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to think the world of my friend but wish she would do something about her dc's behaviour?

(106 Posts)
bibbitybobbityhat Thu 05-Nov-09 16:14:56

This is a mum friend at school. She has a dd in my dd's class. We have been friends for about 4 years.

I like her a lot BUT her children are just not nice to be around (sorry). She is spectacularly bad at correcting behaviour that any reasonable person would think unacceptable. Atm I need to speak to her quickly most days after school but, during this conversation, her children will interrupt, pull on her sleeve, moan and whine ... and she ALWAYS stops what she is saying to me and responds to the child, usually with "sorry darling" etc.

Today her eldest dd (8 y/o) just baldly said "Mum, I'm bored, I want to go" and so we had to end our conversation so that she could scuttle off home.

What is wrong with saying to your child "I just need to speak to bibbity for two minutes, please be patient and don't interrupt again".

I am going to have to start texting her about things cos I nearly snapped at her dd today and it really wound me up angry.

coffeeholic Thu 05-Nov-09 16:20:43

It's really hard to know what to do. I have a similar experience with a friends children. I think at the end of the day, we alll choose to parent in different ways, and you can't really say anything. However, if your child does something similar, you can say "just wait a minute, I'm talking", and treat her children as you would your own.

Really tricky situation though, because you begin to dread seeing them and spending time with them!

bibbitybobbityhat Thu 05-Nov-09 16:27:05

I know I can't say anything sad.

MitchyInge Thu 05-Nov-09 16:30:04

oh dear, I think I am a bit like your friend blush

can you have your chat before the children come out of school?

coffeeholic Thu 05-Nov-09 16:33:30

My friend's children are very boisterous to say the least, and tbh it scares me sometimes how they play; they can be quite violent towards each other and anyone else who gets in their way. It goes beyond rough and tumble, and they are the same with their parents. When we are round at their house and my 2 join in, I stop my 2, and say things like "that's dangerous". When they come round to mine, I go further and take whatever implement it is that they are hitting each other with, and put it away. it hasn't changed how my friend deals with them, but I feel more in control and less worried about potential a&e visits!

Jamieandhismagictorch Thu 05-Nov-09 16:42:34

I think all you can do is talk to and discipline your children the way you see fit, and hers too if they are in your house, as coffeeholic says. You could argue that she is being more "child centred". (I wouldn't see it like this, but still...)

I would not say anything to her. At the end of the day she has chosen to parent the way she does. If she asks your advice about a particular problem, then fair enough, you might want to offer your insights wink, but otherwise ...

shonaspurtle Thu 05-Nov-09 16:50:28

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Bonsoir Thu 05-Nov-09 16:54:07

I think you are being (very) unreasonable to expect this woman's children to wait for their mother to speak to you first after school. After school time is for children to speak to whoever is collecting them.

girlsyearapart Thu 05-Nov-09 16:56:57

Totally know what you mean.

Have similar problem with friend and her dd. Getting to the point where I make excuses about what we're doing so I either see them briefly/not at all or see my friend on her own.

It does make me feel like a spectacularly bad person though..

Good point btw Shona wink

bibbitybobbityhat Thu 05-Nov-09 17:10:25

See, I think children of 6 and 8 should be able to wait for a few minutes. They are not toddlers. And that interrupting other people when they are talking to each other is rude.

Bonsoir Thu 05-Nov-09 17:14:54

It depends.

After school is Mummy-time for those children lucky enough to have Mummy at the school gate - they have been at school all day and deserve Mummy's undivided attention. You do not have priority over them at this time of day. Talk to your friend at another time.

Bonsoir Thu 05-Nov-09 17:17:57

Maybe your friend thinks you are being very demanding smile.

At DD's school, where there are a lot of children, no-one would expect to give another adult priority over the children at coming out of school time. If you want to chat to another mother, you either go up to school early, or else wait for 10-15 minutes until all the children have had their snack in the park and have gone back to the playground.

coffeeholic Thu 05-Nov-09 17:18:09

I think there's a difference between the excited "I want to tell you about my day mummy" and the downright rude "I'm bored and I want to go home".

bibbitybobbityhat Thu 05-Nov-09 17:19:25

Sorry, but I disagree.

I don't see their mother outside of school except on nights out. My dd does not particularly like her dd, finding her very high maintenance (she still has quite spectacular tantrums) so the playdates they used to have together have completely tailed off.

Bonsoir Thu 05-Nov-09 17:19:44

Why shouldn't a child want to go home at the end of the day? I would never make my child wait for me while I spoke to another parent at this time of day - I would arrange a more suitable time to speak to the other parent.

Bonsoir Thu 05-Nov-09 17:20:55

Tough luck. School pick-ups are not adult social life, they are parent-child times. Make an arrangement to see this mother at another time when you are not interrupting her and her children smile.

bibbitybobbityhat Thu 05-Nov-09 17:22:28

I doubt my friend thinks I am being very demanding - she usually initiates the conversation with me! (we are organising an event together). Don't worry Anna, as soon as its finished, I will stop trying to attempt any kind of conversation with her and then her two dds will have her undivided attention and she will have let a friendship slip through her fingers.

shonaspurtle Thu 05-Nov-09 17:23:23

Aaaargh!! Apologies. Left the laptop logged in and in reach of ds blush blush

thisisyesterday Thu 05-Nov-09 17:23:41

i agree with bonsoir. and whyon earth edo you think it's "wrong" for the mother to pay attention to her own child?? bizarre

why do you need to talk to her most days> whycan't you call her later, or chat to her before the kids come out?

Morloth Thu 05-Nov-09 17:24:29

Perhaps your friend would rather talk to the kids once they are there?

bibbitybobbityhat Thu 05-Nov-09 17:26:51

No, I don't think so Morloth.

TracyK Thu 05-Nov-09 17:27:42

I think you should arrange to meet a bit earlier - when kids come out of school they are very grumpy, tired, hungry and thirsty and if anything like my ds - need a poo!

Maybe text her and say to get to the gates 10 mins early - or meet for a coffee half an hour before and walk to school together?

Bonsoir Thu 05-Nov-09 17:28:57

It's still perfectly reasonable for your friend's children to want their mother's undivided attention at this time. The polite thing for you to do when her children start asking for her attention would be to say "I'll leave your Mummy to you now children."

coffeeholic Thu 05-Nov-09 17:30:44

At DD1's school, there is a lot of playground chatter among the mums, whilst waiting for the children to come out. I will have a conversation with another parent, and if DD comes out, I do end the conversation and focus on her. However, there are times when someone has sought me out to ask about something specific and then I will ask DD to wait until we have finished. It is her time, but she also has to learn that sometimes she has to wait. eg, the other day a mum asked me if I knew where such and such a body's party was, as I had been to the house before and she hadn't. At that moment our children were released. it would have been a bit silly to say "I can't talk to you now, can I tell you tomorrow" when the whole thing only took a couple of minutes. smile

everlong Thu 05-Nov-09 17:31:27

I don't think yabu.

It does sound though that you have issues regarding these children anyway, regardless whether it's after school when you need a word with their mum. Right or wrong.

I have a similar friend tbh, very lovely but always lets her children interrupt, even if they have had her attention all day and it is annoying. I'm not talking about after school either.

And all those of you saying it's wrong to speak to anyone after school and leave their little darling waiting.. well I'm speechless.

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