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To be slightly irritated at the way my friend behaves towards my DS.

(21 Posts)
bootus Mon 05-Sep-11 16:10:15

Maybe I am being a little, but either which way I would like a little advice on how to best approach this....I'll try not to garble on too much.

My DS is just 3 (last week), her DS is a year and bit younger. My DS is not an angel at all but is, a sweet natured kid, if anything he can be a bit wussy timid (eg; if another child takes a toy off him, he will whinge or cry to me about it...).

When the boys are togther they play pretty well together, but, as one would expect have the odd sharing issue etc. We see them regularly and I would class her as a good friend but I have to admit I do find her a little precious with her DS - she's a worrier I guess.

Whenever there is an issue between the two boys she invariably manages to kind of 'shift' the blame on to my DS, for example her DS might snatch something off mine and she will turn around and say to my DS "oh 'X' he's only doing it because he's younger than you and doesnt a nice boy and share....", or if mine does cry about it "Oh 'X' dont be silly, he doesnt understand... , that sort of thing. If her DS does something my DS has been told off for, eg turning the tv on/off repeatedly my DS will be a typical bossy 3 year old and say 'no you shouldnt do that' (repeating what he has been told I suppose) but again she will tell mine that he 'doesnt know he isnt supposed to be doing that....', tbh it sounds a bit pathetic when I write it but its ALL the time and the reproachful tone she uses makes my son feel like the 'naughty' one and makes me feel like he's the naughty one! I feel like I should support her as the other adult and to my shame have wound up telling my DS off when actually I feel i should be supporting him.

As I said my DS can be as naughty as the next kid but even at a young age we wouldnt let him snatch, hit etc and I dont think we would have excused his behaviour by blaming the fact that he is the younger one in a friendship and then turning it on the other child. I feel she needs to realise 3 is very little too,and i'd like to know how you would support your child in this kind of scenario without it coming across as 'oneupmanship' or even bitchiness I guess.

Deflatedballoonbelly Mon 05-Sep-11 16:14:42

Its not petty, it PFB! it gets on my tits. I speak as someone in the same predicament!

Ingles2 Mon 05-Sep-11 16:15:45

difficult... because she is pfb, she obviously looks at your little boy and sees a great, big hefalump of a child who should know better....
You could ignore it, but support your son where you should, and keep reminding yourself she's being pfb
or you could pull her up on it... next time she's says something to your ds, just say... oh that's not fair, he's only 3 himself...or ds gets upset when children snatch too..
I think you're going to have to say something, because now you've noticed it, you'll see slight every time she open her mouth and that's the end of the friendship.

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Mon 05-Sep-11 16:41:45

Ooh I've had something similar. My DD was playing with a friends girl who is 4 years older. The had some sort of disagreement, snatching or something and I was the only one who saw it.

My DH assumed our DD had done the snatching as she is the youngest and started to tell her off. I stopped him and said (in the nicest tone I could find) "no actually it was x who took it . . .".

The mum of the other girl instantly snapped my head off and said "no my x never snatches".

So I said that I had seen it and actually that is what had happened and she repeated that hers would never do that.

I let it go as the other mum looked incredibly angry and had her head way too firmly stuck up her own arse.

I still feel guilty about it though, as my DD was left as being the one who was told of. She probably doesn't even remember but it really tuned me into my protective mum side. It was the injustice! I know it sounds dramatic but it wouldn't have bothered me to tell of my DD at all if she was the one being mean but she was playing lovely.

I avoid the other mum now and think she's a twat.

luciadilammermoor Mon 05-Sep-11 17:01:58

Have gradually lost a friendship of several years recently over exactly this. I gritted my teeth against the whole 'my younger child is perfect and yours does not understand/is mean/etc' for a long time before my DD1 said she didn't want to visit any more because she was always being told off and she thought it was unfair. When I thought about it, I agreed.

I tried to speak to my friend about it specifically and in general terms 'oh they can all be tricky at this age, can't they, never mind girls, go and play' only for her to call my DD1 back and start to tell her off again. I jumped in straightaway and said firmly that I was here and I would discipline my child, if necessary.

It did not go well. The friendship has faded to nothing which is a shame as she lives opposite me.

It was bloody irritating though, I don't miss the playdates.

maybells Mon 05-Sep-11 18:25:40

when this happens it can be difficult bit i would just step in when an occasion arises and just say in a gentle tone to all involved "lets share nicely and all get along, x is younger so is still learning but your still young too." i wouldn't argue with your friend about it but just point it out calmly that ds always feels hes in trouble because hes older.
i have a friend and her ds is 3 months older than mine and he repeatedly punches my ds and takes every toy off him he wants to play with. she is pretty good and pulling him up on it and i appreciate she does tell him off and if my ds is being a toad then he is also told off. if they both bickering i will tell both of them.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Mon 05-Sep-11 18:27:45

Why don't you just tell her how you feel and ask her to stop it and tell her that you will handle your son yourself?

wishiwasholdingaachinegun Mon 05-Sep-11 18:45:24

Oh, yes! My SiL does this.

'She's only three, she doesn't understand.' Over and over and over and over again.

I might start chanting it along with her next time.

