My daughter has always been very possessive with her friends. She only wants to play with one friend at a time and will not let anyone else play with them. Lately she has gotten worse. She is mean to other girls who want to play with her friend. She won't let anyone sit next to her friend and spend any time with her friend. I have tried talking to my daughter to explain that it is good to have many friends but it doesn't seem to work. Any suggestions on how to handle this? My daughter's friend is now complaining and her mother is calling me about my daughter's behavior. I am at a loss???
7 yr old girl very possessive - won't share her friend
I'll bump this and maybe there's another mom who has dealt with this. I haven't dealt with this specific problem, but I do know how hard it is to see them navigate relationships and have trouble.
Think about it as any other sort of anti-social behaviour that is very normal and common (for example with younger children not wanting to share toys, grabbing etc) but needs to be gently discouraged. Lots of gentle reminders that it's nice to have a special friend, but you can't tell another person what to do and/or who they can and can't play with. Maybe you could arrange alternating playdates with just your daughter and her special friend and ones with another one or two children, being explicit with your daughter that you are doing this so that she can practice playing nicely with other children and learn to share her friend. Also, explore some of the feelings she is having through puppet play or with her dolls/soft toys if she still has any of those things. It sounds a bit goofy, but children of this age still process a lot of their emotions through play, rather than through discussion (even though talking about it rationally is good too). Make up stories or plays with similar themes to the issue your daughter is experiencing, and allow her to see, or even to help come up with solutions in a safe, play scenario. Even if she wants to make up an ending where the protagonist is allowed to stay possessive of her friend, this might be useful for allowing her to express her insecurities in a context where she is not impacting on anyone else. You may then be able to move things on to a solution where she feels safe to be less possessive of her friend.