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Rollercoaster friendships

Friendship is not always easy - as young alien-maker Katie found out "Libby is my best friend, but sometimes we don't like each other. She's in my class. We always play together at playtime. She comes to my house for sleepovers and I go to hers.

"But yesterday she was my worst friend and I'm not playing with her any more... She just kept talking about her new puppy. On and on. It made me so cross. I said, 'Stop talking about your new puppy and play with me making the alien', but she kept on trying to bring a puppy into the game. She made me cry and I made her cry. Now she's not my friend and I am sad and lonely."

Katie, who longed to have a puppy herself, confused the emotion of jealousy for that of dislike and hate.

Not for the first time in their friendship, Katie rejected Libby. Both girls became upset but were unable to resolve their conflict. Katie's mother talked things over with them and helped them to understand what was happening.

Such support can help children to identify and label emotions correctly and respond in more appropriate ways to their powerful feelings. Katie was able to resume her rollercoaster friendship with Libby.

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