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  1. #1
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    Default Friendship exclusion, what to do?

    My DD has a friend, we'll call her L (DD is 3.5 and L is 4...)
    They go to a weekly activity together where there's another girl who is very taken with L, she won't let anyone else sit next to L and tells everybody (DD included) that L is her best friend. DD used to get upset and wanted to go home every week for ages... After a while things eased up and we even had some play dates with all 3 girls (and others) and it wasn't too bad BUT tonight I put DD to bed and we were talking and she brings this up! It's been months! She told me it makes her angry when she can't be near L because of this other girl and why can't she be her best friend!
    It broke my heart and I honestly had no idea on what to say, they're all enrolled for more classes together for next year but now I'm rethinking it.
    I was bullied when I was a kid pretty badly so I'm super sensitive to this social mingling, I just want to do the right thing by DD... Any thoughts pls!

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    Unfortunately its pretty normal. When its happened to my dd's, I tell them its OK to feel hurt/upset/angry (validate feelings), but that friend (in your case, L) can be friends with whoever they want and nobody has the right to tell them otherwise. I explain people can have lots of friends, and sometimes they might want to play with different friends. It doesn't mean L isn't a friend anymore.

    Its a tricky one sometimes. Maybe try to use it as a way of your dd making friends with other children at the activity?

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    This is all part of social learning and is completely normal at that age! Just encourage your daughter to play with lots of children, that if someone doesn't want to play to find someone else. Little people change BFs on a daily basis. If you can organize a solo play date with L it might help strengthen their friendship...or use it as an opportunity to meet other children in the class.
    My 4yo DS regularly says to me in the car on the way home "Blah blah didn't want to play with me, he only wanted to play with ..." so I say "Did you find another friend to play with? And did you have fun?" Usually he says yes.
    It very important that kids learn to navigate their way independently through their social environment, to develop confidence and resilience

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    BH-KatiesMum  (30-12-2015),SheWarrior  (30-12-2015)

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    Just to clarify L does want to play with DD but this third girl just takes over and bullies both excluding DD and hogging L, DD has said L told this other girl she's friends with both but nothing changed.
    DD and L do see each other regularly outside of this activity and I'm wondering if I should pull her out and avoid the situation or keep putting DD in it to build some resilience.
    I was just lost for words but I will tell he about having lots of friends and that its ok...
    This is hard!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ciaomamma View Post
    Just to clarify L does want to play with DD but this third girl just takes over and bullies both excluding DD and hogging L, DD has said L told this other girl she's friends with both but nothing changed.
    DD and L do see each other regularly outside of this activity and I'm wondering if I should pull her out and avoid the situation or keep putting DD in it to build some resilience.
    I was just lost for words but I will tell he about having lots of friends and that its ok...
    This is hard!!!
    This is something she will experience at school, work, in social circles as she grows up. Personally I don't believe pulling her out will do much good long term- she won't always be able to avoid these situations and needs to learn how to cope and deal with them. It sounds like this other girls parents (or whoever she is there with) needs to have some words to her about her behaviour, but that's not something you can control. What does L's parents think of the situation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SheWarrior View Post
    This is something she will experience at school, work, in social circles as she grows up. Personally I don't believe pulling her out will do much good long term- she won't always be able to avoid these situations and needs to learn how to cope and deal with them. It sounds like this other girls parents (or whoever she is there with) needs to have some words to her about her behaviour, but that's not something you can control. What does L's parents think of the situation?
    Yes I agree I don't know that DD is dealing with it very well... Maybe I'm thinking its a bigger deal than it is!
    The other mums don't say anything... I think maybe in private they do but nothing that I've seen...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ciaomamma View Post
    Yes I agree I don't know that DD is dealing with it very well... Maybe I'm thinking its a bigger deal than it is!
    The other mums don't say anything... I think maybe in private they do but nothing that I've seen...
    Can you have a chat with them about it? Its hard when we see our kids being excluded. But sometimes we just need to step back and let them work out their own way of sorting it out. It sounds like your dd and L both try to do the right thing, its just unfortunate the other little girl doesn't follow. You will probably also find L will start getting fed up with being 'hogged' and start distancing herself from the other little girl. May not happen straight away but it does get too much, even for kids.

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    I wouldn't pull my child out of an activity for this type of situation, nor would I speak to the others mums. There will always be an L and a bully somewhere, look at this as a learning experience.

    My DD is a sensitive child, she is now 11, we've had many similar situations.
    I know how absolutely gut wrenching these situations feel when your in the midst of it.
    But it's not something that will scar her for life though, rather something she will learn from.
    Just remain supportive, play it cool, don't make it seem like a big deal, but let her know it's ok to be upset, remind her it's something that can happen to everyone, share your own experience with her and what made you feel better, and also tell her why she's great and that because of these qualities other kids will love to play with her! Encourage her not to wait for L but to have fun with other children.
    I know it's hard but she really will be able to take this experience with her into other situations.

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