To cool a friendship over her daughter's behaviour?(16 Posts)
I have a friend who's daughter's behaviour has recently really tested me. She is reception age and my children are reception age (DS) and nursery age (DD). I have always found her to be rather demanding and bossy, but I get on well with her Mum and she is not my problem.
However, I looked after her for 2 days over Easter holidays during which time she bullied my DD and excluded her from playing with her and my DS. She would push my DD out of the room and sit on the floor behind the door so she couldn't get it. She would scream at her that she couldn't play with them. At the end of the two days (fortunately after her mum arrived), she told my DD to shut up and slapped her across the mouth, because she didn't like her singing. Her Mum dealt with that. I am strict with my own about such behaviour, so I did tell her off each time she was unkind and told her that it was unacceptable behaviour, but it made little difference. I casually mentioned that the older two( though it was not my DS) had excluded my DD, but didn't make a big deal of it as I value our friendship and I didn't want to risk a conflict. I decided I couldn't have her for whole days again.
However, she told her Mum that my DS wasn't nice to her and she asked me about it. I said that they had got on very well and I couldn't understand why she would say that. It was my DD who was excluded but her DD and my DS had not had any arguments. The dynamics between the children have now changed and her DD has taken to bossing and bullying my DD every time we see them. Her Mum acknowledges it and dismisses as " Oh she is just treating her like she is her little sister." And has said "She is always telling the younger kids what to do, but she is usually right". Not acceptable in my view.
I have found it hard since to be overly enthusiatic towards her daughter. She is very attention seeking and I have just ignored her demands and if she has been rude I have told her so where I would have held back before. I don't actually like the response it has brought out on me. I am considering distancing myself from this friendship. Would IBU to do so?
Sorry it is so long xx
I would distance myself. It's horrible to see your child being treated like that. I have distanced myself from a friend who's DD was always blowing hot and cold with my DD. As the adult sometimes I think you need to take charge when you see your child being hurt.
Just tell the mum how her daughter makes your daughter feel and say as her patent you can't allow this to carry on as your job is to protect dd not make her spend time with someone who makes her feel so awful,
If she says or does anything but apologise and say she will address the situation then don't see her anymore and if she gets arsey say your daughters feelings are relevant to you and you are protecting her.
Better to be honest in a friendship than to arse about and not solve anything.
Yanbu. What littleyellowball said.
I would want to protect my dc too. The 'treating her like a little sister' excuse doesnt really wash- i wouldn't let dd1 treat dd2 in that way.
If any of my dc behaved like that regularly then they would not be socialising until they started behaving appropriately.
"Oh she is just treating her like she is her little sister."
"Glad she's not my sister!" would be my response.
But then I'm a bitch like that.
Wow, I had I read your post and then re-read it double-checking your user-name to ensure it wasn't me, because it is absolutely identical to a situation I'm in, right down to the ages of all the children...!
The clincher though, is that the Mum friend is my best friend of 34 years, so distancing is not possible. However I have to be honest and say that we are increasingly avoiding getting together when their DD is around.
I really hate the fact that I do not like my best friend's DD. But I don't. She is manipulative, selfish, a bully, unkind, rude, goady and taunty. To DS and DD. And my BF (who's like a sister to me) is completely ineffectual in dealing with her. She runs rings around her and her DH and always gets her own way. I feel awful feeling this was about a 4YO. She's only 4. But I have never come across another child like her, in terms of being so - I'm sorry to say - unlikable. I know these are traits that many 4YOs display as routine, but not consistently, and to the exclusion of other, more positive traits. There's nothing anyone can say to make me feel worse about not liking a little 4YO girl - I've told myself how awful it is enough times, and I know how badly it reads. I realise it makes me sound awful, and without actually meeting my friend's DD, there's no chance of people understanding where I'm coming from.
Distancing myself from her is not an option, but as I say, we (DH and I) do now minimise getting together when friend's DD is around which is unfortunate because we (BF and I) were both so excited when we discovered we were both pregnant and then had our babies 3 weeks apart. I had envisaged our shared experience being very different from this.
And the comment about treating her like her an little sister - um, I don't think so...?! My DS doesn't treat my DD anything like that, and I certainly wouldn't accept it if he did.
And has said "She is always telling the younger kids what to do, but she is usually right".
That is the problem. The mum is allowing her DD to boss because she actually seems to think she is doing them some sort of favour! I would keep your DD away from this girl for now, then review it in a few months. Kids do get less bossy as they get older, and learn that the other kids at school won't stand for it!
Can you maintain your friendship without the dc there? Go for a drink of an evening rather than playdates?
Why would you want to keep the friendship going when the mother is the cause of the DD's behaviour? I honestly don't get how you can watch a child be badly parented, to the point that it impacts on the child (lack of friendships etc) and still be nice to the parents. Usually with some traits that young children display, stuff must be going on behind closed doors, it is a form of neglect to allow this behaviour to continue to the point that the child has to be isolated.
It sounds like the mother is the problem not the child as she allows this behaviour. I'd stay clear.
Thanks for all your replies. Friend's DD does have stuff going on at home. Her parents split a few years ago and she finds it hard to accept. Her Mum feels guilty and so yes, in my view, allows her to get away with a lot. DonDraper, sorry to see you are in the same difficult situation. I really relate to what you say about not liking the child. The guilt and self questioning that it causes me makes it hard to review the situation clearly. I don't want to be unfair, but I also can't bear witnessing the upset it causes my daughter.
I would like to think I could talk it though with her Mum and resolve it, but I don't think it would be taken well. How do you have a conversation like that without appearing judgmental? I don't want to upset her unecessarily, she has a tough time raising two children alone.
Socialising without the children I not really an option as she is a single parent and can't get out without them much. I think perhaps the only option is to avoid playdates and be busy if she needs me to look after her DD. Then only meet in neutral group situations. It will not be easy though as our children go to the same school.
I became friends with a group of women with children when we moved. the oldest child picked, picked on my child who was the youngest and at a different school. In the end we generally stopped playdates as I couldn't see my child treated like this. stayed friends with the mum though and spent child free time with her.
In my situation it was awful as the mother would threaten her DD that if she carried on behaving like that then nobody would want to play with her. There was lots in the mothers behaviour that I felt contributed to the situation, and was all so deeply ingrained that I felt it really wouldn't be worth having the conversation. Shame as she was a really interesting person.
Yanbu at all, this little girl obviously needs discipline which she is not getting from in affective mother. I would meet te mum only when kids are at school and not look after her dd again
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