The Bermuda Triangle of friendship

Filed under: Big Kids

Ellie has two sets of friends; home friends and school friends. Because she attends a private school miles away from home, there is no overlap in these two sets of pals. Her home friends go to a different school and her school friends live in different neighborhoods. There is, however, a big similarity in these two groups; they both consist of three girls, Ellie being one of them.

Ever since preschool, Ellie has repeatedly found herself one of a group of three. These girls all get along fine in combinations of two. But when the third girl is added to the mix, things get a little complicated. I don't know if boys do this, but girls seem to be very possessive about their friendships.

At school, depending on who gets there first, one of the three is usually left feeling like a third wheel. Sometimes the rejection is subtle, other times it borders on cruel. It could be any one of the girls; it changes from day to day. When I pick up Ellie every afternoon and begin the "how was your day?" conversation, it is immediately apparent which girl she was that day.

The same thing happens at home, but there I at least have the advantage of my own friendship with the girls' mothers. We tuned in to this rivalry early on and tried to help them work it out, but I don't know how successful we have been. To avoid any problems, Ellie sometimes requests that only one of the girls come over to play. That solves the problem only temporarily as the third girl is still being left out in the cold. Do you have this problem with your child's friends? How do you help them deal with it?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.