I like my friend but not their child

Jodie - posted on 08/27/2009 ( 25 moms have responded )

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I have a great friend who I enjoy spending time with. Our kids are the same age so it makes it even more convenient, except her child bites and hits and my child does not like to play with them. They live very close by and come over often. Our parenting styles are different and I'm not sure what to do. Any advise?

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[deleted account]

I feel for you on this subject and agree with Nikki. I suggest to encourage your child to stand up for themselves and tell this child directly the next time it happens that I don't want to play with the kid. If your child is not old enough to do this, do it for them. Get down to their level and say... "Johnny, that's not how friends play, if you want to play with us don't bite/hit. You do it again and we can't play." Kid may not get it, but his mother will hear your directness on the matter. When he does it again you leave. You can't put him in the corner or discipline him but you put will put the mother in time out by leaving. Nothing has to be rude, just straight to the point, if she gets it she'll take care of the problem, if she doesn't you're protecting your child. Best wishes!

Corinne - posted on 08/29/2009

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Get your worries out in the open with your friend and you can at least fight the same battle even if you use different tactics. Most kids go through this stage and things will get better. I am sure you are both alert to any triggers that cause the biting and hitting -fighting over a favourite toy, hunger, attention seeking. Both children need to know that the bad behaviour is not acceptable in your home and that it has a consequence.

Tanya - posted on 08/31/2009

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i am on the other end of the stick..i am the mother of a child who is not quite in control of their emotions and temper... i do disipline my child in a way that I SEE FIT!!... most parents do not like the fact that when my child hurts theirs that i only talk to my child about rights and wrongs and the correct way to behave, they expect me to smack or put my child in time out .. but the way i see it is that the other child is just as bad for being mean to my child and just because my child happens to lash well out they are all to blame, not just my child ...anyway what do u do..hit a child for hitting another child...where is the sanity in that?... be very carefull because i have limited my friendship with some of my friends because i am tired of them labeling my child as naughty or trying to disipline my child because it is their house and their rules...maybe talking to both children at the same time could help instead of the common way that alot of parents think ....my child dont do that or my child is not nasty..open ur eyes
i have a neighbour whos children are not even allowed to move or talk, even a smile on the kids face could get them into trouble, when in the loungeroom i got tired of going there because my kids were always in trouble so now i limit my visits and try to only go there when i dont have my kids or if i do have my kids then i only stay for a short period of time

Sharon - posted on 08/28/2009

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Talk to your friend and let her know if she cant control her child you love her but you will not let you child play with her child anymore and tell her why,hope this helps.

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Lita - posted on 03/21/2012

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I am in the same boat. My best friend's kids are the same age as mine. They play nicely, except her youngest teaches my youngest bad behavior. We (her mom and I) both know she has sensory issues,. therefore if she hurts someone's feeling or physically hurting others, she would just laugh and be honky dory with it. Her mom apologizes a lot of time and gives her understanding on why certain behavior is not acceptable. I guess that's the very decent of her part.



The mom even acknowledges, I am the only person with kids that stay friend with her, albeit the youngest' behavior. She admitted she has more problem with her youngest than the oldest one who is autistic. Still when I noticed my daughter started to pick up those behaviors, I told her, she better cut it off before she isn't allowed to have a play date with that girl anymore. I told her, the other girl behavior is because she doesn't really know how it affects others. I keep reminding mine about putting herself in other's shoes. That's how we keep the balance so far. I also tell her to say NO, if the other teaches things she feels I won't like.



In your case, it might work in the same idea. Have your child tell the other child that he doesn't like the way his friend's behaving. If you tried and still doesn't work, might be not too bad idea to limit most play dates.

