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Friendship troubles for a 7 year old boy.

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#1 luke's mummu

Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:33 PM

DS (7 years) has been friends with 2 boys since preschool(about 4 years old). Actually, he has been good friends with 1 (child 1) and a littlebit friendly with the other (child 2). Problem is child 1 and 2 go to school together,in the same class this year and live close together, and their parents socialisetogether. My son goes to a different school and we live a few suburbs away. For the past 2 years they have all played soccer together and gotalong reasonably well.

Over the past 6 months, I have noticed child 2 is becoming alot more jealous of my son, trying to drag child 1 away from him. My son hasstarted to retaliate, and says things like “Child 2 doesn’t like me, he justwants to steal child 1 away”. The other child is bordering on bulling at times.I don’t think the parents have noticed at all. They are in the same soccer teamthis year and I am watching like a hawk, but there’s only so much I can do, I can’toverhear every conversation between child 1 and 2.

Now the other 2 are going to start cubs. My son has alwaysbeen keen to start cubs. But I’m aware it would mean less supervision by me(i.e. they usually don’t have parents present at their meetings) and thereforemore opportunity for child 2 to exclude my son from the friendship group. Partof me wants to just take my child away from the whole situation,(i.e. cubs, soccereverything) and only invite Child 1 over for playdates, so they can have some1-on-1 time, without child 2 trying to separate them. And part of me says mychild needs to learn to deal with these situations. (He doesn’t have great socialskills, and only 2 good friends).

What should I do? Am I missing anything?

Thanks, Lisa

Edited by luke's mummu, 18 February 2013 - 09:34 PM.

#2 Mrs Lannister

Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:36 PM

Cubs might be a good way for him to make other friends

#3 her mum

Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:37 PM

Perhaps he could go to cubs in your suburb, and perhaps make some new friends?

Either way, I can't really see the harm in inviting just the 1 kid that he's actually friendly with for a playdate; it might actually help things.

#4 Fright bat

Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:38 PM

You eavesdrop on children's conversations?

Let the kids sort it out. Child 2 is ALLOWED to only want to play with child 1. Child 1 is ALLOWED to like child 2 more.

And back off. Stop eavesdropping on the kids, or watching them like a hawk. It's kind of weird and creepy.

#5 The Old Feral

Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:41 PM

I also have a 7yo boy.  I'd be encouraging a wider circle of friends. If I was friends with the parents,  I'd also be dropping into  a conversation that DS has felt excluded lately.  They may not have noticed.

#6 luke's mummu

Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:46 PM

QUOTE (AvadaKedavra @ 18/02/2013, 10:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You eavesdrop on children's conversations?

Let the kids sort it out. Child 2 is ALLOWED to only want to play with child 1. Child 1 is ALLOWED to like child 2 more.

And back off. Stop eavesdropping on the kids, or watching them like a hawk. It's kind of weird and creepy.

???? I beg your pardon? Weird and creepy to watch and listen when I think my child is being bullied????? How rude!!!

#7 saxa

Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:59 PM

I don't think putting all the blame on child 2 is fair.

If DS wants to be friends with child 1 then organise 1 on 1 play dates for them.

I would also be trying to encourage new friendships.

You say he goes to a different school than the other 2, does he not have any friends at his own school?

#8 loubee

Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:27 PM

QUOTE (AvadaKedavra @ 18/02/2013, 09:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You eavesdrop on children's conversations?

Let the kids sort it out. Child 2 is ALLOWED to only want to play with child 1. Child 1 is ALLOWED to like child 2 more.

And back off. Stop eavesdropping on the kids, or watching them like a hawk. It's kind of weird and creepy.

Sorry but I have to agree. You can't make other kids like your kids better. Friendships change all the time and trying to orchestrate a false friendship will backfire. Let them sort it out.

???? I beg your pardon? Weird and creepy to watch and listen when I think my child is being bullied????? How rude!!!

If child 2 doesn't want to play your son it's not bullying, if he is manipulating child 1 to play only with him they need to sort it out. If he is bullying then you should teach your child to try and deal with the situation but as hard as it is listening in to try and catch him out is not helping your child.

#9 Plaxy

Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:35 PM

I'd be taking the emphasis off this group of 3, by just letting things take their course there, while at the same time encouraging friendships at your son's school. Could he also get to know other boys at soccer? You could perhaps encourage having a few other kids from either his class or soccer over? I like the idea of cubs in his own suburb. Perhaps you could have a chat to his teacher if you feel he's not making friends  in his class?

#10 Fright bat

Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:36 PM

QUOTE (luke's mummu @ 18/02/2013, 10:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
???? I beg your pardon? Weird and creepy to watch and listen when I think my child is being bullied????? How rude!!!

