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To refuse to meet up with friend in school holidays with children.

(18 Posts)
Trickyfriend Fri 22-Jul-16 10:58:29

I have a friend who I met a few summers ago through something child related. However although I value her friendship on an adult level it soon become apparent to me that this would not be the kind of friendship where the children would all enjoy each other's company. I've tried and tried but her older ( but still young ) child is rude, has frequent tantrums beyond what my younger child has had for years and my friend is quite different at dealing with it than i would. Her choice - she never says no- that's up to her and her partner have they choose to parent their children. It's frustrating but I bite my tongue unless asked for advice.

My children enjoy seeing them for very very short periods infrequently. My older child who needs strict boundaries otherwise he can't bring himself back down to normal behaviour. Sweets etc drive him wild do need to be monitored ( but not forbidden!). The way they get whipped up when with my friends child makes it tricky afterwards at home (undiagnosed ADHD- we are getting there). My younger child is quite unforgiving of friends child's tantrums, refusal to share, share TVprogramme etc after about an hour or so and make her disappointment know. Friend does nothing to intervene except minimise his behaviour- he's tired, he's been looking forward to watching TV etc etc.

Friend thinks they all have a blast together- truth is my children have become increasingly reluctant to see them. In fact asking if x will be there ( younger child happy to go and see her younger child if older child not there).

Until now I'm made us busy,family time, skint, blamed my older son undiagnosed ADHD for reasons not to meet up in half terms. However it's a bit embarrassing now.

I can't tell her the truth. She'll be so hurt but how can I make this less awkward.

Shoxfordian Fri 22-Jul-16 11:07:22

That's a difficult situation really. I know you said you can't tell her the truth but I think if you could manage a diplomatic version of it then that'd be best- you can't keep making up appointments/saying you're busy!

Hotwaterbottle1 Fri 22-Jul-16 11:22:03

My best friend (of 30 years) had a very difficult conversation almost 2 years ago as to how our kids at the moment are not compatible (hers younger, want to play constantly with my tween who lasts an hour or so then has had enough but they get very upset), so still see them for birthdays or planned activities but that's it, me & my friend, as close as ever just have so many more enjoyable girls days, evenings, weekends away smile We hope our kids will pick up when they are older.

Trickyfriend Fri 22-Jul-16 11:23:11

It's so hard. Especially when there are some friends we do meet up with who possibly mention they've seen me. Different dynamics though but I'd imagine hurtful to know about. Big groups are harder still otherwise I'd suggest we all hook up.

We don't invite them to our house now ( too much stuff broke) but maybe I could suggest a picnic in park.....

Pineapplemilkshake Fri 22-Jul-16 12:08:25

I find this so hard as my best friend often wants us to meet up with the kids and my DS simply doesn't enjoy the company of the two DD's. Nothing wrong with any of the children or their behaviour, they just don't really click and conversation is often minimal between them. It leaves it hard though for she and I to catch up as we both work different days and don't have any days during term time when we are both off together when kids are at school.

Hotwaterbottle1 Fri 22-Jul-16 12:32:09

Pineapple could your son take a friend? That's what I do, we plan something the kids can all do, indoor climbing, park, theme park and my DD brings a friend.

Obeliskherder Fri 22-Jul-16 12:43:38

How about meeting up at a country park or something? There'd be less pressure on the children to interact and play together.

girlywhirly Fri 22-Jul-16 12:52:50

Could you say that your DC and hers are now at ages where they just don't get on together? It does happen. I have memories of being dragged along to visit friends of my parents, and their two DD'S who were older than me and while they weren't horrible or anything, we just had nothing in common. It was so boring and I was so happy when they moved away from the area. I imagine it is so much worse when dealing with behavioural issues as well as the aftermath.

If the DC want to avoid your friend's DC now, I think you'll have to say something. You could say that you would like to see her on her own to do grown up stuff together. She's your friend and you will continue to see her, just without kids.

spanky2 Fri 22-Jul-16 12:57:02

My friend and I are like this. It's her dcs that aren't keen on our house. It's nothing personal. Her ds has some anxiety which makes travelling difficult and her dd is afraid of my cat and dog. I ask her to be polite but I'm aware that she can't accept. I only ask once every holiday. We meet up. Maybe explain tactfully or only meet at hers so you can leave when you want. Park might be a good idea.

bumsexatthebingo Fri 22-Jul-16 13:05:35

If your dc don't want to see them then I wouldn't force it. If she asks to meet up ask your dc and if they want to go then go but if not just say 'the dc want to do X today'. Then you're being honest.

mouldycheesefan Fri 22-Jul-16 13:07:52

Why not say, let's meet up one evening without th kids for a drink.

TheUnsullied Fri 22-Jul-16 13:16:14

I have a similar issue with a pair of friends. Their older DD is lovely and she and my DD get on brilliantly despite the age gap. Their DS, who's similar in age to my DD, is a parent's nightmare. He's very unpleasant and gets violent sometimes too. My friends are very permissive and mostly make excuses for it rather than taking a firmer approach to tackle the behaviour.

It came to a head after he'd been violent to DD in our home and broken things and they'd done nothing. I had a thread on here about it actually. I asked them to leave and told them they should be reacting in some way. It was tense for a couple of weeks but we've got back into the swing of things. A few of our other friends had words with them afterwards reinforcing that them being so permissive was going to end up losing friends because it was so unpleasant for other kids to spend time with them.

I wouldn't recommend keeping quiet until you're too angry not to like I did though. I'd probably start suggesting activities that don't throw the kids into close proximity, like a big park as another poster suggested. But do say why you're suggesting that..."that'll be great for the kids, they don't seem to gel very well these days, had you noticed? They all have space to play without getting up each other's noses this way."

DonkeyOaty Fri 22-Jul-16 13:20:19

Yes absolutely meet at the park

MrsJayy Fri 22-Jul-16 13:27:56

Just dont go out with her say you are busy or go to the cinema or somewhere that is there do then home so there is no faffing about with extra time on your hands. I said on another thread i had to stop seeing a friend and kids the younger child of friend scared my younger child was that and a few other reasons i stopped seeing her with kids the older kids got on great and are now adults and see each other a lot .

Pineapplemilkshake Fri 22-Jul-16 16:02:36

Hotwaterbottle thanks that's a good idea!

Cosmo111 Fri 22-Jul-16 16:05:47

My old school best has a DS similar age to my DS when they were younger they would clash and fight so i always arranged to see her when they were both at school, they finally grew out of it and happily play together.

Trickyfriend Fri 22-Jul-16 22:16:25

Thanks for all the comments. It seems it's not that unusual so I'll be a bit more direct if things continue. Age gap between my eldest and her eldest is 3.5/4 years so that in itself is enough to warrant them not getting on- let alone different upbringings/expectations

MrsJayy Fri 22-Jul-16 22:44:29

Thats quite a big gap to expect them to get along maybe say to your friend that the kids are not getting along

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