Thursday, 12 July 2012

When you're friends but your children aren't

One of my closest friends came over with her two kids today. I met her through my brilliant mother's group and nearly four years later we are still going strong.

There are no secrets between us, we have a really similar attitude to parenting and like each other's kids (which makes it relaxing to be around each other) and I could happily see her every day.

But we have a little problem at the moment ... our kids just don't get on!

In theory they like each other and they certainly ask to see each other a lot, but in reality they don't want to play the same games or share their toys, they fight and frighten each other, and it generally all ends in tears.

It's an interesting thing given that they have been friends for their whole lives, and I really hope they grow out of it ... but what are we supposed to do in the mean time?

It's interesting to contrast that relationship with Wild Man's preschool friends.

They are his first friends that he has chosen for himself, rather than me choosing to be friends with their mothers and then expecting the kids to play together.

He doesn't fight with those friends (well, not as much), he happily shares his toys and they are interested in the same things. I guess that's why they have chosen each other.

But in the same way there is no guarantee that he will be friends with my friend's children, there is no guarantee that I will be close friends with his friend's mothers (although so far they are all very nice and I do manage to resist the temptation to hit them with toys ... and women with kids can ALWAYS find something to talk about!).

But what to do about Wild Man and his little non-friend?

At the moment our only solution is to go to the park where there is enough space for both of them and we can sit together, watching them play separately.

I'm sure they'll get better about playing together and more accepting of their differences but perhaps in the long term we will have to also accept that the relationship began with a friendship between two mothers, and perhaps that's what it will go back to.

Goodness knows I couldn't cope without her!

Do your kids get on with your friend's children? Do you get on with your kid's friend's mothers?

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