..."If you don't, I won't be your friend"....
I am generally from the mama-standpoint that the kids will work it all out, no matter what the issue. But, when I hear my oldest child, a second grader, come home to tell me that she had to share her lunch with some other children because they were saying "if you don't share some, I won't be you friend".... I feel like I showing up at their lunchroom the next day to tell those kids: "bug off! Don't eat her lunch!"
When we have playdates here at our house, and I hear through the baby monitor friends tell our girl(which still stationed in the kids room and - let me tell you - we hear the darndest bedtime chatter!): "you'd better let me be the mommy/borrow this shirt/use the sparkly pen/borrow this book or else I won't be your friend"..., and I have admit, I get a bit riled up and feel like I want to quickly jump to her defense.
I wonder to myself, "how many times does this happen?" We know our girl is not the most assertive gal; she's really quite shy.
My husband and I, when we pick up snipets of these experiences, talk about using our words ("I'm not comfortable sharing my lunch"), about how our friends will always be our friends even if we choose to do not what they say, about how we can engage an adult if we have tried using our words. She's run into the "I won't be your friend" threat many times already and has admitted to us that she's given in, even if she hasn't wanted to.
I would love your thoughts: what words of encouragement would you offer your child? what tips or advice would you give? when, if ever, would you get involved and have words with the other child? when, if ever, may you bring it up with the other child's parent?