K is gravitating to the *bad* G'sFG...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by totoro, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    K has had a hard time ever making friends. Last year she actually made a friend, a boy *I* who they thought was on the spectrum. He was so sweet though and we could care less if he had any issues.
    At her new School she has a few G'sFG in her class. I think they place more in her class due to her Teacher being really good with them.
    So her *friends* now so far are a little girl A who is adopted and at first she seemed nice...
    as time has gone on... she has a bit of an evil side. She is pushing K to always do things. "Lets go get these buttons... it's OK I do it all the time, let's go get an ice cream before our parents show up"
    Luckily we are always around before and after school, her parents are always late to pick up and drop off. One day when we could not wait with her for one of her Dad's she just started hitting husband!

    She smashed a little flower that N gave her today. I told her it was not very nice, she flipped me the full on attitude! "So, you shouldn't have picked it"

    (I don't think we will be having playdates...)
    Then the other one is T a boy who is also adopted. I have seen him getting in trouble a few times, very aggressive.
    But we actually met his parents out for ice-cream one night... he has the same diagnosis as K. They were so excited to meet another family with a difficult child. T and N and K played in front of the ice-cream store very nice.
    They said T has no friends, because of his social issues.
    He is a lot more aggressive and angry at School than K. K will do whatever it takes to not get in trouble, T and A seemed to care less.
    A's parents seemed clueless as to her attitude and bad behaviour. husband and I have hung out and talked to them a few times.
    But T's parents seemed a bit more into helping their child.
    husband just hates the feeling like K's only friends will ever be G'sFG. Even N is gravitating towards the difficult child in her class!
    I don't think there is anything we can do, but should we have playdates? I don't think with A, but maybe with T and his parents?
    We are going to talk with K about this with her new therapist.
    K is also starting a social group in school this week.
    What have you guys done when your little ones gravitate to the kids that tend to get in trouble.
    I am just worried because K is such a follower, and wants to make everyone happy and like her.
    We talk about all of this stuff, but once she gets anxious she *forgets* and gets confused.
     
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    There are good difficult children. That said, I went through a stage with difficult child 1 when I had to ban his friends from our house. Only one of them has a diagnosis (Asperger's, I found out years later - makes sense). But the other two were a real worry. One in particular would say things (in OUR home!) to difficult child 3 like, "If you don't leave me along, I'll kill you."

    OK, you don't say that to my autistic son in the home where he should be able to feel safe. I know the boy wouldn't have done any serious physical harm, but it was very bad modelling and also very inappropriate. The funny thing was, I mentioned to difficult child 1's teacher that I had had to ban some of difficult child 3's friends and they thought I meant the Aspie mate. "Oh yes," they said. "He is big, very unpredictable, very dangerous."
    I said to them, "Oh no, HE is always welcome. I have always found him to be considerate and well-behaved."
    They looked at me with total amazement.
    I later found that some very nasty rumours were circulating round the school about the Aspie young man - rumours he never deserved but which still led to him being "told to not come back for the final year". His mother didn't know enough about rights to fight for him. So sad. And now difficult child 1 is getting married -that same young man, also in a long-term stable relationship with a rather unusual but lovely girl, is difficult child 1's Best Man. The others are also invited - they're still a bit unpredictable, but I lifted the ban on them a few years later once they had proven to me that they could respect all people in my home.

    As far as playdates go - I found that if I tried to restrict playdates to only the kids I approved of, I would have very lonely kids. As they got older they had more freedom of movement and they would organise their own outings. difficult child 1 would bring his banned friends home and they would obediently wait outside the gate until difficult child 1 was ready to go out and play.

    difficult child 1 originally met these 'weird kids' when his school organised a sort of "brat camp" only they didn't sell it to us in any such terms, they called it a camp to build self-esteem and social skills. The other kids on that camp were these other 'problem' kids, the ones that had been identified as potentially violent. Before the camp difficult child 1 had some good friends in the "good kid" group. After the camp, the good kids were too scared to come near the new friends difficult child 1 had hanging around.

