Girl Friendship Trouble

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-12-2008
Girl Friendship Trouble
Wed, 06-10-2009 - 1:22pm

My DD is 9 and is finishing 3rd grade. She really likes this girl in her class and has played with her outside of class as well. I know the girl's mom and like her very much.

The problem? My DD tends to smother this girl (sit by me at lunch, sit by me at library, play with me at recess....). The girl will finally say, "no, I want to sit by so-and-so" and my DD's feelings will be hurt.

I have seen her do this with other children in the past and have tried to explain that people don't like to be smothered but she doesn't understand.

I know she is looking for that one "best friend" but I don't really remember having a best friend until middle school.

How can I get her to stop being so intense?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-17-2008
Sat, 06-13-2009 - 11:29pm

Someone on here recommended an American Girl book to me - "The Care and Keeping of You" - and when I bought it there was a book beside it, also by American Girl, called "The Feelings Book".

I don't know if it fits your situation exactly, but maybe it would help her to understand being a respectful friend plus choosing friends that respect her?

Sounds like she has a loving personality and certainly has a lot to give!

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Thanks to Janel

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2004
Sat, 06-27-2009 - 10:34pm
I can say my son does the exact same thing with our neighbour.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-23-2009
Mon, 07-06-2009 - 2:24pm

This is a legitimate concern that I watched my daughter go through last year. She had started a new school, clicked with a girl, and like you said, made this girl her whole world. I could see it coming that the girl was feeling smothered like you said, and I wanted to head trouble off at the pass, so I told my little girl things like:
"Today when you're playing with Jenna, why don't you guys invite other girls that you like to play with you or sit with you at lunch?"

I suggested it after we watched an awesome American Girl movie (Chrissa Stands Strong) where there was a girl with no friends who was eating lunch alone. My daughter expressed pity for the girl in the movie and I told her that her and Jenna could, in real life, reach out to kids like that that they saw with no one to eat with or play with.

I didn't want there to come a day where my daughter's friend was out sick, moved, changed schools, or whatever the circumstance might be, and then my daughter felt like her world had ended.

Slowly she and Jenna added some other girls to their little circle, and it has really paid off because they can all split their attentions among each other and no one feels smothered.

I wouldn't just tell your girl to back off of her friend, but offer the suggestion of *in addition to* the girl, why not invite others to hang out.