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Dear David Coleman: My son is obsessed with one friend and it is really affecting his life

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If your son knows his friend doesn't like the nature of the friendship but continues, then it may be that he is acting out some other need

If your son knows his friend doesn't like the nature of the friendship but continues, then it may be that he is acting out some other need

Mikhaylov Oleg

If your son knows his friend doesn't like the nature of the friendship but continues, then it may be that he is acting out some other need

Q I have a seven-year-old son who is obsessed with one friend. It is affecting all areas of his life - what he eats, wears, plays with and so on. He follows him all day at school, copies the other child at all times, practically has to be on top of him (not just beside him) or he has a tantrum. Both our family and school have tried various techniques to get him to interact with other children but to no avail, he just finds new ways to get close to him.

David replies: One thing we discover in parenting is that we can't choose our children's friends, nor can we easily influence the intensity, the closeness, or sometimes the separation and rupture that can occur within that relationship.

How do the other boy and his parents experience the relationship? Does he complain? Have you talked to the mum of the other boy to see what impact it may be having on him?