Friend Fight

6 May

Yesterday E~ had 2 friends over, Little Orphan Abby & a boy from his class I’ll call Gus.  I like both LOA & Gus.  The kids were playing kickball in the back yard when E~ comes screaming into the house saying Gus left because he was mad about some kickball rule.  Once E~ calmed down & explained what happened, it seemed to me that Gus had overreacted (he’s pretty competitive) & now E~ was overreacting.  E~ was sure Gus would never play with him again & was devastated.

I was torn.  I usually don’t intervene in fights.  If they are physical, sure, but most of the time they are not & I encourage the kids to work things out by themselves.  There are only so many times you can parse out who had what first before you realize it’s best to let the kids work out a compromise.

Anyway, my inclination was to let Gus cool down & they’d patch things up at school.  E~ was convinced this was a death blow to their friendship & he wanted to call Gus & bend the rule so Gus would come back.  About that time LOA left to go home & I encouraged E~ to go down to Gus’s house & invite him back to do something else.  I wasn’t comfortable with E~ changing to rules to suit Gus but I also didn’t want him to obsess the whole night about losing his friend.  Gus came back & they played Wii & all was right with the world.

I have always taught the kids they should be good hosts & to defer to their guests.  It worked well until we moved here when we are always the hosts.  The kids are always deferring to their friends & the boy’s were getting frustrated with always letting their friends decide what to play & how to play it.  They’re more assertive now, but with E~’s group, we tend to have too many chiefs & not enough Indians.

I remember fights with my neighborhood friend Shannon & if I remember right, we were always able to patch things up on our own.  That doesn’t really fit my No One Hurts My Baby parenting style very well.

*sigh*

How do you handle your child’s friend squabbles?  When do you intervene?  When do you call the other parent?  When do you let them work it out?

K~

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