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#1 of 7 Old 12-20-2011, 09:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I'll start by saying that my ds (who is 22 months) is a pretty calm and gentle little boy. We're relatively new to this area and we've only got a small group of close friends here.  There's another little boy (20 months) who is in our group of friends. My son loves him and always seems eager to play with him. But this kid is SO rough! When you watch the parents with him, you can immediately tell there's a direct correlation with the way he is to the way his parents are with him. They just flop him to the floor to change him, throw balls (soft balls) directly at his head, and say mean things to him. I've often heard the mother tell him she hopes he gets rug burn on his bottom because he was squirming while she was trying to dress him. Every time my son plays with him, he ends up getting hurt. This little boy does not share, throws toys at people, and just bangs toys around. His parents just watch him and say "oh no no, share with so-and-so" but they don't show him what to do. The mother is very high strung and always says she doesn't have the patients for him and blahblahblah and it's so sad for this boy. His parents aren't really teaching him life skills. They comment on how gentle my son is and I said "I know, I taught him to be gentle". Like they just don't get it! You need to give the kid some direction and when he whacks my kid in the head with a toy, he needs to be told that it's not okay and take the toy away. I'm all about AP and I'd NEVER spank my son but I'm making sure that he learns how to treat people and right from wrong. It's getting to the point where my DH and I just don't want to spend time with this couple because we cringe watching them interact with their son and I'm tired of watching my son get beat up. There's another couple with a little girl who just turned one and now that they're daughter is mobile, they're more concerned about her playing with this other boy too.  I've heard several people comment on how rough this boy is and how his parents need to teach him manners, but it always seems so hush-hush that I don't say much. I don't want to alienate us because we really don't have many friends here. I know the woman will be really offended if someone tells her she needs to do something about her child, but I don't know what to do! I also know that she blames his daycare. He goes 3 days a week and she says he learns bad habits from the older kids, but I don't feel like that's a good excuse.  I feel bad for the boy because he's being set up for disaster. He'll always be the bully kid that no one wants to play with. My question is - What would you do? Should I try to stop spending time with them? Or should I find a way to delicately express my concerns? If so, what in the world do I say? Thanks in advance! 


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#2 of 7 Old 12-21-2011, 08:17 AM
 
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Well the one thing I've noticed is that no matter how gently you raise your kids, some of them are just rough toddlers. I don't think it's fair to blame the parents JUST based on that, and I wouldn't end a friendship just because the other toddler is a bit rough, otherwise you wouldn't have many toddler friends... BUT this is my roundabout way of saying that I don't think the problem is 'aggressive toddler' -- it sounds like it's 'mean parents'... and I personally am not comfortable spending much time around mean parents, I just can't deal with it. I wouldn't want my DS to witness that either, because I don't want him growing up thinking it's OK to be treated like that (or treat others like that)... so the parents' behavior very likely would lead me to abandon that relationship, unless they had some other really amazing 'redeeming qualities' or something. Who the heck tells their kid they hope they get rug burns??? greensad.gif

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#3 of 7 Old 12-21-2011, 11:02 AM
 
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Wow, well I have 2 thoughts.  First, some children are just rough.  I know because my son is going through a pushing and sometimes hitting stage.  We are gentle, loving, never mean, intervene and insist on gentle behavior, and he is still rough.  For us it is probably tied to a language delay and frustration but he is also generally just a high energy, rough and tumble kid.  I do always intervene when he does it.  When other kids are rough with DS I don't hesitate to correct them (not physically but I do say things like "we are gentle with our friends" or "hands are for hugging!" and then remove my son.)

 

That said, second is that I wouldn't want my child around those parents.  Seriously, those kinds of adults are not good role models for our kids. I've been through something similar where a woman in a parent group I was going to spanked her son quite hard in front of my DS and he was terrified!  I haven't gone back even though I liked the social aspect with the other kids.  It might not be the end of the world for you to say something to them.  Something like "I've found that with my DS I've really had to show him how to stop hitting" when the mother says no to her son? 

 

 

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#4 of 7 Old 12-21-2011, 11:38 AM
 
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I agree with what PP said.  We are an AP parenting unit that uses gentle hands on one another (my hubby has a much shorter fuse than I do however) and we teach our boys to be gentle.  That doesn't mean there haven't been stages where DS1 had to be watched relentlessly while out and about in order to intervene before a rough episode would occur.  Not relaxing for me, but I would redirect the mean/aggressive play into "making nice hands."  So if DS would be ready to smack someone over the head with his hand (he tends not to use objects thank goodness!) I would intervene and change it to a nice soothing petting motion saying something like, gentle hands only please etc.  However, you're obviously doing that with your kiddo so kudos!  If you decide to continue playing with this family and you see this other kid about ready to wail on your LO then do what I just said, change the motion.  It sounds like he needs to be taught.

 

My second thought is if the parents are so rough with him, then no matter how much you personally teach this kid it's not going to cut it.  I feel badly for this kid because as you said, he's being set up to be the bully.  For me personally, if someone is being that negative with their child routinely (we all have our moments when we are frayed after all!) then perhaps the relationship should not be quite to intense or backed off of, or completely gotten rid of.  I personally don't like to be around negative energy all the time and if the mom routinely is talking about how she can't handle xyz and isn't asking or taking any friendly tips then it may not be the right relationship to begin with.  I also wouldn't want my boys to be around that for the same reasons as previous posters said.

