Education.com
Try
Brainzy
Try
Plus
MomOThree
MomOThree asks:
Q:

My 6 year old has made a new friend is now excluding his old best friend. How can I help him be the good friend I know he can be?

My son is in kindergarten, and has some self esteem issues  - he is diabetic, and quite a bit smaller than most of the other boys in his class.  As a result, he often gets frustrated by games that most boys play, like tag, because he simply cant run as fast.  He has had one great friend for the past three years - but recently has become friendly with a bigger than life class clown type guy.  When he is around both boys, he tends to ignore and exclude his old friend in favor of his new one.  I have asked him how it would feel to be treated that way by his friend, and he recognizes that it would feel terrible.  His old friend definitely feels the sting of being left out and ignored - My son usually apologizes and hugs his old friend when I point out his behavior - but then it happens again! How can I help him value his old friendship while still enjoying his new one?
In Topics: Friendships and peer relationships
> 60 days ago

|
kat_eden
kat_eden , Parent writes:
Hi MomOThree,

I have a six year old boy too and I think you're doing just about everything you can in this situation. The truth is at this age they have a pretty limited capacity for empathy. You may have to remind your son over and over to think about how his old friend is feeling because it won't come naturally for him to do so.

Some kids really do better in one-on-one relationships so it may be really hard for him to think about playing with several boys at once. But of course, it's in his best interest to expand his horizons. Some day HE may be the one left behind by a friend as the kids go through their fickle social cycles so it will help to have other friends to turn to.

To help him feel comfortable, maybe you could try hosting a play date with all three boys? (But you'll have to make sure your son promises up front to make both boys feel welcome. It would be really hard on the old friend to be ignored at your son's house). Maybe you could also talk to the teacher to see if she could put all three boys together in groups or activities?

Mostly, I wouldn't be too hard on him for this. He's doing the best he can at his emotional stage of development and if you keep giving him the gentle reminders you've been giving him...he'll grow!

Good Luck!

Kat
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
1
yes
0
no
Jaded
Jaded writes:
You can't force your kid to be friends with other people. Everybody changes and we all have different best friends.  Just because you like the old friend doesn't mean he has to.
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
1
yes
1
no
SMPTUE
SMPTUE writes:
I believe that what you've done is sufficient.  It is now your son's decision who he wants to be friends with.  

If you are talking about a bad influence he's choosing over a good kid, I understand your concern.  I don't see where you say the other kid is a bad one, though, so I am left to believe you just don't want to see your son hurting his old friend.

I completely understand wanting to instill values, including loyalty to those who have been around longer.  But sweety, he's in kindergarten.  How many people can say their best friend in kindergarten was their best friend in high school?  Actually, how many people can say their best friend in day care was their best friend in kindergarten?  

My daughter (8) has been through her fair share of best friends, and they have been through theirs.  They're little kids.  They're learning about themselves and want to explore friendships with kids who help them be true to who they are.  

Maybe your son's old friend was his friend for so long because no one else encouraged other sides to his character.  Now he has met someone who is helping him to broaden his character and grow in many directions, so of course he is going to follow him around more.

I know you are only trying to help, but by brow-beating (even in the nicest way) him about how wrong you think it is for him to leave his other friend behind, you confuse him and hurt HIS feelings.  Imagine how you are making him feel when he wants to explore other facets of himself but he is being told he's hurting his old friend by being true to himself.  

Let him be.  He's a kid.  He's exploring the world and the many characters that make up this world and the many characters that make up him.
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
3
yes
0
no
Answer this question