I don't get it. Please help me understand. My 9 year old daughter has a "best" friend that never seems to be available. They play together at recess in a group but now recently are unable to have impromptu playdates outside of school. I suspect that it is because they have a new neighbor across the street who has become an instant playdate....and another girl who asks for playdates with my daughter's "best" friend faster than we can. I mean it almost is to the point that I need to schedule playdates weeks in advance! Am I missing something? The two haven't played together in weeks -- it's always a rain-check on their end. Maybe this is a diss. I don't know. But what I do know is that it makes me sad.
I'd stop asking and look towards more available friends or perhaps see if there are any interest-based activities she could join on a regular basis. Try not to get too emotionally invested in who your child's friends are. It's hard not too. I know. I've been there and in the end, I'd be more upset for a longer period than my own kid was. Really though, if they are saying "no" then it's time to look elsewhere for connection instead of lamenting and feeling cast aside. Kids this age float about friends. "Best" friends that last for years and years are really pretty rare. No reason to think the worst. Just accept that this girl is limited in her time and availability and move on.
Personally, there were no impromptu playdates when my kids were 9. Everyone was doing something... scouts, soccer, theatre, dance.... sleep-overs and playdates were indeed planned weeks in advance. We don't live in one of those neighborhoods where kids just stop by (there were no other kids) so the idea is actually foreign to my own kids.
Married mom, DD 18, DS 15, and a Valentine's surprise on the way!
My family is crazy busy, all the time. We have to say no to a lot, and take a lot of rain checks, even to play dates and events we would love to go to. In other words, I wouldn't take this personally.
I know it's hard to see a friendship change. Hugs to you and your daughter! Try to see it as an opportunity for her to make a more substantial friendship with someone else based on interests and personality. Those are the more lasting friendships.
I echo the previous sentiments. I agree, it *is* really difficult not to become personally vested in your children's friendships, I have done the same thing. Two of my kids' friends are extremely busy and rarely available. We have to schedule things far in advance and this is difficult for my last minute son, especially. I have had talks with both of them about this not being a personal issue and that they, perhaps, would like to expand their friendships a bit because some people aren't as available as they are. I have also asked them if they would like to pick up more activities so they are a bit busier like all their friends. They do not but they have put more time into other friendships and this has helped them.
I have found the same thing for my friendships as well. Some people are just so busy they can never even seem to find the time to grab a cup of coffee for 30 minutes and catch up. I used to take it personally and I finally realized it made more sense to invest time in friends that DID take the time to get together and also to just appreciate the fleeting moments of time I got with busier friends. My busier friends do not get the closer friendship I have with other friends but it's really not personal on their part.
Married, working mom to son (14), DD1 (12) and DD2 (almost 11!). Oh, and badnewf, a nonobadbordercollie and 3 black cats.
I'm guilty of this as well. With four kids, it is really, really difficult to find the time. DD1 is older and she has some friends that are not allowed around my younger children because of their bad behavior. I also do prefer neighborhood kids because I can sent them back to their houses when it gets too crazy and because I also don't have to schedule weeks a head of time. My kids can bounce over and see if they are home or not. Like others have mentioned, the older the kids get, the less control we have and sometimes friends prefer other friends over our children.
Thanks guys. I am feeling a little better. My daughter is not the best at making friends -- and I was hoping that this particular friendship would be positive for her. We have kids on our street that she can play with but she chooses not to. Their personalities are more dominating than hers.
What I find interesting about this "best" friend situation is that whenever they want to have a playdate, we are usually free. We have even accommodated them before and after school when the parents are running late. BUT, when we ask for a playdate they are busy.
Oh well, I guess. *sigh*
Yea, sounds like a relationship not to sink your heart and soul in. I can tell you from experience that the disparity between your willingness and theirs to sacrifice for the interaction will drive you batty. I deeply regret investing so much time in a couple families in the early years. In the end, it was my daughter and I that were hurt and angry and the other families truly did not comprehend it. For them, nothing had changed and our feelings came out of nowhere. They just assumed that our ability to "always make things work" was because we had nothing better to do. They never really got that we were in fact twice as busy but we bent over backwards to connect, to help, to make the relationship easy for them.
Some kids are just out of time with their peers. Some are ready for that one-on-one best friend relationship while most really aren't there yet. It can make for some lonely elementary school years but as kids age, more start seeking depth. It's good to accept that people are limited in what they can give. It's OK to say to your daughter that this girl is a great "recess" friend but that she really doesn't have the capacity to be more than that at this time. If it's any consolation, my eldest, at 17, has several very close, long-term relationships as does my 13-year-old. Largely outside of school friends but still.
Married mom, DD 18, DS 15, and a Valentine's surprise on the way!
Actually, this makes sense to me. I have way fewer play dates than my kids would like because I work part time and go to school, so I may have a week in mind that would work well for play dates, and may plan to have kids over sometime that week, a month in advance or more, I would not actually schedule it with the parents until the weekend before the week, but in my mind I've allotted that time for a ply date. If someone called me up on the weekendior a day or 2 in advance, for my child to go to there house that week, I have likely already had my week planned out , and may not be able to get my child over there. I actually look at my workload for my school term at the beginning of the term and have to plan for that, so in early Jan, I've got the next 3 months loosley mapped out.
I couldn't help but reply because it was at age 9 that I lost my best friend to another kid. I had a best friend from 1st grade through 3rd--we were inseparable, spent time after school almost daily and on weekends and even on school nights (gasp! not sure I'd let my own kids do that) In third grade another girl got in between us and sometimes the new girl and I would play, but then they started up together and I was completely dissed. It was heartbreaking and I felt like I had no friends (indeed, I was shy and afraid of being turned down from playing). Anyway, they became best friends as we once were until 6th grade. During that year, my old bf started hanging around again and actually turning away from the other girl. We weren't BEST best friends again, but we were very good friends and we were very connected through the rest of our school years. She is now on the other side of the country, but we are soul sisters--she told me not long ago that I was her oldest and dearest friend because I was always there for her. Even when her life got crazy (and, omg, there was a lot of crazy) I was the calm, the one who she could always turn to. We understand each other a lot better now as adults and can see that ebb and flow of friendship in childhood.
I share this all to say that I think things happen for a reason. Teach your daughter to be a good friend, to listen and be kind...to not get wrapped up in gossip and girl fights. As the other girls may not "get" how their behavior negatively affects your daughter right now, they will "get it" at some point. The fact that your daughter doesn't neglect friends, or get involved in gossip etc. shows that her emotional maturity is far greater (not that it's not upsetting). This is the time for her to start figuring out who she is apart from her friends too. For me, I was in the orchestra and that was a whole different group of people that didn't even go to my school.
good luck to you. Painful as it is for dd, there are important life skills being learned.