9 year old boy friendship issue

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Bit miffed
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9 year old boy friendship issue

Postby Bit miffed » Mon Jun 06, 2022 9:00 am

I would welcome any advice or guidance on how to navigate a situation involving my son and (in his eyes) one of his besties. My son and this boy have great fun together but his parents have always been reluctant to participate in play dates and any time he has come to birthday parties his father has always stayed. I see now that the father is very protective of him. If he did come for a play it would be for a very limited time. Unfortunately my son misbehaved at his outdoor birthday party gathering (during a partial lockdown). My son really struggled during covid and isn’t great at times in social situations. My son got into an argument with another boy. Bear in mind they were 7 years old at this point. Ever since then my son hasn’t been invited to any of this boy’s birthday parties and the parents have declined every invitation extended to them. My son has come home saying that he’s been invited to the boy’s parties verbally but he actually hasn’t. He then told me that he recently walked out of the school gate with the boy and his father told my son to “go off and find your mum now please” in a very brusque manner, which he immediately understood to mean “go away”. He came home quite upset. I could handle all of this if our boys weren’t going to the same secondary school but now that they are and could be commuting together I’m struggling to know how to handle it, particularly managing my son’s hurt. I know the boy will be taken to school and back by his parents and my son will be left to get there by himself- which I’m fine about but my son is very confused that he’s been kept away from his friend. The boy’s mum is really nice but I’m not sure I can handle the confrontation of speaking to her as I think the dad (who blanks us) is ultimately quite strange and I don’t want to force the situation. If the kids can stay friends (which I think they will) then that’s brill but I need to help him understand why an adult would take against him so virulently (he tells me that his friend’s dad hates him).
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muddyboots
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Re: 9 year old boy friendship issue

Postby muddyboots » Mon Jun 06, 2022 9:40 am

Firstly, I’m sorry your son is going through this and it is so hard to see your child being upset and not being able to do much.

IMO, you need to let this go.
They have given you all the non verbal clues they don’t want to encourage this friendship for whatever reason. You know this, so a confrontation would just be unpleasant and awkward.

Encourage your son to build new friendship as well acting normal in school if the two boys are friends there.
In the meantime, this might also pass. His parents might mellow.

I also urge you not to worry about secondary school now! So much will happen in two years and either way it’s a natural break off point and a time for new friendships and independence.

I once had a similar situation where I felt a child was not good for my child. I too discouraged contact as I truly felt this child has a negative impact on my child. When teachers approached me with same concerns I felt validated and this clingy parent was trying to stalk us though out of school activities to the point I had to kindly decline via text to tell them which class my child was joining for an activity at one point.
This was a case of a child isolating mine from others and being co-dependent and emotionally draining to child.
Every parent has their one instinct and will try to do what’s best for their child.
They might have a reason you are not aware of .
Or they are just unfriendly and you would be better off not encouraging this bond anyway.

Perhaps sign your son up for a new activity Or try to strengthen a bond with another child in the class. Maybe organise a play date with another child.
Just be positive and don’t make a big deal out of it to him.

Good luck!
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JamTart
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Re: 9 year old boy friendship issue

Postby JamTart » Mon Jun 06, 2022 10:02 am

muddyboots wrote:
Mon Jun 06, 2022 9:40 am
Firstly, I’m sorry your son is going through this and it is so hard to see your child being upset and not being able to do much.

IMO, you need to let this go.
They have given you all the non verbal clues they don’t want to encourage this friendship for whatever reason. You know this, so a confrontation would just be unpleasant and awkward.

Encourage your son to build new friendship as well acting normal in school if the two boys are friends there.
In the meantime, this might also pass. His parents might mellow.

I also urge you not to worry about secondary school now! So much will happen in two years and either way it’s a natural break off point and a time for new friendships and independence.

I once had a similar situation where I felt a child was not good for my child. I too discouraged contact as I truly felt this child has a negative impact on my child. When teachers approached me with same concerns I felt validated and this clingy parent was trying to stalk us though out of school activities to the point I had to kindly decline via text to tell them which class my child was joining for an activity at one point.
This was a case of a child isolating mine from others and being co-dependent and emotionally draining to child.
Every parent has their one instinct and will try to do what’s best for their child.
They might have a reason you are not aware of .
Or they are just unfriendly and you would be better off not encouraging this bond anyway.

