When your child befriends kids whose parents you can't stand - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-18-2010, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had no idea that finding good parent/child matches would be so hard.

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Old 05-18-2010, 01:00 PM
 
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I try to remind myself that there are always going to be things about a friend that you don't like or agree with and I try to find a way to move past these things by changing subjects. When I first started making mom friends my expectations were way too high and I had to really work to let the little things go. Luckily my mom was always there reminding me of that because the two friends I was ready to dump are now really close friends that I can't imagine not living near.

If changing the subject doesn't work or I just truly can't stand the parent I let my dd call to see if the friend can play at a specific time at our house. In our area most kids call their parents to see if they can play (some even invite themselves over) so it isn't something that is socially unacceptable here. I have only had a couple parents who I truly can't stand to ever be around.
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:35 PM
 
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I tend not to have my kids socialize around families that I don't feel are good influences -- i.e. bitter, critical people, etc. My kids are young, ages 3 and 5, so I have a lot of control over their social lives. So not a lot of issue maintaining these boundaries.

There are lots of kids whose families I do like -- and since I come on playdates -- I choose those families where I enjoy (or at least semi enjoy) hanging out w/the other parents.

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Old 05-18-2010, 06:55 PM
 
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how old is your son?

My kids are older (middle school age) and I don't like all their friend's parents, but I don't have to see them much.

Is your son old enough that you can set up playdates but not stay (or not have the other mom stay)? Does he have opportunities to socialize without you (such as preschool)? Are there plenty of kids that you like the parents so cutting a few friends out wouldn't really matter, or is this a pervasive enough situation that doing so would be isolating for him?

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 05-18-2010, 07:06 PM
 
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when i have children over the house ( i have 3 children at this typing there are 8 children in my house) i have no expectation of reciprocating my children going over to their friends house.
i prefer the kids coming here.
that said i ask that the kids be respectful of one another while they play together. i would struggle if some one was dumping their kid off frequently or arriving late or the children didnt' play well together.
i do not feel obligated to have a social relationship with my childrne' friends parents, but i do expect a respectful one. i have more of an issue if i think they are unsafe in some capacity versus someone who rubs me the wrong way b/c of gossip kwim?
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Old 05-19-2010, 05:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pdamom View Post
i do not feel obligated to have a social relationship with my childrne' friends parents, but i do expect a respectful one. i have more of an issue if i think they are unsafe in some capacity versus someone who rubs me the wrong way b/c of gossip kwim?
I think this is spot on and basically how I feel and how we do things. Once DS started pre-k (when he was 4) he started making friends on his own, got invited to parties of kids whose parents we didn't really know, etc.

We live in Europe, so maybe it's different here, but most kids start going on play dates without their parents between four and five years of age. I might stop in and have a cup of coffee or tea when dropping DS off (or might invite parent in if parent is dropping kid off at my place) but I certainly feel no obligation to stay for the whole afternoon or whatever! Same with birthday parties.

I'm asking this respectfully, but why would you, as parent, need to actually hang out with the parents that you don't like? Couldn't you just phone or email, arrange something, and then drop off your kid (or have kid dropped off at your place)? By the age of five, why would you need to stay for the whole play date? What other interaction does the kids' friendship entail? (maybe I'm reading the OP's post wrong, though, and that's not what she's talking about. If so, sorry!)
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:14 AM
 
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I would pass on the 5yo friend with super mean mom.At 5 kids bounce back quick when having to make new friends. My kids have mostly school friends,and it is very rare that any will come over after school,so I have not had to deal with parents except at school activities.

The times kids do come over the parent rarely,if ever,stays.If they were causing me problems I would probably tell my child to just play with THAT friend at school,but outside of school we would not be getting together with that family.
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:20 AM
 
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My daughter's only 14 months old just now, but I have the same worry. The neighbours upstairs are really evil people. We are polite to them but keep our distance. The problem is, they have several grandchildren, a couple of whom are only a few years older than my daughter. These children are also very rude and unpleasant. I'm worried that my she will want to play with them when she's older, and I really don't want that.
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:23 AM
 
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These children are also very rude and unpleasant. I'm worried that my she will want to play with them when she's older, and I really don't want that.
my experience is that my children do not enjoy being around other kids who are mean.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 05-19-2010, 10:03 PM
 
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At age 5, I'd have no problem cutting off the relationship. I know that sounds mean, but it doesn't sound like a good situation for either you or your DS. When my kids were that age, their friends were mostly the children of my friends. Once they got older and started making friends on their own, they'd hang out with those friends at organized activities (dance, soccer, school), and occasionally we'd have the friends out to play. But there were definitely a few times when I chose to spend a minimal amount of time with an unpleasant parent, or outright discouraged the friendship.

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Old 05-20-2010, 01:03 AM
 
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Maybe you can focus on expanding your LO's circle of friends/adding in more opportunities for socialization. At least then you might see this family less often.
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