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how to say no

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

My daughter is 13 and goes to a very small Sudbury Valley school, only 15 students. There is a 10 yr old boy there that has been going to the school for a few months. They started out as friends, but as she has gotten to really know him, she really does not like him at all. She has tried to spend less time with him, but he follows her around a lot, even though she hasn't been as friendly to him. He hasn't gotten the hint and is now asking her if they can be friends over the summer and hang out together. She really doesn't want to do that, but doesn't know what to say to him. She doesn't want to hurt him, but she definitely doesn't want to go and would be happy if he quit hanging around her. Since it's such a small school, she will still have to be around him as they all inter-mingle. 

 

Any ideas?

 

Thanks!!

 

Susan

post #2 of 18

Give her "permission" to tell him - "my mom won't let me"

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure how that would work, he knows she can go to other kids homes, and I like his mom.
post #4 of 18

Gosh this is a hard one. How realistic is it that he'll call her and invite her to do stuff? I guess I'd start there. If he's pestering her now, though... Maybe something along the lines of "I'm really busy in the summer so I don't want to make plans." Or, "aww, you're sweet, but no, thanks." It might actually not be a bad place to have her start with the word "no" - then she's already used it once in her life on a friend and the social ickiness of it might be broken? Sure he may feel bad for a little bit, but it's good for him to hear "no" just as much as it's good for her to say it. Sometimes setting boundaries isn't very comfortable but neither is getting yourself into a situation you wish you'd put a stop to in the first place (i.e. repeated phone calls and having to refuse invitations).

post #5 of 18
I wish I'd learned to say know when I was young instead of being taught to be so nice & never hurt anyone's feelings. I've spent most of my adult life trying to find a balance between not nice & too nice. That said, I obviously have no advice on how to actually do so!

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post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

I like the idea of her saying no and setting her boundaries as well, we did talk about that. She was hesitant on it because she doesn't want him to feel bad and she doesn't know what to say when he asks "why?" which he will. He is already pestering her about it, he's often asking her if they are friends, if she likes him, etc. So, just not sure how to respond when he asks her why she won't come over. 

 

thanks for the help!!

post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by elisheva View Post

Gosh this is a hard one. How realistic is it that he'll call her and invite her to do stuff? I guess I'd start there. If he's pestering her now, though... Maybe something along the lines of "I'm really busy in the summer so I don't want to make plans." Or, "aww, you're sweet, but no, thanks." It might actually not be a bad place to have her start with the word "no" - then she's already used it once in her life on a friend and the social ickiness of it might be broken? Sure he may feel bad for a little bit, but it's good for him to hear "no" just as much as it's good for her to say it. Sometimes setting boundaries isn't very comfortable but neither is getting yourself into a situation you wish you'd put a stop to in the first place (i.e. repeated phone calls and having to refuse invitations).



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post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by susands View Post

I like the idea of her saying no and setting her boundaries as well, we did talk about that. She was hesitant on it because she doesn't want him to feel bad and she doesn't know what to say when he asks "why?" which he will. He is already pestering her about it, he's often asking her if they are friends, if she likes him, etc. So, just not sure how to respond when he asks her why she won't come over. 

 

thanks for the help!!


How about? "Oh, I don't need a reason - just no!" (maybe said with a smile). Repeat. She really doesn't need a reason and doesn't need to make one up. Think of it as doing him a favor as well - he'll learn that when a girl says no, that's the end of the conversation. Some girl down the line may thank your daughter :)

 

post #9 of 18


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by susands View Post

She was hesitant on it because she doesn't want him to feel bad and she doesn't know what to say when he asks "why?" which he will. He is already pestering her about it,


 

This is a chance for her to grow. It's time to learn to tell others NO in very clear terms, and not worry to much about their feelings. He might feel bad because he is being rejected, but she is learning habits that she's going to take into dating.

 

He deserves some clarity so he can drop it. Right now, by trying to be nice, she isn't being clear so they both stay stuck in this drama. It's really kinder to let him know the deal so he can move on. You might explain to her that the hinting thing isn't kinder. It's kinda like lying. Honesty is better. Honesty with a little compassion is best.

 

"I'm going to be busy with some other things this summer, and I'll see you when school starts." 

 

if he ask "why," she could say,

 

because that's what I've decided I want to do OR

I don't feel we have that much in common OR

we really are just casual, school friends

 

 

post #10 of 18

If I were her I would say something like," I'd rather not get together outside of school." If he asks about their friendship I would say,"We are schoolmates and that is it."

