HELP ADVICE NEEDED OVER DS NIGHTMARE FRIEND(124 Posts)
Hi, this is a LONG thread so please read, help me, don't judge and give me any advice where possible, thanks.
I met another woman through my DS starting nursery school. Me and her really hit it off, and I love her to bits, she's like my best friend, we have a lot of chemistry and we are going away together for a few days for her 30th. Honestly, we are like sisters. The issue, however, lies with her son. At first, her DS would just begin to grate on me, now I genuinely feel concerned about the situation. He is only about 3/4 months younger than my DS who is now 4 (so in 6 weeks her DS will be 4) but there are a lot of problems I have begun to notice with him. Let me also tell you, I am not blowing my own trumpet here, but I am a very good mum. I love kids, and act childlike myself sometimes just to make them smile, so it's not as if I've developed an instant dislike for her DS. Anyway, here are a few things I'd like to point out, to anyone with experience in this situation, about the experience I have constantly with her DS and perhaps someone can shed some light:
A) Speech - I have noticed for a 4-year-old his speech is behind. It's not so much that he doesn't have a wide vocabulary, it's more how he vocalises things. He often misplaces vowels and doesn't speak with definition. The best way I can describe it is, he doesn't curl his tongue round the correct words and often mis-pronunciates. His speech is also long and drawn out almost like a drawl, and almost as though every sentence he makes has a question sound at the end. Example:
Bye-bee wear jarmaaaasss (baby wears pyjamas)
Yaaahhhh (instead of yes or yeah)
I burn my haaaaaandddd onnnnn coooookaaaaaahhhh (I burnt my hand on the cooker)
Sometimes it is hard to define what he is saying but his words are very stretched out and prolonged. So he IS saying sentences. And it's nothing to do with having an accent or anything.
B) Constant Shrill Scream - Whenever you try and be nice to him or ask him something he always responds with a NO!! (in a high-pitched, shrill voice). Followed by inaudible mumbling. Sometimes this can be hard to bear when you take the kids to a soft playcentre, and his screams can reach fever-pitch. This isn't followed by tantrums of throwing himself on the floor and kicking or screaming, this is the way he answers things. Instead of just a "No, I don't want that!" this isn't an occassional thing, this is pretty much how he's wired.
C) Controlling and Bossy - He is very controlling of my DS and I don't like it. I have tried my very best to reason with him and have lots of patience, treated them both fairly and gave him the same amount of affection and play towards him as I have my own DS. But he is very domineering. When he comes to my house to play, he stomps upstairs, ransacks my DS' toys and stomps all over them, pulls down his Fireman tent and screams in his face. Even when my DS is being nice and saying "Why? I just want to play with you?" which he will then receive a sharp, shrill "No!!" in response. He won't let my DS play with his own toys, and forces him to play with toys or do things he doesn't want to do, which is very upsetting to see.
D) Destructive and Violent - many times he has shoved, hit and even bitten my DS. He backhaded him yesterday, without even looking at him, almost as an impulse. He went into the yard, and pulled out all the leaves, he stomped all over the ants to which my DS got upset because he loves nature and animals, and he's just basically very destructive, banging toys together, throwing them, stomping round.
E) Lack of empathy/compassion - there are instances he can be nice when he is excited about something i.e. getting a new toy for example, but he lacks the kind of compassion 4-year-olds generally have. He will stomp on insects without consideration or do things without thinking about his actions or the consequences. And doesn't consider people's feelings either. By age 4, kids are starting to understand feelings and emotions and how they can affect people and the world around them.
F) Lack of maturity - this is a weird one I know, as kids can't necessarily be mature at this age but they do have an increased sense of the world around them, the actions they take and even the ways in which they converse. I find, for his age, her DS appears to be somewhat more like a 2-year-old than a 4-year-old.
G) Repeats words - although her DS appears to says things that come to his mind, which he does, he tends to repeat many things that have already been said. When my DS expresses joy or excitement about something and follows with a statment, her DS will repeat quite clearly what my DS has said, but struggles to manifest or initiate conversations or certain words himself.
H) Unusual Affection toward Baby - I have a baby girl who is 6 months old and he is very adoring of her. In fact, I find him more gentle and sweet toward her than anyone else. He will vey often kiss her and stroke her head and go "Arrrrr little Bye-beeeeee" (Arrrr little baby)
I) He is very hyperactive - now, let me make it clear. Kids can be hyped, especially if they've been couped up, and as soon as they are outside they are bursting with energy and won't keep still. This is not unusual. However, my DS will sit for long periods doing floor puzzles, watching a cartoon or colouring or drawing. Her DS with scribble aggressively and won't keep still sometimes. It's hard to throw this one if there I suppose because it can vary from child to child but just thought I would add it as a key point.
