Do you have friends like this?
One day, my son really wanted to go outside because one of our neighbors kids was playing. So we did.
The boy was 7, my son just turned 4. On this day, the 7 year old doesn’t really seem to play with my son, but instead just plays with my son’s toys. without really talking or even looking at Kai (my son), he enters our garage and takes turns between playing with my son’s scooter, race car, bike, etc.
After doing this for more than 10 minutes (which as a father felt like a lifetime!), the 7 year old went into his garage. My son followed and eagerly started looking at his toys.
1st, a beachball… the 7 year old quickly shouted: “No, don’t touch the ball!” Kai steps back, then spots a big box filled with legos (every kids dream!) and excitedly asks: “can I play with your legos?” The older boy coldly replied: “No, I don’t want to lose pieces.” This goes on for another minute and the boy says: “I know, I will hide something and then you will have to try to find it.” Only he did not hide it, he held it in his hand…
Until this point, I stayed back not wanting to be the over protective dad, but finally I intervened.
It brought me back to my High School Days, when I had best friends, but just not the best friends for me. It wasn’t unusual for me to sit by the front window and wait for more than an hour to get picked up. It wasn’t out of the norm for me to have to subtlety invite myself along to a party.
The thing is… I totally get it. My son just wanted to paly with the older boy. It didn’t matter to him that he got treated poorly or that he used him to play with his toys. The bottom line: My son wanted to be his friend so bad that he will overlook all these things to belong.
I did the exact same thing… I get it.
When we came back inside, I had a talk with my son and asked him a bunch of questions… like: “hmm, why didn’t he share his toys? Why didn’t he play by the rules? How did it make you feel?”
Then I asked Kai: “Is the older boy your friend?” He answers: “Yes!”
Then I asked: “Did the older boy treat you as a friend?” Kai answers: Not today, he didn’t share or play by the rules!
My question to you is: Do you have friends like this?