 

In terms of acquiring new friends, have you looked into going to the library for story time?  You can meet some people there.  If you're crunchy at all you should join your local Holistic Moms Network chapter and meet a lot of great people through there.  You can also just keep hanging with your other new friends and just enjoy that :-)

 

HTH

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#5 of 7 Old 12-21-2011, 01:14 PM
 
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Hi,

We too have an AP household and work very hard to teach DS to be gentle, but we are going through a very rough patch right now, and when I say rough, I mean DS who is 28mos is acting very rough w/ others - in fact, he has now started biting (see my post about moms of biters).  I am of course horrified by this behavior and am actively trying to end it!

 

I think/hope that when the ohter moms see my DS being rough, they also see me jumping in and trying to correct, teaching DS to apologize, teaching DS to do gentle touches, use his words, etc.  I think/hope this is not permanant behavior w/ DS - and the ohter moms can see I am not ok w/ it and and therefore that it is ok to let their kids play w/ my DS.  In other words, I am doing something about his behavior.


Sounds liek this other mom isn't.  Sounds like she's kinda ok w/ the behavior and therefore it might be uneasy for you to keep on playing - gosh, this is acceptable to them, so there is no end in sight for this kid's behavior.  But it is hard to be new in the area... like a pp said, perhaps you could look into classes, etc and strike up some mommy/toddler friends from there?

 

Good luck!

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#6 of 7 Old 12-21-2011, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your replies! I do agree that the parents are the real problem. They know how rough their son is, they just don't see it as a problem. Myself and the parents of the little girl do and will continue to step in and save our own kids. I want to keep the peace but frankly, if they can't teach their son to be gentler, I will probably end the relationship. It's sad really. I feel bad for the boy. 
 

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Originally Posted by organicviolin View Post

I agree with what PP said.  We are an AP parenting unit that uses gentle hands on one another (my hubby has a much shorter fuse than I do however) and we teach our boys to be gentle.  That doesn't mean there haven't been stages where DS1 had to be watched relentlessly while out and about in order to intervene before a rough episode would occur.  Not relaxing for me, but I would redirect the mean/aggressive play into "making nice hands."  So if DS would be ready to smack someone over the head with his hand (he tends not to use objects thank goodness!) I would intervene and change it to a nice soothing petting motion saying something like, gentle hands only please etc.  However, you're obviously doing that with your kiddo so kudos!  If you decide to continue playing with this family and you see this other kid about ready to wail on your LO then do what I just said, change the motion.  It sounds like he needs to be taught.

 

My second thought is if the parents are so rough with him, then no matter how much you personally teach this kid it's not going to cut it.  I feel badly for this kid because as you said, he's being set up to be the bully.  For me personally, if someone is being that negative with their child routinely (we all have our moments when we are frayed after all!) then perhaps the relationship should not be quite to intense or backed off of, or completely gotten rid of.  I personally don't like to be around negative energy all the time and if the mom routinely is talking about how she can't handle xyz and isn't asking or taking any friendly tips then it may not be the right relationship to begin with.  I also wouldn't want my boys to be around that for the same reasons as previous posters said.

 

In terms of acquiring new friends, have you looked into going to the library for story time?  You can meet some people there.  If you're crunchy at all you should join your local Holistic Moms Network chapter and meet a lot of great people through there.  You can also just keep hanging with your other new friends and just enjoy that :-)

 

HTH

If you're in central NJ we can always play too!


You're right- I know that kids go through rough phases sometimes. See, the difference is that you actively step in to redirect your kids, instead of just watching it happen. I just wish these parents would do that. The woman is a very negative person in general, especially when she talks about her child. She tells me that I did something right because my kid is so smart and her's isn't. Ugh, some people just shouldn't be parents. greensad.gif

I am going to look into Mommy & Me playgroups, for the both of us to meet new friends. Thanks for the tip. 
I'm in CT now, but I'm from NJ! Would be nice if we could've gotten together! 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by NEastMomma View Post

Hi,

We too have an AP household and work very hard to teach DS to be gentle, but we are going through a very rough patch right now, and when I say rough, I mean DS who is 28mos is acting very rough w/ others - in fact, he has now started biting (see my post about moms of biters).  I am of course horrified by this behavior and am actively trying to end it!

 

I think/hope that when the ohter moms see my DS being rough, they also see me jumping in and trying to correct, teaching DS to apologize, teaching DS to do gentle touches, use his words, etc.  I think/hope this is not permanant behavior w/ DS - and the ohter moms can see I am not ok w/ it and and therefore that it is ok to let their kids play w/ my DS.  In other words, I am doing something about his behavior.


Sounds liek this other mom isn't.  Sounds like she's kinda ok w/ the behavior and therefore it might be uneasy for you to keep on playing - gosh, this is acceptable to them, so there is no end in sight for this kid's behavior.  But it is hard to be new in the area... like a pp said, perhaps you could look into classes, etc and strike up some mommy/toddler friends from there?

 

Good luck!



Yep! Good for you for trying to change negative behavior. This woman really just thinks her kid is rough but fails to see that he's learning it from her and her husband! It wouldn't be as big of a deal to me if I felt like they were trying to remedy the problem. And they keep offering to babysit for me! Like I'd ever leave my baby with them! He's not used to being flopped around and having his head bumped constantly. 

 

 

Again, thanks for the tips ladies. Hopefully I can handle this without losing friends. 


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#7 of 7 Old 12-22-2011, 10:13 AM
 
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aww too bad!  Well, CT has many nice people including one of my best friends from childhood, but she doesn't have kids as of yet.  I'm sure there are lots of mama and me type things and HMN is definitely there as well if you want to join.  Lots of options I am sure!  Also, check on FB for mama groups in your area.  :-) I've got one of those where we post about playdates etc and have a grand old time.

Hang in there mama!


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