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#1 of 14 Old 07-11-2012, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a fairly new friend who I enjoy her company. She has an 11 yr old son who is an only child very smart and is a bit of a loner. He is bullied at school

and basically has no friends. His mom encourages him to engage in friendship etc... but he has said even in front of me that he doesn't want any friends.

The problem I have is I have two very outgoing girls who are 7 and 8 and every time we all get together my friends son puts my daughters down and bullies them

right in front of us or my girls will tell on him in front of his mother. My friend never tells her son to stop or acts as though my girls are drama queens and it's no big deal.

One time he even whipped my daughter with a jump rope. My friend will say undermining things like "oh they're acting like that because they can't get their way". I like her

and she lives down the street from me and our husbands get along. I just don't know what to do or say or if I should do or say anything to her. Any advice??

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#2 of 14 Old 07-12-2012, 08:18 AM
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Welcome to Mothering! 

 

I'm going to move your post to the Parenting forum for better input. :)


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#3 of 14 Old 07-12-2012, 09:26 AM
 
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I think the majority of 11yo boys simply would have no interest in playing with 7 and 8yo girls. I'm not saying that this excuses his rude and cruel behavior -- just that it doesn't seem likely that your daughters and your friend's son are going to have much common ground. Most 11yos would just retreat into their own world and ignore the younger kids -- for example, by playing computer games -- but apparently this one is having a hard time controlling his emotions, possibly due to being bullied and not having any safe outlet for his feelings at school.

 

Based on what you've said about your friend's treatment of the whole situation -- if you didn't like her so much, I'd say that it didn't sound like a healthy friendship for your family.

 

However, since you and the wife are friends and your two husbands also get along really well, I don't see why you couldn't get together with the wife and do stuff at times when your husbands are available to watch the children -- and vice-versa, the two guys can also get together and do stuff without the kids, or maybe even do some guy stuff with the 11yo (and, by the same token, you and the wife could also do some girl stuff with just your daughers if you wanted to). And maybe sometimes you could even use a babysitter (not one for all the kids but one for your dds and she could get one for her son) and go out on double dates.

 

I just don't see it working for you to get together in such a way that the children are forced together. It's simply unfair to your daughters.


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#4 of 14 Old 07-12-2012, 09:46 AM
 
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P.S. I wanted to add that I also have two very extraverted girls and, in my experience, younger children tend to really seek out older children and, if the older child isn't interested in interacting, the younger child will often just keep trying and trying to get the older child's attention.

 

In get togethers that involve bringing one older child into a setting with two or more younger children, it is usually crucial for the older child to have some space that is just his or her space. This is true, for example, when my younger dd has a friend over; dd1's bedroom needs to be off limits.

 

This just seems to be "one of those things" -- younger children want to socialize with older children much more than many older children want to socialize with younger children . So the older child needs a safe place to go to when he or she tires of this interaction.


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#5 of 14 Old 07-12-2012, 11:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sstand View Post
 My friend never tells her son to stop or acts as though my girls are drama queens and it's no big deal.

One time he even whipped my daughter with a jump rope. My friend will say undermining things like "oh they're acting like that because they can't get their way". I like her

 


You are not going to change this mother or her child.

 

I would absolutely keep my kids away from him. If the mother saw his behavior as a problem and was working with him, there might be hope. But she doesn't and isn't, so there is no hope. Whenever the kids are together, you will be subjecting your children to this behavior, and teaching them that it is OK for people (esp boys) to treat them like this. In a similar situation, I stuck with neutral language when discussing it with other mom. "It doesn't really work for our kids to play together" rather than imply the problem was her child's behavior or her lack of response because I did value her friendship and hoped to maintain it.

 

For awhile, my friendship with the other mother worked, but ultimately, as I got to know her better, I saw a variety of character flaws and figured out that I didn't like her. And her other character flaws were related to her lack of desire or ability to instill any character or empathy in her child.

 

There are some kids who deeply struggle with social issues, and teaching them basic social skills is phenomenally challenging for their parents. And there are some families that do not value treating others with dignity, and there children's behavior reflects that.

 

I try to never judge other parents based on their kids behavior because I KNOW that none of us controls our children. None the less, some parents do make it quite obvious that they do not value my child being treated with dignity, and I choose not to have my children around them or their kids.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#6 of 14 Old 07-12-2012, 12:41 PM
 
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If you like her, I'd get together without the kids, however you have to do it.  However, I would have a hard time being friends with someone who did not see her son beating others with a jump rope as wrong and do *something* to correct the behavior.  If that were my child, I would be the one apologizing to you and telling you that I would not be bringing him to your home again.  *Possibly* she could bring her girls to your home with a "DS room off limits" rule.  So he has a place to be if he does not want to be with them.  The question is, would he honor that?  She should know.


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#7 of 14 Old 07-12-2012, 02:22 PM
 
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Maybe the boy has Aspergers and doesn't know how to interact at all. In any case I would not expect an 11yo boy to play with much younger girls. His behavior is really unacceptable though.

