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How to tell a 5 year old that her best friend is moving

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Webster, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. Webster

    Webster Well-Known Member

    So, we found out at my daughter's 5th birthday party on Sunday that her best friend's parents have accepted jobs on the West Coast and are moving out of our little corner of Garden State suburbia in a few weeks. My daughter has been good friends with this girl through three years of preschool and summer camp and they do everything together.

    I'm trying to figure out how to break the news -- my daughter is pretty sensitive and when her grandfather died (suddenly) and her great-grandmother died (after a long illness) -- she was devastated. I spoke to our pediatrician and the director of her preschool and each were pretty useless.

    Any thoughts from the SJ nation?
  2. WolvEagle

    WolvEagle Active Member

    Man, that sucks. I don't have a solution about breaking the news, but what might make it easier is the electronic age we live in. Make arrangements with her friend's parents to trade photos via e-mail once they move. Obviously, you're not going to get in-depth e-mails written by two little kids, but at least it's a way for them to stay in touch.
  3. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Honestly and kindly. There's no way to make this not hurt.
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I think 5-year-olds will rebound from this pretty quickly, though. Still sucks.
  5. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    Don't tell her anything. Just pretend the kid was only an imaginary friend.
  6. Azrael

    Azrael Well-Known Member

    I'd go a step farther than WE suggests, and see if you can Skype with the friend and the folks. Then tell your daughter that's what you'll be doing once the move happens. The video connection might ease the transition a little.
  7. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    Only time will heal the initial pain. This coming from a military brat ...
  8. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Sorry for your loss but I think you are over thinking this one.

    You can't protect your kids from every possible trauma that comes their way.

    I believe that kids feed off how adults respond. If you are sad and macabre in telling her she will react accordingly. If you treat it matter of factly she will look at it in same manner. Perhaps she already knows.

    You need to get out of the helicopter.
  9. joe_schmoe

    joe_schmoe Active Member

    It does suck, and Ace is right. 5-year-olds handle these things remarkably well.
    Even though they seem smart for the age, that young, deaths and departures are more confusing then they are the realization that a person is gone from their lives.
    It may actually be best just to let the friend tell her, let them deal with it their own way then. It's easier to relate to a 5-year-old as a 5-year-old then it is as a adult-year-old trying to think like a 5-year-old.

    She may ask questions later though.

    In a few months, all will be forgotten.
  10. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    Every child is different but I think what's important is NOT to make a huge deal out of it. It's really difficult to predict how kids that age will react to the news.

    Maybe she'll just shrug her shoulders and say, "Well, that's too bad. I guess I'll have to find a new best friend"
  11. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    i agree with boom that you're overthinking this. i'm a dad of an almost 3 year old so i know how it is to worry about these things. i was terrified about how she'd reach when her favorite daycare teachers left. kids are resilient at this age.

    and unless you have reason to think the family's coming back in a year or two, i'm not so sure i would bother with skype and keeping in touch. people will come and go into her life. that will never change. it sucks. but she's five. in a week or two (or three or ten) she'll have a new best friend. she won't even remember what the girl looks like a year from now.
  12. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    From New Jersey to the West Coast?

    "Your friend is going to a better place . . . "

    Mention beaches with actual waves and Disneyland. She'll want to visit.

    :D ;D :D ;D ;) ;) :D ;D
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