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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

How do you get your child to choose GOOD friends?

Posted by on May. 15, 2012 at 12:15 PM
  • 24 Replies

I am not sure what else to say to my daughter at this point. My dd is 5 and she is in kindergarten. We have a neighbor girl who is 10 that will sometimes come over to play. Obviously, she only comes over when she has no one else to play with which is understandable considering the age difference. She will also ask my daughter to give her toys and other things and she will play with her when she gives her things. However, what really bothers me is that when the girl has other friends to pay with they will stand by the fence and yell at my daughter and tell her she is stupid or ugly and they hate her and won't be her friend, etc. My daughter will cry and be devastated about it, but then the next time the girl wants to come over she wants her to. My dd gets along with everyone. I told her that she should choose to spend her time with real friends that want to be her friend because they like her and not with people who only want to be her friend when she has something to give them. I don't know what else to say to her to help her choose better friends. I know as she gets older I wont always have a choice with her friends but I would like to know she can choose good friends. Does anyone have any ideas?

by on May. 15, 2012 at 12:15 PM
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Replies (1-10):
steelcrazy
by Emerald Member on May. 15, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Use the time when the older girl is being mean to her as a teaching opportunity.  Talk to her about how she feels when the older girl is mean to her and let her know that no one wants to be friends with someone who treats them badly.  I would also wouldn't be letting the older girl play with my child.  I understand that she is older and would prefer to play with kids closer to her own age, but that doesn't mean that she should treat your dd like crap when her older friends are around.

Barabell
by Barbara on May. 15, 2012 at 12:36 PM

I agree with Steel in that I would talk about the negative moments and say that's not how true friends act.

I had this talk a few times when he was 7, and I'm not sure if he would have understood at age 5. But I started out the conversation saying that it is OK if not everyone likes him. I asked him if he liked everyone in his class, and his honest answer was no. So then I explained that he shouldn't expect everyone around him to like him. Some people just get along better than others, and there is nothing wrong with that. Then I had him think about how much fun he has with his true friends, and asked him if he would rather spend his time on those relationships or spend time on the kids that he just doesn't quite get along with.

Barabell
by Barbara on May. 15, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Oh, I want to add that my son is 12 now. When he was 4 or 5, he was attracted to the trouble makers in daycare or in his class. Now, he's told me that he finds certain kids in his grade to be more trouble than their worth. So I'm hoping that the talks over the years have helped. At this point, I haven't had to stop him being friends with any kid, and I'm hoping I don't come across that point anytime soon.

During the talk, I also explained that he can still be polite and civil to classmates, whether they're friends or not. It's OK to be just acquaintances with some classmates.

ldmrmom
by Bronze Member on May. 15, 2012 at 12:57 PM
1 mom liked this

To be honest, with that much of an age difference I would start by discouraging the together time for starters.Normally I don't out right forbid friendships - but at this age when it comes to an older child with a younger child I will.

There are 8 kids within a 4 year age span on our block that will play together on a semi-regular basis. The youngest of the group are all 7 -between the four of them, there are two that will turn 8 in August. My DD and one other will turn 8 in September. The oldest will turn 11 over the summer. My son is in the middle and will turn 10 in June.  When they're all out together I let it go. However, if the soon-to-be 11 year old wants to play with just DD, I discourage it. We'll have something else to do or we'll have only a little time before dinner, etc. I've told DD before that [neighbor's name] is interested in playing much older games (even more so than she should) that are not age appropriate for DD and I'd rather they not spend a lot of time together.  I explain this to DD - "[name] is older than you and as such she wants to play older kid games. However, some of what she's playing is not appropriate for you, at 7 yrs old, to play and I am not comfortable with having you play with her because she does not seem capable of modifying what she's doing to be on a more even level between you two."

This other girl has also lied in the past and can be rather sneaky (or attempt to be.) When [neighbor] has her same-age friends around, she'll ignore DD, as well as the other 7 yr old girl on the block. Other times when she's got a like-aged audience, she'll talk down to them and be rather nasty. I sit down with DD gently point this out to her "Why is [name] talking like that today? How does that make you feel? Do you think a real friend would behave that way? How would you treat another kid if you had friends over?"