StrandedBear Mon 05-Sep-11 18:59:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mumblejumble Mon 05-Sep-11 19:06:30

Actually, I would expect a 3 year old to have slightly more understanding than a not even 2 year old.....

bootus Mon 05-Sep-11 22:54:10

Thanks for all your responses and those that have offered advice/sympathised. Yes Stranded you did read that right, and mumbles I completely agree that my DS should have more understanding than hers. As I explained my DS was 3 last week and hers is coming up for 2. My problem isnt with the children, her DS is a lovely boy, its with the way she deals with them. Most people I know would reinforce with their lo's that snatching/hitting etc is not acceptable, regardless of how young they are. It niggles that if my ds is quietly playing with a toy (especially as last week it was brand new birthday bits) that is then snatched he is the one who gets 'reprimanded' for not understanding that her ds 'doesnt understand' and shouldnt 'be silly' if he gets upset....well quite frankly my DS is 3 and young as well. Thankyou again though.

ViviPru Mon 05-Sep-11 23:18:15


LemonDifficult Mon 05-Sep-11 23:31:52

YANBU. This is so annoying. Although I'm sure I did it when DS1 was little and all other children seemed so much bigger and capable of understanding/manners.

I think the problem here may be that your friend doesn't know many other 3 yos (just a guess) and is judging your DS harshly. This would get my back up and is just not at all fair on your DS.

See less of her, or see her in the evenings without children, for a while. If she suggests a playdate you could always say something like 'oh I thought we'd just give them some space from each other for a bit. X might seem old but he's just a tiny 3yo really. He plays differently to (FDS) but that'll go as the age gap closes and it might be less of an issue having them around together'. I wouldn't bring the subject up though.

halcyondays Mon 05-Sep-11 23:38:02

Yanbu. 3 is still young. She should be telling him not to snatch/hit etc, not making excuses for him. And saying " he doesn't know that he shouldn't be doing that" sounds a bit feeble. If she doesn't tell him not to do things, then how will he ever learn?

NestaFiesta Mon 05-Sep-11 23:47:31

bootus- genuine question, what would you LIKE her to say? I always find it hard to know what to say when friends' kids and my kids have a spat. However, last week, my 1yo was being tormented by a 7yo and I did say to the 7yo "He's only one, he doesn't understand".

Anyway, that was a bigger age gap. What would you like your friend to say? and also, since her DC is not yet 2, it's fine fir her to be using a firm "No" with him by now.

bootus Tue 06-Sep-11 08:37:44

Nesta....good question, I think you are right, a firm no is sufficient, or even just really praising the good 'stuff'. I guess i'm of the opinion that the earlier you start reinforcing the messages about sharing/being kind/being gentle with others the sooner they have an understanding. I am completely happy for other people to address bad behaviour with my boys (though the youngest is only 6 mo so maybe too little for a bollocking grin), but I do want it to be warranted. My 3yo is my pfb too so I do understand the overwhelming desire to protect and think they are perfect and I'm sure I've used the 'he's only young' excuse in the past but i genuinely dont think I've ever flipped his behaviour (however normal it is) so that the other kid is the 'naughty' one. Rant over and ta again.

Fecklessdizzy Tue 06-Sep-11 08:52:56

I've been there too OP but I was the guilty party ... I'm amazed my then SIL didn't haul off and thump me!

The two kids are now great mates but I definitely did plug the PFB v's Horrid Cousin Of Doom when they were little ( considering the poor cousin was going through a nasty parental split at the time I should have cut him much more slack ) Cringeing now thinking about it! blush

ZonkedOut Tue 06-Sep-11 09:58:24

YANBU. My DD1 is 2, and ever since she's been old enough to snatch, I've taken the item off from her and given it back, regardless of whether the other child was too young to care or old enough to understand that DD was only little.

IMO, it's about teaching them good behaviour, and you can start that before they're really old enough to understand or comply by themselves. I always thought it was better to do that than wait until they get to some special age and suddenly start applying the rules. Or worse, never applying them and letting your DC get away with anything.

For example, DD2 is 5 months, and sometimes grabs DD1s hair. I take her hand off and tell her no, mostly for DD1s benefit, so she doesn't think DD2 is getting away with it.

Maryz Tue 06-Sep-11 10:06:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

aquashiv Tue 06-Sep-11 10:23:51

I think most people reading this will have experienced something similar. perhaps we all think our children are not to blame really.
I had a friend one who was really really blatent in blaming others it was never her DS fault - it was actually quite amusing sometimes how she was able to turn it round with a straight face. She would shout at any child if they so so much as touched her DS. Anyways fast forward a few years and her DS and her have been cold shouldered by a few mums at his school as she is so precious over him he screams if someone so much as looks at him and she now realises that her fears off him being bullied (as she was bullied) have turned him into a child that screams literally if anyone goes near him.
Not sure what the answer is perhaps see less of her as you wont change her.

mrsbleasdale Tue 06-Sep-11 10:33:40

DS gets this a lot. He's no angeland can misbehave like other 3 yr olds but will happily stand up for himself and make a noise if things go wrong. Often the 'slient but sneaky' kids take stuff off him, he shouts and then they cry and he gets told off for causing trouble hmm. I have watched it over and over again at playgroup over the years.....Now i think he's an easy target for blame.

As i say not perfect, but if he does something wrong gets told off by family and friends, but if other do they same, they get the nicey nicey approach to discipline... I now just remove him from situations like this, or stand up for him and point out exactly what happened.

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