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Sunchowder looking for advice: How do you teach your kids what to "put up" with in a friendship?

(20 Posts)
sunchowder Wed 10-Aug-05 15:56:56

I have trouble with this when coaching my 11 year old DD. There is that fine balance between wanting them to be agressive enough to stand up for themselves yet passive enough for them to be flexible in relationships. She has some mates that have to have everything their way all the time, or always have to be right, or are very loud in general etc. I tell her that no one is going to be perfect, that we all have our faults and that if she is not willing to overlook some of their not perfect qualities, she will not have any close friends. Is this really good advice to give her?

Recently she ended a friendship with the girl across the street after "putting up" with her spoiled behavior for more than 4 years. I finally supported her decision to do it, but honestly, for all of the time before that I would ask her to please find a workable solution to this girl always wanting it her way. Eventually she just couldn't take it anymore.

Looking for some feedback on how other Mums would handle this. Thanks so much. I will be on and off today, so forgive me if I don't respond back right away.

starlover Wed 10-Aug-05 15:58:19

hmm well i wouldn't put up with that kind of stuff in a friendship... so why should she?
i think that your advice is good though.

sunchowder Wed 10-Aug-05 16:00:22

Thanks Starlover, I just don't know when to tell her to draw the line. Clearly our neighbor across the street has some other good qualities, but my DD can't even stand the sight of her anymore.

Marina Wed 10-Aug-05 16:02:33

I think you handled it right and did all you could Sunchowder. Being a perfectionist is a lonely business in work and at play.
My children are much younger than yours and tbh I am dreading the increasing complexity of their friendships.

starlover Wed 10-Aug-05 16:02:53

i think you should put up with things as long as their good qualities outweigh the bad
ie if you have someone that you enjoy being with, get on with and want to be friends with then you can easily overlook the bad bits... although you may still want to rant over them privately!
but if it gets to the point where you don't want to be with them any more then why continue the friendship?

someone once said to me that you;l meet a hell of a lot of people during your life. and the majority of them will be passing phases and will disappear from your life... it's the ones that are still there and that always stand by you that count (when i was being very unhappy about losing a friend)

Nbg Wed 10-Aug-05 16:04:08

I think your advice is good too.

My mum and dads best friends have a daughter who is 4 years younger than me which makes her 19. When we were younger she was incredibly spoilt, rude and bossy. She would constantly boss me about and tbh I just let her do it because I knew that was just who she was.

I think sometimes you have to take the rough with the smooth in friendships because no matter how close you are, you will always have different things going on in your lives.

I hope that makes some sense.

starlover Wed 10-Aug-05 16:06:04

also i think at her age there will be a lot of people coming and going. she's finding out who she is and what she likes and as she grows up she will change and she will want to be around people who are like her (if that makes sense)
i think probably from about 11-16 is a time when a LOT of friendships are made and ended

sunchowder Wed 10-Aug-05 16:10:01

Thanks NBG, Marina and Starlover--it is clearly not just this one friendship, but I do feel badly as she is just across the street and of course her parents were very kind to my DD. She also recently had her very best friend from school move away and they were pretty balanced in terms of not fighting with each other too much. I am sure she will strike up new friendships at middle school--I just don't want to raise a pushover, but I really want to help her make her relationships work well. So tough being a Mum in these cases.

sunchowder Wed 10-Aug-05 18:48:12


katierocket Wed 10-Aug-05 18:50:52

I think it's time to give up when you're not longer enjoying being with the other person most of the time. We've had this recently with DS (who is only 4) but it became clear that there was just a personality clash between him and this other child and it was easier for all if they didn't see so much of each other.

sunchowder Wed 10-Aug-05 18:54:53

That makes sense too Katierocket. I guess for me it is that I want her to have appropriate boundries and I am having a difficult time figuring out how to show this to her outside of the way I handle my own relationships. I certainly don't want her to have a miserable time ever, but I do want her to be able to hold her own with aggressive personalities and also know when to back down to make a situation workable. I don't want to make this hard work for her either--I would just like to be able to give her subtle direction as opposed to forcing her, do you know what I mean?

Tortington Wed 10-Aug-05 19:41:21

girls and friends <exasperated emoticon> at 11 years old they know how to reason and compromise-i think its just a matter of explaining to your daughter that sometimes she may have to talk to her friends about a compromise where everyone is a little happy with the solution rather than a couple of people not being happy at all - becuase you dont want your friends to be unhappy- thats not what friendship is about - something like that.

unfortunatley my 12yr old dd is always in a friendship triangle where two of the friends are fighting over who is a better friend to the third <arrrrgggg>

anyway thats not happened these holidays as my daughter hasnt got out of her pyjamas for a week

sunchowder Wed 10-Aug-05 19:46:58

Good for you Custy!!! School holidays are great then, aren't they? Thanks for responding to me too. Is is complex with girls, I have two older stepsons and never really went through this type of thing. As an aside, I wish I could come to the meet-up in London, it sounds GREAT--but it is too far for me to come at the moment.

Tortington Thu 11-Aug-05 00:21:37

oh bum - how far away are you sunchowder?

sunchowder Thu 11-Aug-05 01:04:39

I'm in Longwood,FL in the USA Custy! I am trying to pay down our bills as I was on an obsessive-compulsive buying spree for the past 4 years, so we are a bit skint as you say....I would love to fly over for it.

Tortington Thu 11-Aug-05 01:10:47

here was i thinking you were going to say birmingham LMFAO!!

i vote your house next year then!

fqueenzebra Thu 11-Aug-05 05:17:08

I second the motion for party at Sunchowder's house next year? Any objections? Right, motion carried...!

Um, not taking the p, I thought it was amusing that some1 implied that only girls get up to this weirdness. Yesterday DS1 (5yo) was talking to some boys (3 of them, age 6-10 I suppose) in the park. When we walked away DS1 starts telling me all these really nasty things the boys were saying to him. I said you shouldn't put up with that, they have no right to say unkind things to you. If they don't say nice things to you, don't talk to them. "But I didn't mind, mummy!" says DS1. I've always known he would be a mug for this kind of thing because he'll talk to anybody and he just doesn't "get it" when people are trying to be mean to him. I don't want him to take any of it on board and start believing what they were saying: Things like, "you smell", "you don't take a bath", "we used to live in your house and it's rubbish", "your train tracks are rubbish", etc. I kept repeating myself, pointing out how things they said him couldn't be true so they were only saying them to be horrible to him. If somebody isn't nice to you, don't try to play with them, etc.

But that's all I can do, make sure that DS1 knows not to believe everything that other kids say to him, but I can't stop him from hearing these things or still wanting to play with them (unless somebody is actually violent to him, DS1 wants to play with everybody). He's going to have to figure some of it out for himself.

sunchowder Thu 11-Aug-05 15:34:31

Yes my house next year!!! I would love it! Queen: I might have inferred that with my boys, I didn't go through it, but that is a generalization isn't it? I think it does depend on the child. Your DS sounds very sweet.

whitecloud Thu 11-Aug-05 15:48:33

It is difficult, but I think you are on the right track. My dd and I have had to accept that people change as well - were nice and turn nasty or go off you and onto someone else. I don't think you should take any old rubbish but try and be tolerant as far as poss. If you are a loyal type like myself and dd, you find it hard to accept other girls' fickleness and "when she was nice she was very nice, but when she was nasty, she was horrid" - however, it's part of life and growing up. I think they should learn to compromise but when it gets to the point when you are miserable all the time, you should end the friendship.

sunchowder Thu 11-Aug-05 18:25:39

Thanks Whitecloud--I always think there must be a better way than mine and it is reassuring to get so much agreement here.

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