of the parents at the sporting event.

So after all of that my question is would you make a very strong effort to encourage your child to not play with this one?

P.s my daughter isn't perfect and I certainly don't live in that land! I have checked in with her teachers to ensure she hasn't been displaying the same behaviours and they assure me that she is very kind, has lots of friends and shows extreme empathy to everyone. This also came home on her report.

#2 BadCat

Posted 23 December 2012 - 09:57 AM

I would tell my child not to play with another, and have done so.  I can't police it and I don't insist on it.  I only give advice.

For example, one boy insists that whatever handball court DS is playing on is the one he needs for his game.  DS would generally share the court or play a game with more people to include this boy and his friends.  This boy then overrides all DS's rules and forces him into an unplayable position.  I simply told DS to tell this kid to shove off when he comes to take his court, refuse to let his group join your group's game (there are plenty of other courts) and if the teachers push them to play all together he should just walk away and do something else.  It's not worth the aggravation.  DS saw the wisdom in my words and did exactly that.  He was much happier as a result.

In you situation I would tell your child not to play with the other child.  If she continues to do so and then complains of her treatment at the hands of the other child just repeat you advice not to play with her.  You can't force it but you can give very strong guidance to help them work it out "on their own".  

Depends on your child of course.  If your DD is the sort to be able to help this other child to learn better ways to behave and if you have the time and patience to help then maybe you can help this child.  My kids wouldn't be able to help so I would guide them away from her.

Edited by BadCat, 23 December 2012 - 10:05 AM.

#3 Fr0g

Posted 23 December 2012 - 09:59 AM

No, but I'd probably encourage other friendships over that one!

None of us are perfect, none of our children are perfect - I would do as you're doing; up-skill your daughter about what being a good friend is, and she'll hopefully learn to let the friendship go if she's not happy with it in her own time. IME, it normally happens by year 3, when the kids are old enough to start understanding how they want to manage their friendships.

I find it really sad that some kid's personalities seem so negatively shaped by their parents. It looks like your DD's friend's mum could be a big part of the problem.

#4 Expelliarmus

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:00 AM

When DD1 seemed to find herself a 'less than savoury friend' I didn't interfere, but I also didn't encourage the friendship. The friendship started in preschool and had fizzled out about Year 3 - the decline started around the middle of Year 2. I encouraged play dates with other children but permitted her to visit this child when invited and didn't say anything about if they played at school etc.

By Year 3 DD1 was telling me all about how this girl was nasty when she played and so on. I made a few comments/asked a few questions about how that made her feel and DD1 talked about how others had responded. The friendship died a natural death because as they grew DD1 figured out on her own that children who behave like that aren't nice to be around.

I don't think at 5 or 6 they have the skill to discern that yet, but it does come and if I had interfered more heavily in DD1's friendships she might not have learned to discern. So I wouldn't make a very strong effort to discourage the play but I would help her see, when the occasion arises, that what the other child is doing is unfriendly/mean/nasty and help her explore her feelings about it.

#5 Ferelsmegz

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:02 AM


My DS gets constantly bullied by two boys at school as part of their 'playing' I've told him straight out not to play with them.

#6 hopelessromantic

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:03 AM


"Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation, for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company"- George Washington.

Friends for better or worse rub of on us.  Help your little girl choose wisely.

#7 Mummy Em

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:04 AM

I would definately suggest to her that sometimes x is not acting like a good friend to her and perhaps she should find someone else to play with if x is being mean. I'm not there yet, but I don't think I would attempt to ban the friendship, as I don't actually think you can reasonably hope to control who she plays with at school. I think a better approach might be to enlist the help of the teachers. Hopefully they have a strong anti bullying policy and can use that to help address what is happening.

#8 baddmammajamma

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:09 AM

I would encourage my daughter to develop other friendships (and I would proactively support that with playdates, etc.), and I would impart to my daughter WHAT makes a good friend, but no, I wouldn't intervene.

Actually, howdo summarizes my feelings on this subject very well.

As I have indicated on another thread, this issue hits very close to home for me. In FYOS, my daughter had her very first "bestie," a big deal given her ASD. The other child was also a very quirky, gifted little girl, and the two kids really had a true meeting of the minds -- though they also had other friends in their social group.

