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Friends have fallen out, feel caught in the middle..

(7 Posts)
jacks11 Tue 30-May-17 22:52:33

I have two friends, let's call then A and B. They have fallen out (well, more A has fallen out with B) and now A is annoyed with me over this, I feel a bit caught in the middle TBH.

My friend's (call her A) DS has SEN and she is going through a hard time in terms of his behaviour, particularly in school. I know she feels school are not doing all they could, although they are trying some things with limited success to date.

Our mutual friend (lets call her B) DD is in the same class. She's had problems with bullying and a few other issues with regards to educational standards within the school, so friend has been unhappy with the school for a while. The disruption caused by A's DS has been causing issues in the class too, and is getting worse. Friend B was at the school having a meeting about her DD (not solely related to disruption in class) but about bullying and other issues related to academic things. I understand that she mentioned the problems in class with friend A's DS and asked that more be done to mitigate the impact on the class. Things have deteriorated on other fronts and B has decided to remove her DD from this school and send her to private prep.

Friend A is pissed off because she has found out that B approached the school in relation to her concerns regarding her DS's behaviour. I don't know how she found out. She says the school have told her they have had several "complaints" about DS. She is upset that parents have been complaining, which is understandable.

Friend A thinks Friend B complained about her DS and is moving her DD because of it. She is angry that she didn't tell her she was going to the school and angry that she "complained" about her son. She feels parents are ganging up to get him removed and Friend B has been part of that. She's really angry.

Friend B admits she did raise concerns about the disruption but didn't complain about A's DS directly- what she raised was concerns as to how the school were managing the situation. The lack of progress on that front is one of a number of reasons she is planning to move her DD, but not the only one.

Friend A is now angry with me because I won't side with her. I don't think B was wrong to move her DD schools if that's what she thinks best for her. And I don't think she was wrong to raise the issue of the disruption with the school. I don't think I'd have raised this concern with A rather than the school- the issue is with how the school are handling the problem and not with A's DS, so there isn't much she could be expected to do. I get that A is stressed at the moment, and it may feel like an attack on her DS, but I don't think that is how it is or how it was meant.

Apparently, I am "just as bad" as I don't agree with her and that means I am happy for a little boy to be victimised. Also because my DC are at private school, I obviously "don't get it". She has never expressed any negativity about my choice of education for my DC before now.

I am planning to just let things lie for now and see what happens, hopefully friend A will come round. Am I missing something? Did friend B or I get it badly wrong? I genuinely don't see anything wrong with friend B's actions.

DoloresTheRunawayTrain Tue 30-May-17 22:58:35

I would maybe try to deflect this by saying it's not really about A or B's children but more how ineffective the school has been in dealing with each childs problems. I would concentrate on how the school has failed them both and maybe after A has calmed down a bit suggest that this is the real problem and B only pointed out A's childs problems as yet another example of how the school had failed to do their jobs.
I know you don't think it was meant as a personal attack on A's child but before you start to speak for B I would make sure that is the case and not that B is equally pissed of with A as she is the school.
Trying not to take sides and diffusing things is all you can do really.

NellieFiveBellies Tue 30-May-17 23:06:32

the best thing to do is to maintain your position that you love them both and are staying neutral and they need to respect that.

but as a mum to children with sn (autism and adhd) i have to say that it is not disruption caused by the child and it is important to not put it like that.

it is disruption caused by the school's failure to ensure the needs of the children are being met by people who are appropriately trained and the schools failure to have good systems in place.

i had to deal with that sort of shit. parents giving me the stink eye because my children dared to be in mainstream and need support and somehow this was impacting on their children!

schools must put appropriate support in place.
if they fail to do so this is not the childs fault. they are a victim of a lack of appropriate support.

and if this is indeed what B was saying then she hasnt done anything wrong and really should be seen as supporting A by pointing out the schools failure in their duty of care.
but i suspect A is upset, stressed and sensitive because she's getting a shedload of crap from all angles and she feels like nobody has her back.

jacks11 Tue 30-May-17 23:44:53

Thanks Nellie. I do get that she feels stressed and that this can make people over-react, but my understanding is that B was not complaining about A's DS, but about the impact of the situation within the classroom and how is was affecting her DD. She was speaking to the school as a concerned parent- it wasn't really "for" or "against" A or her DS.

My DC are not at the school, so can't really say what other parents are/aren't doing. I know that she feels others parents are complaining about him and want him out. I suppose the problem is that I want to be supportive, but I can't agree with her on this. So now I must be on "their" side. There doesn't seem to be a half way house here, it's total agreement or nothing.

I'm a bit sad about it, things been strained for a while and I've not really understood why. E.g. If I talk about my DC and what they've been up to she gets upset or gives the impression that she thinks your bragging. if you don't mention them you're "avoiding things". I think perhaps we are drifting apart, maybe that's what she wants? I don't know.

emmyrose2000 Wed 31-May-17 12:06:39

Friend B hasn't done anything wrong. At the end of the day, she must do what is best for her child/ren, and if it means moving schools because the current one isn't doing its best for them, then that's what must happen.

It's unfortunate that one of the factors playing into her leaving also coincidentally happens to be a friend's child, but I'd put my own children ahead of a friendship any day, especially when it comes to bullying. B was correct to go directly to the school and not contact A directly about the behaviour of her child.

I can understand Friend A's POV, and how upset she must be, but lashing out at her friends isn't going to help things.

This is a tough situation for you to be in, OP. I can only recommend trying to stay as neutral as you already have. Personally, if push came to shove, and I HAD to make a decision between the two, I'd side with B.

PeanutButterJellyTimeforTea Wed 31-May-17 12:11:15

If you don't agree with Friend A tell her so. You agree more with Friend B. Be honest with your friends, if they choose to do soemthing with that its up to them.

MatildaTheCat Wed 31-May-17 13:02:43

Tell friend A that you will continue to support her and her difficulties if she will allow you to but that Friend B also deserves your friendship and support. I agree that highlighting that the school isn't meeting her dc's needs is important as is the misconception that parents are victimising her ds.

You ALL want the best for the DC and this will happen best if you are all adult enough to see that.

Do you meet without the DC and do non child related stuff? I would try to keep the friendship alive after a cooling off period but if friend A continues to act as she is, unfortunately she's BVU and will lose friends.

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