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Friend plays down her own kids' tantrums, but plays up those of other kids.

(11 Posts)
SpikySauce Sat 10-Oct-09 23:24:25

I have a friend who I like very much. She is very kind and generous.

She is also a bit blinkered when it comes to her children. Maybe defensive is more apt.

She knows that some parents think her eldest child is too rough and that she isn't strict enough. He has a long history of physically hurting other children. She puts this down a lot to him simply being a boy. Which to be fair, is probably true for some of his behaviour but he does routinely go a bit too far.

I think that because of this, she is very sensitive to praising her children publicly but also loudly noting the 'naughty' behaviour of other children. She does like to point out other children's faults and foibles and compare them unfavourably to her children. I forgive her for this usually because I just see her as being very insecure on this issue and needing recognition that her children are bright, forward, kind, etc.

But her pointing out other children's misdemeanours has begun to piss me off. Because she tells other children off but is far more backward in telling her own kids off. And when her own kids do something 'naughty', she always makes excuses for them. She really plays down what they did, and plays up what your child did.

This friend had a party at her house the other day for her youngest dc, and my DD (4) had a tantrum because she wanted a prize but didn't get one because she didn't win a game. I told my child off. But my friend was a bit harsh, telling my child that if she wanted to win, she needed to stay focused on the game. And then told her she would find her a prize, but later told her she wouldn't because it wasn't fair on other children. I did tell my child off several times for the fuss she was making and made it clear she wouldn't get a prize, and said we were going home. I eventually calmed her down and ceased her tears. So by the time we stepped out of my friend's front door, my DD was fine and wasn't crying. But then my friend stopped my DD on the stairs outside her house and gave her a big speech in front of everyone about how it wasn't fair if my DD got a prize when she didn't win and other people didn't. Cue my DD crying again. My friend and my daughter standing on the stairs was blocking people from leaving. My friend then turned towards her other guests as if exasperated with my DD and didn't say goodbye to me. So I was left with a child, who had got over been uspet, who was now upset again.

What annoyed me about this was that during the party, my friend's 7 year old DS had several major trantrums. At one point he made a 4 year old girl cry. She had accidentally put a chair on his bare foot, and he shouted at her "you're an idiot!" Fair enough, he was cross, he eventually apologised. But when this girl's parents came to pick her up, my friend told them about their daughter accidentally putting a chair on her son's foot and that they then had an altercation. But no, they didn't, it was her son shouting at the girl, the girl didn't respond to him in any way.

Sorry, this is long. I'm just a bit sick and tired of my friend making a song and dance out of other children's bad behaviour but not her own kids'. I feel that my friend is likely to tell others that my DD had a tantrum, but not mention the many tantrums her much older DS had, which led to him being carried out of the room at least twice. I suspect that my friend will mention it to me, not in a big way as it wasn't a massive tantrum but when talking about the party. I'm getting worked up wondering how to respond. I'm tempted to mention her own son's bad behaviour but that would be petty. I also feel upset that she turned inside again without saying goodbye to me, but she probably just got distracted by her other guests. I just worry that she was cross with my child.

I'm probably being oversensitive wink

morocco Sat 10-Oct-09 23:28:18

maybe it's time you and your friend started going for nights out/meals out/child-free time cos I can't see this working out otherwise - your friend sounds a pita about her kids

colditz Sat 10-Oct-09 23:30:20

No, I don't think you're being insensitive, but you do need to do something I am sure as hell you won't do, and that is challenge her!

When she was rattling on at your DD, you should have say "Yes yes, DFriend, shut up about it, God, she's only four - your seven year old's wap attack put her to shame, I've never seen a child that age flip out like that! Are you absolutely sure everything's ok with him? It would have me worried, a big boy like that having to be carried out of the room like a toddler!"

You need to, she NEEDS to hear it. I know you won't though.

SpikySauce Sat 10-Oct-09 23:36:48

ha, colditz!

You're sort of right. I would never put it like you have because, tbh, I'm a bit scared of my friend. She is very forthright sometimes.

But I think I'll use a modified version. I might go for "I know, but she's only 4, she'll learn, and apart from that she behaved well. Maybe by the time she's [your's son's age] she'll have grown out of tantrums at parties - I live in hope."

Would that work?

SpikySauce Sat 10-Oct-09 23:38:32

And morocco, we do have childfree time. But she does complain about other kids sometimes during that, comparing them unfavourably to her own. I feel I don't know her well enough just yet to say look, you obviously have a big chip about your son's behaviour, just chill.

jasper Sat 10-Oct-09 23:39:34

I think this sort of thing is very common.
Seeing ones' own children through rose tinted specs while being critical of others.

One of my best friends is a master at it!

colditz Sat 10-Oct-09 23:40:50

how sensitive is she to subtleties? cause if I was taking your approach I would probably say "Ahhh, she has time to grow out of it, and no matter if she doesn't - after all, your ds hasn't yet, has he?"

SpikySauce Sat 10-Oct-09 23:47:23

I get your point, and thats the thing - paradoxically, she is actually a very sensitive and empathetic person, but blinkered and insecure re her kids. The reason I put up with this behaviour is because she is a very kind person who was there for me during a tough time. It is just this one area where she rubs me up the wrong way. I know others feel the same way. We are all a bit nervous about pointing out when her son has done something to one of ours, which I know is a bit wet.

TheCrackFox Sat 10-Oct-09 23:54:35

I have a friend very problem.

I only meet her without the Dcs and steer the conversation away from children.

Sharpyharpy Sun 11-Oct-09 00:43:19

Tell her !

whensmydayoff Tue 13-Oct-09 13:43:21

Oh god I have been there.
First of all, like me you always think twice incase you hurt her feelings but she doesn't extend the same thoughtfulness.
Im a bit of a soft touch too!
Unlike you though, I let it build up for months, sometimes years then I explode (not good).
I bet you tell them off more infront of her then make excuses when you feel she may be getting uneasy about one of her DC's behaviour??
Maybe not, but I did.
MY DS was 18 months and one of her Ds's was 2.5.
Her DS didn't just hit now and then, he CONSTANTLY pushed, hit, pushed, pushed, hit, grabbed and generally scared the life out of my usually confident DS.
It got to the point where my DS just threw himself to the floor whenever her DS went near. MY DS then started to act the same round all kids, he was terrified.
She seemed to notice nothing. Would walk out room or suggest we put them upstairs alone as THEY were nippy!!
She then told me that a wee boy was misbehaving at a class they went to and he was a real bully!! Honestly, I nearly fell over. I believe she had her head so far in the sand that she genuinley thought his behaviour was perfectly normal hmm.
I sent a long e-mail being as nice as I could but telling her the effect it was having and that maybe we should keep them apart for a bit or watch them more.
She stormed round to my house and told me what a crap mum I was for various mad reasons. Said my DS just couldn't stand up for himself like her boys (he was now 22 months)! Anyway, I should have SPOKE to her sooner and not let it turn into that.
We fell out and my DS went back to normal within 6 weeks. He is very confident but I was actually, politley, letting him get bullied so not to hurt her feelings shock. I feel glad I chose to hurt her and not my DS any longer but bad that I didn't do it sooner.
I think speak to her - and tell her it's not her place to give your DD a row when you had CLEARLY already addressed it yourself. AND, yes, I would say "I didn't give your DS a row when he kicked off, I wouldn't"!
Honestly, don't let her upset your DD again to spare HER feelings. x

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