    What I ended up doing was closely monitoring them as much as I could. I'm a fairly approachable person (despite banning them from the house) and I made it clear they could always talk to me, I wouldn't get upset at swearing, apparent impoliteness (because they often don't think - if they are TRYING to be deliberately disrespectful, it's STILL better to not notice and give them a payoff) or any difficult topic they raised. I was careful to not undermine any parental authority although sometimes I might offer to talk to a parent for them. Only once did any of them try to embarrass me with a particularly 'blue' joke. Only once. I think I scarred them for life.

    If you have the other child over to visit you, you achieve two things:

    1) You give the other parent a break. They then owe you.

    2) YOU are the parent keeping a close eye on the kids right under your nose. You are therefore in a position to closely monitor behaviour and nip any problems in the bud.

    When the invitation went the other way, I went along too and sat to talk to the other parent. Again, I was on the spot if needed. It also gave me a chance to find out what the other parent was really like.

    Marg
     
  3. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think this comes up with all kids. Parenting means watching who they choose as friends. My difficult child always chooses the bad kids. But, you know what? She does not follow suit. They go out and party on the weekends and difficult child just does not go. But, she likes hanging with them at school.

    It is especially hard when your child (easy child or difficult child) has a friend that is mean or verbally abusive to your child.

    Also, my difficult child has also had some very easy child kids as friends through the years. Mostly they move on from her quickly though.
     
  4. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    This is such a difficult issue. difficult child 1 doesn't choose his friends wisely. When he was in the ninth grade, we actually were fearful of one of the kids he hung around with in school. We had to ban all interactions out of school. Now, he has found a small group of, for lack of a better word, "techie geeks" who he hangs around with in school. Outside of school, difficult child 1 is basically a loner. Sadly, he prefers the company of his computer to any human interaction at all.

    difficult child 2 has NEVER had a real friend in his entire life. When he was young, I arranged play dates for him with my friends' kids. Now, we're fighting our school district for a program which I believe will provide a group of peer (or at least teens who will be tolerant of him) for him. We have our fingers crossed...

    easy child has made both some good and bad choices over the years. When she was younger, I steered her in the direction of her good choices by encouraging social activities with these kids. Now, she is in her first year of high school and I have to back off. If I push too hard, it will only make her more determined to hang out with kids she knows her parents will not approve of.

    I think you were given some good advice. Since your kids are younger than mine, you can have their friends over and monitor what they are doing. If you believe a friendship is totally inappropriate, when kids are young, I think it is easier to try to squash it by planning social activities for them with different peers.

    I think when kids are older, we have to let them make their own decisions. After all, parents don't know anything, lol!!! We're old and totally "clueless", lol!!! I've found the more easy child knows I disapprove of a particular friend, the more she'll want to hang out with her. So, I try to keep my mouth shut. I hope she'll make positive choices. It's hard to watch them grow up... WFEN
     
  5. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I don't think there is alot you can do, unless they are verbally/physically abusive. It takes a difficult child to put up with some of the difficult child stuf our kids do, add in the fact that school keeps putting them together in counselling, in resource room, my difficult child even has several difficult child's on his football team because 2 dads of difficult child's run the team.
     
  6. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    I remember thinking, "what is with these parents, letting their kid hang out with my difficult child--she is such a bad influence!" She had a lot of difficult child friends but also some easy child ones and I felt bad that she was hanging out with them. I think they found her "thrilling" because she would do anything, nothing scared her. Also, they could try to rescue and save her.

