BF's DD is a pain in the a**e. Really need some advice on how to deal with it(118 Posts)
changed name for this in the (unlikely) event that friend might stumble across it. Sorry for length but I really am at a loss as to how to deal with this situation.
Have a very good friend with a DD same age as my DS (3.5). Sometimes they play together really well but her DD is a really drama queen and throws hideous tantrums if she doesn't get exactly her own way. This would be OK if BF didn't pander to her every wish but now it's starting to affect my DS. Example was yesterday they had tea together; they each had some vegetables; one in a green bowl and one in an orange bowl. My DS has the green bowl, cue much drama, flicking of hair and tears "but mummy I want the green bowl", "But darling you always want the orange bowl" etc. My DS is pretty easy going and normally in this situation he just gives her whatever she wants so he passes over the green bowl. 5 mins later "but I want the ORANGE bowl". Now at this point I would just say "tough, eat your tea and stop moaning" but no we have 5 more minutes of tears and bargaining from her mum and then the mum takes both bowls (including the one DS is eating from!) and says "right well neither of you can have the bowls then" and puts the food into two identical white bowls "OK, now you've got the same". BF's DD now takes it up a notch, wingeing, crying, etc etc. I was just standing there ignoring it and DS was sort of staring at her mystified (as he usually does when she behaves like this). Inside I was fuming thinking "why doesn't she just tell her to get on with it". Anyway, after a half hearted "you can't always have what you want" she takes both bowls back again and puts all the vegetables into the orange bowl, telling them to "share" the orange bowl. Poor DS hadn't even done anything FFS.
Silly example but this happens ALL the time. They just give into her and I feel it's starting to affect DS. In the car on the way home last night he said to me (where the DD is X):
X gets cross doesnt she so I said well sometimes, but everyone gets cross sometimes so he said mummy do I have to do what X wants? so I said not all the time, no so he said I do, because I just want to make X smile and thats why I have to do what X wants.
No I know it's not really a big deal but I thought how awful that he feels like that.
The big question is how do I deal with it when she starts acting up because fundementally the problem is always that she wants what DS has got and with teh mother not saying anything I'm left in the position of either saying "would you mind just giving it to X, sweetheart" just to keep the piece or not saying anything but then it's annoying when the mum takes things away from both of them just because her DD is playing up.
Sorry this is so long but I just don't know what to do. I get on really well with the mum but it's starting to do my head in.
BTW, not suggesting that my DS is an angel at all but 99.9%of the time, the tantrums arises because she wants whatever he's got (even if it's the same!)
I did tell her what he said to me in the car on the way home and she just said "ah well, she's a girl and he's a boy so he'd better get used to being told what to do!"
Out of order, out of order.
Depends a bit on how much you want to remain friends with the mother. I would come up with some carefully-phrased conconction to let her know that I was not happy about my child being expected to pander to her dd's whims. Her comment about your ds getting used to being told what to do was completely unacceptable.
Frankly I'm amazed that you managed to keep quiet during that performance with the bowls -- I would probably have nipped it in the bud as soon as the little dear started kicking off by saying, "Well, Johnny's got the orange one this time, and if you ask nicely next time it can be your turn to have it." But I've been toughened up in this respect -- once you have school-age kids you get used to laying down the law a bit with visiting friends.
Your ds is being a star. I would just say, "Yes, Maisie was making a horrid, silly fuss, isn't it great that you're much more sensible".
This would drive me mad.
Bless your DS!
I take it the Orange Bowl Fiasco took place at theirs. What happens at your house? Does the girl behave differently when it's your ground rules? How does her mum view your standing firm against her?
In your shoes, I'd say something to your friend -- sharing a key issue for this age, got to decide on policy, DS a bit thrown by having his bowl removed when he wasn't doing anything wrong -- but I bet i'm in the minority.
Actually bakedpotato I agree with you. And if any of my DSs was being as annoying as that and I hadn't picked up on it, I would rather my friend pointed it out to me than left me in ignorance.
No advice, ataloss, but your son sounds like a total cutie.
BTW your ds sounds lovely and sweet, and very perceptive.
I know frogs ,when i write it down it just seems so ridiculous. At one point I did say "look no-one is having the bowls" but then the mum goes and gives it to her anyway. I just can't think of a way of saying anything without it sounding like I'm having a dig. Another example was a few weeks ago they both had a banana and she wanted the one DS had because (and I kid you not) it wasn't as bent as the one she had! Instead of just saying "don't be silly, they're the same" her dad said "well that's a boys banana isn't it (looking at me) so you don't want that one" So I'm forced into going "yes, it's a boys banana" when actually I want to say "they're both exactly the same, just eat it". It's hard because I'm effectively going against what the parent says if I disagree.
bakedpot - that's a really interesting way of approaching it. Maybe I could say that he could a bit upset about it so could we agree to stand firm on things (I'm such a chicken abotu anything like this though!)
She still plays up at our house but obviously not as much. Mostly these things happen at her house or when we're out - park/cafe etc
worse and worse.
def say something.
"A boy's banana" FFS!
Sounds like Mum and Dad need a swift kick up the whatnot. Actually there's a lot of this kind of parenting about -- I've had parents stand by murmering "Oh Mabel, that's not nice" when their six-year old had climbed into the wall-mounted bathroom basin and was smearing (my) face cream all over the mirror. When I came in, scooped up the offending child, said "Absolutely not." and plonked her back on the floor, they got quite huffy.
I know, it's no wonder she's like that really as she knows she'll get her own way. To be it's blatantly obvious but clearly it's not to them.