Yes. Weird and creepy.

Not wanting to play with your child is not bullying. Convincing another child to play with him instead is not bullying. It's not the job of other parents to make their kid play with your kid. Not at age 7.

You say the two other kids live close together, go to school together, their parents socialize together etc. it sounds like they are better friends. Deal with it. Either start socializing with the parents too, or encourage your child to find new friends.

You cannot force a friendship that has perhaps run it's course. And trying to listen in on kids conversations to try and find out if they want to play with your child or not is way out of line, likely to be a source of embarrassment to your son, and likely to become a reason those children (and parents!) don't want to play with him.

I don't mean to be rude but I do mean to be blunt. Your behaviour is OTT. Leave the kid and his friends alone, unless there is actual bulkying going on (which from your description, there isn't). No one likes to be the less liked one, but that's not bullying.

If your son wants to play with these boys, let him. If he wants to join cubs with them, let him. If he doesn't do something else. At 7, he's old enough to participate in that decision. Try asking him, not EB.

#11 baddmammajamma

Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:57 PM

While I agree with the others that the scenario you describe doesn't sound like bullying, since I know you from the SNs board, I can appreciate why you might have "extra" concern about your son's friendships. When a child has social struggles beyond the typical playground stuff, it can be hard not to be heavily invested. I do get that!

As other people have mentioned above, this might be a ripe time for you to help your son develop new friendships as well -- Cubs is one option, if he's keen to join. Another idea is to ask him which kids he enjoys or would like to know better at his own school. If he says "I don't know," then perhaps ask his teacher if there are any kids who are particularly accepting of him or show potential for being friends. Invite these kids over for a fun play date that your son plans. Ask him if there are any other activities -- art, music, other sports -- that he would like to try, and enroll him in one of those activities.

Good luck.

#12 madmother

Posted 18 February 2013 - 11:13 PM

I would add that one on one playdates as a PP suggested is a good idea BUT do it with both kids at different times.

I too think it is the closer relationship due to the parents being friends, etc, but your son can still be friends with BOTH boys.

As the mother of a son on the spectrum, and another with anxiety and social issues, I can understand your need to be involved BUT I do think you are taking normal interactions and making them bigger in your mind.

You need to work on your sons social needs, and teach him resiliance as much as stepping back will tear your heart out at times. Don't not be aware and monitor, just give him the tools to deal with the friendships better on his own.


Edited by madmother, 18 February 2013 - 11:14 PM.

#13 baddmammajamma

Posted 18 February 2013 - 11:22 PM

QUOTE (madmother @ 19/02/2013, 12:13 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Don't not be aware and monitor, just give him the tools to deal with the friendships better on his own.


Normally, double negatives don't work...but this time, they are perfect. wink.gif  Well stated, madmother!

#14 ~sydblue~

Posted 19 February 2013 - 05:47 AM

QUOTE (AvadaKedavra @ 18/02/2013, 10:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You eavesdrop on children's conversations?

Let the kids sort it out. Child 2 is ALLOWED to only want to play with child 1. Child 1 is ALLOWED to like child 2 more.

And back off. Stop eavesdropping on the kids, or watching them like a hawk. It's kind of weird and creepy.

Yes the kids are allowed to play with whoever they want. However if a child is unhappy as the OP's obviously is, the mother is allowed to try and figure out why things are happening. No it is not weird & creepy, I can hardly imagine the OP donning disguises to sneek up behind the kids and listen to them.

And yes 7yr old boys can be as nasty and b**chy as girls get around that age. It is just that, the age.

OP if you want to keep the friendship with the one child, then invite just him over for playdates. I agree that starting your DS off in another Cubs area is a good thing as it will let him find other friends in your area. If it isn't too far into your season, maybe get him into another soccer team. There are some great clubs with some great coaches out there who foster teamwork on the field and off, as having a team of arguing kids is not great to coach.

#15 cward

Posted 19 February 2013 - 09:55 AM

I think it is probably quite normal that these two boys are closer friends.  They go to school together, they socialise together.  If your son wants to keep playing soccer in the same team then I too would be comign up with some strategies to help him manage the situation not hovering over them listening to the conversation.

Like other PP's I would be encouraging friendships at school as well.  While I am a big believer in kids not being with their school friends all the time, ie we like our girls to play sport with kids they don't go to school with, I think (without knowing all the circumstances) that your son needs to make some friends with kids he goes to school with.  Is there another local scocer team he can play with?  Also regarding cubs I think they would be getting watched pretty closely at that, similarly with soccer training.  As a coach I just can't imagine parents standing that close while I was training a team to hear what was going on and as a coach I would being nipping anything I thought was inappropirate in the bud

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