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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a firm believer of children choosing their own friends. Especially once they get to an age where they can really decide whgat qualitites they like and dislike in other children.<br><br>
If dd does not wish to play with another child, I take her feelings seriously. She is not shy and usually is willing to play with most children, so there is usually a good reason when she balks - the kid hits or teases or plays rough, whatever.<br><br>
My question is this - have you ever encountered a situation in which a child likes your dd or ds and the feeling is not returned? I currently have a mom from dd's school asking me to set up a playdate between her dd and mine, and dd has expressed quite clearly that she doesn't want to play with this kid. I'll admit that I've made a few excuses, but that isn't going to work for long.<br><br>
What makes it harder is that dd and this girl used to be friends, but the girl treated my dd pretty poorly a lot of the time, saying she hated her, pushing her, etc., and I have been working really hard with dd to teach her to choose friends who make her feel good, and we have finally gotten somewhere with that!<br><br>
WWYD?
 

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Perhaps talk to the mom about her dd's past behavior? See if it changes her dd's behavior toward your child and maybe "repairs" the friendship they had? I don't really know as I"ve not dealt with this yet.
 

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I haven't encountered this yet either but I was forced to play with kids I didn't like when I was little and I hated it. "Forced" might be too strong a word but basically my Mom didn't listen when I said I didn't want to play with someone probably because she was too shy to tell the Mom "no".<br><br>
I think I would just say, "You know, it's funny but DD says she doesn't want to play with "Susie". I don't know what happened but let's not do any playdates for a while and maybe they'll work it out at school." I wouldn't say anything about why you suspect she doesn't want to play with her daughter, that would put her on the defensive. Just make it light and kind of humourous.
 

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I actually deal with this a lot. My kids, definitely not inheriting my misfit streak, are popular at school, especially dd, and get a lot of attention. But they are a little bit choosey about who they want to associate with and they don't always like everyone who likes them. Recently I picked up dd from a birthday party and the hostess raved about what a delight she was -- so polite -- and begged me to set up a playdate (ironically, dd threw a screaming tantrum the minute we were out of earshot -- such a delight! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">: ) DD promptly informed me that she did not like this boy very much, and only wanted to go to his birthday party and not to his house to play. So... I "forgot" to respond. I "forget" a lot. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> I can't keep up with the demands on their social schedules.<br><br>
My ds just came up with a guest-list of four hand-selected close friends to invite to his birthday party even though he was allowed as many as nine -- and those four including one classmate from two schools and three years ago with whom he's kept in touch. He's picky about his people and several potential guests were not invited because they've treated him badly. I see this as a sign of pride and dignity, that he does not extend a hand to those who have bitten it.
 

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I have this problem right now with DD 6yo. She is in 1st grade and is developing a different type of play (she is more quiet and layed back) than most of the other kids in her class, not into sports and is content to play with her doll houses and playsets. She is very best friends with one girl that is very similar to her and shares the same interests, but 2 girls that she used to play with in K4 are rough and into sports and bossy and she just doesn't like to be around them much anymore. Well both of the girls parents (I am friends with them) were calling and saying how their girls say that my DD doesn't play with their kids on the playground anymore. One Mother even had the nerve to tell me that it seems like my DD just has no energy, which I took to mean she thinks she is lazy. I told them that I think they are at the age where they are developing different interests and making more new friends. So now neither mother calls me and is very short when talking to me out somewhere or if I call. These ladies were my friends before our DD's were born and I can't believe that they think I should make my DD play with kids that she doesn't feel comfortable with. I know my DD is not mean to them - she is very shy, sensitive and not mean spirited. She just doesn't feel comfortable around them.<br><br>
She also was born with a genetic disease and had poor muscle tone and development for a long time. She is catching up, but physically can not tolerate rough activity. These ladies know that and still feel the need to complain to me.<br><br>
I just gave up - because it wasn't worth my energy to worry about how they all felt. My job is to take care of my DD.<br><br>
Melinda
 

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Dear Luna:<br><br>
I applaud you for teaching your daughter to take care of herself and not to play with those who are not nice to her or make her feel bad about herself. I agree with Luvmykids also, in that perhaps you should try and gently clear the air with the other mom by honestly telling her what has happened. Just think how you would feel if it were your child (and it may very well be HER in the future) who wanted to play with an old friend who kept making excuses? You would be helping the mom and daughter both by making them aware of what the teasing and hitting has done to make your daughter not want to play with the other girl. Sometimes what is obvious to you isn't always noticed byt the other mom. I would respond that way and would hope that others would care enough to do the same for me/my ds. It would also help the other mother and child to try to make a positive change in behavior. What do you think your ds is learning from you about honesty and assertiveness if you keep making excuses? You don't say how old your dd is but if you are still in the playdate mode, I would think it is a great opportunity to teach your ds how to be assertive and for you to model honesty and postive assertion.<br><br>
I really can't go along with some of the other responses you have gotten. Why let your child go to a birthday party of someone they do not like and do not want to play with? Isn't that like using people? Not returning calls or responding to invitations is rude. When someone takes the time to invite me to anything I try to respond promptly and appreciate it when they do the same.<br><br>
I know we all get wrapped up in the busy-ness of raising our children and our own families are our priorities but isn't it possible to remain friendly with moms even if our children have gone on to different interests? Why can't you just explain briefly that your daughter prefers inside, quieter play to the athletic stuff, that is why she plays with other kids now? MOm2tess, if you guys were friends before your children were born, surely you have some common interests other than children, isn't it possible to remain friends based upon that? It sounds to me like the other moms feel as if they were shunned and are responding in kind when they are short to you. It WAS thoughtless of that mom to call your daughter lazy, perhaps you could have reminded her that your daughter has a disability. I know it isn't your job to worry about how others feel all the time for goodness sake, but the golden rule still applies...<br><br>
I really don't want to offend anyone, just wanted to express how I would deal with it. I think making excuses, accepting invitations from those you do not like and being unkind to other children is not a good thing to do. Yes, other kids can be unkind but they are kids and are learning, we are the adults.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the replies...<br><br>
Well, this has sort of become a non-issue, at least with the child I mentioned in my original post, because DD (who will be 5 in December, BTW) and this child are on opposite school schedules this year so the opportunity for playdates just isn't there.<br><br>
Siddie, I agree with the birthday party issue - if we get an invitation from a child who DD doesn't really know well or like very much, we decline. There have been occasions where DD sees the invitation and gets excited about the party's location (people around here do a lot of parties at special places - amusement centers, bowling alleys, etc.), and I just explain that we can go there on our own another time. Honestly, I don't particularly want to go and buy gifts for kids DD doesn't even consider friends, and then of course, I would feel obligated to invite those children to HER party, and I don't feel that their parents should have to buy a gift for my DD, either!<br><br>
I do try to be aware of the message I'm sending - I don't want DD to think it's okay to write someone off as soon as they do something that she doesn't like. We talk about trying to solve problems and giving people chances. I also don't want to label other kids in negative ways, you know, "She's a bully," or "He's not a nice boy." We just talk about it in terms of, "She has a hard time remembering to keep her hands on her own body," or "He likes to play rough and you don't like that."<br><br>
I never thought the preschool social scene would be so tough sometimes...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">:
 
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