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To be a bit uncomfortable with friend's behaviour...

104 replies

wifey6 · 09/04/2013 23:16

towards her children?
My friend & I have been friends since school..both have young children who play together weekly. From very early on I noticed she favoured her youngest DS. (They are 4 yo & 2 yo) The way she would give more attention, in ways of cuddles, time & even how she spoke to him.
It was the opposite with her eldest DS, who she would be (still is) very dismissive of.
She makes comments in front of her eldest that the youngest is 'more handsome', 'sweet', 'loving' etc.
the eldest does act up for attention but more worryingly has started agreeing with his mum that the youngest is all the things she says & that he isn't.
I don't say anything to her, but make every effort to reassure the eldest that he is 'handsome', 'loving' & 'caring' & really include him when playing with my own DCs.
Should I say anything to her about the favourtism & if I do, how do I handle it without causing offense?
Sorry for long post

OP posts:

thezebrawearspurple · 09/04/2013 23:23

To be perfectly honest, she sounds like a nasty bitch, nobody with half a conscience would be able to treat a child that way. It's emotional abuse. I would tell her straight out and be blunt about it. I would also tell her that I couldn't be friends with someone who is so abusive, hurtful and nasty toward a child so if she isn't prepared to sort herself out, she can fuck off.


rockinhippy · 09/04/2013 23:29

I can't answer you on how to raise it with the DM, its needs careful handling & how she takes it on board will depend on the reasons behind why she is doing it,

my own DM was very much like this & I now as an adult know her to be an out & out narcissist & my DB is the classic "golden child" & me the "scape goat" which in my DM case was a behavioural pattern steeped in her own childhood & therefore no matter how she was approached, it would be unlikely to make any difference, probably made her worse, as narcs are never wrong - in their eyes that it - so you need to post more about your friend, or read up on NPD to see if it might fit with her & if it doesn't, then you might fare better by talking to her.

That said, her DS is lucky to have your trying do hard to redress that balance for him, I was lucky to have a lot of extended family around me doing the same thing for me, so as a DC my DMs behaviour didn't affect my confidence as much as it might, quite the opposite in fact.


rockinhippy · 09/04/2013 23:30

Gawd I hate autocorrect - I hope that gobledygook makes some senseBlush


Fakebook · 09/04/2013 23:32

Have you written about this before? Is the older child from another relationship? She doesn't sound like a very nice woman.


wifey6 · 09/04/2013 23:35

rockinhippy..sorry to read you suffered a similar thing. But thankfully you had support around you.
I have offered to have her DS (4yo) to play without her coming too,so he can relax & play, but she will refuse by saying he doesn't deserve it.
She excludes him from their family outings etc too which has broken my heart if I'm honest. The 2yo DS is allowed to go, but the 4yo is deemed 'too naughty', 'disruptive', 'rude' etc.
All behaviour I believe is down to him being so aware of this treatment. Hmm

OP posts:

wifey6 · 09/04/2013 23:36 haven't written about it before- wish I had to be honest as I've been witnessing it for a few months now but it's only been the last few weeks it's got worse.

OP posts:

candyandyoga · 09/04/2013 23:47

Bloody hell, that poor boy :(
The more you put the more I feel for him.

You must say something, what does the dad think?

That poor little boy :(


Fakebook · 09/04/2013 23:51

That's really really sad. A 4 year old is still a baby in my eyes. Do you know if she has any family you could confide in and maybe they could talk to her? A mother or sister?


Ouchmyhead · 09/04/2013 23:53

That's so sad to read! How awful for that poor little boy, it must be horrible to be living in that environment. I know it will probably be really awkward and awful to bring up with her, but I think you should for his sake. What if he's just wanting some to stick up for him, you should show him someone is willing to put their neck out for him! I don't often feel really sad reading a post but that's really got to me. I hope you manage to talk to the mum and get their relationship back on track!


Sparklyblue · 09/04/2013 23:55

Omg, 4 years old, my youngest is 4 years old and I couldn't imagine how this would affect her.
This breaks my heart Sad


MsBella · 09/04/2013 23:56



Sparklyblue · 09/04/2013 23:56

Please, please, help this little boy Sad


MsBella · 09/04/2013 23:56

Yanbu id feel very uncomfortable Shock


babyinarms · 10/04/2013 00:01

feel so sad for ghat little boySad Sad . When I was a kid I spent a lot of time with an aunt who constantly told me I wasnt as pretty , clever , loving, friendly etc as my sister. It has had a long lasting affect on me and my confidence in myself. This has to stop . You need to approach it carefully and let her know you see whats going on and how it might affect the little man going forward. My aunt was more devious and only said these things when others were not around! I have cut all ties with her cos people like this only bring you down but this boy is defenceless ! good luck its not easy!


