“I don’t like you” “I don’t want to play with you”


Today I had ‘one of those moments’ – I just wanted to shrink and disappear!  Well meaning ‘ME’ thought it would be a wise idea to introduce 4 year old K5 to another child at kinder whom I think could be a potential long term friend.  I think it was a case of ‘bad timing’.  I introduced K5 to his new potential friend.  It was K5’s response which made me want to disappear…………. FAST!  “I don’t like you!  I don’t want to play with you!”.  As the potential friend just looks forlorn and bewildered by this comment I realise potential friend has just turned into potential enemy.  Embarrassed I promptly apologised to the mother and assured myself that he didn’t mean it.  I took K5 aside and asked him why he said that, and he said “I haven’t known him for a very long time”.  Phew!  Perfect explanation BUT I now realise I need to do some serious ’social teaching’.  Just because you haven’t known him for a very long time doesn’t meant you DON’T LIKE HIM!!!!  Thankfully the potential friend, now the potential enemy’s mother is all forgiving and we are going to organise a ‘getting to know you’ playdate!  Hopefully this will go well! and I’d better help K5 in socialising a little more appropriately otherwise he might ‘fail’ 3 year old kinder.  Eeeeeeek!

I actually googled “4 year old telling friend he doesn’t like him and doesn’t want to play with him” and unsurprisingly I didn’t really get any useful advice, however, I did find the following articles:

Raising Children Network – Child Development 4/5 Years

Kidslife Readiness for Pre-School : Expectations & Preparations

You’re not my friend anymore by Karen Jacobsen

and I will be reading I’m not your friend by Sam McBratney at least every second night!

Can anyone else share their experiences in a similar situation?  Offer advice? I hope I’m not alone!

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