User - posted on 03/20/2012

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You need to be careful not to get into a blame only perspective. Sometimes things happen between children that we do not see and then one reacts by hitting or biting. That behavior is not an acceptible response to frustation or anger however it is important to get to the bottom of what bothered the kid who hit. You can let them know that hitting is not acciptoble, brainstorm why they did it, what they may have been feeling and help them over time with better ways of expressing those feelings. Children do not hit or bite for no reason. Kids are not being a problem, they are having a problem so the best course of action is to find out what problem they are having and what they can do about it. Its also not good for the other child who has been hit or but to see that only that behavior is addressed and not the whole of the conflict. Perhaps your child tried to grab a toy and the other hit back in response. Children at young ages hit and bite particularly certain temperments express themselves that way. Some kids are aggressive by nature which is normal and not bad. They are children. Not experienced adults. Only addressing behavior will not change the response and get to the heart of why. I would talk with your friend about this issue and see if together you can figure out what is going on and help foster, over time, better responses and understanding.

Rosary - posted on 09/01/2009

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ok i have a nephew like that that i dispise i hate to say, i just told my son 'don't play with him and ignore him for a few days': anytime he wants you to come play even when he is being nice, ignore him'....eventually he'll get the hint as to why no one wants to be around him ;)

[deleted account]

Try to be paient as I had a child who was the same , we found later that he did not learn to socialise like every other child. I needed to sit with him and play with him when he was with other children.



Teaching how to share and take turns and saying we dont use our hands to hit , we use our words. Our teeth are for eating not biting. The child and mum will need great friends to support them, help their child though this stage. The child will grow out of it.



I'm sure your friendship will be stronger because of this.

Caltuma - posted on 08/31/2009

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hi,the best thing to do is to discuss with your friend and see how both of you can help to change the child's bad behaviour

Gretchen - posted on 08/30/2009

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you have to talk to the mom about how the kids could get along better and work with both of them if her friendship is worth the effort -

Jill - posted on 08/29/2009

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As a grandmother, I would encourage you to protect your child from the abuse of the other child at all costs. Biting is not acceptable at any age, and your child should not have to endure abuse at the hand of another child. It also makes me wonder what the other child sees in his/her home...........

Clara - posted on 08/28/2009

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hi jodie, i have the same problem so i try my best that my kids are busy with something else, but if your case is different i think that you should do ur best that you see your friend when your child is napping or at a friends house , i don't like when a kid is bitten or hit or even verbal abuse so u should protect ur child . and like what a mom said u can test ur friendship by telling her what is bothering u . if she could not accept what u said so she will never change her way with her kid and your child will suffer . best of luck .

Alison - posted on 08/28/2009

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If she is really a good friend, you should try having a heart to heart. Tell her that you understand how tempting it is to be sentimental towards ones child, but that her son is turning into a brat (not in those terms) and you think he needs some more boundaries.



I know my dh had a tough conversation with a friend of ours. His wife was obviously not open to our input. I don't know if it is baring any fruit, but my husband and I believe in honesty and expect our friends to be straightforward with us.



The key is to be honest, gentle and non-judgemental.



Good luck!!!

Leanne - posted on 08/28/2009

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Oh no... I'm the parent on the other end of this. My stepson was very aggressive for a while and would do things like that, but my husband or I would always step in to prevent or correct the behavior. The thing that worked for him was playing with him and his friends (to model appropriate behavior) and limiting the time. It took about 2 years, but he's finally able to play with other kids. We still have to limit the time and supervise so things don't get out of hand... but he is only 6.
I would hope that any parent would be willing to help their child... but it seems that your friend is lost in that department. I just wonder why that child has that behavior, because it's not simply lenient parents. If you approach your friend about it, it may hurt her to the point of ruining your friendship, even if she knows her child's behavior is wrong.
I would suggest that you try engaging in playtime with your child and hers while they are visiting. Maybe she will catch on and do the same...and accidentally pick up some of your parenting skills. You won't get to have adult talk with her at that time, but maybe you could schedule kids-free time for that...

