Evaluating friendships

Nik, out of nowhere: “I don’t like A___ anymore, mom.”

Me: “Why not?  I thought you loved to help her and be her friend?” [A__is a special needs child in Nik & Anjali’s class]

Nik: “No, mom.  She’s mad.”

then… “All the kids think she’s mad and she pulls our hair.  And Ms. D__ makes her sit in the chair when she pulls our hair.”

[And this is the little girl who, in her own way, really likes Nik.  We had a playdate together a while back and the kids got along really well.  Nik watches out for her during field trips, holding her hand, making sure she has somewhere to sit, sits next to her at lunch…I love to see how caring he is.  So, to hear this from him made me really sad, and I had to think for a minute how to respond.]

Me: “She doesn’t mean to hurt anyone.  She just likes to touch your hair.  And A__’s mom and dad think you do such a good job being A___’s friend, Nik.  Remember how they said that to you?”

Nik: “Yeah.  But they love A___.  I love YOU!”

Me: “They love the fact that you are nice to their daughter and that you are her friend.”

Nik: “Yeah.”

Me: “Will you be her friend again, and take care of her when other kids are mean to her?”

Nik, after thinking for a bit: “Yes.”

Anjali: “Me too!  I be A___’s friend too!  I yike A___!”


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