Wednesday, 13 April 2011

It takes a long time to grow an old friend

Isn't a wonderful thing to see your children making friends? I mean friends all of their own - not someone you've made them play with because they're you're friends with their mum.

Last year when my daughter was in pre-school she didn't really bond with any one child in particular, instead she had a large group of friends but nobody special. I remember asking back then if this was "normal" and many people told me that it was usual at that age (3-4) to not have a best friend.  When she moved up to reception we were approached by the teacher to put forward names of her friends in order for them to group the classes (it's a big school). Sadly she didn't end up in a class with anybody she really thought of as one of her friends but it hasn't seemed to matter to her and she's made herself a whole new group of friends.  She's just that kind of girl, a friend to everyone.

When my son started pre-school last September he played with a few different children but by October he had found his other half.  He's got himself a best buddy and it's cute. They adore each other - they even tell each other they love each other - they are inseparable. There's an age gap of about 8 months between them, a little bit more noticeable I think at this age, certainly in terms of academic development and it's been brought up that their relationship may be detrimental to them in some way as they find it very hard to concentrate on anything else when they are together. 

At the suggestion of their teacher, they've been split up in the classroom now and things are improving for them. We've also discussed next year and my head is saying that perhaps it's better for them to be split up - my heart is saying keep them together, starting school is hard enough and I truly think my boy will be upset come September if he finds out his not with his best pal.  Either way they'll still see each other as I've become friends with the other boys mum now and I am thankful to my boy for that as it's opened up my social life!

What a trauma!  I used to worry that my children wouldn't make friends at school and now I worry that the friendships they have made (at the age of 3) are going to be the ruin of them!  I'd love to hear what your experiences are of your children and their friendships at this age and possibly what you would do in my shoes?  Does your child have a best friend?

love & kisses
Mrs M x


  1. My son is like your daughter - makes friends easily. However, he had one best friend with whom he had a love/hate relationship. They were for ever fighting between them, but when asked if he wanted a friend to come along on some jaunt, it was always that one he wanted. In the end, we were glad to move house (and school) and separate them for good. They rang each other a few times, but eventually have gone their separate ways. Now, at the age of 12, he has two or three good friends, but no one friend. I like it better that way!

    I wouldn't worry about the friend aspect when considering which school to send him to. Choose the best school for him, because you know he'll make friends wherever he is.

  2. My girl doesn't necessarily make friends easily and her Teacher says it because she has 2 best friends out of school and doesn't 'need' anyone at school!!! I'm not sure that I agree but I honestly would never want her to be put in class with either of them if they attended the same school as she would do no work at all!!! I'm sure that your boy will make some lovely new friends xx

  3. My son is almost 3 & has started coming home from playgroup with tales if 'my best fwiend, Jacob'. I think we're going to have to track down Jacob's mum over the holidays and invite him on a playdate! I want to encourage Sam to have good, lasting friendships from an early age and I don't see the harm in it.

    I known my best friend literally my whole life - our mums were friends in college. She was my first visitor when I was born (she is 5 weeks old) and she's the first name in my baby book in the Friends section.

    I really hope Sam can experience that. It's so special knowing someone for that long. Laughing over arguments when you were 7 and 'OMG do you remember that boy I snogged when I was 15'.

    For all of those reasons I wouldn't split them up. They aren't going to be exclusive best buds forever. They'll carry on making friends as they grow up. Like you said school is hard enough without being separated from your best friend. If they still interact with other children and have other friends outside school I can't see it being a big problem.


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