Friendship Help!

Playing in the dirt

Copyright Early Childhood News


My little kindergarten daughter is in a terrible relationship with one of her friends. Her “special friend,” as she calls her, says ‘jump,” and she says, “How high?” I have tried every trick in the book to get her to realize the full scope of what is going on, but she sees everything that happens as her fault. Her special friend can do no wrong.

Do you have any new and different ideas for how I can help my daughter break away from this very bad influence?


Yes, yes, yes! The new year is here, and with that comes the built in venue for letting go of the old and… “ringing in” the new. Part of the joy in having a friendship is bringing home your “special friend” to your family and having them except him or her with open arms. Not accepting this person probably does not make your daughter feel very happy, and rightfully so; and no one likes that kind of pain. Keep continuing to build your relationship with your daughter in a positive way. Do anything and everything possible to set up time for her to be with other children who you like a lot and then keep pointing out to her how these other friendships are so joyful. In addition, keep reducing all opportunities for her to be with her other friend. Make all contact with that other person as difficult as possible. Hopefully, in time, and as soon as possible, your daughter will start seeing the value of her time spent with positive influences and start letting go of wanting or needing to be in the company of a controlling child.

[Related reading: How to stop a bully]

Your daughter will never outgrow loving your positive support. Hopefully, in time, the positives she gets from you will far outnumber the negatives you have to keep giving her connected with this other destructive friendship. Please do not let up on your pursuit. Children’s friendships are extremely formative and very influential in child development and later social success.

NOTE: Special Interests: No matter who you turn to for advice or what specialist you consult, remember that you are your child’s real expert. Because you know the most about your child, you know the best. If you have a success story, please send it to us for review so that we can evaluate it for publication as a guest post. Our goal is to empower you in your wonderful work so that you in turn can inspire others. We as parents are one great big “mutual admiration society.” We would love to hear from you. Contact us soon!


  1. Valentine’s Day is a great time to think about self-love which is essential to healthy growth and development. Self-love is not arrogance; it’s the foundation of building healthy boundaries, honoring oneself and developing greater self-confidence — all skills necessary for a more rewarding life. If we as parents don’t master these skills it’s hard to model them for our children. So take the time to do the inner work, with a counselor, coach or other professional, so your self-love shines brightly for your kids. When you deeply love yourself you are more able to deeply love your children and protect them in ways they deserve.

  2. Hi Rosalind,

    Very well said. Thank you. It is always interesting to find out that the Whitney Houston famous song “The Greatest Love of All” is about that exact concept. Many people do not realize that.

  3. Hi Rosalind,

    Here is more info that I hope you will find helpful. It is excerpted from a manuscript for a book that I am in the process of writing.

    February, the month of love, is everyone’s favorite. It provides that special opportunity to express good feelings all month long. Where to start? With thy self. Read, sing, and enjoy with your child the words of this famous song:

    The Greatest Love of All.

    The greatest love of all is happening to me.
    I found the greatest love of all inside of me.
    The greatest love of all is easy to achieve.
    Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all.

    I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.
    Show them all the beauty they possess inside. Give them a sense of pride.
    — Whitney Houston

    Even with this well-known song, so popular many years ago, few people know its true meaning. Self-love, not someone else-love, is the “greatest love of all.” It is the unconditional necessary foundation for any and all possible love after that.

  4. Thanks, Dr. Sally, for reminding us of those beautifully put words and their message for us all. The greatest gift parents can give their child is a sense of self-worth. We can overcome so many obstacles when we truly believe we have value and something to contribute to the world despite our obstacles.

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