The child's mother, a horribly competitive creature, started to worry that her precious petal was being "hampered" by having a best friend with ASD -- surely this is not what she imagined for her perfect child -- so she put a sudden ban on the friendship. No advance warning to us (even though we had opened our home to them & had been totally forthcoming about our daughter's special needs), no warning to my daughter's teacher so she could help smooth the edges.

It was a very confusing and heartbreaking time for both my daughter and the other little girl.

Unless my child's immediate well being (like physical safety) were at risk, I would not blatantly direct her not to associate with another child.

#9 Aruneh

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:11 AM

My dd has a similar friend who she has known since they just turned 1. The friend now at 3.5 has turned out to be very dominant and aggressive. DD and the friend did want to play with each other all of the time, probably because they have known each other for so long. I did not like the way the friend was treating my dd.

They were both also at the same preschool on the same days. Dd's teacher told us that dd is very social and likes playing with everyone but that if the other girl is there, then dd will only play with her. She suggested that we change one of my dd's days so that she will concentrate on making some other friends. I also encouraged dd to not play with that girl and make new friends which she has done.

I don't think there is any harm in telling dd not to play with this or that child. Dd has made new friends who are much nicer to her and of similar personality. (gentle, calm). The other girl has also made new friends who are of similar personality to her. (aggressive, bossy). So all in all good result.

Edited by Aruneh, 23 December 2012 - 10:12 AM.

#10 ♥~Bodhichitta~♥

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:12 AM

I have only done this once.  There is a little girl who lives in our street, and she and DS used to play together.  She was frequently encouraging DS to be naughty, breaking his toys (then hiding them from me so I wouldn't find out), hitting him etc.  

One day she hurt him so badly (on purpose) that he said he didn't want anything to do with her again.  

He soon got over it, but I've since kept them apart.

If she comes to the door (which is rarely these days) I just tell her he is busy and send her back home.

It's unfortunate, but she's not disciplined at all at home.  She swears like a trooper (she's 5) and she hits the other kids.  If she doesn't get her own way - with her little brother, or her friends - she will slap them across the face.  Or kick.  The parents are aware of this - indeed I've seen them on the receiving end of it.  And they don't do anything.

I feel sorry for her - to some extent - but I'm not allowing her to do that to my DS.

#11 =R2=

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:12 AM

I would definitely be encouraging the other friendships your daughter has. maybe ask a couple of her other friends for a play date during the holidays? If your daughter strengthens the friendship with the other girls she might just learn to ignore the bully.

#12 skae

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:12 AM

I've discouraged a certain friendship of my daughters (6yo) for similar reasons. We talk about the qualities of being a good friend etc, and just hope that she will begin to realise her 'friend' is not being a very good friend.

#13 msro82

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:14 AM

QUOTE (Mummy Em @ 23/12/2012, 11:04 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would definately suggest to her that sometimes x is not acting like a good friend to her and perhaps she should find someone else to play with if x is being mean. I'm not there yet, but I don't think I would attempt to ban the friendship, as I don't actually think you can reasonably hope to control who she plays with at school. I think a better approach might be to enlist the help of the teachers. Hopefully they have a strong anti bullying policy and can use that to help address what is happening.

Thanks for all of your responses.

This is essentially what I have been doing. DD has my permission that as soon as this child is rude or mean she is allowed to walk away. With other children I expect her to give them a 2nd chance eg. ask them politely to stop what they are doing (except physical interactions such as hitting, pushing) and if they do it again then she should leave that person and play with someone else.

The school is aware of the problem, however it doesn't appear to happen at school so much, it is more daycare and the sporting event. At school the other child aims it at other children.

The school is great on anti bullying.

I will keep up our chats when she brings up issues with this child (and others if it happens)

They no longer go to daycare together as they are in full time school next year and the sport is a summer sport, so after March I am hoping that they just drift apart naturally!

#14 mumofsky

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:17 AM

Yes - only with good reason. DD told me some popular girls were being mean to a girl with a learning disability, and I told her I would be very disappointed if she chose them as friends. She ditched them and played with the other little girl. original.gif

#15 Tooties

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:17 AM

I wouldn't enforce it but I'd definitely be telling her that the girl isn't worth being friends with after discussing the unpleasant behaviour.

I've done this with my littlies when they tell me about other kids being rough etc. I think its about teaching them how to deal with people who treat you in ways you don't like and that you don't have to put up with it.

