Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Frenemies!

Friends one minute.  Enemies the next.  Love-hate relationships.  These are the toughest social connections to take care of in schools.  The two of them want to be friends and they can't make it work.  Classroom teachers do so so much to weather these relationships in classrooms.  Parents want to make sure that their kid is in a good place.  Not easy when things are simply not gonna work!.

At some point, one of them sees that it doesn't work.  It won't work.  It is over.  Then what?  Letting the two of them battle it out every day is clearly not the right thing to do.  Oddly enough, we tend to wait and watch and talk a bit too long.  It seems that we try to convince these two that it is OK not to be friends, they just can't be enemies.  Really though, at this late stage of the frenemy zone, doing nothing won't fix anything.  Actual working solutions differ case by case and simply trying to talk through it is rarely the one that works.

In conversations with former friends, the only thing I have ever said that makes a tiny difference is one request given to both of them together.  "Tell me something good about each other."

Something caused the attraction in the first place.  Something made the initial friendship desirable.  Helping them remember those feelings is the only thing I have found that helps at all.

When friends become enemies, help them remember why they were friends.