Friendship is not something I'm good at. I don't remember being one of those kids who met another in the sandpit and played together, becoming best friends in the process. Maybe I was and I just don't remember. As an adult I can't say that I'm overly friendly. I have friends. Not squillions, but quite a few. But like everyone else in the world sometimes friendships fall apart or drift off slowly into the sunset.
I have a friendship that appears to have gone that way. We had been close while I was on the school P&C, while my mum was sick and the aftermath of that. Girl Child was in a different class to my friends youngest last year and that coupled with me stepping back from volunteering on the committee appears to have been the beginning of the end. I noticed last year that things were different but put that down to my headache. But when I thought about it things had changed by then. When I first went to the Dr, I was not asked what had gone on, how I was feeling, or anything. I was disappointed at the time. There also never seemed to be any time to catch up last year. I know people are busy and that line was used often.
I thought perhaps it was something I had done or not done. I still don't know but it seems that the friendship has just fizzled out. I discovered last week that my friend has now gone back to full time work. I didn't know but apparently it was common knowledge. I'm guessing that I'm no longer someone that gets included in conversations any more. And that's okay. I still would like to know what happened but I'm probably never going to find out. If friendship is still like this as an adult then how are children supposed to deal with it?
Girl Child has been having lots of issues with friends and friendships. It started last year and has continued. She has never been one of the popular kids and however, the issues are getting bigger leading to Girl Child lashing out on two occasions. Girl Child wants to play with A but Z also wants to play with A but Girl Child and Z clash and always have. The drama has even moved on to an on line game that these kids play with Girl being told to back off from A because Z wants to play with her.
She has been reprimanded at school for lashing out and has apologised to the children. At home we have reiterated that this behaviour is not appropriate. We have talked to the school and I have apologised to the parents of the other children. Girl Child wants to have friends. She wants to play with other children but her strong will and stubbornness can make it hard for her to step back. She really doesn't like being told what to do but she does that to others and she seems unable to see that. She is 8 and in Year 3 which seems to be the year that girls have issues with friends. But if she keeps lashing out then no one will want to play with her.
While I'm struggling with my child lashing out, I did find it very interesting that on one of these occasions someone had approached Girl Child to play with them but then she and her new friends refuse to play or even talk to Girl Child. The school is aware that Girl Child is reacting due to frustration. I would think that being invited to play and then ignored would increase my frustration level. But school didn't deal with that issue, they just talked to Girl Child and the other two with the ongoing issue since last year.
It seems that schools often catch the last person and don't always acknowledge that there was a series of events that led up to the incident. As a parent I know that I need to hear both sides of the story but schools don't seem to have the time.
So she feels that they are ignoring her concerns and says things like "they never listen to me" and "they never believe me." I know that doesn't help her.
How do I help build Girl Childs resilience and tolerance around friendship issues when sometimes I don't understand the dynamics of friendship myself? Was childhood friendship always this complicated for children or is this just a precocious bunch?
I will be organizing some play dates to see if that helps. I need to psych myself up though as I'm not comfortable with people in my space.
Any other ideas? Anyone else been in this situation? Are girls really so much more difficult than boys?