#16 MAGS24

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:43 AM

I have suggested that DS1, who is five, stay away from particular kids if there has been problems with them in the past. I am trying to teach him that kids that push him around, are mean to him and don't behave in a good way towards him are not worth giving his attention to. He has found himself some really nice friends now. There was a very popular boy in his preschool class who was nothing but a bully who got in trouble in the time, but for some reason all the boys seem to want to be his friend, so that has been a good example for DS1 to teach him the kind of people who aren't worth hanging around with. Kids like that popular Bully are the ones that grow up to realise that they don't really have any friends.

I think it's fine to teach kids the kind of kids that they should be friends with when they are young but when they are older it is good to give them the chance to work it out on their own.

#17 No girls here

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:59 AM

I'm pretty much with Howdo on  this one.

DS1 doesn't always make the best choices in friends.  I've never told him not to play with another kid, but I might encourage other friendships instead by inviting other kids over.  I've also explained that by hanging around other kids who get in trouble, teachers might automatically assume he is doing the wrong thing too.

#18 Julie3Girls

Posted 23 December 2012 - 11:02 AM

I wouldn't forbid her to play with another child, I wouldn't ban the freindship, or anything else like that.

I WOULD (and have done), encouraged other friendships.
I would had lots of talks about X treats her, and maybe X isn't a very good at the moment. That she doesn't have to put up with that sort of treatment from ANYBODY, and if someone is treating her that way, it can be a good thing to give the friendship a bit of a rest, find someone else to play with for a while.

If the issues at school continued, I would be approaching the teacher and talking to them about. I would not be directly intervening.

#19 Rainbow Lemur

Posted 23 December 2012 - 11:12 AM

I have never banned a friend but have certainly steered them in other directions.

It is purely based on that child's values and how they treat others.  The kind of values I don't want my child to absorb.  

We have had "difficult" friends in terms of special needs, family breakdown impacting the child's behaviour etc and we don't avoid those children at all.  We have either gained special friendships this way or important life lessons.  

I am not seeking a perfect life for my kids wiht perfect friendships.

Edited by amoral lemur, 23 December 2012 - 11:52 AM.

#20 SpaghettiMonster

Posted 23 December 2012 - 11:39 AM

Yep, I discourage DD from playing with kids that consistently treat her badly. I teach her that she is worth more than that and has a duty to herself to protect herself from bullies. DD is too forgiving of others in my opinion and needs to learn to use more discretion. It's a tough call because sometimes I wonder if I am teaching her to be less forgiving in favour of protecting her own self interests. Her nature is generally a very forgiving and selfless one, but the world we live in is unfortunately at odds with this, and so are some other kids she's faced with. Fortunately DD is not bullied, just occasionally comes up against the odd challenging character here and there at school.

#21 SuboptimallyPooks

Posted 23 December 2012 - 11:45 AM

I think I would talk about the issues with the friend, then suggest just not playing with them as a solution. But basically, I think kids have to sort this stuff out themselves, unless there is real harm/bullying involved. IME, kids are sometimes steered away from other kids because they seem rougher or poorer or their parents are a bit feral, and I don't think that's fair.

#22 Nora.

Posted 23 December 2012 - 12:04 PM

I wouldn't forbid it but I say it. I've just picked up my son from his best friend's place, they had a big fight. I said to the friend's mother "I really think they need a break from each other". And I will enforce that for a few weeks.

There's a boy at school who I strongly discourage my son from playing with. He's always in trouble, he's always beating my son up, but my son still likes him. I refuse to have this boy over to our place.

#23 ~ky~

Posted 23 December 2012 - 12:17 PM

Yes, I do with my son as he has no idea of who is his friend and who is just setting him up for a beating! He was pushed down, kicked and punched by one particular kid leaving bruises all over his little body and still thought this kid was his friend becuse he spoke to him!

My elder DD has no social issues and is past the "I need everyone to be my friend" age. She chooses her friends wisely and has some lovely ones. I have, however, told her that a couple of her friends were not welcome back at our house due to their destructiveness (horror twins from hell!).

When they were little and I could see they were going to get hurt, I would dissuade them from spending time with that particular child by outlining the good points of another child or distracting them.

It is my job, after all, to make sure that my kids are ok.

#24 ubermum

Posted 23 December 2012 - 12:25 PM

Not directly. I have suggested that dd play with kids that do not upset her and named them.

#25 The 7 Dwarfs

Posted 23 December 2012 - 12:36 PM

If I thought the child impacted on my children in a negative way, then definitely. Obviously I can't stop what happens at school, but I can stop it at home and would.

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