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Have you broken a friendship because your kids don't get along?

(17 Posts)
robin3 Mon 13-Aug-07 13:40:42

We have a friendship with another family which was built because our kids are in the same class but the kids just don't get along. They continually wind each other up and I've never seen DS1 behave like this before.

I reckon it's down to two different parenting styles...neither is wrong they're just noticeably different, and so dealing with this friction when they are together is almost impossible. One side is very verbal, naughty corner, threats and the other is let them work it out as long as they don't hurt each other. The result is the children are constantly telling tales on each other, one child feeling constant injustice and the other feeling that the other is very naughty and playing on it.

Tried talking to friends Mum but pretty clear she thinks this is par for the course whereas I can't bear to witness it all unravel and feel like I'd rather keep them apart. Doubt our friendship will continue if we don't continue to do things with the kids as well and I feel this is a great shame.

Anyone been in a similar situation or have any advice.

mamazon Mon 13-Aug-07 13:48:13

you have stated that you feel neither technique is wrong so why not try the stance the other parent is adopting? even if only when you are both together.

explain to your child that as neiotehr child can behave appropriatly when together if they fight/argue you will say xyz.

robin3 Mon 13-Aug-07 14:21:34

Could try that but last time I touched on a joint approach it was met with a 'Important that I'm consistent with my DS' type response. For me to adopt the other approach would result in my son thinking I'd gone quite mad. Kids only 4 years old so too young to understand necessity for different behaviours.

Smithagain Mon 13-Aug-07 19:09:41

Yes, I reluctantly stopped going to our regular antenatal group meet-ups because I realised that DD1 was suffering from being "the quiet one" of the group and didn't like being around a couple of the other (much more boisterous) children. A couple of the mums more or less dropped me, although I did meet one for coffee without kids a couple of times. I am still seeing two of the other mums regularly (two years on) and in retrospect, they are the ones I really get on with.

DD1 absolutely flourished after I stopped putting her through the weekly encounter with the children she didn't get along with. It gave us more time to see other children, who she played well with, and I developed new friendships at the same time. It makes me feel guilty that it took me several months to realise that her withdrawn nature was partly because she couldn't handle seeing those children.

Not a bad thing to seek out relationships where both parents and children get on well, IME. It's more rewarding for everyone.

IsabelWatchingItRainInMacondo Mon 13-Aug-07 19:15:22

Not broken a friendship but give it some space, problem in our case is that the parents relax while their children run havock in the house, don't even check if someone is crying. Last time they were here I found DS curled on the carpet while the other child was kicking him on the head. I'm sure we both heard my son crying, she didn't even bother to ask what had happened.

We have seen them other times after that, but always in open spaces. We have also started to tell their child off which is terrible, but then if he is throwing stones to the other kids, pushing other children off the trampoline, etc. and they simply don't care... what do you do?

dissle Mon 13-Aug-07 19:27:34

unfortunately its me in that situation.
friends have stopped calling with thier kids because of mine.

one i havent seen for over a year, no great loss actually and another set of friends i have arranged to go to thiers house without my child and always arrange to meet with them without my child as they blatently dont like him.

its no biggy, we have had a "difficult" spell with him for the past 3 years, passing now he is 4 but has been very tough to deal with.

boo64 Mon 13-Aug-07 21:21:22

I definitely have avoided getting ds together with certain friends' children and would again. But these are people I was friends with before ds. If they were not and we were only getting together for the kids then, in your situation yes I'd at least give things a break.
If it's so stressful what's the point?

onlytheone Tue 14-Aug-07 00:35:03

I was trying not to break the friendship but other parent has been quite rude at postnatal meet ups and has made it clear that we are not worth knowing any longer. I have been very tearful and upset as DD really likes the other child. For a while I could not really understand why her DD was being awful to mine, both verbally and physically almost upon arrival at the indoor meet up (houses). My DD just brushed it off and continued to play but hers just refused to play with any of the children. Each week I could see a different strategy was being used by the mother which the child was acting out. It was really unpleasant and made me feel pretty useless as a mum that I have now decided it is better to let go and move on. I too, think it is probably down to different parenting styles and the child was afraid to be involved as she feared punishment for normal "snatching type incidents". I have tried to let it blow over but I am giving up for a while as I feel I am being punished by the child's mum!

robin3 Tue 14-Aug-07 12:43:49

Thanks to all of you. Guess it's just another lesson in life that parenting throws up. Dissle I really feel for you. The Mum of the other boy has mentioned that she's lost friends before which is why I don't want to just give up on the situation. Onlytheone...sounds like the Mum was unhinged so you're best out of it.

