about keeping dcs happy? My friends think I am.

(98 Posts)
frangiponi Tue 13-May-14 03:43:13

I have 3 friends I see more than my other friends. We have dcs of similar ages and meet up a lot together. Mostly everything goes alone fine and the kids get along well but there is one issue: I feel that they revolve things too much around their dc(s) and will do anything to keep them happy. They feel that I am a bit mean and stingy. We've not had arguments about this as such but it has come up in discussions a lot and it's starting to be a problem in that I don't want to spend as much time with them.

3 recent examples:

1. Friend A has an 8yo, as do I. I also have a 14yo and 12yo. We planned to meet with all dcs at the weekend. Friend's dd wants to go to softplay. My 8yo would enjoy that but not my older 2, which I explained. She won't compromise as her dd will kick off if we don't do softplay.

2. Friend B is currently annoyed with me as I told my dd that an old friend of hers might be in town at the weekend, so we could meet up, maybe. My dd told Friend's dd but Friend did not want her dd to know in case she had to disappoint her if they couldn't meet. It had never occurred to me that my dd wouldn't be able to cope with a bit of disappointment.

3. Friend C buys her dd a new iphone and tells my dcs that they should pester me more as their electronics are all old (it's true, but...)

AIBU?

DIYtrainee Tue 13-May-14 14:57:56

Ugh, that sounds awful. I'd have said no just on the principle of being bailed up like that!

frangiponi Tue 13-May-14 15:08:39

No it was most definitely whining! I'm sure you know the delightful intonation that goes straight inside your brain inducing pain. I can't bear it.

Georgethesecond Tue 13-May-14 16:53:36

Whining gets nothing <gavel>

Ilovexmastime Tue 13-May-14 17:43:39

I'm with you OP. Ok, individually all these incidents could be explained away and make you look unreasonable, but when there are lots of little things, they all add up to piss you off. The overall picture I'm getting here is that your friends are scared of upsetting their kids, and I think that in the long term that does them no favours.

Sneepy Tue 13-May-14 18:07:20

Well. I think you should tell your friends exactly what you think, as you are a much better parent than either of them and your children are so much better behaved. I'm sure they'll be very grateful to hear what they're doing wrong.

BakeOLiteGirl Tue 13-May-14 19:05:19

You have way too emotional attachment to the chip issue. Not healthy to be passing that on to children. Especially the eat it because we don't waste argument.

You don't sound like you like your friends much.

And some children struggle massively with being flexible. Some cannot do it or do it well. Just because some children are less flexible about change than others doesn't mean it's bad parenting. It really pisses me off that people can't see that.

Of course, that may not apply here, but the more you whine about the chip issue the harder work you sound.

Swisskissingisbetterthenfrench Tue 13-May-14 19:13:10

I agree with you OP on all points.

Swisskissingisbetterthenfrench Tue 13-May-14 19:14:34

My kids would be over the moon if they had been given chips but then they are very grateful kids and appreciate kindness

LaQueenOfTheMay Tue 13-May-14 19:23:33

YANBU.

Our DDs have been brought up to understand, that over the course of a year, they will both get to do plenty of stuff they really enjoy e.g. bowling, swimming, cinema, theme park, whatever...however, breaking that down into a week to week basis, there will be weeks where they don't get to do stuff they really enjoy.

And, that's life. The world doesn't revolve around them. And, even as their parents we can't revolve around them 24/7. Sometimes, they actually aren't the priority [gasp]

Parents who are scared to say no to their children...who always give in for the sake of an easy life...who says yes because it makes the next 10 minutes easier (deliberately ignoring that it will make the next 10 days that bit harder)...who lead their DCs to believe everything revolves around them ...well, I just think they're pretty useless and inept parents.

ElkTheory Tue 13-May-14 19:29:25

It just sounds as though your friends have different approaches to raising children. I really don't think there is One True Way to be a parent. Obviously there are aspects of your particular approach that your friends disagree with, as you disagree with theirs, but that doesn't mean you are always right and they are always wrong (or vice versa). It may even be the case that your children sometimes behave in ways that cause your friends to roll their eyes (inwardly).

C'est la vie and vive la difference. <Very nearly exhausts knowledge of French in one sentence.>

TheRealAmandaClarke Tue 13-May-14 20:45:23

IMHO
with example 1,it was just a difference of choice of venues. Your friend was no more pandering to her 8 yo that you were to your older DCs. It can be tricky to find things that everyone is happy to do when there's an age gap. So maybe no one WBU.

Example 2. I can see that she was upset but it was unfortunate rather than something to be annoyed with your dc about.

Example 3. Uwnbu. I think that's a little rude of your friend.

But, I think ywbu about the cinema snack. A treat is not a treat if you don't want it. Her choices a as valid as your dcs choices, her mum then offers to buy your dcs popcorn, which was kind. Besides I think it's compulsory to have pocorn in the cinema. Sweet of course wink
I would have been a bit upset about your attitude to the declining of chips.

