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WaitForMe

When to intervene in friendship problems

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WaitForMe

DD1 formed a tight friendship with a girl in prep last year, but DD1 often had problems with this girl. She would always pick the games, and what DD1 had to do in the games. She would take DD1's food and DD1 didn't feel she could tell her to stop. I later found out this friend would often use the line "if you don't .... then I won't be your friend any more".

 

I spent quite a bit of time telling DD1 she chooses her friends, and listing some of the other girls in her class I would see her get along well with after or outside of school. I would tell her that when her friend isn't being nice to her, then she can always join in a game with someone else.

 

So fast forward to first day of school this year. DD1 sees her bff and runs up to her excitedly, and this girl just runs away from her, and continues running away. My heart broke watching it.

 

Now we are at the end of the first term, and DD1 says that she often just sits inside by herself "because she is too tired because her little sister wakes her up in the night". This isn't true at all. DD1 sleeps like a log and is the first awake in the mornings. She says that she just can't keep up with her friend, she is too fast for her - so I'm thinking she is often running away from DD1, and DD1 isn't so much tired from lack of sleep but can't be bothered trying to join her friend. She says it isn't every day, its just some days. DD1 has also said sometimes she doesn't want to play with her best friend as she is "too bossy".

 

I know she gets along really well with some of the other girls after school (we often stick around for a half hour to play) so I ask why she doesn't join in with them but she says they are with her best friend.

 

I can't decide if I should wait and let things run their course, or its time to talk to her teacher. I mentioned there may be some issues to the teacher earlier in the term, but I wasn't really sure. Now it seems like it might actually be something, but I'm constantly doubting myself and thinking I'll be interfering.

 

It also doesn't help that DD1 isn't the best and describing what is actually going on in her life. A bit like her little sister keeping her up - its a lie to make an excuse for an uncomfortable situation rather than just opening up to me about what is really going on. Sometimes its the other way around though - she makes things sound like a bigger problem than what they are.

Edited by WaitForMe

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Sancti-claws

I really feel for you.

 

The teacher will be seeing what is going on in the classroom and to an extent in the playground - I would organise a little chat with her/him and ask if anything has been noticed and how the dynamics work in the wider groups?

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Future-self

 

 

 

I’d chat with the teacher . She may not see exactly what’s happening in the playground so may be unaware as to the extent of it. your DD making up a story about her tiredness shows that it’s all getting to her so IMO it’s not overreacting to bring it to the teacher’s attention.

 

This friendship stuff with the them is so hard isn’t it!

Edited by Future-self
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MGB

It’s so upsetting to see them struggling with friends.

 

Have a chat with the teacher, they may or may not be aware and see what they suggest.

 

We went through something very similar with our DD in kindy and year 1. We didn’t act on it in kindy hoping it would fizzle out, but last year there were still issues and we discussed it with the teacher. Our DD’s teacher was aware. Towards the end of last year we requested they not be in the same class this year (I know it’s still early in the year).

 

Could you organise a catch up for your DD with the other girls over the holidays?

 

Agree with PP, this friendship stuff is very hard!

 

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BornToLove

For sure talk to the teacher. They can help with some of the stuff going on in the classroom. DD had a toxic friend in her class last year and I know her teacher would try to keep them seperate when assigning work groups and what not.

 

Out on the playground, it’s a bit harder. Does the school offer any structured activities over lunch? Ours has a few things like art club and chess once a week. It’s not much but it helps with meeting and interacting with new friends.

 

I would also try to arrange play dates over the holidays with friends other than this girl. Having some 1:1 time will help your DD establish stronger friendships with these other kids so she feels like she can join them out on the playground.

 

One thing I did notice in your post is that you referred to this girl as *best* friend or bff. I would stop using ‘best’ when referring to their relationship especially when talking to your DD. I think sometimes kids get it in their heads that they have to be friends with one person because they are their most important friend. They aren’t a good friend so don’t deserve the ‘best friend’ title.

 

I wouldn’t correct your DD if she refers to her as her best friend, but sometimes little changes in your language can have a bit impact to how she sees things.

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JomoMum

Are there any boys she may like to play with?

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Not Escapin Xmas

Definitely teacher. We've just had to talk to DD's teacher about a friend situation and she's in Y3.

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livelifelovehappy

I’d definitely talk to the teacher, and maybe try to have a play date with kids you want to direct your daughter towards? One play date can be enough to prompt a new friendship in my experience.

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WaitForMe

Are there any boys she may like to play with?

 

Prior to school, her closest friends were all boys. I think by coincidence more than anything. School though has completely flipped this and she has almost zero interest in playing with any of the boys. I barely hear her mention their names. I don't think this is the school so much as the kids at the school - I have strong suspicions on one of the local childcares in particular...

 

I have wondered if this change is part of the problem - she has little experience in the friend drama that society seems to create in young girls. The manipulation and talk of 'bff'.

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YodaTheWrinkledOne

Talk with the teacher.

 

And try to arrange a few get-togethers over the next term with other girls from school so that she feels comfortable to expand her social circle.

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