    Just yesterday my difficult child 2/easy child dtr told me that her sister had run through the high school naked and drunk. Apparently people ask my difficult child 2/easy child if she is difficult child 1's sister and then they all seem to remember her escapades. I knew she had been drunk at school and that was big news back then (2004) but I didn't realize she had run through the school naked (doesn't surprise me though). Glad I didn't know it til now--I would have been mortified!
    Jane
     
  7. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    In every class that my kids have been in, there's been one kid with significantly negative behaviors who the other kids gravitate to. I couldn't choose for them, but I limited outside play date time (and always at my house) with those kids. At the same time I would bend over backwards to encourage play with others.
     
  8. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Totoro, I think one of the greatest stumbling blocks we as parents to difficult children face is feeling guilt or undue loyalty to other families' difficult children. If you think it's best that K not spend time with A, then that's what should happen. Hopefully A will turn out okay, but K is your responsibility. As for T, having a nice involved family goes a long way to getting past negative or aggressive behaviors. If I had to choose, I'd hang on to T. It's good for K to have a friend that understands her. Also, she may eventually make friends with easy child's, she's only seven and isn't finished cooking yet. :winks:
     
  9. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Thank you ladies!!! I agree.
    I don't mind so much even if they have severe issues, it is just the feeling that they are getting no support at home that frustrates. I just can't get involved in more of that right now.
    With someone like T at least I know or think that his parents are trying.
    Today when we showed up he was so excited to see K. He is a very nice boy, you can see though like most of our kids... boredom can lead to problems real fast. So now before school he is playing with K and he has not been getting in as much trouble... we just have to help her keep her little head straight and stay strong.
    And believe me part of the problem is the yahoos I hung out with!!! Older boys... big trouble. Scarey

    But to see their little faces smiling is so nice!!!
     
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    It does sound like T is a better bet.

    It helps to be able to rotate playdates so one parent doesn't get worn out.
    Once they get to a certain age (for us, just in the past 2 yrs) the kids are very good on their own, actually call home to tell you where they are, and you don't have to worry about them so much. (In general. I never say "never" or "always." :) )

    My difficult child is a leader. Actually, he's a loner but because he's older, the other kids follow him ... funny how that worked out ... He couldn't care less what he's got on most of the time,whether it smells, you get the idea. He has taken a great interest in his hair (he grows it out into an afro until I take him to get it cut) but we still have to get his to actually wash under his armpits b4 he puts on deodorant.
    Anyway, he hangs out with-the wild kids, and when he was younger, I told him a little fib, that we could only afford to have 2 guests at his birthday party, just so he'd pare down the choices.
    One time I took him and two of his wild friends to the grocery store and I came home with-half the groceries and a migraine!
    One yr I was an idiot and we did a birthday sleepover at the Wolf Lodge with-8 boys and ... well ... let's say we survived. :)

    That's really neat that you've gotten to know at least one set of parents.

    Any idea why the other parents are clueless?
     
  11. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Terry~ Thanks! It gives me hope...
    I don't know that A's parents are clueless, but more than that they seem to feel like they don't need to adhere to somethings.
    They have adopted I believe 4 children from different countries and they are very vocal about people not being narrow minded or racist. So one Dad either drops off or picks up each day but they are always late... we wait a lot with A because she asks us to. She talks down to the Dad's and they act like it is cute... "She is sooo dramatic"
    They dress her up in very adult clothing, then the poor thing can barely walk in her little heels.
    It is the overall feeling both husband and I feel when talking to them. Very nice but very pushy about their rights and not really caring about anyone else.
    One of the Dad's was grilling me Tuesday about whether I was going to have more children or not.
    I said "No, we are done" he wouldn't let up, and this was in front of others.
    There is just always drama around the poor kid... not really always her fault. I was in the office last week (I am volunteering!) and one Dad showed up late, he kept going on and on about how she had been getting car sick and couldn't the Nurse do anything about it?
    Just a strange feeling like it would be too much work to be her and their friends... and Me and husband are in NO way homophobic. I am a lover of all people and their rights! I could care less...
    we'll see... it always is interesting!!! I am just so glad so many of you have older kids!
     
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