Problem with Friend's Kids - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 05-08-2012, 09:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I have a friend who I met about 9 months ago at a kid's event in our city. She has 2 daughters, as do I.

At first, I thought her girls were just very energetic. I really hate to sound judgemental, but her girls are awful. They shout at my friend until she answers them, even if she and I are trying to talk, they "playfully" hit her to get her attention, then laugh about it if she tries to correct them. They hit each other all the time, and the older one hoards all of her toys when my daughter goes over to play. She literally takes everything out of reach and hides it in her room because she refuses to share. They recently came to my house for dinner, and we have a rule at my house that you sit at the table while you eat your food; they were running around my house with food like they always do and it drives me crazy. I don't like the way my daughter behaves around them and for the time period right after.

I don't want to risk losing my friendship with their mom, but I really don't feel I can have my daughter around that. My friend just lets this stuff slide, too, and acts like it's not happening. She never stands up to them.

I really need some advice. I don't just want to come out and say, "Hey, your kids are little terrorists and I don't want to see them anymore", but I can't handle this anymore. I am sooo stressed after being around them. Any thoughts? Sorry if I sound mean, that's not my intent.

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#2 of 7 Old 05-09-2012, 07:50 AM
 
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How old are they?

 

Meeting at playgrounds instead of homes is a good idea if sharing is an issue. And it will help with the not eating at the table, too.


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#3 of 7 Old 05-09-2012, 10:54 AM
 
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I have a similar situation that has caused me some stress as well.  I have a friend with one son who completely has no boundaries when it comes to touching and personal space.  He is constantly hugging my son (they are both 7) and touching, grabbing and pulling on him.  When they play he doesn't even let my son sit in a chair by himself he "shares" the chair with him.  I know that the mother knows that this is unusual behavior because other parents have come out and told her that they no longer want to have playdates because her son is too touchy.  She maintains that he just gets excited around other kids because he is an only child.  I'd hate to have my son stop playing with hers because I think that they may be the only playdates he really has.  She is a good person and I don't know what to do, but subtle comments and redirecting their activities doesn't really seem to be helping.  In addition my son gets frustrated when they interact and has asked me if they could just have a "normal" playdate.  Ugh.

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#4 of 7 Old 05-15-2012, 01:11 PM
 
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Sound like you have some decisions to make - the suggestion to keep the playdates at the park is a good one, but is that a permanenet solution? What happens when winter comes?

As I have gotten older I have gotten better at tackling issues more directly and it isn't always pleasant but it has saved my sanity in the long run.

 

If it were me I would probably let her know that you don't feel the girls are a good fit 'right now' (if that lessesn the blow, although it probably won't) but that you really like her and value her friendship - that you would like to maintain that friendship without the girls and do things like "mom's night out' or whatever -

 

If she presses you be honest  but as tactful as possible - say you have different parenting styles and while you respect that, it makes having the girls hang out difficult for you - be frank about what stresses you without judegment (hard I know) and no matter how tactful you are she may not take it well - but you never know - she may be thrilled for the chance for an adult only friendship?

 

But you have to ask yourself what's the point of a friendship that causes you nothing but stress and prolonged difficulties after they leave?

 

I think this might be harder if you had been friends a long time/before the girls were born - but it sounds relatively recent and if she cannot accept your boundaries then the friendship probably isn't worth saving?

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#5 of 7 Old 05-15-2012, 01:22 PM
 
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Library mama - you are very tolerant, but you too might want to take a more direct approach - 7 is awfully old for this type of behavior and his mom should focus on teaching him more appropriate ways of interacting with his peers - sounds like he needs a social story -a strategy used with kids on the autism spectrum that gives social information and perspective - maybe this boy has NO idea how others see this behavior and if he did he might be willing to change it - maybe he needs other physical interactions like wrestling? Sharing a seat at this age is really not going to be taken well - better that he learn this now than continue to be viewed as strange by he peers - he's getting to the point too where reputations get 'ingrained' and if he stays at that school he might always be known for this kind of thing, even if he manages to outgrow it eventually...

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#6 of 7 Old 05-17-2012, 10:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by bonamarq View Post

Library mama - you are very tolerant, but you too might want to take a more direct approach - 7 is awfully old for this type of behavior and his mom should focus on teaching him more appropriate ways of interacting with his peers - sounds like he needs a social story -a strategy used with kids on the autism spectrum that gives social information and perspective - maybe this boy has NO idea how others see this behavior and if he did he might be willing to change it - maybe he needs other physical interactions like wrestling? Sharing a seat at this age is really not going to be taken well - better that he learn this now than continue to be viewed as strange by he peers - he's getting to the point too where reputations get 'ingrained' and if he stays at that school he might always be known for this kind of thing, even if he manages to outgrow it eventually...

 

Thank you for your response.  I will research the social story strategy you mention.  It is difficult because like the OP it is not my child's behavior I am concerned about. 

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#7 of 7 Old 05-18-2012, 12:54 PM
 
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Thank you for your response.  I will research the social story strategy you mention.  It is difficult because like the OP it is not my child's behavior I am concerned about. 

But It's OK to be an advocate for your dc and tell the other child your child wants to sit by himself. You can give the other child words to say, tell him "Dc doesn't like being pulled, just say, 'Let's go over here,' if you want him to follow you." And repeat that every time it happens. My own ds, when he was much younger, used to kind of poke other kids to try to get them to play. They didn't understand why some strange kid was touching them so I worked on giving ds a script he could use in those situations. I coached him to say "Hi, my name is ___, want to play?" Some kids just don't know what to do to get the reaction they want. Just telling them straight out and giving them a phrase to say can really help them out. Don't try to be subtle.


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