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Show ALL Forums  > Single Parents  > Should I force a friendship...?      Home login  
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 rdcnorm
Joined: 3/7/2007
Msg: 4
Should I force a friendship...?Page 1 of 1    
David,
has some really good points. I do agree..
Have you asked your son why he doesn't want to play with this little boy?
Have you met this boys parents, and have you guys talked about this issue? If not, are you interested in leaning about this boy,, he may have a learning disability, emotional or other, that can alter his social skills.

Why I asked that, my son has a disability, when he meets new children, I first talk with their parents, and talk to their children, just to give a little back ground on my son.. Now I don't excuse my sons actions,, yet, tolerance goes a long way,, What I find is sweet, those little boy and girls who I talk to try harder, and will play with my son. That becomes very helpful over the long hall. Now my son has learned to interact so much better, and has a long way to go. I'm not suggesting you take responsibility for the other little boy,, yet learn something about him, either through interacting with him, and communication with his parents..

good luck..
 rdcnorm
Joined: 3/7/2007
Msg: 7
Should I force a friendship...?
Posted: 3/5/2008 9:05:11 AM

Last week, my son came to me and said, "Josh is at the door again. Do I HAVE to play with him???" I've heard that so many times now, it's what prompted me to ask the question here... Thanks for the feedback!


After reading your whole response to my original thoughts,, I don't know if this would work. You son shouldn't have to play with any one he doesn't want to,, it is his home.. I'm not talking about school or anywhere else social skills are needed. Yet if you talked to your son, and suggested one time a week, for a short period of time. he might agree. Pick only one activity that they both enjoy,, say chess, or a video game. trade sport cards etc.. Call it a club,, and maybe some other kids from school with the same interests,, in this way your son won't be alone with the boy,, he might latch on to other friends, as well.. Now the hard part is telling the other boy and his parents it's only once a week that the boy can come over / that is club day. That depends on the dynamics of your relationship with them.. I'm not sure if I would want to be in your situation/position,, trying to do the right thing..
 wanderbaby
Joined: 9/4/2006
Msg: 8
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Should I force a friendship...?
Posted: 3/5/2008 11:56:15 AM
It sounds like if he has other siblings at home, he probably doesn't get much attention hence his need to constant nag til someone gives in. And appearance can be fooling, so he may come over often because he finds comfort at your place than at home. Perhaps no one listens to him. I think you should talk to the boy that he can't always nag to get what he wants, and if your son doesn't want to play what he wants to, then he can have the option to go home or play what your son is playing. I think your son is more annoyed that he gets taken away with the things he wants to play since he caves in to play what the other boy does, makes sense?

I'd also let the boy know that you'll only have certain times where he can come over and play because you want to spend time with your kids. If he doesn't get it after awhlie, then you should address it to his parents that they need to monitor him more closely so he wont' go to your house often.

In some ways, I think this is a great way to think of yourself as a good role model for this kid, who may feel you can reach out to him that his parents can't. I had a 4th grade teacher that I was also friends with. It did help thru the years to know someone cares for me and is there if I needed her.
 packagedealx3
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 9
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Should I force a friendship...?
Posted: 3/5/2008 11:58:05 PM
My daughter started having problems with catty girls at school I think in the first grade. One of them was a real piece of work but I told my daughter to try to steer clear of her, and to be cordial and/or nice to her when she had no choice about interacting with her. I also told her that one, you cannot avoid being around this individual and you never know what is going on in someone's home. It literally took about two years but this girl finally started acting more normal. She and my daughter became very close, and she found out that the girl's home life at the time was horrible so she lashed out at people at school because she really had no friends.

There have been some other difficult people, a girl at church whom we finally believed that the mother had a drinking problem and in the last year we discovered that not only was that the case, mom is bipolar; explained why the kid was such a holy terror. My daughter also told me a month or so ago that there was a girl that everyone disliked and she overheard her talking in class to one of the few friends she has. Apparently mom is an alcoholic and she was begging her dad and stepmom to pick her up because if they didn't mom would apparently get trashed and beat the kid. She couldn't go stay with a friend because she had two younger brothers and knew her absence would mean open season on them. Not only did she feel horrible for the girl, it really made her undesirable behavior easier to understand.

If this was my child I would say, no, you don't have to play with Cindy Lou but you know what, I don't think she has any friends, at least not the kind that come to her house to play, and it would be really nice of you to play with her at least every once in a while when you do not want to. Whether there is anything going on in the home, and I think if you canvassed your block you would find serious dysfunction in at least 50% of those seemingly nice middle-class homes, the kid is expressing some kind of need by continuing to show up. We teach our kids to do the right thing by encouraging them in this regard when a situation like this arises. If it bothered him that much, he would tell you, no mom, I can't do it anymore.

Talk to him about how he feels and why you think it might be important for this kid that he does play with him at least occasionally. You could also talk to your son about finding a gentle way to tell this kid that he is aggravating, making playing with him more actual fun and less a chore. If the kid truly doesn't know, how can he change the behavior? Telling him, hey, I want to play with you but you know, you kind of take the fun out of it when you always insist that we play the game you want. The kid might get his shorts in a twist but he might also start seeing his own behavior and try to be more open to equal sharing of stuff like picking what they do.

My daughter has also run into the socially challenged kid and not too long ago mentioned some girl that was the proverbial pariah in middle school and that she and some of her friends starting talking to this girl and now in high school she is doing great, some of the same friends and new ones. If they hadn't taken the time to talk to someone they at the time really would have preferred to let sit by herself, she might still not have any friends 3 years later. We truly never know when simple acts of kindness make small or a huge difference in someone's life. No matter what it means to this kid, it is the nice thing to do.
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