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Friend dislikes my 5 yo(103 Posts)
Title says it all really. My good friend has a DD the same age as my DS, the problem is that my son can be a bit boisterous and giddy and well, a boy and her daughter is very quiet and not terribly outgoing at all. My DS has a brother and has learned to be assertive whereas her daughter is an only child and is not at all assertive. She is a lovely girl though and DS is genuinely good friends with her, they don't fight and he doesn't pick on her and they have a nice time when they're together with no falling out. We have been on holiday a number of times and the children have always got on great.
The problem is that when we're together friend is constantly 'helicoptering' over the children and monitoring everything they do - almost as if she expects DS to be doing something to her DD. It's like she is policing the relationship.
She is also constantly snapping at DS and telling him off - she is on him in a second. She tells him off far more than she would her DD. He's not an angel and he does mess about a fair bit but he is only 5 and nothing he does is in malice, it's just usually being a bit silly IYKWIM. I do always pull him up on silly behaviour but because my friend is on his back constantly I don't even get chance to. It's really like she can't stand him
I'm not making excuses for my DS but it does really make me feel sad when we're together as he is always getting told off, even when he's not really doing anything 'telling off worthy.' If her DD does something 'naughty' she even blames DS there saying she's copying - that she must have got it from DS.
I feel really sad. I do think DS is more boisterous than her DD and whilst He can be annoying, she could just leave it to me to tell him off and get off his back a bit and let the children play - because they do play lovely together when she is not policing everything. I really feel like not seeing them as it just makes me feel so depressed.
It always raises red flags for me when people describe their son's behaviour as 'boisterous', 'a boy' (eg boys will be boys), 'he's not an angel' and 'nothing he does is in malice'.
I'm always curious about what this looks like and how it's experienced by those around them.
Children (boys) whose behaviour goes unchecked and impacts on other children (boys and girls) around them whilst their behaviour is explained away using gendered narratives can be quite difficult to be around for other people.
You say your friend steps in and you feel she should leave it to you.
What would she say if this were put to her? Might it be the case that she is stepping in because she feels you don't step in soon enough?
I've been in your shoes more than once ohforfrigsake on both sides too!
It's a really difficult time for friends, she's probably feeling the strain of it as much as you are. Hopefully your friendship will ride this little storm.
DC's friendships are as difficult as our own can sometimes be. Also, have the children developed a friendship or is it a default friendship iyswim?
I also don't think the boy/girl thing is massively relevant or helpful to the situation, their personalities aren't down to their gender. Maybe you were just attempting to explain the situation but a personal bugbear of mine is a boy 'just being a boy'
I've been on the other side of this with a friend. Her ds is jus rough, he pushes my boys over, will twist their arms, hit, throw things.
She describes him as a typical boy and thinks she knows when to step in. She doesn't.
I would describe my two as typical boys, kind, gentle, wouldn't hurt a fly. She thinks they are soft. They aren't, they both do martial arts and could easily hit back, they chose not to.
We have both cooled the friendship off, she thinks I helicopter, I think my children shouldn't have to be hurt by hers.
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Isn't there another very similar thread about this?
My best friend has always felt like this about our children. But hers is a boy who is often sensitive and mine is a girl who is often loud.
We worked through it together. Supported them to play together when it was difficult, gave them time apart when they needed it. Now, at six, they are great friends and really understand each other well. Both have their own quirks and help each other cope.
It's not to do with being boys or girls.
I had a similar relationship when my dd was a toddler. Her ds was totally dominant. Taking things from my dd and manhandling her. I couldn't rest for a moment. They never seemed to be able to just play without some difficulty occurring between them. I had the genius idea of spending time in the park but he threw sand in dd's face. I stopped seeing her eventually as it was such hard work.
Some dc's are full of energy. My youngest is. But it's the interfering with other people that your friend may be unhappy with. If my dd is 'giddy' when we are playing at someone's house or when we are eating out or something then I stop her. If she's boisterous, I rein her in and do something physical or outdoors with her later.
Just avoid seeing that friend with children. It clearly isn't working for either of you.
