To be thinking that going to the park after school every day with this girl needs to stop?(21 Posts)
Dh and I (well, more him as he is sahd and actually dealing with it) are in a very awkward situation and would appreciate some advice.
Ever since ds1 started in reception last year they have gone to the park after school with a friend and her dd from ds's class. We knew these people before school started, though not well, and we see them sometimes at weekends and during the holidays as well. I have also gone out with her for drinks a few times and she comes to our house for coffee with dh most days after they have dropped the dc off at school (she's currently on ML). She has also babysat for us a couple of times. I include all this to make it clear that, though we only know her through our dc, we both like her a lot and have a lot in common apart from the dc.
Anyway, the problem is that it has become increasingly obvious to dh that our ds and her dd don not get on well. Now, I have read threads on here where people seem to vilify 5yos and I really don't want to do the same but dh tells me, and it fits in with my experience of this child as well, that her dd is frequently very spiteful to ds. She seems to revel in upsetting him, saying things like, "I'm not going to play with you in the park today," in a really spiteful tone. She has thrown dirt at him - not in the context of a boistrous game, but in retalliation when he wouldn't play exactly how she wanted him to.
Tbh, I have just typed out a load of things that have happened but it all looked ridiculously trivial so I deleted it. I suppose the long and short of it is that they don't get on. She seems to delight in winding him up and he is a very easy target, believing everything she says and getting very tearful at the things she does and says. Her mother is very aware of how her daughter can be and dh tells me that twice this week she has taken her home early from the park as a result of her actions. She has spoken to me before about her concerns about her dd's behaviour.
The complication is that there are two parks near the school and if they go to the nearest one, ds has plenty of other kids to play with and doesn't really interact with this girl. However, this park is fairly rough (broken glass around, sometimes used condoms, loads of smokers in the play area) and both dh and this woman tend to go to one a little further away that is a lot nicer (esp snce the woman is bf her new baby). However, dh wants to stop going there as ds ends up being at the mercy of this girl and has a miserable time (usually, not every time) as there are rarely other dc there. It is hard to explain but it has become very difficult to stop going to this park and go to the other one without telling the woman that it is because of her dd's behaviour. We don't want to hurt her feelings or lose the friendship.
The weather is getting cooler, perhaps just stop going to the park after school altogether?
perhapd dont go to the park for a few days then see what happens the next time,if its the same then dont hang out with her
Could you invite one or two other families to the nicer park and dilute the mix?
It does sound like she's trying with her DD. Could her DD be attention seeking with a baby in the house?
It will be dark soon and getting colder. You may not be able to go to the park for much longer after school soon. I would hang on for this to happen and by the time spring comes it will be easier to change your routine without causing offence.
It's hard as she is attempting to deal with her DD's behaviour and you all get on but ulitimatley it is your job to protect your DS first and foremost. I would be honest and say DS would rather go to closer park today. Leave it there, smile and let her come along if she wants to. It's less confrontational and less likely to be completely obvious it's about the DD.
Can you arrange for a couple of other friends come to the park too on some days to dilute the tension between your children?
What does the mum actually say about the behaviour? It sounds like she is aware of it and does punish her. If this little girl has social issues (not necessarily anything diagnosable but just issues iyswim) then these are unlikely to resolve themselves if nobody allows their children to socialise with her.
I appreciate that this is not your problem but just trying to put the other perspective to you, having a child with behavioural issues is often incredibly lonely and isolating
If you truly care about this woman please don't be another one who turns her back on her, believe me it is so painful.
How about a compromise, even just once a week? I'd be more than happy if ds1 had a play date once a yr never mind once a week (well its not quite that bad but you get the jist)
I think it is easier all round and will avoid bad-feelings, about what isnt being said, if you are just honest;
you dont want to be teaching your ds that a person can treat him like this and he should keep going back for more day after day
tell her that your ds is getting upset by her dds behaviour (it wont be a suprise) and its better for him if they go to the shitty park, so he has other kids to play with
if she takes offence, then she is no friend
How about some after school clubs or activities for your ds? Get DH to take him swimming or to football, don't have to say in advance, just 'we can't make the park, off to xx lessons today'.
Doesn't have to be a class, your DH could just bring a ball and say they're going for a kick about rather than the playground. If the little girl wants to join in with that then your DH is "in charge" and can ensure no mean behaviour.
Thank you for the replies.