Maybe try meeting your friend without the kids.

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#8 of 14 Old 07-12-2012, 11:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pauletoy View Post

Maybe the boy has Aspergers and doesn't know how to interact at all. In any case I would not expect an 11yo boy to play with much younger girls.

 

 

I have a kid with Aspergers, and I also know a lot of kids on the spectrum or with similar issues. On the whole, they aren't a bunch of bullies.  Bullying behavior is far more likely to be directed TOWARD kids with Asperger's than to emanate FROM them. They tend to be the children who are trying really hard to have friends, but just not getting it right.

 

His behavior is so, so far from acceptable ways to interact with humans of ANY age, the fact that he is older only make is worse. An 11 year old should know better. It's one thing to not want to play with younger children, it's quite another to strike them with an object to say cruel things to them. His mother is fully aware of this and doesn't have a problem with it -- she's is the real problem. He might quite easily learn what sort of behavior is appropriate if his parent expected it of him.
 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#9 of 14 Old 07-16-2012, 09:20 AM
 
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I don't excuse the 11 yr old for hurting them.  But, I do think he deserves to be respected too.  He is SAYING "I don't like kids, I don't want friends, I want to be left alone" and he deserves the respect of you telling your girls to play alone and stop trying to interact with 11 yr old.

 

I DO think the real problem is the mom.  Not the boy.  She is ignoring what he's doing, and allowing it because it's easier for her.  He's 11... he can control himself, and he should just go set himself apart....but, if she keeps making excuses and blaming others, he's never going to make the effort to make himself more accommodating.   He can be a loner, but that doesn't mean he can be rude and cruel.  

 

It's not OK for him to be mean.  It's not OK for mom to make excuses for him.  (I hate that kids get free passes for everything.... they need to learn personal responsibility)  But, assume your girls are annoying and are very much unlike him and his parents.  When you are a quiet, calm not super social family, those people who are completely opposite can be hard to take.   So, in their eyes, maybe your girls really are provoking him.

 

Everyone in this situation deserved grace and understanding.  Try to see it from his point of view if you can.  But, stand up for your girls when you really need to.... don't ask the mom to do it for them.... you just step in and firmly but with kindness, say "I will not allow you to hurt my child".  Then, take the jump rope away from all of them, and hold it for a while until you think they can try again.  

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#10 of 14 Old 07-17-2012, 03:06 PM
 
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I don't care how much I liked a mom, I wouldn't subject my children to that under any circumstances. 

 

Get together without the kids. 

 

Also, I find it really hard to respect people who don't parent their kids or respect mine.

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#11 of 14 Old 07-17-2012, 06:57 PM
 
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flip your perspective, maybe she sees you as not parenting and having girls that provoke her ds.  I'm not trying to blame you, just another way to see things.

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#12 of 14 Old 07-18-2012, 11:49 AM
 
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Are you getting together at your home or hers?  If possible, I think you should get together at your house, so you can control the house rules and your children have something to play with besides the boy.   If the houses are close maybe she would be OK leaving her son at home.  If not, before the boy arrives you could coach your girls on how to invite him to play but be prepared to take "no" for an answer.  Suggest to the other mom that he bring something he can play/do alone (book?  Ninetendo DS?) and if he doesn't want to play you can suggest a place away from the girls where he can hang out.  If both moms agree, maybe he could watch TV even.  Then monitor all of the kids -- asking your girls to respect his wish to be alone and being ready to step in to re-direct if he is being mean to your girls.  The advantage is that its "your house, your rules" and you have more control. 

 

If you are all at her house, suggest your girls take something with them to play with so if the boy doesn't want to play they have something to keep them busy.  Maybe ask the mom something like "Last time we were here my girls got hurt.  If something like that happens again, how would you like to handle it?  Shall I speak to your son directly or would you prefer to step in?"  Having a plan before things go south can be really helpful and you have implied that she needs to step up or you will.

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#13 of 14 Old 07-18-2012, 11:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sstand View Post

One time he even whipped my daughter with a jump rope. 

jaw.gif what? he whipped your child and she didnt say anything? are you sure whipped is the right word? could he have hit her by accident? a one time deal? or was it a series of hits. 

 

the other dangerous part is she just lives down the street. teh potential for something going wrong is HIGH. 

 

your friend acts like your dd's are drama queens. 

 

both of you have opposite opnions of your own children.

 

are you sure its a good idea to further invest in this friendship?


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#14 of 14 Old 07-18-2012, 01:54 PM
 
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jaw.gif what? he whipped your child and she didnt say anything? are you sure whipped is the right word?

 

 

I have teens, and a lot of their friends are boys. They all play fight. I can see one of them screwing around with another and smacking him lightly with a jump rope. The important thing is that it is PEERS and that they understand that they don't act this way to little kids. They all know each other from a mixed age school, so routinely play with younger children, but they get that you can't play fight with little kids.

 

So, that it what I pictured from the OP. Not actually an evil act, just one that was inappropriate in the context.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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