Has anyone been able to solve this age old problem?

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by maggie123, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. maggie123

    maggie123 Rookie

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    Mar 26, 2011

    You can't be my friend, or You can't come to my birthday party

    This drives me crazy. We have had conversation after conversation about it. I've even resorted to taking stickers off their incentive chart but they just say it out of earshot. However, I know they've said it because the crying starts.
     
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  3. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

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    Mar 26, 2011

    Two options:

    #1 Sally says to Suzy: "You can't be my friend."

    The teacher tells Sally: "Since you aren't being nice to all of the friends in the classroom, I think that you should play in a center by yourself for a while."

    Send Sally to a center by herself for a while, and then go to her a little later and ask her if she's ready to talk nicely with all of her friends?

    #2 Sally says to Suzy: "You can't be my friend."

    The teacher tells Sally: "I think you and Suzy need to spend some quality time together. If you got to know Suzy a little better, I think you could be the best of friends."

    Make sure Suzy and Sally spend the rest of the day together. Sit next to each other during lunch. Sit next to each other during story time. Build together in the block area, ect.....
     
  4. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    Mar 27, 2011

    I also have this same problem, almost daily in my Pre-K classroom. I recently had a new girl student join our group and was hoping the new girl would change the dynamics of the class, but the girls are just as mean to the new student as they are to eachother. They are always ruffling each others feathers! Drives me crazy. Especially at circle time when I call on one of the girls all the other girls start whinning, and saying well "I hate .........!" or "Why did you call on ............., and not me. I don't want to be ............. friend anymore." It seems like no matter what I do, or how much we talk about including everybody in play, someone is always getting their feelings hurt and crying. It is worst at circle time when I am just trying to get through calendar, counting, ect... I would also appreciate any information on how this problem can be solved, especially for those teachers who have very difficult students. I have one little girl in my class that is so spoiled, it is painful for me and the other students. She threw a big temper tantrum one day, because it was somebody elses birthday. She hits, screams at the top of her lungs, tells others she wishes they would die. It is really heartbreaking as a teacher to see this behavior almost daily. Wow, I have had an unbelievably rough class this year! I am at the point of almost having to laugh because if I don't laugh I will cry all day! I always keep thinking that if I can solve one problem, it will make my days a little smoothier. This particular problem would be a great stress reliever, if I can get it under control. Why do so many girls have the problem of needing to exclude other students or make them cry on purpose.
     
  5. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Mar 27, 2011

    When I taught pre-school we made the students follow the rule that "everyone can play" meaning nobody was allowed to tell anyone that they couldn't play. If someone asked to join in and were told No by another child then that child had to go off and play by themselves for 5 minutes. Then the child had the option to come back to the group. The kids were pretty used to this rule and we generally did not have problems.

    As far as the birthday thing, the kids were forbidden to talk about birthday parties and if a child reported they had been told they "can't come to my party" then the child saying this was removed from the group to play independently.

    I will say though, it did make it a bit hard for my daughter in Kindergarten when suddenly other kids were able to exclude her. She had to learn to make friends instead of just automatically being able to play. It took some adjusting for her, but by 1st grade she was much happier and more able to make friends.

    A great book about this topic is You Can't Say You Can't Play.
     
  6. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Mar 27, 2011

    I just want to say, I wouldn't take stickers that they have already earned off their incentive chart. I don't think it's fair to the kid.
     
  7. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Mar 27, 2011

    You also just might want to add a sticker after play time for students who played nicely with all of their friends.
     
  8. Auter12

    Auter12 Comrade

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    Mar 28, 2011

    I have gone another route with this. Instead of making them "get to know each other" give them a break. I call them "friend breaks." Sometimes we all need breaks from our friends, we can take a "friend break" and then be friends later. We can't expect kids to get along with everybody, all the time, but we can teach them to be respectful of everybody, even if they aren't going to invite them to a bday party.
    Then, to encourage a more natural frienship (rather than being made to play with each other) find similar interests and include both students in some activity, group each of them with the other's friends (they'll be friends by association), etc.
     
  9. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    Apr 2, 2011

    If someone hurts someone's feeling or is bring out and out mean - I do something called 'An Apology of Action' - saying 'I'm sorry' doesn't cut it - it doesn't FIX anything - you have to DO something (hence the action part) to fix it. You rip my paper, you need to repair it with tape. You hurt my feelings you need to fix them too. If you say you won't be my friend, etc. and hurt my feeling and make me cry - how could you make me feel BETTER? I usually ask the crying child this... they usually say play with them, draw a picture, etc. This is very powerful and really helps children understand hurt feelings aren't ok and a simple 'I'm sorry' doesn't cut it. :)
     
  10. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Apr 2, 2011

    You are a wise man, halpey!
     
  11. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Apr 2, 2011

    This. Exactly.

    I would always respond with, "Those don't sound like very friendly words. How can you help Johnny feel better?"
     
  12. puff5655

    puff5655 Cohort

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    Apr 3, 2011

    In most cases, all you gotta do is give them the words they need to really express how they feel. They don't have a solid definition of friendship yet. "I'm not your friend" just means, "I'm mad at you." So give them those words. I teach my kids to say "I don't like that. That makes me (mad, sad, etc..)" and they learn it quick.

    It's a little different if you are talking about one child being excluded all the time for no apparent reason. I've never dealt with that.

    If there aren't any conflicts in a prek room, you're doing something wrong. Lots of conflicts during play are GOOD! Kids are learning how to get along, and these moments are all teaching opportunities-----please please please don't ban kid's attempts at conflict resolution, but instead help them learn how to solve them on their own.
     
  13. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Apr 3, 2011

    True, the purpose of PreK....perhaps even more than mastering the ABC/123 content is to learn to fuction in a group. This ability will make it possible to learn in future classrooms.

    I must admit, for some reason I don't usually suffer from the birthday syndrome and I have often tried to step back and "see" why. I haven't been able to see it yet. I can say that we have a long history of all the tips that posters have mentioned.

    We have rules that say that we will let everyone play, and they are enforced. However, we also have special friends that aren't given a title at all, but the teachers know who they are and sometimes play is allowed between the pair. The time is sanctioned or sacred it just happens. Often if a special pair is playing and I know that someone is going to ask to play, I will sneek over and walk the pair through the process. "I am really proud of how well you two are playing. I noticed a lot of friend words and that makes my heart happy. So and So is going to need a team to play with, and I have noticed that each of you has played with So and So and done well. I would like the two of you to give playing together and including So and So in the group. Please remember that playing with 3 friends is hard. Try to remember that you need to talk and listen to ALL THREE PEOPLE. Thanks."

    I then often have to remind them to include the 3rd person. It is hard. Remember, 3rd wheel is a phrase used by much older children, so it must just be a hard number. I praise a lot when they can get it done.

    We have actions with our apologies, and with all redirections that are more of a time away. We have alone time, and we are allowed to use our words to say what we really feel (even if it is hurtful) but we have to get the resolution phase with help so that it doesn't just stay in the anger mode.

    All of that said, the poster that spoke of the child being out of step in older grades when confronted by more natural child meanness is something we have to deal with.
     

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