Further, the other 7 year old girl on our block can be very nasty when she feels like it. She is bossy. She does not handle 'groups' of children well and can get out of hand quickly when there is more than one person at play with her at one time. DD and I talk about how it feels when this other kid is not being pleasant. We talk about how a real friend would behave. "Would a real friend tell you that what you like is stupid and if you don't want to wrestle and play rough you should just go home because you're baby?" We also, however, highlight some of her friends, "What if we set up a play date with A? You and her both like Monster High Dolls and you've not had a chance to play with her in a while? I always appreciate the way you two support each other and cooperate so well. It must be nice to have a friend who respects you and who has similar interests."

Sometimes it's not so obvious. At bed time, when I'm saying good night to the each kid, I ask them to share the best part and worst part of the day with a silver lining. As we talk, I work in conversations about things I think should be covered. If we've had a rough week with peers on the block, I might say "Who did you play with at lunch today? What did you play? So tell me one thing that makes him/her a good friend to you? What makes you a good friend?"

 


mommynac
by on May. 15, 2012 at 1:07 PM
1 mom liked this

I would interfere. There is too much of an age difference and your dd is young to be making these choices. I agree about using it as a teaching opportunity, however, I would not her to visit or play with this child. I would also tell her why, of course. I would not leave it to her to decide. I might also say something to the 10 year old, if she presses for an answer, and maybe even talk to the mother. Good luck!

MB13
by on May. 15, 2012 at 2:27 PM

When my kids were 5 and 7, we moved into a larger house in an older neighborhood.  Looking back, it was the best thing we ever did for our kids.  We have no neighbors with children. That may sound terrible to say, but the kids that came over to play at the house had to be invited.  If they didn't play nicely, they weren't invited back.  In our old neighborhood, we had about 20 young kids on our cul-de-sac running wild, and there was constant drama.

Osstie
by Member on May. 15, 2012 at 2:31 PM

I always tell my kids that if your friend treats you like that, they are no friend at all. Tell her how awesome she is, and that she doesn't need to take that from anyone. Friends are people you have fun with, share with, and you are kind to and are kind to you back. "Friends share their happiness" is the mantra i repeat with my 4 yo

Osstie
by Member on May. 15, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Just another thing to add.. my cousin treated me that way when we were little girls. We were the same age, and we had fun together alone, but whenever she had other friends over other than me she and her friends would be AWFUL to me. They would call me names and tell me to go away, tell secrets/whisper... I remember one time they peed on a toy and gave it to me. It really hurt my feelings, and to be honest it really hurt my confidence and bothers me when i think about it to this day.

daiseymae2
by on May. 15, 2012 at 3:08 PM

I had to do this with my 6yo DD. I started by talking about what makes a good friend. I would ask her about her day. When she would tell me so and so was mean or made her sad, I would ask how they upset her. As we talked she realized on her own that her so called friend wasn't a good friend to have. Also look up some info on toxic friendships. As for the 10yo. I would tell her point blank if she couldn't be respectul, she wouldn't be allowed over to my house. If she continued to harass my kid from my fence, I would turn the hose on them or set up a sprinkler and turn it on every time they started shit.

AidanTiarra
by Bronze Member on May. 15, 2012 at 5:22 PM


Quoting steelcrazy:

Use the time when the older girl is being mean to her as a teaching opportunity.  Talk to her about how she feels when the older girl is mean to her and let her know that no one wants to be friends with someone who treats them badly.  I would also wouldn't be letting the older girl play with my child.  I understand that she is older and would prefer to play with kids closer to her own age, but that doesn't mean that she should totreat your dd like crap when her older friends are around.

Thank you, I totally understand the girl wanting to play with older kids. If we go to the park and the only child there is a 2 year old my dd will play with them but if she has a choice she would play with a child closer to her own age. I just don't understand why some kids have to be so mean.

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