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Advice please on DD's best friend (and her mom!) sorry - long

(18 Posts)
releasethehounds Wed 17-Jun-09 12:12:46

Namechanged for this as I don't know if the mom in question uses MN!

I am concerned about my DD's best friend. She is a lovely girl who has no nasty side at all and comes across as very happy-go-lucky. However, my DD tells me that this girl is v unhappy at home. Now before I go any further I'm not talking about abuse or neglect. I know from talking to this girl's mom that her mom cares about her, but the mom is just a bit (how do I put this tactfully) dippy.

She often misses school (or at least comes in very late) because of minor reasons such as her mom overslept or needed to take her to visit a relative etc. The friend tells my DD that she has absolutely nothing to do at home as her mom is either out or if she's in she's watching TV. She never takes her out or organises any sort of activity for her to do. Whilst I've had the friend around our house several times, my DD has never been invited back, and the friend informs DD that her mom never invites people around.

I felt really sad today when DD told me that her friend is dreading the summer holiday and would rather be at school, as she knows she will be stuck at home all summer.

I may be sticking my nose in but I really want to help this girl. Would you invite the mom around for coffee and gently bring up the subject? Her mom tells me that her daughter never complains and just "occupies herself" so I don't think she's even aware of how unhappy she is. From things the mom has told me I also suspect that the mom suffers from depression (I have too in the past so I can sympathise with that).

DH thinks I should just keep inviting the friend around as normal and not approach the mom as it will just cause trouble.

Would you approach her?

annh Wed 17-Jun-09 12:28:18

What age are the girls?

annoyedmum Wed 17-Jun-09 12:32:53

I don't think it is any of your business other than to invite the girl out with you and to your house etc and tell her mum how much she enjoyed it!

How old are they?

bargainhuntingbetty Wed 17-Jun-09 12:33:15

I wouldnt rock the boat toherwisee your dd may lose her friend. What I would do is speak to the mum and see if you can have her dd over once a week. Just say that it will give your dd something to look forward to during the holidays and make it that it is your dd who will be fed up iyswim. That way the girrls is getting out of tthe house and the 2 girls are still friends.

HTH

mrsruffallo Wed 17-Jun-09 12:35:43

All you can do is keep inviting her round as you do. I don't think anyone would appreciate being approached about this

dilemma456 Wed 17-Jun-09 13:00:43

Message withdrawn

Servalan Wed 17-Jun-09 13:02:04

I most definitely would not bring up the subject. However "gently" you approach it, it will come across as saying "you are a crap parent". I don't see how this would benefit anyone. The mother would be left feeling like shit and getting more depressed. Your DD's friend would probably stop confiding in people. I can't imagine the outcome would be that the mum would say "thanks for the advice and implement it.

If you want to help, I would

1. Invite your DD's friend round regularly or invite her out with you and your DD

2. Invite the mum round for coffee for a chat anyway, not to criticise her parenting skills, but as a friend just to relax together

3. Be there as a non-judgemental listening ear if she wants it - but don't force it on her.

The fact is, if she loves and cares for her DD and her DD is not in an abusive situation it is not your place to tell her how she should parent.

releasethehounds Wed 17-Jun-09 13:24:19

Hi everyone - thanks for your replies. I have to say that you all make sense - I just needed to hear it from other moms. It is tempting to talk to the mom about this problem but I fear it may make things worse.

Bargainhuntingbetty - thanks for the suggestion. I'll certainly keep the social going between my DD and her friend if I can, but I sometimes feel that the mom will not make any effort and realistically the girls will lose touch as they will shortly be going to different schools.

I think I shall ask the mom for coffee anyway and keep my opinions on her parenting to myself!

Sorry - forgot to mention the girls are 10.

bargainhuntingbetty Wed 17-Jun-09 13:36:51

Thats a good idea about asking the mum round too. She maybe doesnt go out because she feels she has no where to go. Sounds like a good idea to me. You are a very nice person

releasethehounds Wed 17-Jun-09 13:45:31

Thanks for the vote bargain. I lack confidence when making friends and I often fear I can come over the wrong way. A good friend informs me that I'm quite direct in my manner but my heart lies in the right place! Whilst I organise socials for my DDs without any problem I'm worried about approaching people to socialise WITH ME.

One thing I have noticed though - whilst I don't tend to get asked out by other moms etc I'm the one they confide in with any problems.

Think I will ask that mom around. smile

Acinonyx Wed 17-Jun-09 17:25:56

I expect a lot of 10-year olds are expected to entertain themselves and organise their own activities. I certainly was and I think maybe it was especially common back then (not sure). My parents watched TV daily and incessantly. This is a common lifestyle - you can't change it with a chat over a cup of coffee. It isn't wrong - just not perhaps how you and I would do things.

What the friend is picking up on is probably the contrast with your dd's experience.

releasethehounds Wed 17-Jun-09 21:51:12

Yes Acinonyx - in fact my own childhood was similar to this re: entertaining myself etc. You're also spot on re: contrasting with my DD's experience - this friend has commented that she would 'like a family like DD's' and that in her family 'everyone does their own thing'.

Obviously our family is far from perfect but it's the perception from a few visits!

zookeeper Wed 17-Jun-09 21:53:36

If she's ten and being left alone in her home she's being neglected surely?

releasethehounds Wed 17-Jun-09 22:03:37

Oh zookeeper - that subject opens up a whole different can of worms which has seen many a slanging match on MN!

My opinion is yes, it is a little neglectful, particularly as she is regularly left alone in the evening for upto 5 hours. However, there is no definite age in law when you can start leaving your children alone, so it's a difficult one.

Servalan Wed 17-Jun-09 22:22:13

Oh gosh, I realise that I must have misunderstood your first post a little releasethehounds. I hadn't realised that this was a case of a 10 year old being left alone for 5 hours of an evening.

Acinonyx Wed 17-Jun-09 22:45:04

I do feel sorry for her. I used to be left alone a lot at night and I HATED it - but never, ever complained to my parents about it.

releasethehounds Thu 18-Jun-09 14:19:16

My fault Servalan - I didn't actually mention that in my OP. It's not every evening but certainly a few nights a week. There are other issues which I haven't mentioned as I don't want to go on about it, and like I said in the OP, it's not abuse or anything.

Acinonyx - it's funny isn't it that some children are forever moaning on and others (who probably are quite entitled to) never complain. I have urged my DD to advise her friend to speak to her mom and let her know how she feels. Let's hope she does.

zookeeper Thu 18-Jun-09 18:34:46

I know there's no minimum age but being left alone for hours aged ten would not be dismissed by social services ime

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