Perhaps sign your son up for a new activity Or try to strengthen a bond with another child in the class. Maybe organise a play date with another child.
Just be positive and don’t make a big deal out of it to him.

Good luck!

This. Never going to work out.
My son was influenced in his choice of secondary school by a friendship with another boy: two weeks after starting they barely talk to each other anymore - no falling out, just different classes, new friends, incompatible schedules, and generally moving on. Friendships often have cycles, so if you all still live in the same area the kids may find each other again when they are a bit older. There is a tendency to overtry with friendships, to do our utmost to keep hold of them, when it is fine to let them ebb and flow.
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Bit miffed
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Re: 9 year old boy friendship issue

Postby Bit miffed » Mon Jun 06, 2022 1:51 pm

Thanks for your responses. Just for further info, the secondary school selection was entirely coincidental as my son has an older sibling at the school. I wouldn’t try to force the friendship at all but my son is so confused. He and the boy get on well but he doesn’t understand why an adult would act that way. It’s a good life lesson I suppose but it’s one that I’ve struggled to rationalise for him. I let my kids decide who they want to be friends with but in this instance I’m at a loss for words of explanation. He’s got plenty of other good friends so that I’m thankful for!
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Starr
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Re: 9 year old boy friendship issue

Postby Starr » Mon Jun 06, 2022 2:09 pm

Feel sorry for the boy with such controlling, narrow minded parents and possibly only the father.
From my experience these kind of parents cause a lot mental damage to their child in the long run :(
Sorry about your son - it's something you will have to explain to him as gently as you can and there is nothing wrong with him but the parent/ s
Best wishes x
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JamTart
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Re: 9 year old boy friendship issue

Postby JamTart » Mon Jun 06, 2022 2:24 pm

Didn't mean to suggest you were trying to force the friendship - sorry if it came across that way - just to provide an example of important friendships becoming less important. It could be that the other child behaves badly/annoyingly when your son is around - I know that my children can associate certain behaviours and actions with certain friends, and this can be really aggravating on occasion. His father may feel that way about when your two boys get together. That said, he does sound like a neurotic caveman.

If your son mentions the dad again I would just treat it as one of those things and say something like 'Bob's father is not very good at communicating and it can make him sound a bit rude.' Also, 'He is like that with me and with other people, too, not just with you.' Probably true!
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Needcoffeenow
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Re: 9 year old boy friendship issue

Postby Needcoffeenow » Mon Jun 13, 2022 10:11 am

I agree it’s best to let it go. My oldest son aged 10 had a similarly crushing experience: on his suggestion I rang his best friend’s mother to arrange a playdate. She told me she thought the friendship had recently ‘cooled’. No reason given. (Later realised it was a private v state school thing). My son was bewildered. All I could think to say was ‘Well I’m sure X likes you but his parents seem a bit frosty with us so why don’t you invite Y over instead.’ I threw in a treat for good measure. By the way boys tend to have several ‘besties’, revolving them a bit over time, so I’d focus on broadening his friendship group right now.
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timusathem28
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Re: 9 year old boy friendship issue

Postby timusathem28 » Mon Jun 13, 2022 11:01 am

Let’s hold off on judging people whose point of hire we haven’t heard and who aren’t here to defend themselves. We only know one side of the story. The first respondent has the right approach- constructively giving ideas to the OP without jumping to conclusions immaturely.
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Skyline24
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Re: 9 year old boy friendship issue

Postby Skyline24 » Mon Jun 13, 2022 4:41 pm

I think this is a good opportunity to have a chat with your son that he is not responsible or to blame for other peoples emotions.

The dad does sound controlling but there is nothing your son can do to change the situation. He is old enough to understand that people are different. Unfortunately some people will not like us in life. And as long as he doesn’t do anything wrong, that’s ok.

Encourage him to make other friends and if this friend is really a good one, it will survive his dad not liking him xx
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