You obviously have different views to some things than your friend's. That's ok. Maybe they've been making comments because from their POV you seem to be making a point about some of these issues.

frangiponi Wed 14-May-14 01:58:45

Why is it a problem to encourage children not to waste food? Genuinely, why? We have lived overseas in countries where people are living on frighteningly small amounts of money. My dcs saw how little food some people had. I don't make them finish their plate but would not be throwing away uneaten food just to give them something else. No no no.

frangiponi Wed 14-May-14 02:02:19

TheRealAmandaClarke the difference is that my older dcs would have gone along with it had we decided that they would have to come along to soft play, because they have been brought up to know that sometimes that's just life and you have to do things you don't really want to do. My friend's dd has never had to accept that, therefore my friend will push for the option her dd wants to avoid a scene. It feels like, with these friends, my dcs are penalised for having learnt how to compromise.

TheRealAmandaClarke Wed 14-May-14 05:16:32

Well what did your dd's wants to do? Or hadn't there been a discussion.
I think most ppl agree that never saying "no" to your dcs is not a good idea. But it's possible they don't see that's the case. Maybe there's a happy middle ground between your two styles or maybe you should see less of them if you can't reconcile yourself with their "shortcomings"

I think YAbu about the chips. And the way you speak about it now sounds a bit rigid tbh. It wasn't really refusing to eat a meal and being given sweets was it? You were at the cinema. It was good of you to think of the other girl when you bought your chips but I think it was unrealistic to expect her to eat them. I would be no more likely to get someone chips at the cinema without being asked than to offer them a bowl of soup. Cinema= popcorn. If she was looking forward to popcorn (which everyone wants and revels at the cinema) then it would be a gratuitously harsh to make her eat something else.

TheRealAmandaClarke Wed 14-May-14 05:18:53

When I say they might see that's not the case, I mean that your friends might believe they don't always say yes, just that they do so more than you do. IYSWIM.

BakeOLiteGirl Wed 14-May-14 07:24:00

It's not a problem to expect children not to waste food. But it is a problem to buy food for someone else without asking them and get pissed off when they exercise their right not to eat it.

StanleyLambchop Wed 14-May-14 07:41:19

If you were so worried about the waste of the chips , why didn't you just offer the spare portion to your other children? Could they not have polished them off, what with them being so flexible and all that?

turgiday Wed 14-May-14 08:03:31

I am very surprised at a few posters saying it would be hard to find things that all the children would enjoy in this age range. I totally disagree. And like any group, if you are planning to spend time together as a group, you find something everyone will enjoy.

frangiponi Wed 14-May-14 08:34:18

My dcs probably would have eaten some of the extra portion but friend's dd held onto it while she ate the popcorn. I thought she was going to eat it but she left it behind in the cinema, which I only realised when we got outside and asked one of my dcs. Anyhow, I feel we might have done that one to death now.

What would my older dcs like to have done instead of softplay? Go for lunch, go to the cinema, go to one of our houses, a museum, even just a picnic somewhere. So loads of options.

DIYtrainee Wed 14-May-14 10:31:11

I think what most people are missing is the fact that soft play issue wasn't just this once, this friend ALWAYS tries to make the OPs children give way in preference for her own child's wishes.

Once in a while that's ok, but not every single time.

I agree with you on almost everything, except the chips.

Food wastage is a fact of life in this country. But... it was really off of the other girl to keep the chips and not share them when she didn't want to eat them herself. That is just not on.

Spoilt and brat come to mind......

popmimiboo Wed 14-May-14 12:56:42

My DC are 14, 12 and 8. I would have been ok about the softplay as my 12 year old actually still enjoys it and 14 year old would have come along for an ice cream and got out his phone if he got bored.
However, I still say YANBU as I would be irritated that the other DD got to dictate what the group did with no attempt at compromise from the mother.

The old friend -well I would have been like you too but would have felt dreadful about DD putting her foot in it when her friend didn't know. Agree with you but understand other mum.

The phone thing is rude and would have annoyed me a lot. YADNU.

Hmm, the chips one. I would be annoyed, actually that the child demanded popcorn instead. I have always made sure my DC realise that cinema tickets are a treat in themselves and would not be impressed that some kids see popcorn as a must. If I were the other mum, I would have told DD not to whine, told her to either eat the chips or give them to someone else, apologised for the waste and offered to buy some popcorn to share between them all.
I think YANBU to be irritated by the situation.

TheRealAmandaClarke Wed 14-May-14 13:30:20

Re: softplay. It's really not on to force everyone to do what you want each time you meet up tbh. Whatever your excuse reason.

frangiponi Wed 14-May-14 13:52:16

My friend doesn't force as such but we didn't get to meet up as planned as the little ones ended up doing softplay while I took the older ones on their own. So all plans had to be changed to accommodate one child, which is not really fair but happens a lot.

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