I know your dd is worried about hurting him,but what about her feelings? She is being stressed over this. I also agree that she is doing no favors by letting the boy think they are good friends as opposed to just  classmates. My kids go to Montessori and the class is around 18-21 students. Everyone is expected to be polite to each other,but other than that it is up to the kids how they deal with relations.

post #11 of 18

There's one obvious answer to the "Why?" question that I'm amazed no one has said (unless I missed it). 

 

"I'm hanging out with people closer to my age."

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nasubi77 View Post

There's one obvious answer to the "Why?" question that I'm amazed no one has said (unless I missed it). 

 

"I'm hanging out with people closer to my age."



I'm wondering if that would be believable in the school.  My kids go to an alternative school, and it wouldn't make sense there. The idea that a 10 year old and a 13 year old can't be friends is a cultural construct that many alternative schools don't teach.

 

My 13 year olds friends from school, who she sees outside of school, range from age 10 to 18.

 

post #13 of 18

I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with y'all here. Both of my daughters went to/go to a school that stresses inclusive social behaviors and the right to pass/ the right to play, but the other person's feelings are ALWAYS regarded highly. My partner is a special education teacher, so I think I'm probably a little more progressive than most, but the importance of children interacting with those who are different is essential to their development. I never let my children exclude others in social situations. There are plenty of situations where kids who weren't their favorite expressed an interest in maintaining friendships with them, and while I wouldn't make them invite them over to a sleepover, there's no reason they couldn't all meet at the pool with a group of kids or do some other group activity. I think it is absolutely wrong to raise kids to believe they shouldn't forge relationships with people they don't relate to or agree with. In life, as adults, you are constantly dealing with people who may not be your first choice, but you still need to treat them as equals. It's the ethical thing to do. How would you like it if your kid was chasing another kid around like a puppy and got their hopes crushed by them? I know I would expect a modicum of decency. Humans are social animals. Not only the popular have the right to friendship.

 

post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsf View Post

 I think it is absolutely wrong to raise kids to believe they shouldn't forge relationships with people they don't relate to or agree with. In life, as adults, you are constantly dealing with people who may not be your first choice, but you still need to treat them as equals.

 


The line for my kids is the school property. They are expected to be kind and polite to every single kid at school. Their behavior is never to be hurtful or rude.

 

However, friends are people we see on our own time. Learning to draw boundaries with other people, make decisions about who they want to spend time with and who they don't want to spend time with is a life skill.

 

My kids don't have to see the nasty rude controlling kid they go to school without outside of school, and my DH doesn't invite over the crazy person with wacked out religious views from his work. The people we spend our own time with, we actually like.

 

There's nothing unethical about choosing which other humans resonate with your, and which one's don't.

 

Teens can be allowed to trust their instincts about who is safe, who is kind, who builds their life, etc. It's OK to set boundaries.

 

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsf View Post

. Humans are social animals. Not only the popular have the right to friendship.

My kids have the right not to be friends with anyone that makes them uncomfortable. This kid makes the OP's daughter uncomfortable. That's the line. I tell my kids in these situations to be civil but not welcoming. Most kids get the idea and back off. The fact that this kid hasn't makes me worry about him. And to encourage him in any way when he's being odd and stalkerish.... is a very bad idea.
post #16 of 18

The boy is only 10 y.o.  He probably has a crush on the OP's daughter.  I would really hesitate to say he's being stalker-ish.  Over-enthusiastic and clueless more like.

 

There's no doubt that there is a developmental difference between a 10 y.o. boy and a 13 y.o. girl.  I think it's great when your child has a wide range of ages in their social circle.  But this boy is a bit less mature than the OP's daughter is.

 

I agree with the rest who said it's important that young ladies can politely and confidently tell a person 'no'. 

post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

There's no doubt that there is a developmental difference between a 10 y.o. boy and a 13 y.o. girl.  I think it's great when your child has a wide range of ages in their social circle.  But this boy is a bit less mature than the OP's daughter is.

 

I agree with the rest who said it's important that young ladies can politely and confidently tell a person 'no'. 


But the OPer didn't say that his age was a problem. Her DD was open to friendship with him *until she got to know him*. After getting to know him, she doesn't like him.

 

It sounds like a crush to me too, which is why I think clearly saying no is important for BOTH the kids sakes. For hers because learning to say no to advances from males is a basic life skills for females. And for him so that he can get the message, feel hurt, get over it, and move on.

 

Clarity and honestly are good things. Pretending you like someone when you don't to spare their feelings isn't helpful to them.

 

 

post #18 of 18

N/M  lol.gif  I agree with you Linda.

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