Going to try dinner with the Mum and see if we can agree to incentivise their mutual good behaviour and ignore the endless tale telling at least.

DANCESwithDumbledore Tue 14-Aug-07 12:46:47

Smithagain, I could have written that post myself except for I haven't maintained the friendship with any of the mums. I still see them at school as our children are older now but just to say hi too. It's a shame but to be honest I was so much happier out of the stressful situation as well as dd.

DANCESwithDumbledore Tue 14-Aug-07 12:48:48

'hi to' not 'hi too'

bosslady Tue 14-Aug-07 12:54:03

I have a friend we have been friends since school and the problem i have is i cant be doing with her children and i found it easier if we got together when they are at school, I know that sounds terrible not to like someones children but they are so obnoxious,naughty and down right rude. To be honest i think she is soft and should make them do as there told,im of the opinion if you take your child into someone elses house they should respect it as if they were at home,but as they have no respect for there home they are a complete nightmare when they enter mine! They do things that if my children did they would be told off,put on the naughty step or taken home but she doesnt do anything!! So i suppose what im saying is if you still want a friendship with this person you can just without taking the children!!

onlytheone Tue 14-Aug-07 22:47:10

Good luck Robin3 with dinner. It sounds like the best option if you are both "up for it". Some time ago, I suggested to our group that we should go out one evening and surprise, surprise, the only mum who ignored my suggestion was the one causing me to post on here in the first place! The others said great idea but we did not go because of her!!! It certainly is a lesson in life and rather a sour one. My DD has been mentioning the child all day again!!!

IsabelWatchingItRainInMacondo Wed 15-Aug-07 01:25:28

Robin, bear in mind that the other mum may be in the same situation as you. Not holding any grudges and thinking how to make things work for all involved.

twentypence Wed 15-Aug-07 04:01:28

Are you the "naughty corner" or the "ignore it" mum?

summerunderakaftan Wed 15-Aug-07 08:32:10

I met a mum when dd now almost 4 was 16 weeks and her ds 8 weeks. We became really good friends and spent a lot of time together, the children loved each other too but as time went on as horrible as it sounds I started to really dislike the little boy a lot of the time. Well not so much him but his awful behaviour and the lack of anything from his mother. He was becoming violent and dd had her head smacked off door frames she was pushed, nipped and hit and it was worse to me when he did it in our house because dd couldn't touch her own toys without him throwing a strop and getting physical with her. He used to hoard her toys and give them to his mother who would keep them rather than tell them to return them to dd who had been playing with them. She never ever reprimanded the behaviour in any way. Now don't get me wrong I am by no means a demon mother and I do have one friend who thinks I am far too soft but I do have my boundaries and what I find acceptable and I can honestly say I can take dd just about anywhere. Things came to a head when I was hugely pregnant with ds and we were at my house and I just couldn't deal with it I never lost it but did approach the subject with her and she became very defensive quite naturally but after that we were never friends again and I was sad but I had to because dd was beginning to get hurt so I couldn't ignore it any longer and I was honestly worried about the new baby coming as well.

She always joked just you wait till baby comes and you will see what it was like to have a boy so I felt she was letting him behave like that because he was a boy but IMO boy gorl same rules to household discipline apply.

robin3 Wed 15-Aug-07 13:04:16

I'm the ignore it Mum. Both of us have recognised the fact that her DS is the instigator but my DS retaliates every time and of course the fact that other Mum shouts and threatens or excludes her son means my little bundle sits there smug as smug can be...he even comments that this child is a naughty boy!

Personally I'd rather teach him to ignore it and I feel that if we reward neither with any attention for this behaviour then they will stop and enjoy playing. BUT I'm not saying that her approach is wrong only that my sons reaction is unpleasant and it's teaching him the power of telling tales which irritates me enormously.

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