They do occasionally get a couple of other families to go the nicer park but it is really not a play-datey sort of area and there are not a lot of parents who are around regularly who would go there. We do wish the area wasn't so polarised as this would make things a lot easier.#
Aspiemum I am very aware of the issues you have raised and that is really why I posted - I really do not want to dump this woman and her dd and I do feel guilty, as does dh.
Nip it in the bud - seriously, i could have written your OP pretty much word for word! For me it went of for two years, i would dread school pick up because the girls would always want to go to the park, then argue like cat and dog, and the small talk - god help me, the small talk, with people who i have NOTHING in common with apart from the fact taht we have children the same age.
Now i go to the park if I want to go, sometimes i go along with other mums but strangely enough the other mums who i used to go with, huge falling out, one mother done a total flounce and taken her child out of the school (to be fair she was a bully so good riddance to bad rubbish - the mother, and the child were just spiteful) The other mums are ok, but i dont really have that much to say - interestingly now we are not forcing the girls into each others pockets their friendship seems to be going along quite nicely
Sorry lecce, you do sound very considerate and think your story just struck a sore point. The very fact you are asking the question says a lot about you.
I would honestly have an open chat with your friend, if she is genuinely concerned about her dd then she might welcome the chance to speak to you. Some kids do just mature slower than others and also some behavioural issues can result from being excluded by peers, in fact I have seen that happen a lot and its heartbreaking.
Not saying that's the case here, I've no idea what's going on, she could just be a brat!
my dd has a very close friend of same age who is a boy. My dd is youngest of 3 and the ds is an only. dd is very happy cheerful soul, with very kind and sweet side, but has an older brother and sister and so can be quite tough. I have noticed that when we spend a lot of time with this ds, which we do as mum and I are close friends, then my dd starts to become quite mean. She has the ds twisted round her finger, and will say things like 'I'm not going to be your friend any more and laugh' the ds thinks she means it and bursts into tears, and she can be very sneakily unkind.
I realised she was being very manipulative of his emotions to get her own way. I dealt with it and encouraged the other mum to deal with it when they were at her house, but I also reduced the amount of playdates we had. I felt that she was doing it partly because they had got too close, and she needed to play with others who were stronger, and more emotionally robust and gave as good as they got.
I wonder if this girl and your ds are experiencing too much of each others company, and your ds would really benefit from less of her company? Invent after school activities, even of it is only going to tescos!
Can you talk to the mum about it? It does sound like she's v aware of the problem and is trying to deal with it.
I'd have a good chat with her, be honest about how you feel. Tell her you need to find a solution.
Hopefully keep friends with her.
Do protect you ds though. I went through my childhood living next door to such a girl, and even though I'm very very old now I still remember it all.
Why do you have to make excuses and book the your child into after school activities. Just tell your child on the way into school on Monday, "we aren't going to the park today" then at pick up say "sorry we aren't going to the park today" smile and walk away, give your child a break from this girl. Chances are the Mum will call or get in touch and then you can talk about her Dd's behavior. Your child will probably be relieved to go straight home for a change.
I think often kids can just see too much of one another, and their friendship can lose boundaries/ become more like sibling squabbling/ bickering/ meanness
Could you present it like this? Maybe call the mum, and without apportioning blame, say that it would be better if you limited the park to once/twice a week. You might find she agrees with you.
DS has a friend like this (albeit they are younger). Twice a week is lovely- it's a total bromance. 5 x a week = hitting, snatching, screaming. Seems you can have too much of a good thing.
I think you have to protect your son - he doesn't care about social awkwardness - he just gets picked on EVERY DAY!
I think California is right. Just say to DS that you are not going to the park, and either go home or go for a bicycle ride, walk, whatever. If you keep the park visits to once or twice per week, maybe things will improve naturally, as the children will be more looking forward to seeing each other. Maybe they are just bored of each other's company.
I can't see any other way through this other than stopping the park trips.
Do other things, see other people.
Yes it might offend or upset the mother, and that might be awkward for a while, but your son is being subjected to unnecessary stress from this child so you have no choice.
If she asks why, you can either say you just want to do a few different things as he's getting older and wants to do more of XYZ. Or even that he seems to want to play with boys more now. Or you can be more direct and say that the two kids just don't get on as well as they did .
I can't really see how criticising her child will help or get any sort of positive outcome. In my experience the parents of children who display bullying tendencies never see it themselves - and often accuse other children of bullying their dc!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.