My daughter doesn’t want to play with my girlfriend’s daughter at school anymore. I think they are changing their friends as they enter 3rd grade but I am worried it will be hard on my friendship with my girlfriend. Do I just let things progress or address it with my friend? Denise – Shelbyville, TN
I have found that my children — especially when in elementary school — will spend time with the friend that happens to be seated closest to them in class. I think it’s a natural event, and part of learning how to be friends with different people. When I’ve been in a similar situation, I’ve made an effort to spend time with my girlfriends and bring up what’s going on. It might take more effort on your side to get together, but as your kids get older and more independent it’s going to be a fact of life.
And this way, you can get together and do things that you want to do, and not be dictated by the whims of your kids. Amy C. – 40 Something
If you were talking about a teenager, I would definitely say let them work it out. But your daughter and her friends are young and they are learning how to navigate social relationships. I would talk to your friend and tell her how your daughter is feeling so that she can be aware of any hurt feelings that her daughter might be experiencing. Your friendship shouldn’t suffer because of it – it may even get stronger because of your honesty. Jamee T. – 40 Something
I would say just let it progress. It is only natural that your daughter enlarge her circle of friends as she grows and develops her own interests. If you and your girlfriend are solid, the friendship will remain so regardless of what your daughters do unless one of them begins to gossip about or one-up the other and one or both of you takes sides. The only thing I would say to your friend, if you feel a need to comment at all, is that it is fun to watch your daughters as they develop their individual personalities. The school yard, which is what you seem to be concerned with, is full of peer pressure which may be influencing things. However, if your friendship depends on the girls’ friendship, then that is a different problem entirely and if you feel it is on that shaky of a base you need to examine why and either remedy the situation or move on as your daughter is doing. Marge G. – 70 Something