After Grace’s friend (who is nine) had gone home for the afternoon we had this conversation:
Grace: My friend X says she is the leader. So I have to do what she says, and follow her and things.
Me: as part of a game?
Grace: No, all the time.
Me: how do you feel about it?
Grace: i dont think its too good really.
Me: Have you told her that? you know you don't have to do what she says.
Grace: but she says i have to.
Me: While you can just say no.
Grace: yes but then she wont play with me.
at which point she ran of to do something else -
So this is a conversation we need to return to in the very near future, and in honesty I am not sure how to handle it. Grace loves spending time playing with this friend, and there is a big age difference which results in her often getting the raw end of the deal. Her desire to spend time with the friend is far greater than her friends desire to play with her - which results in unequal power dynamic, where the friend will just say - and has carried out in the past the threat - well if you don’t want to play the game i want to play i am going home. This leaves Grace devastated. So all advice gratefully received, how do we help empower her?