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How do I discourage ds' 'friends'

(9 Posts)
Jaybee Tue 27-May-03 15:23:49

I use friends in a lose term as they are not really friends......
Ds (aged 9) has recently been playing with a neighbour's son who is 12, this boy has recently been in a bit of trouble at school but as his family are currently going through a very hard time I can understand some of the reasons behind his attention-seeking behaviour. However, over the weekend ds and this boy have been out on his bike with this lad, yesterday they were joined by another boy, also 12 who belongs to the nightmare family of the town - you know the ones, pinch bikes, defy all rules (kids never wear uniform to school), swearing, parents see to have absolutely no control. This is where my problem starts....
I don't want to be someone who tars the whole family with the same brush but all this lad's older siblings are trouble and I really don't want ds hanging around with them. On the other hand ds has got to see this lad's faults himself and this lad MAY be ok. On Sunday (ds wasn't with them at the time) these two boys were catching newts in the local pond and generally being a pain in the kids play park - behaviour that I have always found really annoying. Yesterday, I got round the problem by inviting them in - offered them crisps and drinks etc. and they played on the Playstation - afterwards dh took them to the park and played cricket with them - not wanting to just shove them away but supervising them at the same time.
It is half term and dh is at home today - he has just rung to say that these two lads have called for ds and he has fobbed them off for now but I need some suggestions on how we deal with this situation. Ds can be a bit gullible.

codswallop Tue 27-May-03 15:41:07

Y=TI think you are handling it very well..cant you just be busy till the attraction wears off?

Jaybee Tue 27-May-03 15:51:04

Have to laugh - just had dh on the phone again, he is taking ds for a cycle ride to the other side of town - near to where some of ds' nice school mates live - they are armed with a football and a rugby ball - needless to say, he is moaning. Fortunately, dd is at her friends' house this afternoon.
Tomorrow mil & fil are taking ds and dd out for the day - so codswallop - hopefully, they will have forgotten about ds by Thursday......

codswallop Tue 27-May-03 15:59:39

we are SO wise!!

tigermoth Tue 27-May-03 21:05:42

jaybee, I've had similar problems in the past with my 9 year old's playing out friends, and friends of friends.

You and your dh are wise to keep a close eye on things, but I know how difficult it is to avoid coming over all heavy handed.

I would do just as you are doing. Keep your ds busy.

Going on my own experreince of this, I'd limit the time he has to play with these two boys. Trouble is less likely to rear its ugly head if your son is out with them for 30 minutes rather than 2 hours.

Also be very firm about rules. Don't feel you have to be mega hospitable every time now that these boys have had an invite in and have been taken to the park. Don't let them assume that's what will happen every time they call on your son. It sounds like they are bored so they may well leap on any invite that comes their way. If this ends up making you feel cornered and put upon, if you are anything like me, you run the risk of losing your temper (a bit) in front of them, so best to cool things, even if you appear a bit unfriendly, and keep a polite distance.

If your ds is upset at your apparent lack of hospitalty, talk to him about the risks you feel he runs here, without saying anything nasty that could get repeated.

Best of all, imo, could say to your ds that it's the ages of these two boys that causes you to worry. You don't want him playing out for long periods of time with near teenagers. They are just too old for him. I say this to my son and he seems to accept this.


Jaybee Wed 28-May-03 09:40:50

Thanks Tigermoth - it is difficult isn't it. Ds had a chat with me last night and he admitted himself that he didn't always like what they did but found it hard just to walk away. Apparently, they were throwing stones at the local cows. I asked him how he thought people who saw them would pass on the story - two boys throwing stones and one watching or three boys throwing stones - he realised that people would assume that he was doing it too. He also admitted that neighbour does seem to be being encouraged to do these things by the other lad, I know that my neighbour disapproves of her son hanging around with this lad as he usually ends up causing trouble but, unfortunately, her second son is currently in hospital and her dad is looking after the other three. Maybe I should have a word with Grandad - what do you think?

Bozza Wed 28-May-03 16:52:02

I think it would be acceptable/helpful to let Grandad know Mum's opinion on an issue jaybee. Sounds like your conversation with your DS was constructive too.

tigermoth Wed 28-May-03 21:48:24

yes, I agree witb Bozza. It would be acceptible to have a quiet word with the grandad, if you are sure the mother would not approve. Or is it possible to phone the mother and put her in the picture? If I were you and I knew the mother well enough, I'd probably do this, especially if I could think of some other reason to phone her as well.

One thing I've found with my son, once he starts getting punished at home for misbehaving with playing out friends, he tends to get tired of all the hassles and starts avoiding them pretty quickly.

Jaybee Thu 29-May-03 09:53:24

Thankfully, ds & dd were out all day yesterday with mil & fil and dh & I were both at work so they wouldn't have got a response at the door. Ds is at home today but he asked this morning if he could ring some school mates as he would rather play cricket/rugby/football/bike races etc. with one of them as he doesn't like just hanging around doing stupid things with J & C - he finds it boring - result - ds seems to have sussed them out for himself!! Saw J (neighbour) out this morning walking their dog and managed to have a chat with him re. C. I asked him whether his Mum would be happy with him out all the time with C, he said 'no', I also asked him whether his Grandad knew that - again 'no, you're not going to tell him are you?'. I said that I wouldn't as long as he didn't get himself into trouble - I have told him that the moment I see him or hear of him doing something that will get him into trouble I will have a word with his grandad or his parents. I also asked him why he hangs around with C - he seems to think that because he has been a bit of a pain at school, decent kids his own age won't want to know him so his only option os to hang around with someone worse than himself.

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