My daughter has been having some trouble getting along with one of her girlfriends in her preschool class. She makes friends fairly easily and has a large group of girls she likes to play with. Some of them are her age, and based on the structure of the preschool room, some of them are a year younger.
She gets along with almost all of them. It not unusual for us to take a long time leaving the school for all of the hugs and goodbye wishes.
There is one girl, though, that has been her “best friend” since they were two. The two of them are both strong-willed young women. It is because of their strong personalities, that they often clash. The often both want to be in charge of what to play and who does what in their made up games. This leads to disagreements and hard feelings and often ends with one of them telling the teacher about whatever transgressions might have occurred.
This relationship has come to a head as of late. Both of their birthdays are within a couple of months of each other. So they have taken turns inviting and uninviting each other to their respective birthday parties. It’s causing my daughter so much stress that she’s ended up in tears when she tried to tell me about the latest argument of the day.
I am at a loss on how to help her. Most of my friends now and growing up were boys and not just because there were more men in all of my Rocket Science related classes in college. I have had and, to a certain extent, continue to have a harder time connecting with women in friendship than with men. I remember examples during college and high school, of my girl friends getting upset and holding grudges for things that I never understood.
Now that I see this happening for my daughter, I don’t know what to tell her. Do I tell her that it might be the first time she’s having girlfriend trouble but it probably won’t be the last time she will have a disagreement with a girlfriend?
I have told her to use her words and to try to tell this friend what upsets her when it upsets her and why she is upset. Rather than just run to the teacher or hold it inside, I have told her to try to express herself with her words. If all else fails, I have told her to play with the other girls, or boys, in her class if she and this girlfriend just can’t work things out. This might not be the best advice but it’s all I have to offer.
In the end, things just keep changing. By the end of the week that brought on this whole birthday invite/uninvite back and forth, the two of them were the best of friends again.
I have to admit, that I didn’t understand the friendships between girls when I was a girl, and I have achieved no more understanding now that I am all grown up.
by Rocket Science Mom
Photo graciously provided by Philms, through a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved