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Difficulties with DS and his best friend, please help.

(75 Posts)
PinklePurr Mon 10-Mar-14 11:16:32

This might be long as I don't want to drip feed, and a few bits may be slightly vague to try and keep this as anonymous as possible.

I met my best friend ( BF ) 10 years ago at ante natal classes.
She has a DD ( FD1 ) 3 days older than my DS.
We have met up once or twice a week ever since the children were born and FD1 and DS are genuine best friends too.
BF also has a DD ( FD2 ) who is 3 years younger.

FD2 is 'challenging', regularly throws tantrums and shouts and screams at FD1 and DS when she doesn't get her own way when they are playing.

DS is "fed up of her" (his words) and wants quality time with FD1.

I have suggested to BF that FD1 comes round to mine to once a week for tea on the day that FD2 does an after school activity and we continue to all meet up once a week so that FD2 can be included.

BF has said that she cannot allow that as "it isn't fair on FD2 because she feels left out", "FD2 considers DS to be her friend too" (DS considers FD2 to be his best friend's little sister), "FD2 doesn't like activity so it's not fair for her to miss out on meeting up", "FD2 doesn't have a best friend so it's not fair that she misses out". BF explained this to DS and FD1 and pointed out that life isn't fair so they will just have to put up with it.

Is this really the case? It seems that DS and FD1 are learning a life lesson and FD2 is not.

DS is struggling with the situation.

I know that BF has 'issues' with feeling left out as a younger sister when she was little. I am also a little sister and my mum has confirmed that my brother was NOT expected to entertain me and that she found other things for me to do. I occasionally kicked off but learnt that I wasn't going to get my own way. I did have my own friends though.

My question - Which one of us is being unreasonable?

If it is me, I will accept that and put up with it.
If it is BF, how can I deal with it without hurting her?

Logg1e Mon 10-Mar-14 11:20:27

I can see it both ways really, nobody is being particularly unreasonable, just your friend has made a decision some of us wouldn't. Do you think she'd compromise? Explain that your son just sees her son as a particular friend and it would be nice to spend time just the two if them playing, as well as other times including the younger sibling?

WooWooOwl Mon 10-Mar-14 11:23:18

I don't think either of you are bing unreasonable, you are both just trying to do what's best for your own children and those two things aren't compatible with each other.

If your friend isn't going to allow her dd1 to see your ds without her dd2 being around, then you and your ds have a choice. You either see them both together or not at all, which is sad, but you can't control what you friend chooses to do with her own children.

I would talk to your friend honestly first, and say that it's becoming a real problem for you and your ds, and that you'd like to keep some time to all be together, but that your ds would like some time to play with his friend alone as well, and that if that can't happen, it's likely to have a detrimental effect on their friendship. Then she can make an informed choice about whether it's both of her children or none, and you can decide if you are prepared to put up with that.

PinklePurr Mon 10-Mar-14 11:23:20

Thanks for replying.

I did suggest that FD1 & DS meet up while FD2 is doing her activity, and then we all meet up as usual, but she has said that this isn't fair on FD2.

HolidayCriminal Mon 10-Mar-14 11:25:04

that's pants, FD1 should be allowed to have own relationships with other kids without FD2 tagging along every time. It's also an opportunity for F to have 1-to-1 time with the FD2 which would probably benefit them both.

You can't do anything to change the situation, sorry. sad

cattypussclaw Mon 10-Mar-14 11:26:08

I'm with you. My DD has a best friend with a little sister and, if we invite friend for a playdate, Mum insists little sister comes too. So best friend doesn't come over for play dates. It's ridiculous, frankly. Just because one sibling does something doesn't mean the other has to as well. It's not "unfair", it's just bloody life. It doesn't work like that when you're a grown up so best get used to it now so it's not a shock later. Does she buy presents for one when it's the other child's birthday too? I find that a bit mad as well...

BookABooSue Mon 10-Mar-14 11:26:41

YANBU but your friend is being quite resistant. Your idea to use the time when fd2 was at a different activity made a lot of sense.
Is the age gap such that you could arrange an activity for your ds and fd1 that would be inappropriate for fd2? For example is there an activity they could undertake relating to school work that would obviously exclude fd2? Then you could present it to your bf that she has the opportunity to spoil fd2. If your bf felt left out as a child perhaps you could present it as an opportunity to give fd2 some special one-on-one time with your bf.

SavoyCabbage Mon 10-Mar-14 11:26:49

No wonder the dd2 is feeling left out of you are meeting up a couple of times a week and you have a friend and the oldest have each other and she has no one. She must feel alienated. It would be ok it it was a few times a year, but it's not.

I can see where you are going with your compromise but if I was the other mother I would rather that all the children were playing together when we did see you and your ds and I would be concerned that the arrangement would make dd2 feel,even more left out. So I wouldn't want to do it.

PinklePurr Mon 10-Mar-14 11:35:43

Thanks all for your input.

It seems to be FD2's frequent tantrums and refusal to play what FD1 and DS want to play that is upsetting DS. (For example, when we met up last week, FD2 threw 4 separate tantrums in the 3 hours we were there.)

I think you may be right on having to accept that it's all or nothing, but I will probably let DS decide as I think it will be him that loses out the most. sad

If your older kids are 10 and best friends, it makes absolute sense they meet up without parents and siblings having to be involved beyond being taxi and host...

As an eldest wink I loathed and really resented having to involve my 2 years younger sister in my sleep overs (she was put to bed earlier and would station herself in my doorway for the night with her duvet and pillow, and I was not allowed to move her ... she was also a professional wind up merchant - very quickly my friends stopped wanting to come to mine and only wanted me at theirs...). It was almost as bad when my parents later insisted that if I were to be allowed to go into town to meet friends I had to take along my even younger sister as she was bored and it "wasn't fair" on her if I went out without her! IMO expecting your older children to provide a social life for the younger ones is very lazy parenting.

It isn't any fairer on the eldest to force him to always have a younger sister present when he has his friends over than it would be on her not to consider her needs at all.

I have 3 and would never expect them to include each other when they have a friend over unless they choose to (which they sometimes do). What works best for me is to invite a friend for each of them over all at the same time - this means 6 kids in the house but is way easier than only 1 having a friend over if the others (or more usually just 1 of the others) then wants to make a pest of themselves.

Your BF's DD2 may not have a best friend, but surely she can invite a friend oer when your DS is there... if she has no friends your BF surely needs to be looking into that - talking to her teacher, for example, about who might be good potential playmates and inviting them over.

At 10 and 7 (presumably) neither child needs their parent and sibling there when they have a friend over / go to a friend's house. The fact you and your BF also want time together is important but co-incidental, maybe you could meet with other kids over too, but if the older 2 are best friends I think they deserve time together without the pesky little sibling.

diddl Mon 10-Mar-14 11:41:45

So the kids are 10 & 7?

Has the younger girl got no friends or does your son's friend also have to be included in the 7yr olds playdates??

I'm afraid when friend said that 7yr old sees your son as a friend, I would have put her straight.

BumpyGrindy Mon 10-Mar-14 11:42:09

I think the friend is being silly. She needs to make an effort to perhaps help her DD to make more friends. My DDs are 9 and 6 and we've met up with another family who have a son of 10 and a Dd of 8 for years. Well its become apparent that their DS no longer wants to play with all the girls...so he's dispatched to his mates when we meet up now...and the girls play together...win win.

pinkdelight Mon 10-Mar-14 11:47:06

Maybe the tricky thing is you and your BF seeing each other at the same time too. So you're seeing your BF, your DS is seeing his BF and the little one just has to muddle along and lump it. If your son's BF just came over to play and your BF took her younger DD out elsewhere, for a treat say, then she wouldn't be being left out. No kid would take their younger sibling on a normal playdate at that age. I think it's confusing matters that you want to see your BF at the same time, which means the kids are all thrust together or the little one is palmed off with a school club. Can't you see your BF in the evenings just as adults without the kids, and give the kids a bit of space too?

OddFodd Mon 10-Mar-14 11:48:01

I was going to say that your friend is being VU but Savoy has a really good point - if you meet up a couple of times of week as a group, her younger DD must have been playing second fiddle for years. Maybe that's why she's so badly behaved?

SavoyCabbage Mon 10-Mar-14 11:48:56

That's what I think Pink. It's confusing because of the op and the other mother being friends too.

Andro Mon 10-Mar-14 11:50:01

BF explained this to DS and FD1 and pointed out that life isn't fair so they will just have to put up with it.

Expecting your DS and her DD1 to always include the younger sister is a one way ticket to building resentment...and possibly wrecking the friendship between your DS and FD1. FD1 has a right to her own identity and her own friends, she shouldn't be expected to always include FD2 (your BF should also not be telling your DS that he has to put up with someone he doesn't like always being involved).

FD2 is 'challenging', regularly throws tantrums and shouts and screams at FD1 and DS when she doesn't get her own way when they are playing.

This kind of behaviour is not acceptable, perhaps if this were managed appropriately (with a low/zero tolerance approach to the screaming) your DS and FD1 would be more inclined to involve FD2?

YANBU and FD2 sounds like a spoiled madam.

PinklePurr Mon 10-Mar-14 11:50:05

FD2 has friends at school(afaik) but doesn't have friends round to play or for tea, nor does she go to others.

BF doesn't like having people she doesn't know in her house as it's "dirty and untidy". Those are her words.

I did say that DS doesn't see FD2 as a friend, but I don't think I got a reaction to that.

Nanny0gg Mon 10-Mar-14 11:53:28

Is she badly behaved anyway? Or just over these playdates?

I think your compromise was a good one - FD2 wouldn't be left sat at home on her own, and if the older two get their own time one day and include the younger one on the other I think it's fair.

Not many 10 year-olds would want to play frequently with 7 year-olds anyway.

shewhowines Mon 10-Mar-14 11:54:19

YANBU

i second the getting the boys together but without always meeting up with your friend too. A sleepover?

Nanny0gg Mon 10-Mar-14 11:54:34

BF doesn't like having people she doesn't know in her house as it's "dirty and untidy". Those are her words.

So there's more to this.

Dharmalovesdraco Mon 10-Mar-14 11:55:38

I'm confused as to why your DS and FD1 have to learn the lesson that 'life isn't always fair' but FD2 doesn't hmm

Can you just have a stand alone play date with just the eldest two, so without your friend and the youngest?

Floggingmolly Mon 10-Mar-14 11:55:49

She seems to be sacrificing her older dd's needs to the younger one's.
In trying to be fair to both, she's overreached it completely and swung things completely in dd2's favour.
It's sad that she can't see that, but if she's determined not to listen to you, it's hard to see what you can do? It's a shame.

BrownSauceSandwich Mon 10-Mar-14 11:56:44

I think your friend's being a bit of an idiot, and I don't think it's in the best interests of either daughter (certainly not in the interests of promoting a good relationship between them). However, it is her decision, and all you and your son can do is make the best of it for now. Sorry.

PinklePurr Mon 10-Mar-14 11:56:51

Sorry if I'm drip feeding.

We only meet up once a week, the suggestion of the 'extra' day is just that and hasn't happened yet.

I apologise, I should have said that the activity is a swimming lesson which BF would be taking FD2 to. BF and I would not be meeting up on the extra day.

poopadoop Mon 10-Mar-14 11:57:49

sounds like your friend needs to help develop her dd's friendshipsr. Poor dd, sounds a bit rubbish for her, it isn't nice to be unwanted and no wonder she sees your ds as her friend if her schoolfriends are never invited home. Does your friend always come with the kids? If so maybe it is just handy for her for all the kids to play together

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