Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Wifey's Weekly Q and A
I have a friend....a very good friend. I mean, she's a homegirl. I love her. Our sons are close in age and have played together since they were infants. And since they were infants her son has been out of control. He hits her, stomps his foot and says, "No!" when she asks him to do something. He's rude and blatantly disobedient. He doesn't listen to anybody. He was kicked out of preschool! He is five years old and the last time I saw them, she had to carry him to the car, kicking and screaming and strap him into his car seat. He scratched her face and neck in the process. Huh?
He's like this about 75% of the time. The other 25% he is just your run of the mill out of control meaning he will do what she says after she asks him three times and with just a few disrespectful words as opposed to flat out refusing to do it and daring her to try and make him.
Ok, herein lies the problem. I don't like it when my son plays with her son. She knows that her son is difficult and admits it, but seems to think that it is still within the confines of normal. In my opinion, this behavior warrants an intervention but that's beside the point. She is always asking me when the boys can get together. Her son is always asking to come to my house and if my son can come there. My husband has all but forbidden them from playing together and has offered to “tell her myself.” How can I get out of these playdates and keep my friendship intact? I'm beginning to think there is no way. Can you imagine someone telling you, "I like you but not your kid?"
- Leave Your Kid at Home
Dear Leave Your Kid at Home:
No, I cannot imagine anyone telling me, “I like you but not your kid,” and I don’t suggest that you say that to anyone either – even if it’s true. You definitely have a sticky situation on your hands. While some moms welcome guidance with their children many get offended and downright defensive when other people tell them how to handle their child. If your friend opens the door for your input take the opportunity to tell her tactfully some strategies that have worked for you and other moms you know. Letting her know she’s not the only one struggling to discipline her child might help her feel less defensive and more receptive to hearing your advice.
If she’s just not getting it, you can still get out of the playdates and keep your friendship intact by telling her to "leave her kid at home" but blame it on you, NOT her kid. Tell her that you need some “girlfriend” time - a break away from the kids - and meet her for a movie, lunch or whatever you two like to do. This way both of you benefit and your friendship can continue to thrive.
Winks & Smiles,
OK, Ladies, this is a touchy one, I’m calling in the troops. What would you do? How do you handle your friends’ unruly kids? Frustrated Moms want to know …
The advice on this site is intended to be helpful, but is not meant to take the place of marital counseling, legal advice, financial advice or any other professional service. If you feel you need professional help, it is encouraged for you to get some.