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To raise lack of dc manners with friend

15 replies

Babymamamama · 25/06/2017 18:16

I'm really not sure what is for the best so would welcome views. Background is I've been friends with another mum since we both had our first. We are close and often meet up, socialise with the children etc. She sometimes asks my advice about her children as she has expressed she worries about them being fussy, arguing etc. I've tried to stay very neutral and make no specific judgement but my honest view is they are extremely spoilt. They never say please or thank you for anything and may often compain or sulk if decisions don't go their way. It is kind of putting me off socialising my DC with hers and I have noted on a few occasions my DC has copied some of these behaviours. I'd like to think that I could constructively help her with this but am I being overly optimistic and will it all end in tears if i bring it up? I really don't want to lose her friendship - perhaps I should just grin and bear it?

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becotide · 25/06/2017 18:22

If she specifically asks your advice, and you want to give it, then do so, but do bearin mind that many people who ask advice on their children are not seeking advice. They are seeking reassurance and confirmation. If you surprise them with advice, you are challanging their idea that their children are ok. YOU will become the problem as it will be YOU who is the source of the Feel-Bad-Now. I've been in this position and am now, sadly, a lot less willing to involve myself with other people's lives.


HattiesBackpack · 25/06/2017 18:23

If you want to stay friends then don't raise it- even though you have the best intentions this kind of thing will never be well received and i think has potential to sour the friendship.


TeaBelle · 25/06/2017 18:24

How old are the children?


Squeegle · 25/06/2017 18:25

You will be fast forwarding to a state of ex friendship if you offer unsolicited and unwelcome advice.


Babymamamama · 25/06/2017 18:25

Yes I did suspect this... Thanks for confirming it would not be a good move. I will keep it to myself. Wink

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Babymamamama · 25/06/2017 18:27

One pre school and one primary age. They often say they are "bored' when you can see other children playing happily just getting on with things and each other. All DC are different I guess.

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MrsBadger · 25/06/2017 18:31

Just make sure you are parenting extremely well and your dc are impeccably polite when you are together.

Then she might either say 'Oh please share your secret', be ashamed by the contrast with her dc's behaviour and/ or pick up on your cues ('Jemima, please make sure you're sharing nicely' 'Oh… yes… Archibald, make sure you share nicely too…')


Enidblyton1 · 25/06/2017 18:40

How old are the children? I wouldn't offer advice either.


Itsmytemporaryname · 25/06/2017 18:42

You say she asks your opinion so why shy away from giving it?
She obviously knows her kids are brats and sees yours as being better behaved and wonders how you do it.
I often think on these threads that people should put the boot on the other foot and think about her experience. Maybe she doesn't know how to instil manners in them, maybe she's tried and failed.


Babymamamama · 25/06/2017 22:37

Thanks for your alternative view Itsmytemporaryname. I definitely think she has tried to instill manners at some points as I've witnessed this but hasn't stuck with it consistently. Also she's very focused on their immediate happiness in the moment which is lovely and child centred when they are tiny but now they are getting older it's becoming more apparent that she may not be doing them a favour in the longer term. I think I will not say anything at all but if she ever asks me or mentions it I may try to support constructively. It's not someone I would ever want to be judgy about, I just worry she is possibly making a rod for her own back in the longer term.

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Itsmytemporaryname · 26/06/2017 21:16

Yes I think constructive support is the right response. No point in saying they have no manners - she already knows that ;)


Squeegle · 26/06/2017 21:25

It is often not so simple. My DS has always been "bored", didn't do what he was told, would run all over the place etcetc. People would often offer me advice; they basically thought I was doing it all wrong. No way he has been diagnosed with ADHD at the very least I know that I wasn't doing it wrong - he is just different. So don't judge; do support.


Squeegle · 26/06/2017 21:28

Now he has been I meant. I also have a very well behaved DD. It can be down to temperament


donquixotedelamancha · 26/06/2017 21:42

"am I being overly optimistic" Yes.
"will it all end in tears if i bring it up?" Quite possibly.

I think it's fine to do the normal 'parenting' stuff that any adult might; (e.g. remind about please and thankyou) where you are dealing with them directly.

I think it's probably OK to discuss where it impacts on your children in a fairly diffident manner. If you have a good relationship she should be receptive but I'd go very easy indeed, even if she is open to advice at first.


Babymamamama · 27/06/2017 08:02

Donquixote I have often bitten my tongue as I really want to prompt on the ps and qs. But I won't as it isn't my place as my dp reminds me. Thing is they are really great kids and I don't think they would suffer from being gently taught some manners. But I will continue to focus on my own DC. Grin

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