thezebrawearspurple · 10/04/2013 00:11

Some people don't deserve to have childrenAngry That's emotional abuse, she is going to seriously damage that child. Call ss.


thezebrawearspurple · 10/04/2013 00:13

Or NSPCC on 0808 800 5000


rockinhippy · 10/04/2013 00:21

Please speak to someone, it is emotional abuse - does this DS have a different DF ? - your friend needs help, her poor DS needs it far more - my DM blatantly favour my DB, but she would never have done half what your friend has done as regards punishments etc in your second post, that is just awful be young words :(

& try reverse psychology - say you'll take the DS to give your friend a break as you know he's winding her up & it will give her time alone with the little one - though I'm sure you know not to say that in front of the boy - she might buy it then

Good luck


lottieandmia · 10/04/2013 00:23

This is really horrible, but unfortunately I doubt SS would do anything. It's highly likely that for your 'friend' to parent her children in such a toxic way she would have been parented that way herself.

I would avoid such a person tbh. It's awful for the older son but I don't see that there is anything that can be done.

If you raise it with her she will likely get very defensive imo.


Blu · 10/04/2013 00:33

I would Ask her directly, when she says those things, if she really bieves them. Say "I often hear you say that , do you really think your DS2 is more handsome etc?" And if she says yes say 'don't you think it might be a self fulfilling prophecy , telling DS 1 he is naughty etc all the time?" Then tell her what lovely boy her DS1 is and how she can be proud, and ask her what it is she sees in him that makes her want to criticise him. I would tell her that it must be v tough on him.


lisbethsopposite · 10/04/2013 01:04

F**k this makes me want to cry.
You know the way they video people on tv and people are really surprised at their own behaviour. Well could you record the children in the playground, say things to elicit her comments and then let her see the recording and her DS reaction. You must must must help this child.


MammaTJ · 10/04/2013 01:19

I have three children and I am proud to say, each one of them is convinced they are my favourite, and long may that be the case.

My eldest was my 'only' for 10 years, and during that time, we did develop a strong bond. It was shakey when she hit the teens and she even left home at 14, to move in with her Dad. Now she is 18 and has rung me at midnight, just to chat and comment on a pinterest item I had pinned. DD2 came so close to dying when she was born, of course she is special, she has (undiagnosed as yet) ADHD and is a handful but a 'mini me'. That makes her special. My DS is my baby, even now at 6 and always will be. My only boy too, so that makes him special (even though, once I had one girl, I was not bothered what I had).

Rambling a bit, sorry.

What I am trying to say is that all my children feel they are special in my eyes, but somehow, they all feel I love them loads. I am far from the perfect parent, but I am a million miles away from making one the 'pet' above the others and making another feel bad because of it. I just do not understand how a mother could do that.

As someone said above, is there a relative who could have a word, rather than it coming from you?


howdoo · 10/04/2013 01:57

Cannot believe that someone would do that to their child.

My DS1 is convinced that we are easier on DS2 than him, and I have bent over backwards 1. to not be, and 2. to show him I am not. Over the months, I really want to show him that he is wrong when he says DS2 always gets more marshmallows than me in his cereal etc.!

Agree with other posters that I would read her the riot act. She is not only screwing up DS1 but also DS2 - he will have dreadful guilt/resentment when he is older. There are so many threads on here about how hard it is to be the golden child.

Mamma, am very impressed that you have managed to make all your children feel equally loved!


wifey6 · 10/04/2013 07:26

Sorry for delay in DS woke up with tummy ache last night Hmm
Every post has really helped, thank you all. And it saddens me that a lot of you can speak from personal experience. Hmm
I've googled emotional abuse & feel a bit more clued up on how to approach. I really like the reverse psychology idea, I think she would respond to that.
When our DSs were playing the other day I asked her 'you don't really think DS2 is more handsome than DS1 do you?' And her response 'of course, look at him. He's my everything'. This is what prompted me to post on MN, I want to help her DS1 but also help her- this behaviour isn't right on any level. I've always believed a child's self-esteem is so fragile & needs building - not destroying.
Sorry for not name-checking, on phone & very temperamental!

OP posts:

wifey6 · 10/04/2013 07:33

Unfortunately there's no-one I can confide in in RL that could talk to her. Her DH is just as bad & controlling (from what she has told me). He is emotionally & mentally abusive (again, what she has told me).
I think she suffers his cruel words/ways & then does it to DS1 Confused
(Both DC are his)

OP posts:

pigletmania · 10/04/2013 07:49

She sounds like a nasty woman and as you have known her for so long I would not hesitate but be open bad frank to her. Invite te older ds round and if she says that he does not deserve it you pull her up on that, it's emotional abuse and very very sad

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