My daughter Chloe has an acquaintance “Mary” who in the early years of elementary school got kind of obsessed with another girl, “Jane.” It escalated beyond not wanting Jane to play with others to being pretty vicious - spreading rumors about how Jane was misbehaving and that she was a “mean girl,” and by the end repeatedly “accidentally” bumping into Jane and knocking her into the wall and other passive-aggressive physical stuff.
It was really distressing Jane and her family, and it occurred on and off for several years between kindergarten and fourth grade. In second grade, Mary also got mad when she lost a game to another child and said, “I’m going to bring in a knife from home and stab you!” The school has been involved but treating it mostly as an interpersonal skills problem on both sides. The parents asked for Jane to be in a separate class this year for fifth grade, and I haven’t heard any reports since then.
Chloe is in an activity with Mary, and they’re asking to do playdates and now sleepovers. I’m leery. But I keep going back and forth from “Stay away from Single White Female Junior!” to “this was when she was younger and some kids need to learn how to relate to others.” So far I’ve reminded my kid that there have been issues with Mary bothering Jane, and she might want to be a little guarded. And then let them play together a couple times.
What do you guys think? Forget about any worries and let them play as much as they like, allow some play but remain cautious, or steer away from a friendship with this girl?