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Can an Enemy Be Your Child’s Friend? Term Paper

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Updated: Dec 31st, 2020

Problem statement

During fifth grade and below, many students find themselves in the company of others whose behaviors rarely match. A bookworm child and another who smokes meet in class during lunch and even accompany each other when going home. Nonetheless, the characters of the two children contrast in a huge way. As such, I tend to suppose that it is true that an enemy can be your child’s friend.


The purpose of this paper is to comprehend the factors that can lead to a child’s friend being his/her enemy. The reason is that during childhood, many people pick up potential enemies even without knowing. Yet, psychologists overlook the tendency of an enemy being a friend of the victim. So much so that they tend to think that a child’s enemy will always be his counter friend. Besides, this paper will focus on new research that shows that antagonistic patterns of interactions amongst children can be important for the positive development of a child.


The primary concepts are antagonistic relationships and peer rejection. The first concept focuses on the importance of antagonistic relationships amongst children. Antagonistic relationships make people feel that children stand to lose in terms of healthy development and growth. However, these types of relationships are important and make the children develop coping mechanisms. The difference is the manner in which different children respond to similar relationships.

The rate of hostile relationships amongst children in school remains high with high schools recording an average of 50 -70% amongst the students (Thompson and Grace 258). Therefore, people tend to think that antagonistic relationships are detrimental to their children. Nonetheless, psychologists point out that amongst myriads of people who experienced such relationships; they are currently fine with their lives contrary to the belief that a child’s enemy is his/her enemy in school (Thompson and Grace 258).

The second concept is peer rejection. People feel that children have had friends who after socialization reject them as their friends owing to a number of factors. This makes them create more enemies from their initially perceived friends. A point of view by many people indicates that many friends who face rejection from their peers attest to the fact that their current enemies were initially their friends (Thompson and Grace 260). In this tune, people think that myriads of children in this bracket experience hostility from their initial friends. This is in line with my hypotheses that a child’s friend could as well be their enemies in the future.


Psychologists in various universities have made conclusions that tend to concur with my hypotheses. Particularly, the University of California found out that over 2000 students have experienced hostilities emanating from initial friends. Most of them attested to the findings that ex-friends rarely turn out to be bitter rivals. Their rivalry impedes their psychological development. Amongst the girls, the rivalry witnessed was represented in heightened gossips that were found to be significant causes of traumatic life and depression amongst the boys. On the other hand, they carried out their rivalry outside the school environment, which also could be detrimental to their neighborhoods.


There are various assumptions that surround this topic. First, many people and scholars tend to assume that a child has perceived enemies who pose more threats than their friends do. Second, there is an assumption that the hostilities and bullying amongst children are always detrimental to their development and health. However, it has been proven that hostilities among children are important for their social growth. Against many notions, the rates of bullying and hostilities have not dropped and instead, they remain relatively constant.


From the studies carried out, I suppose that friends are worse than conventional or perceived enemies are. The rationale is that the effects of an ex-friend rivalry can have severe effects on the development of the child.

Besides, it is evident that numerous hostile relationships witnessed amongst children can foster their growth and development. This is notwithstanding, some hostility can be severe while the mild ones nurture the child’s ability to cope with challenges and comprehend the challenges of relationships. Finally, it is clear that social pressure and peer influence are very rife aspects of child development without which, the development of the child may not be fulfilled.


Attesting to the notion that enemies can be your child’s friend has various implications. From the outset, psychologists would now focus their research objectives to reveal the exact nature of antagonistic relationships that are not essentially helpful to the child while at the same time pinpointing the aspects of hostilities amongst children that could be detrimental to their well-being. As Paul and Linda mentions, implications ought to be felt by all the stakeholders of the subject (16). As such, parents will begin to be wary of their children’s friends without paying much attention to the hostilities that their children undergo in the school environment except for the extreme cases that could hinder their children’s development (Thompson and Grace 259).

Point of view

Psychologically, Thompson and Grace believe that a child’s friend can be their enemies in the future (9). Indeed, the level of rivalry is usually severe amongst ex-friends and may be detrimental to the development of the child (Paul and Elder 31). In the future field of psychology and sociology, I would wish therefore to witness more research on the nature of children’s relationship at school and other avenues of socialization that reveal the truth in the assertion that a child’s friend can be their enemies. This will help my comprehension of the nature of relationships at school and in the neighborhoods.

Works Cited

Paul, Richard, and Elder, Linda. The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking- Concepts and tools. New York: Foundation Critical Thinking, 2001. Print.

Thompson, Michael, and Grace, O’Neill. Best friends, Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children. Michigan: Ballantine Books, 2001. Print.

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