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Old 11-25-2012, 01:29 PM   #1
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Helping my 4 yo "move on" from friends?

A year ago our family left a church that was ending (we stayed til the end) and my now 4 yo DS has two little friends that he's known basically since birth that were all born into the kids' ministry together and grew up there for their first 3.5 years.

We stayed in touch for a few months but both of the other families made very quick transitions into new church communities and have more or less "moved on" and don't return contact or requests for play dates. It's been a year now and my son still asks about both of them on a weekly basis. :-/. I've reached out to them often (at first it was weekly, then monthly after the first few months, then I stopped trying about three months ago) and was brushed off or ignored. Especially one little boy whose parents were both close friends of ours, and whose birthday is three weeks apart from my DS so we've always made a big deal of going to each thers' son's bday parties. This year they rsvp'd and then just didn't show up for my DS's party, and didn't invite us to their sons party.

They're obviously moved on, and I have my own issues to deal with in letting go of my own hurt in that, and am looking for advice on how to support my son in moving forward.

He's in a preschool right now with 6 other kids in his class, and gets along very well with all of them. This question just came to mind today bc DS sat down to draw pictures and just made a pile of crayon drawings for the little boy. :-/

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Old 11-25-2012, 01:44 PM   #2
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This is so sad!! Maybe they are struggling financially? So they thought they could come to your DS's party but then couldn't afford a gift or a party for their DS.
But yeah the play date thing is strange. I would reach out to them one more time and say your DS is very important to my DS- he constantly asks about him. Please reply and let me know if they can have a play date. And tell them that you also value their friendship.

If they do not reply then I would move on. it is tough because 4yr olds don't understand grown up stuff.
Good luck
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:06 PM   #3
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Re: Helping my 4 yo "move on" from friends?

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Originally Posted by Sarah-B View Post
This is so sad!! Maybe they are struggling financially? So they thought they could come to your DS's party but then couldn't afford a gift or a party for their DS.
But yeah the play date thing is strange. I would reach out to them one more time and say your DS is very important to my DS- he constantly asks about him. Please reply and let me know if they can have a play date. And tell them that you also value their friendship.

If they do not reply then I would move on. it is tough because 4yr olds don't understand grown up stuff.
Good luck
I would try this. Just explain that your son asks about their son constantly and you'd love to get them together.

If they don't respond, you might need to tell your son that the other boy moved away. It's true and not true - he has moved on.

A lot of it can be from the church ending. I have been a part of 2 church endings and the relationships don't seem to last once people find new churches. Of course, the two I've been a part of were sorta contentious church issues, yours may not have been. Anyways, I would try not to take it personally - because I'm sure it's not personal - those things just tend to get messy.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:48 PM   #4
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Re: Helping my 4 yo "move on" from friends?

I do believe that some friendships are simply situational and it is obvious that this would be one of these cases based on the lack of response from these people.

I would just suggest an alternate (new and available) friend the next time that he brings it up. I have had to do this with my kids when it comes to moving from preschool (private and feeds into a school we aren't zoned for) to "big school." I realize that there is just no way that we can keep up with every little friend that my LOs make, so we try to pick and choose ones that will be around for the long haul.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:01 PM   #5
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Re: Helping my 4 yo "move on" from friends?

I had something similar happen. In the end, I think I was more upset about the kids losing their friendships than they were. They talked about it for awhile, but eventually forgot completely. Ran into one of the little girls a couple weeks ago -- DD had no idea who she was, even after I tried to jog her memory. (She was 3 the last time they saw each other, and is now 5.)
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:45 PM   #6
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Re: Helping my 4 yo "move on" from friends?

My son does the the same thing, with some kids that we used to see all the time, but now that friendship has ended....so when he talks about going to see them (as he does at least 3 times a week) I just tell him that they may not be there anymore...and then I change the subject. I try to get him to focus on something else, or other friends that he has, and I can just hope that he gets to where he wil forget them....Maybe increasing the play dates with other children around your DS's age can help?
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:29 PM   #7
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Re: Helping my 4 yo "move on" from friends?

That is so hard! DD (5) talks about friends from her preschool all the time that I have no idea how to contact. She even made one little boy a "present" last week (a box of her favorite stuff).

I have tried telling her that I don't know how to find _____'s mommy, and I'm sorry, but we can invite (insert kid from her current class) over one day soon!
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:23 AM   #8
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My daughter's first pre-K experience was with 6 other children and 2 supervising adults. Calling them teachers would be a bit of a stretch, but it was intimate. Gigi attended for 6 weeks and I finally decided she needed better/more. She is in a New York state UPK now, with 16 other friends but she still misses Ella. I have told her that it's a small world and that it is possible for them to run into each other in the future. "You never know." That seems to be enough for my daughter.
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:31 AM   #9
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Re: Helping my 4 yo "move on" from friends?

I'd probably just tell him they moved. Unfortunately, after this long and so many attempts on your part that were blown off, I personally would not attempt to contact them again. They've made it clear that for whatever reason they don't want to stay in touch. You tried a number of times from the sound of it, those would be what I would have considered the last ditch efforts to stay in touch. I'm sorry for your DS and you both. That would be really hard.
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