My Daughter and Her "Best Friend" Won't Stop Fighting

Updated on February 15, 2007
K.E. asks from Everett, WA
7 answers

My daughter is almost 5 years old and so is her best friend. They have been at the same daycare together for about 3 years now. Almost everyday, when I pick up my girl, she is in trouble for fighting with her friend. Sometimes it is just she hurt the other girls feelings, but other times it got physical. Now it is not just a one sided thing. Her friend has a tendency to start the fights as well. I have talked with my daughter about not fighting and taking it to a teacher, but it seems to do no good. Does anyone have any advice? Thank you.

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So What Happened?

So, for the last week or so, things have gotten much better. I haven't done anything other than talk with my daughter about it. She knows that fighting is not good no matter what. I expalined to her about how it is "not nice" and asked her how she would feel if she and her friend weren't friends anymore because of the fighting. She seemed to understand. She is way too smart for her age. I will let everyone know if anything changes. Thank you for all of your advice. Feel free to keep it coming.

More Answers



answers from Los Angeles on

i sounds like time for a "Playdate". What I mean by that is that is the four of you need to get together and talk. Maybe there is something going on in the other girls family that she is acting out with your daughter. We tend to hurt the ones we love the most.



answers from San Francisco on

It sounds to me like they are more like sisters than friends. Me and my sister are 20 months apart and we NEVER got along growing up. Even now we still get into it every so often but we are both grown with our own families now.

I was also a single mom for awhile, my daughter was 4 when me and my husband me, moved in with him and then got married all in the same year. It was a lot for her to take all at once and the changes just kept coming after that. Depending on when he came into the picture, could she be acting out about the changes that are happening and coming?

Good luck.



answers from Seattle on

My daughter is going through the same thing with her best friend and neighbor. She is in second grade and met her friend in KG. Her mother and I are good friends also so it's hard because we both tend to pick sides although we try not to. We "have" to stay out of it for the sake of our friendship, but we just try to encourage them to use their words. If one child gets physical there should be a consequence at home. It's not easy and I can't say it ever will be-girls seem to have a lot of drama as they are growing up. Just listen to her, discipline her if she is hurting someone, and perhaps volunteer in the classroom when you can so you can be there to see what is happening first hand and "deal" with it then and there.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi Katherine:
I had a similar problem with my daughter when she was 7: I even tried separating the girls for a while, you know, not letting them play together, but they insisted they were still best friends despite the problems. Sound familiar?

Talking with little ones at this age to "talk to the teacher" never seems to work: by the time the problems have gotten big enough to need the invovement of a grown up the girls aren't able to stop themselves and ask for help: in short, becuase of the stage of development they CAN'T ask for help.

I found just listening to my daughter and asking questions about HOW the fight started and how she FELT about the way it ended helped shed some light on the situations. Many times kids go through a pecking order stage especially if they start playing with other kids at school. Territory includes people and feelings. 8-)

Have you tried asking your daughter how she feels about the way her friend acts? How about the way she acts towards her friend? I tried to help Karen put herself in her friend's shoes and did some role playing with her teddy bears: practicing saying and doing things that would help create a more positive alternative to fighting.

Some times all we can do is pray and help the kids ride out the storms together.

Hope this helps. Keep me posted?



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi, K.

I am no child phcologist, LOL, as you can see I can't even spell it. But I wonder could perhaps they be as close a siblings? My best friend has kids teh same age as mine and they play together all the time and they play and "fight" just as if they were all sibling togther... I know thats not a solution but perhaps it's a why. we all know that fighting with you sibling is different then fighting with ANY one else, so if they are together at school and after that could be it. As to how to stop it I will let other moms give you advice in that department, I'm sure they'll have better advice then mine.




answers from Portland on

That is an age-defined behavior for a 5 year old. They are learning how to be top of the heap...the leader and many girls, especially, want to be the leader. Sometimes, this creates competition. Maybe you can help her by talking to her and asking her a lot of "Why" questions like, "Why did you say that your friend's clothes were ugly?" "How would you feel if someone said that to you?" Etc.

I'm sure this is absolutely no help to you, but I guess it is hard to say without being there. You can also volunteer at your school - when she starts Kindergarten. It is sooooo important for your kids to see you in the school and for them to feel that you are a part of the world she will be in most of her life.

Ok...I'm done. :) Ha Ha. Really though, good luck. I wouldn't worry too much, but definitely keep with the consequences and boundaries. They really do need them.

Good luck.



answers from Portland on

At that young of an age, I would be asking myself about the supervision of the children, and how they are allowed to get to that point of fighting. If the staff/adults are aware of the situation, should they be paying more attention to it to derail the arguements or talk the girls through it before it escalates into something physical. If it continues, then perhaps look into a different daycare. If not that serious, then perhaps invite the girl and her mom over for coffee and chat, perhaps there is a different root to the problem. Good luck!

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