I know you might look at this and think I'm just being very harsh and there must be some good that he does, but if I'm being honest, he's very much hard work. And I so longed for him and my DS to be good little play buddies. Now, I'm starting to wonder if there are behavioural issues here or something. My DS has never lashed out at him and has been very patient with him, but I can see the frustration building in him, and I feel like I can't have him around my DS anymore. On occassion my DS has also said "I don't like XXX I don't want to play with him anymore. He just hits me, and shouts NO!" I have got to be honest, I am glad my DS will also be in the year ahead so they won't be in the same class come September (as my DS he starts Reception).
This is a very tough situation for me, as she's my best friend, but my DS has to come first. And if he's miserable, and I struggle to be around him myself, then I can't have them playing together. I need to tell my friend that I think there is honestly an issue there but it's a very touchy subject as parents don't often like to admit there is something going on with their child. I find her at her wits end many many times but she just makes excuses like "Oh, he's just too independent and won't let other people do stuff for him" or "Oh, he's just fed-up because it's the summer holidays".
I don't know if she's in denial but I feel like things just can't go on like this until she does something. I care about her and her DS very much and will support her 100% but until a resolution happens, I don't want to see my DS being used as an emotional punchbag.
Please advise on what to do and what to say. And what you think the issue may be. Thank you!
I think you should step back and let this 'friend' parent her child and you parent yours.
Children at that age are all very different especially in areas like speech and emotional development.
It does sound like you have taken an unnatural dislike of a child though, it's made me really sad to read your post.
Step back. Ensure he doesn't hurt your children (I skim read but I think you mentioned he's rough)
Unless you live on a remote island with your friend there are plenty of professionals who will step in if there's a problem. Don't jeopardise the friendship.
I think you've already made up your mind what the issue is tbh so I'm not sure why you are asking?
You also seem more concerned about yourself in all this and how you are affected rather than your friend and your son.
It's fine to have a friendship with this lady and not get together with the children so you can avoid putting your son in harms way. I have a couple of friends I whose children I find difficult to be around so we only meet up without kids.
I don't know if you should speak more directly to your friend about it, your post sounds quite smug and condescending so I'm not sure you are the right person to broach it sensitively.
Well if you're asking for advice I'd advise spending less time with them, what screams out from your post is how much you want them to be close friends.
But they're 4, you don't really get close friendships at that age. They're selfish and developing their own personality (necessarily) - at this age is more like herding sheep who live in their own little worlds.
I think your expectations are too high and if you spent less time together you might not feel so concerned.
All of the things on your list are things that are just children developing at different rates and with different parenting. It sounds like you have an unpleasant interest in identifying what is "wrong" with this child in comparison to your DS.
Your children don't have to like each other just because you do. It sounds to me like you are struggling to put boundaries in place when he comes around to play with your DS. If he can't play nicely with your DS after being reasonably reminded then you need to get your friend to come and take him home.
If your DS has actually said he doesn't want to play with him then I think you need to listen to him. You don't need to list the child's perceived faults to his mother - just say to her that at the moment your DS is not wanting to play with her DS and could you have a break from play dates for a while.
There is nothing stopping you meeting up with your friend without your children.
JennyOnTheBlocks you couldn't be more wrong here! I have tried very much with him, I have even sometimes been more fairer over him than my own DS. So I don't see how I could take an instant dislike when I've very clearly stated I wanted them to be best buddies?!
Oh, blimey. You don't get to decide who your DS becomes best buddies with! You can't force it. Especially at this age.
Wow, I didn't expect so many judgmental statements! I don't see how I care more about myself than my own DS when I've constantly stated that I am concerned for my own DS? I came here for advice not to be burned at the stake!
So, it sounds as if you've diagnosed him as being on the autistic spectrum.
It could just be that he's developng differently to your son, and you are relishing the fact your DS appears to be a delight.
It's up to you to decide if you can handle that in a friendship, or if you'd be better off leaving them be. You don't sound particularly aware, patient or able to support her and her son, I hope she has other people to rely on and form friendships with.
Are they going to the same school?
If you want to maintain a friendship, but your ds doesn't want to be around her ds (or you don't want him to be) then you will have to go out for a drink in the evenings occasionally.