Sendy - posted on 08/28/2009

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I think if it's a great friend her kids is like yours you can try to teach them manners like slowly but let them know that you mean what you're saying make some rules give them simple punishment sometimes but start with yours first and say that it's the same for everybody and you gonna see when they are at your place they're gonna strat by acting anothe way. you tell me about the results

and be smooth so it won't hurt your relation with your friend

Fallyn - posted on 08/27/2009

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Hi jodie, i havd exactly the same problem with my cousin's child, your child will get upset and retaliate , but you need to let your friend know how you feel and come up with a solution together so that you don't spoil your friendship. The only way I managed to stop it was by teaching the other child that they are doing is wrong, and if it continues you will have to discpline the child (not smacking).

[deleted account]

Hi Jodie, I have a friend who doesn't discipline her son and my children were always copping it from him. I started telling him off but then she was happy for me to do that. You might try speaking to your friend and telling her you don't want your child getting hurt and if her child keeps biting and hitting your child then every time it happens you will pick up and leave. Believe me it will get worse if it's not stopped. My friends child attacked my son because she wouldn't tell him off and I just grabbed my children and left. Our children are older now and at school so we don't have as much contact but if you don't do anything about it you will start to resent the mother and not want to hang out at all. Hope this helps
xxx

Jodie - posted on 08/27/2009

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Thank you for all of your replies. The kids are 5 and 6. Since school has started, we have used the excuse that it's too much for the kids with earlier bed times and what not. We go through the same thing as Judy. When child broke a toy intentionally, we said something to the parents and they responded with "he didn't mean to, we'll buy you a new one" . Unfortionatly that is not the point and don't really care about the toy. Anyway, I appreciate all of your help. Thank you!

Elaine - posted on 08/27/2009

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Well I agree with all the moms about this situation! The common theme in all the replys is you have to step up and say or demonstrate how you will or will not allow your son to be treated by his friends OR yours. Sometimes the other mom doesn't understand what's happening or what to do, if you know then it's up to you...your son is depending on you!

Judy - posted on 08/27/2009

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I had the same problem when my son was little. I was very good friends with the Mom and her son and mine were the same age, attended the same school, bus..neighborhood etc.. Her son was devious and very mean but very nice to your face like "Eddie Haskell". Anyway, one day he came home with spit all over him so my husband marched him over to his house and confronted the child and told his parents, the Mom's answer was" oh he did not do it on purpose". This became the common answer when I would tell her things. So I just stopped letting him play with him, my son always had "plans" and I would only let them together if I was actually present. Thankfully my son developed other hobbies and it was easier for them not to be together. This is 11 years ago...the Mom and I are still great friends and my son just started his first year of college, her son has been at a school for trouble teens for 22 months.
Always, Always, follow your instincts.

Emily - posted on 08/27/2009

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Hopefully it is just a stage and that your friendship will outlast the biting. I agree with the "my house my rules". As with anything in life you can only control your own actions. Encourage your child to do the same. "If timmy hurts you come tell me. You don't have to play with kids who hurt you." Keep them separated. See your friend sans children.

Andrea - posted on 08/27/2009

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u have to put your childs safety first, i know it is hard because you like this person but... just take her aside and say i really like u but it makes me nervous when your child -------- or something like that i had a friend like that too and thats what i did. andrea

Heather - posted on 08/27/2009

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That would be my suggestion too. I've seen it in action many times and it works. And maybe you're friend will catch on about how easy it can be to correct a child's bad behavior.

Milka - posted on 08/27/2009

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Jodie, firstly is it happening at a particular time, ie when the child is hungry, tired etc, if so try and limit visits at that time. Otherwise, you are going to have to closely monitor the children, as it could be over a toy, sharing etc, put out more toys as a distraction, and if or when it happens again, hug and comfort your child and tell the other child and let the other child know how upset you are that your child is upset. This way you are not directly pointing the finger at your friends child and hopefully both your friend and the other child's way will change over time. Or depending on how strong you are, you could really test your friendship by telling your friend that it makes you upset when her child hurts yours but you are concerned with the fact that you have said something to her and it could ruiin your friendship.



Its a little hard to give you specifics as I dont know how old the children are.

Rachel - posted on 08/27/2009

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Just say in our home there is no biting or hitting. Their mother can't argue with that rule!

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