Helen’s Fostering Blog
I have some real concerns about Beth and her friendship group. When I first met Beth she had a best friend whom she’d known for about a year and considering she had only just started at Middle School she seemed to know plenty of the other children when I used to walk her in and out of school each day. I would often hear other children call her name and want to walk along with her.
At the beginning it was easy for me to arrange a play-date with her best friend, although she was never invited around to her friends house it was always at ours, but that was ok as I was still getting to know the friends Mum so I felt more comfortable with that arrangement. But there was the only two friends who came to play, in comparison Harry was often invited to friends houses for play-dates and birthday parties.
When Beth was listing who she wanted to invite to her birthday party I was really surprised that there was as many teachers as friends that she wanted to invite. In those first few months Beth was also invited to her friends birthday parties which of course is what you would expect. Sadly, things have changed, as it stands to-date in 17th months Beth has not once been invited to a friend’s house for a play-date, birthday parties and we have only managed to organise 4 play-dates with 2 friends in all that time.
Beth and her best friend had a falling out last year, it was an intense friendship, with Beth almost wanted to morph herself into her best friend, she would often want to be called by her friends name, each notebook would be labelled with her friends first name and Beth’s surname.
After they fell out understandably Beth was a bit lost, but she was adamant she didn’t want to be friends anymore, she had a few other friends so I wasn’t overly worried at this point as actually I thought it might be good for her to spread her wings a bit.
Whilst Beth often still talks to lots of the other girls at her school, it is clear that Beth’s mood swings, and the that fact she is so easy hurt, offended or annoyed makes it difficult for the other girls to share such an intense friendship. She had a few issues recently whereby her group of friends kept running away from her when she approached and no longer wanted to play with her.
Obviously, this is heart-breaking for her. As it stands she currently has a friend for a few weeks, then she quickly moves onto another one.
My hope is this will change in the future, but for now we have to help her understand that friendships are built on many things and she will need to develop those skills of forgiveness, understanding, trust, sharing and compassion if she is to achieve long standing friendships.
Helen – A Blogging Foster Carer.