I feel bad for a friend...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tiredmommy, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Her daughter is Duckie's age (they're in the same class) and the girls had their first one-on-one play date today. They have been in the same circle of friends but never have played just the two of them. The mom, J, has a difficult child on her hands. The problem is that she is really just figuring that out and I can see she is scared. This difficult child has had problems with others but J knows that we've had our share of problems with Duckie and aren't quick to judge and aren't surprised by more difficult kids.

    The girls decided they would play here so that it could be one-on-one without the girl's younger sister. I put that idea in Duckie's head because I thought the girl might do better without the pressure of multiple kids. J seemed so nervous and kept stressing to call her with any problems but they were fine. The girl's manners are a little lacking (in that she dropped candy wrappers on the floor and left them there) and she seems a little immature for her age, but they played nicely together. We kept it low key, went over our few rules and left them alone. I thought J was going cry from relief when she picked her up. J invited Duckie to her house next time.

    Poor J, I remember clearly feeling so unsettled by Duckie's actions. Being afraid she would never fit in or make friends. Would she be okay in school or in other people's home? What should I do to make things better? Was it me? I'm torn as to how much support or insight to offer... I don't want to make her defensive or embarrassed.

    Please keep a good thought for J and her family.
  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ya know, TM, I was grateful when others told me what they saw in difficult child. It helped to know it was not just me that saw it. Plus, you may be able to articulate the areas of concern a bit better for her to relay to a doctor.

    I think after a few times of being around her I think it is perfectly OK to say something. Tactfully, of course, but I have no doubt you will be tactful.
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Well, I told J that I thought the girls did well today because it was one-on-one and neither were over-stimulated or anxious about a group dynamic. She seemed to appreciate that. I also told her that kids need to have successes and to build on them... so the girls should continue to play together and slowly layer in other kids rather than drop her daughter into a large group. I told her that while Duckie is far from perfect in a large group that she's getting better and is learning to regulate herself. I also told her that she's not alone, that lots of parents struggle with children that don't neatly fit in and that her her daughter is a good girl.
  4. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Did she cry?
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    TM, is this the friend you have posted about before? If the mother is finally starting to see that her child has issues and needs special help, I can only suggest letting her know that she's not alone and that you won't judge her or try to tell her how to raise her child. You are aware of those things already since all of us here have probably been through our share of having others tell us how we should be parenting our kids.
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    No, she didn't cry and this isn't the same friend (but they are both J's, it's sooo confusing!). This J has adopted her two kids (they're biologically half sisters) and I think she's in shock that M has outgrown her behaviors. It's awfully hard to accept that love and patience may not be enough when it comes to parenting your child.
  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    TM, I think you handled things really well with J today. From here on out, I don't think there's a right or a wrong. You're just going to have to see how it goes. I think the best thing you can do for both Duckie and J's daughter is to keep them in each other's lives and give them lots of encouragement. It's how they'll continue to build on their successes.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    TM, you are a good friend. And a good mommy.