DD "mean" friend and teaching social skills to pre-schoolers - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 04-24-2013, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
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DD, who is 3.75 yrs old, has a friend who is just a few months older. They have been "friends" since infancy, since we are friends with the parents.


This other girl can be very bossy and mean at times to DD. I do not love it, as who wants to see someone being mean to their kid? But in ways it can be good as it gives us opportunities to talk to DD about being mean and or bossy. We also use the experience as a way to help DD figure out ways to "stick up for her needs" when kids are mean.

DD is starting Kindergarten in Sept. and so will probably come in contact with other mean kids.


My biggest pet peeve about it is that DD is taking on some of these behaviours towards other kids when playing with them. It is not like her, and almost word for word what this other kid says to her. I do not want to allow my DD to be mean to other kids or coerce other kids to do things she wants them to.


Some examples of the behaviour would be:

* Both children are playing with the blocks. Child decides DD shouldn't get to play with any of the red blocks and so tells DD that the red blocks are off limits and only she can play with them and proceeds to take all the red blocks from DD's structure. DD tells her to stop. Other child's mother tells her to not take blocks away. Child then says "Well then I am not going to play with you anymore"


* Kids building puzzles. Child proceeds to try to disrupt DD's puzzle and when DD asks her to stop breaking her puzzle kid takes the puzzle and throws it in box and says nobody can play with the puzzles.


It is these kinds of things that go on every single time our kids get together.

Thing is, DD LOVES this kid and always wants to have play dates with her. We have decided that for the next few months we will only do neutral ground play dates in park or something with this kid.


The other day we had another friend and child over. The two kids were playing nicely, and then the little boy (same age as DD) decided that he didn't want to play that particular anymore. DD then said "Fine, I wont play with you anymore" and then told us she didn't want to have a playdate anymore.

We dont want her to be bossy in play and especially be mean to kids or coerce them to do what she wants by being mean or with holding friendship.


How do you teach a 4 yr old kind social skills. How do discourage this kind of behaviour. I do not want DD to be mean to others or become a bully.

She is quite bright, and usually very compassionate and independent.


Thanks for reading...if you were able to get through all this.

Me 40 eat.gif. Partner to mamacolleen 33 superhero.gif. DD born July 2009 blahblah.gif. Twin boys born Nov 2012.

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#2 of 4 Old 04-27-2013, 09:52 AM
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We all had friends like that as a kid. My bff was so bossy she would change my name to suit her.


Just keep correcting your daughters behavior as its hard not to copy or use mean behaviors we learn on other people. If it seem to be affecting her too much maybe limit play with that little girl.

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#3 of 4 Old 04-27-2013, 11:43 AM
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My son's best friend at 3 was a major bully.  Eventually I didn't let them play together anymore because it made me sick the way that my son would bend over backwards to appease this kid.  That was even with my coaching and giving him tools to deal with the situation.  So I protected my son and cut off contact.  My son missed this friend but he had much better self esteem afterwards.


Edited to add:  I think it's our jobs as parents to protect our kids from toxic people, no matter their age.  In those early childhood years they just can't do it themselves, and they shouldn't have to.

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#4 of 4 Old 04-27-2013, 01:09 PM
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I agree with the others. I would minimize or all together cut off contact with the other child. Perhaps try again at a later date if so inclined to see if the behavior has improved any, otherwise seek out a new playmate.
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