So, last night I was called into school as my 8yr old daughter and her friends are having a few “friendship” difficulties and school are worried that it could turn into a real issue if it’s not tackled now.
A parent’s nightmare.
Let me set the scene, the main issue is that there is a group of three girl’s that all hang round together. But as so often is the case two people gang up on the other one and they are left feeling sad, names are called, yadda yadda yadda. The one that’s left out changes from day to day, so they are all victims I guess and therefore all responsible at some point for causing this upset.
My main quandary is how best to tackle the situation. The inner parent wants to just shout “stop hanging round with these people they are making you unhappy!!!!” but the sensible head is telling me “We can all play together and think of a way to get along”. The truth of the matter is that no matter how angry or upset they get with each other they still like hanging out with them, they’re mates. I want my daughter to expand her friendship groups (as opposed to banning her from playing with some people) and we keep encouraging her as best we can, but I am aware that to be too pushy will just make her push back stronger.
I had a grown-up chat with her and asked her what she felt the solution was and she said that ‘she want’s to play with everyone but the others just want to keep it as a three’. I thought this was really mature of her and I suggested similar to the teacher (and headteacher no less), and this seems to be a possible way forward. The teacher will encourage the whole class to play together more and have all friendship groups more open, so that the young people can go and play with others without it being a problem. This seems great as not only does it solve the current issue but it makes it much more public and open, and this will hopefully combat any bullying or manipulative behaviours that may occur given time.
So, with a possible way forward we head into a new friendship era at school. Fingers crossed.
It’s hard not to let your mind head into hyper-drive and think about life in high school and the future and how these types of relationships may affect her long term. But I suppose that learning to cope with theses situations now and in a positive way will only help her be more resilient (hate that word, and that’s part of the reason I was made redundant, a totally other story) in times to come. I guess the important thing is to belong and know you are loved.
So with a plan in place the meeting ends and we head out to pick up the twins (5yrs old) from reception:
TEACHER: Can I have a word
ME: Of course
TEACHER: Your daughter, for the second time became really frustrated and grabbed another child round the neck….
Dad-life never ends.