You obviously suspect there could be a diagnosable reason for his behaviour (although it could just be that he is less mature and has a different personality to your ds). If it transpired that he had special needs, would your attitude about his behaviour and how you dealt with it be different?
I would also say that your ds is going to be spending his school day with children with all sorts of personalities, backgrounds and issues, and you will have to help him learn a way to understand and cope with all these differences.
People have given you a lot of advice on this thread - what do you think about the suggestions that you have been given?
What did you expect from this thread op?
Even if it were possible to diagnose by Internet, what would that achieve? Would you smugly advise your friend that mn thinks her ds has xyz?
Just get together with your friend without children. I don't really know what else you want people to say?
Do you know what I give up. It's nothing to do with me relishing my DS or him being better it's the fact he's very volatile and violent around him. And to question whenther I love and care about my son is just stupid. Really stupid. And I've known her DS a year. I've been very patient and supportive. More than you could know.
Be honest with your friend and tell her the specific things her son is doing that cause you concern about the two children playing together.
Your son is starting a year ahead of her son, so he'll make his own new friendships in reception and you will have a whole new groups of children and interactions to worry about.
My ds is 4, and some of his peers are shriekers or squealers or smackers or wreckers, so i just don't invite them round to play again. What else do you want people to advise?????
Wow that was a lot of info! You could of just said 'he's bloody awful'! I've had this problem. I tried to talk to my friend but we fell out over it. I think that's the way it goes, either stay friends and put up with it or go separate ways. It really depends how much it matters to you and your ds.
It's one of those crap situations. My friend is great but she's an awful mother. In her case It was worse though and I had to consider contacting ss as she was very neglectful. Luckily it never came to that in the end and she actually got help for herself. We are friends to this day despite the fall out but we rarely agree on parenting issues.
I can't see where anyone has said you don't care for and love your son?
I think an all capitals (which feels a bit like being shouted at!) thread title talking about you ds's 'NIGHTMARE FRIEND', seems a bit harsh, when you are talking about a close friend's ds, who you obviously suspect has more going on than just being a different personality and less emotionally developed than your own ds.
I think if your thread had been
'Help - advice needed about friend struggling with her ds' and you then asked how you could help, then it might have got different responses.
Yes, but people are pointing out that you can't force a friendship between children. And you need to protect your DS from her son if he is consistently violent. Why keep having play dates when he behaves that way?
As her DS is at nursery, they will also notice any issues and will be attempting to deal with them, as will school when he goes there.
Does your friend ask your advice about her DS? If she doesn't then it is very very difficult to raise this topic without offending her. Either you are trying to say to her that her parenting is poor, or that her DS has additional needs that she hasn't realised. Neither one is going to be easy to explain. If you really feel that nursery and the mum aren't aware of these apparent issues then maybe you need to risk your friendship to explain it to her.
But the only things on your list that would actually concern me is the consistent violent behaviour. However surely the nursery is aware of this and dealing with it?
Am just in the position of being a mum to a similar DC and believe me it hurts when all your friends start switching to asking for evening meet ups without kids - even with a diagnosis
H) Unusual Affection toward Baby
All you can do is be a good friend to his Mum who you've clearly hit it off with. If he is as much of a 'nightmare' as you say then she'll be needing your support. Before you know it your DS will be off to school with new pals and eventually so will the other little one, where hopefully he can flourish.
You sound very PFB and judgemental. Read the advice you have been given which is very sound and take a long hard look at yourself and why you felt the need to post a massive essay about your friends child and his development and general personality. It's odd to say the least. That is all.
Since you've addressed me personally, I'll reply. . .
I never mentioned 'instant dislike' I said 'unnatural dislike', and also want to know what you expect to gain by starting this thread?
You call this child 'nightmare' but obviously believe he has underlying issues.
I find your choice of words distasteful and hurtful.
Children with diagnosed conditions are not 'nightmares' but parents who make sweeping judgements about why they act the way they do, certainly fall easily into that category.
freyaW2014 thank you for your post! Many people on here don't get how volatile this kid actually is. I've been around lots of children, and I've never came across anything like him. He is difficult to be around but I love my friend and people are being really harsh saying I don't care about her, her DS or their feelings. I don't understand why people can't grasp what I'm saying here. It is a really tough situation to be in. It's easy just for people to say, "they're kids, what do you expect?" but they don't see how upsetting it is for me having to see my son be essentially bullied. And basically tell me to be okay with it?? She's not a bad mother, but I think she is struggling a bit, and I want to help her. And I was wondering if anyone had had a similar situation to mine.
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