I think people are pouncing on you for perpetuating gender stereotypes, but I get where you are coming from. I think pps who are focusing on the boy/girl thing are missing your real concern, which is a genuine one, and not to be dismissed. In my experience the having older siblings versus only child can come into play. Parents of pfb may worry and helicopter more, while you, with older kids, may be happy to let little one have a bit more independence. And I think1st children can seem very good because they don't have to compete for attention. And theu don't have the rowdy influence of older siblings and bickering!
Maybe her dd asked her mum to keep close because she's scared of your ds.
Your friend is just looking out for her kid.
What does your ds say to you about it?
Maybe you could meet up with your friend without the dc if it upsets you.
It's not to do with being boys or girls.
Generally I'd agree, but I have personal and professional experience of boys whose poor behaviour is 'explained' by their parents as being typical boy/boisterous/doesn't mean anything by it and it's generally regarded by those parents that the behaviour is inevitable and everyone else should just shrug it off or roll their eyes with a smile and an accepting "men!" attitude.
The difference is that similar behaviour is not tolerated in girls in the same way. If it wasn't about being boys/girls for the op she wouldn't have explained it in a gendered way.
If your friend is not used to assertive, noisy, active children then your DS may be coming across as badly behaved purely because her DD doesn't do the same things so she's not come into contact with them before.
Maybe her DD has said to her that she dislikes something your DS does so the friend feels as though she has to protect her daughter from it? Maybe she feels you dont step in soon enough?
What sort of thing does she tell him off about?
Are you seeing everything he does? Are you parenting your DS enough?
Is she particularly nervous or worrisome generally?
The issue with the op explaining it using gendered language is that it gives an insight into her own bias. And, therefore, how she may be managing it.
We all know that things like having siblings and personality has a role to play.
There is the chance her DD may be upset about DS behaviour but only mum hears about it
Oh well back in the real world I don't know anyone who doesn't think boys and girls are different.
My boys are different to my daughter in a general way; individually it's more complex.
I had the same scenario with a friend and it was incredibly stressful. My son would spend the time we were together being nagged and his behaviour preempted
Op I would suggest meeting without the kids for now.
Midnight have you read the op's own description of her son? She's not reporting her friend's opinion.
My friend had a child who was 'more boisterous' than mine. Oh my god she was on it like lightning. I never once felt like she would let her child get away with something or be too rough.
Her child was just being a kid. But being a kid who was more pushy and full on. My friend never once made an excuse. Maybe she feels like you aren't pro-active enough.
Equally, my very good friends and I 'parent' each other's kids even if we are both there. If one of sees something and it needs handling we do so as we trust each other to be fair. Perhaps she feels you have a good bond?
I'd talk to her, probably in the context of 'DS has been a bit rough lately as he's growing I've been doing X,Y,Z when he over steps the mark if you do t mind trying that when you're with him'.
But you need to be realistic. If she is very quiet and he's very boisterous have you spoken to him about how he needs to be more gentle around her?
A good friend and I have girls the same age, they were born weeks apart. We now very rarely meet up with the girls as they do not get on, various reasons but very different personalities and different parenting styles would cover it.
We are still good friends though and enjoy spending time with each other.
I'm in your friend's position with two friends at the moment one has a ds and one a dd. they both can be rough on play dates I do Hover round my dd whenever we are on a play date with either because they can turn at any moment- luckily both my friends realise they their Dcs are a bit like this and that I worry so they do step in- if they didnt I would have to rethink seeing them as I could have my dd being pushed around.
'In the real world' my daughter was the boisterous one and her make friend was quiet and easily upset. Yes, they are different. But not because one is a boy and one is a girl.
ohforfrigssake I am going to go against the grain and opine that your friend is behaving unreasonably by "helicoptering" 5 year old play friends. Unless your DS has behaved violently towards her little girl then your DS and her DD should be left alone to navigate their own relationship. That is how they learn and mature. I find it infuriating when adults helicopter around kids that age trying to curb off all concievable disagreements before they happen! Your friend would drive me crazy.
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