Friendship


My Grandson made a new friend recently, and we’re a little cautious.  The boy is 3-4 years older than GS. I felt a bit better after meeting J, he seemed to be more than merely shy.  Then I spoke with J’s mother.  It turns out he’s autistic.  His mom was great to explain J’s issues and how I can help GS be a good friend to him.  It is very difficult for him in social settings.  But he does pretty good one on one.

GS is ADHD.  He has a great deal of trouble sitting still, his mind running 90 mph 24 hours a day.  He was on a 12 on-12 off sleep schedule from infancy to grade school.  He is extremely impulsive, and rarely thinks before speaking.  We have been working with him on self control and he has actually made some good progress this summer.

J’s mom and dad are so excited that their son has a playmate in my GS.  I feel a great deal of pressure to make sure the friendship grows.  I’m hopeful that GS will learn to quiet his mind, as J does, with meditation.  A 13 yo doing yoga and meditation.  GS won’t do it with me, but maybe he will if his friend does?  I want their friendship to work because it looks like it would be so good for both of them.

I’m afraid GS is going to do something unintentional, but devastating to J.  I want to tell his parents that GS may not be the best choice when chosing friends for their son.  He can be as mean as other children, and quite careless when it comes to the things he says.  He is an habitual storyteller.  I hesitate to call him a liar, though I’m afraid I’d have to be honest enough to say it.  It’s like it’s taken him a number of years beyond the norm to understand the difference between truth and lies.  I think J will be good for him, and I hope it also works in J’s favor.

Although, truthfully, they did not choose GS.  GS is outgoing enough to play with anyone he comes across.  Apparently he bumped into J and asked him to play and they seemed to hit it off.   Within a day they wanted to have a sleep over.  It didn’t work out and GS came home around 11:00.  As soon as they got back together then next day, they were planning another sleep over.

Tonight is The Sleep Over.  Activities and movies have been planned and discussed.  GS has been laying low and close to home all day.  He’ll go over at 5:00, they’ll order a pizza, and watch a movie.  They hope to set up a tent on the back deck and sleep outside.

I have high hopes, but am filled with the certainty that this just won’t work.  The differences between the two boys, their ages, their personalities are just to great.  I will feel disappointed, not just for GS, but for the new friend.  He’s been here two years and this is the first year he’s been out around the neighborhood, and GS is his first friend in the neighborhood.

Making friends is difficult for both boys.  J because he does not approach people  easily.  GS is friendly and will play with everyone, but he does tend to upset his friends often due to his problems.  We are trying to explain what a good friend is and how to be a good friend.

Funny, S and I teaching GS about how to be a good friend, when neither one of us has one.  I think this will be a learning experience for all of us.

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4 thoughts on “Friendship

  1. As someone who still does 12 on 12 off at 34… My recommendations are: Teach GS to avoid the nuclear option/shock and awe. The unmaking of the young me was the sense of all or nothing. ie If you’re not my best friend you’re my enemy. If you don’t adore me (and agree with me all the time), that means you hate me.
    It was only in adult life that I considered there were shades of grey.

  2. Hi…maybe to help alleviate the knot in your stomach that GS may do something of a negative nature you could confide in J’s mother this fact..just as she confided in you that J had trouble making friends…I wouldn’t dwell on it ….just tell it like you feel it…Hope this sleep over goes okay..Diane

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