5 10/23/2012 parenting

You Gotta Have Friends…But a BFF??

I have two favourite times of the day.  The first happens usually around 6:10 when the bean lying next to me starts to shift around, poke me in the legs to make sure I’m there, and then he smiles and comes out with his first nugget of the day:

Mom. Uncle John in the coolest dude.
Mom.  You said you were going to spell salamander last night and you didn’t.
Mom.  Is it the weekend?
My other fave time? When I get him from daycare and he starts to regale me with the stories of his day.  What he had for lunch.  Who did what in the home centre.  What sound they learned in JK.  Lately I’m noticing that a lot of the convos are around who is his best friend and who doesn’t play with him anymore.
I’m trying to steer him away from the whole ‘best friends’ concept.  I’d rather he have a slew friends than a BFF.  In public school, I had a friend who would shift her affections between me and another girl all the time. I found it so hard.  I don’t want him to be on the receiving or giving end of that kind of friendship.
When I hear ‘so and so doesn’t want to play with me’, I always ask him about other kids that are there to play with.  I’m constantly astounded that at the age of four, there already seems to be a bit of a social hierarchy among these kids.  X will only play with him if Y isn’t at school or A, B and C like to play together and don’t want him to play.  I really want to try and knock that down.  Although frankly, it would be easier to cure cancer probably.
How do you guys handle the whole friends deal?  Do I just listen and let it play out or do I try to get him to understand that the cool kids in JK will probably have peaked by grade four?  

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He is also getting the crap beaten out of him by a girl on a daily basis. I explained it means that she likes him.  Somethings never change.
It used to be so easy when they didn’t talk…
  • Nancy

    I had only brothers – so best friend was my way of filling in the missing sister thing.
    Best friends can be the greatest gift on earth- your examples are not of friendship and you should feel good about letting him know that. You have a rich life Sara- people gravitate towards you- when you have had a visit with someone tell him what you love about that person and why having many friends helps you appreciate so may kinds of people and how each friend gives you something else.
    He is a cool and wise cat- and he has you! Dont sweat it just talk about it and enjoy all his/your learning!xx

  • Sara

    that’s a great example Sandra…a great reminder.

  • Leslie

    Kids do not need a best friend. As long as they are happy and enjoying themselves, they will find their way. If they are not happy, then you can try to help. But be very careful, make sure it is not “you” that is unhappy and not them!!

  • http://raincoastcottage.com Sandra

    I have a daughter in grade 2 and have always encouraged to make lots of friends. Neighbourhood friends, school friends, soccer team friends – a variety. And especially at school.
    She had a good “lesson” about this in grade 1. She DOES have a BFF and in grade 1 that girl was away on a trip for about a month. Suddenly those three recesses each day became VERY long. The kids that she hadn’t taken the time to get to know because she was playing exclusively with her BFF were in their own groups at recess.
    The first few days she hung out at the library. And then she started getting to know more kids. It all came together – she still has her BFF but she also has a number of other friends that she plays with at recess.
    And I talk about it as a strategy – you can have a BFF but you also need other friends because you never know when your BFF is away or sick or whatever. The more the merrier.

  • Christina

    First off – girls are MEAN! So ask a lot of questions surrounding that kid beating up on Will… I try to tell my daughter that there are 31 other kids to play with and she should have a lot of fun playing with different people…the more friends the better….I’m with you on the BFF thing…. Girls are catty and just plain mean….sorry I know i am one and my daughter displays attitude from other ones and I try to break it…because she brings it home and is mean to her younger brother….her teacher is really good at centre time getting kids to play with others and not allowing them to choose the same centre to play at with the same kids….you’re doing good mom….it’s scary that “he’s my friend today and not yesterday starts so early”. There was a girl in my daughters class that would dictate who sat next to whom at the carpet….we fixed that one up….I have heard my daughter say ” X isn’t mean to me anymore because Y isn’t in our class anymore” really is that someone you want your kid hanging it with? Oh the drama….I know we have to let them figure things out on their own…but if your kid isn’t happy, then it’s definitely okay to step in and I am sure the teacher already knows.

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