It’s all gone south

It's all gone south

There’s fewer more emotive things for a parent, than thinking that their child has no friends. It’s something that we’ve been fortunate enough to avoid in the most part. Even during our hardest weeks, Poss has always had one or two kids who had her back.

There’s no doubt that she’s a difficult kid to be friends with. I’ve written about it before; she’s intense, she’s bossy and struggles to see another’s point of view. The flip side is that she’s funny, she’s loyal and she cares deeply about those that care about her.

It’s so worth holding on to get to the good bits, but unfortunately, many kids just can’t.

We had an exciting moment a few weeks ago when a classmate called and introduced herself as her friend. Her friend. They had been playing together at lunchtime, sharing a love for American Girls dolls. A little group had formed, each bringing their dolls to school, spending the breaks braiding hair and swapping outfits.

This kind of play works for Poss. There is pretty clearly defined roles, and if she wants to sit there and dress, then re-dress, her doll, then that’s perfectly ok. Her encyclopaedic knowledge of the entire American Girl doll website is seen as valuable information instead of annoying. She fits in.

We were at dinner on Saturday night when my mum asked how the group was going. Poss was quiet for a moment, then said “not great actually Mama, it’s all gone south”. Pausing for a moment to recognise her use of a metaphor, in context, we all looked at her, waiting for her to explain. “They don’t want to be friends with me anymore” she said simply.

Apparently one girl said that Poss told something to another girl, that she swears she didn’t say. It’s not uncommon, girls do that. We’re bitches. And who knows, maybe Poss did say it. It was a blunt statement, an observation, and it wouldn’t have sounded unusual coming from her mouth – but I know she wouldn’t have said it with malice.

Regardless. In her words, it’s all gone south.

Later that night, as I climbed into bed next to her, I asked was she ok. Did she mind that the group had fallen apart? She was as matter as fact as ever as she responded: “it’s ok mum, it’s happened so many times that I don’t care anymore. No-one wants to be friends with me.”

And that was that. She rolled over and went to sleep, while I lied there and scrambled around for the words to make it ok, while I tried not to cry. I found none, so I held her instead, as if that would somehow make it better.

The next morning we talked about all the friends she has outside of school, the amazing kids who are like family, who accept her for who she is. She knows they’re there, thank god, but they’re not there at lunchtime. And that’s probably when she needs them the most.

I ask her if she wants me to talk to the teacher, talk to her aide? Does she want to arrange a playdate with any of her class mates? Can I call someone? What can I do to help?

She tolerates this conversation for a short time before she says enough. Enough. “I don’t want to talk about it mum” she throws over her shoulder as she stares into her laptop. And that’s that.

So, I sit beside her and watch her play Minecraft for a bit. Next week is a new week.

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  1. PatrickC says:

    I know how you feel because I know how your poss felt and feels.
    I shed a tear for you both.
    Here’s hoping that the lunchtimes are not too hard. My best friend at primary school was the quiet reading area and at secondary school was the library. These two friends made my lunchtime fly and I just had to survive the bus trip home.
    Just give her hugs when she needs them, watch her and if she initiates discussion about it then let it flow, otherwise yes it is enough listen to her finality on the subject (for now)
    Good luck.
    Hold your strength, Posses resilience is obviously strong.

  2. 🙁

    Books were my best friends in school. I also learned to be excellent company for myself though that took a little more time and effort. Even when I did not have books with me, thanks to books like The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton, my imagination could go all kinds of places. 🙂
    Snoskred recently posted..Plane SpottingMy Profile

  3. This makes me sad for you both. Much love xxx
    Caroline recently posted..Meeting Leslie Gracie, Master Distiller, Hendrick’s GinMy Profile

  4. No wise words or advice, just a giant virtual hug, and a nod of understanding xx
    Jane @Almost Jane recently posted..Who let me adult?My Profile

  5. I have tears flowing. Sending you and Poss hugs. X

  6. It’s so hard when you can’t just fix something for your child. I guess it comes down to building their resilience. It is a shame they struggle with the challenges of friendship, as I think they are the most loyal friends. I am lucky that one of my ASD daughters has had a best friend since 3 year old kinder and they have been in the same class all the way now through to Grade 3. But my 6 year old has struggled without such a special friendship, and with ASD has taken a long time to make friends to play with at school and goes through stages of thinking no one likes her and becoming anxious about what others think of her and about going to school – thankfully this year we have made progress and she now has peers to play with. I dread to think what it will be like starting high school, but we just have to take each day as it comes.

  7. It’s heartbreaking to hear your children say they have no friends. My daughter is going through
    the same thing. She tells me that she has a best friend but this friend is mean spirited child. Today
    you are my friend, tomorrow I will tell everyone not to play with you. We have had many talks about
    what friendship is but I think she is desperate for a friend that she is willing to put up with it! I
    hurt for her every day to find a true friend!!

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