I do appreciate the comments because it's really starting to get to me. And the thing is i really like the mum and dad and the little girl can be lovely but when she behaves like that it's awful. So you reckon if we're at her house and this sort of thing happens I stand my ground?
sorry, to be a bore but another example (again from yesterday)
She has printed out a pic of Pocahontas from website and coloured it in. I say "is that Pocahontas, how nice" , DS says "we've got Pocahontas (video) haven't we" she says "no, it's not Pocahontas", so I say "oh, it looks like Pocahontas", cue huge tantrum of "no it isn't, it isn't....etc" DS looks at me with tears in his eyes "it is Pocahontas isn't it mummy" basically he's confused because he knows it is and can't understand why he's being told black is white. Mother says "well if it's not Pocahontas then who is it darling?" "It's a princess", "ok it's a princess"
Arrrggghhhh - I know it's so petty but what do I say? (no more examples I promise!)
Ataloss: I can really sympathise but at the risk of sounding like a pessimist I don't know what you can do. I don't think that a quiet word from you, however nicely put, is going to turn around their parenting technique. I have friends whose parenting techniques I really disagree with (negotiating with toddlers when they are having tantrums is my pet hate! Who is in charge FFS?!??!?!). Anyway, I just put up with it. Sometimes I discuss things with dd afterwards ("Yes she was naughty I'm afraid, but sometimes we have to be extra nice to guests." Or praising her good behaviour). But your son is going to come across crap parenting and crap children all the time.
As I say, I honestly don't think you can say something that will make your friends will experience a sudden epiphany into their parenting techniques.
I think you just have to weigh up whether it's worth having them as friends (which it sounds like it is) and just put up with their different 'approach.'
P.S. Your son sounds SOOOO adorable!!!!
Okay, the Pocahontas thing might be slightly different, since they can agree to differ, along the lines of, "Well, we call it Pocahontas, but Lucy likes to call it a princess." Aaargh, I'm starting to sound like Joyce Grenfell, but YKWIM.
It's worth diifferentiating between instances of weedy parenting which are irritating but not actually affecting your child, and incidents where your ds is being unfairly treated because other parents can't stand up to a 3-year old. It's also worth trying to let your ds know that you're on his side and you think the little girl is behaving badly. Three year olds can be quite sophisticated in their understanding of other kids behaviour, particularly when they they're behaving better themselves. If you can encourage him to treat her tantrums with patronising disdain it might help him deal with it better -- and if you're really lucky might encourage her to get over herself a bit.
hmmmm...I don't really understand what you want your friend to do about it. Some children are difficult like this - I am sure your ds will be just as annoying at some point in his life. You do sound the teensiest bit smug I have to say.
Perhaps you shouldn't ignore her behaviour but try and help? I have to say if I was having that kind of nightmare (the bowls thing) with my dd at someones house I would appreciate a bit of help from the other mum.
Can you just see a bit less of them if it is getting you down too much?
Also I don't understand why you let the other mum sort all the bowls out in your own house! Surely its up to you who has the bowls? Can't you take charge of the situation - sounds like they might appreciate it, rather than you looking on and thinking how awful they all are!
ataloss, this is really hard to deal with simply because you're having to suspend reality when dealing with your friend and her daughter, aren't you? I remember having a friend like this when my dd was that age and it was always that the other child (also a girl) wanted the exact thing my dd had. For example at dd's 4th birthday party, the other child wanted dd's food rather than her own (which she had chosen) and kept going on about it. Her mother then said to me, **(her dd) wants some of *'s (my dd)food. So I had to give her some! If I ever looked questioning about any of this stuff, the mother would say "oh that's just ** (her dd)!" Luckily that was a few years ago and they are at different schools and I don't see them by arrangement anymore. I was also too afraid of rocking the boat to stand firm but it really does give your own child the wrong message when they see another child "getting away with" behaviour that you wouldn't pander to in your own (for good reason!)
"some children are difficult like this" - well, yes, but if allowed to get away with it they CARRY ON being "difficult like this"...
Surely as ataloss says ti would be better for all concerned if her friend dealt with the behaviour?
Oh I hate this. In your position with the bowls I would behave differently depending on whose house it was. In thier hosue I would grit my teet and smile sweetly, in my house I would say loudly and jollily "right you have the green bowl and you have the orange bowl and that's it, what a lot of fuss about bowls" or something like that (and if ds2 played up I would say tough).
Actually its really hard to do I have a friend like this-everything has to revolve around her dd, and tbh I just avoid her these days, and try to see her when she doesn't have her dd with her (does my head in too much).
yes of course better if the mum does it, but if she doesn't - then its up to ataloss if it is behaviour in HER house and affecting HER son.
Agree with dinosaur -- who's the grownup in this scenario?
Situations like this always make me think of Danny DeVito playing the horrible Dad in the film of Matilda: "I'm big, you're small, I'm right, you're wrong, and there's nothing you can do about it!" Extreme, clearly, but not without a grain of truth...
Agree with dinosaur- ds1 is autistic and difficult beyond belief (and very rigid etc) but when we're out and about he has to learn that the world (and other children) don't revolve around him- so he gets the "tough" treatment as well. If he can understand that then a verbal NT 3 year old can as well.
Well, agree with you there Enid that in your own house, you can apply your own house rules - for sure !
its bloody hard having a high-maintenance child though. It isn't always through shite parenting either, some children are bloody hard work, end of story. They will probably have a little angel if they have another!
I hope I don't sound smug here. I did have to sit holding my screaming tantrumming nt DS2 most of the way home from Oxford St on teh bus the other day
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