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Challenge: Open Discussion

Is this friendship normal or pathologic?

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I am wondering whether I am worried about nothing. I have a 7-year-old son, Adam that became very good friends with another boy named Leo in kindergarten. Towards the end of the year, I became uncomfortable with their friendship because instead of playing with a group of boys as he previously did, my son now only played exclusively with Leo, just the 2 of them. We used to carpool with Leo, and when we couldn't, Leo had stomach aches and cried. When their playdates ended, the boys cried, even though they see each other at school every day.

I stopped the carpools and requested that the boys be separated in 1st grade. My son now has many friends and is playing with all the boys, and with different groups of boys at recess. Leo is in the other class, and now plays exclusively with another boy, Eddie, just the 2 of them. They now cry when their playdates end. When Eddie is sick and not at school, my son pulls away from his other friends to play with Leo "because he doesn't have anyone else."

Of course, Eddie's parents have requested that their son separated from Leo in 2nd grade. Adam and Leo will be back in the same class again next year. How do I teach my son kindness, to play with and include everyone, but also not be sucked into such an intense friendship with Leo and be isolated from the rest of the class again? I had sleepless nights last year when we cut off carpools/playdates with Leo's family, because we did not want to hurt him. But I also do not want my son should be the solution for that little boy for the next 8 years. Please help me do the right thing for both kids.

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