Uncomfortable Situation

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ML, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. ML

    ML Guest

    Manster doesn't really like his friend R much anymore. They have known each other since kindergarten and have done a lot of things together, right now they swim on T/TH. This gets kind of complicated. Manster's dad A has lived with R and her mom and sister for about 8 months now, as a roommate. So manster and R see each other quite a bit.

    R is also a difficult child, don't know diagnosis but she has attention problems and anger issues. She even admitted to me last night that she realized something about herself and that when she gets mad she takes it out on someone else. She thought that was a very odd thing about her and I told her that while she did need to work on it, they even have a term for it and I told her about "kicking the cat" after a hard day at work. I have never seen it but apparently R hits manster at times. She is also manipulative and preys on manster's vulnerabilities. She makes comments about his weight, tells him that if he's friends with someone's she is mad at that he can't be her friend anymore. That used to bug him but now he simply befriends this person even more. The dynamics there are unhealthy lol.

    For a long time I was grateful because difficult child had a friend who put up with his quirks but I've come to realize that he doesn't want to put up with hers.

    Ok this brings me to last night. Many times I am the one who takes the kids swimming because R's mom works late. I also make sure they shower and often bring R home till her mom can pick her up. Last night her mom was there "T" but asked if it was ok for R to come over for a while so she and her other daughter could go shopping. You could see manster's facial expressions indicate displeasure and T said "well I could take her with us" and manster nodded and said "yes, take her with you". Well T looked shocked. I took manster to the other room and asked him to be gracious and bribed him into it. The things is R ALWAYS wants to come over and hang with manster and he almost never wants her to. He even told his dad "the only one that doesn't know I don't like R is R". I tried to explain to T that manster has had a full day by 7:00 and it's his limit for being social. He's an only child and needs his down time. I think she understood.

    I have to figure out a way to minimize R and mansters time together. He does like swimming with her so that's good. But I have to let T know that I just can't take her afterwards without hurting anyone's feelings.

    Thanks for reading :)
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Well, since it's just afterward, that sounds pretty clear-cut. Just tell them that he needs to have dinner and downtime and that you have family plans. Maybe you can cut back the get-together to once a wk, and you could negotiate with-Manster that way.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That is an awkward situation. I can understand why manster doesn't want to socialize with her anymore and she does need to learn to be a better friend instead of trying to control people.

    I'm not sure how you should handle it,- maybe start making comments to the mom that manster is getting a little older now and forming other friendships and interests- drop a lot of hints or something. If that doesn't work, you might need to have a heart to heart with the mom and just say you think the kids need a break from each other for a while.

    I like the fact that you aren't forcing manster to still socialize with her, you understand, but still are letting him know that he needs to be polite.
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I do think you need to have an honest, heart to heart talk with T. If she recognizes that R is also a difficult child, she cannot be too shocked that R is having trouble being a good friend to Manster.

    My daughter has been a terrible friend to kids over the years...and of course, other parents are always reluctant to say anything. Meanwhile, difficult child will not tell me that there is any problem--as far as she is concerned, she is "best buddies" with whomever she has been having the trouble. And so I would try and arrange playdates and visits and outings and try to encourage this friendship--having no idea that the other family was trying to extricate themselves from the relationship.

    If another parent came to me and said "difficult child has not been nice to my child lately, and I think they need to take a break for a while"...that was usually my first indication of a problem. Naturally, I would feel sad and disappointed, but I knew then to stop trying to get those kids together...and to try and encourage difficult child to find a new playmate.

    It sounds as though T has no idea that the kids are not getting along...

    I do think that you need to let her know in the gentlest way possible.

  5. Jena

    Jena New Member

    I had a similar situation myself a few weeks ago with a girl that difficult child connected to last year who also is a difficult child they met in school counseling. difficult child's one connection that year. since that the other difficult child is rough, verbally aggressive which my difficult child isn't in school sh'es just anxiety packed.

    long story short the other difficult child's mom is my friend who keeps asking Occupational Therapist (OT) get kids together. so i had to lay it on the line and say i hope we can still be friends yet the play date thing isnt' working and i told her why.

    honesty is the best way to go. i too almost bribed my difficult child into facilitating and continuing a friendship yet my difficult child had good reasons why she chose not to befriend this person and also it was just her feeling and i had to respect that.

    i wish you luck, dont you just love tacky situations? LOL
  6. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    If it is just about after swimming, I would just say that at 7:00, Manster needs to be at home, winding down and getting ready for the next school day. Even if my kids wanted to have a friend over at 7:00 on a school night, I would tell them no, unless the parent was in a bind for a babysitter.

    If it is a problem beyond the swimming, you might have to be more direct.
  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    That is a tough spot, but ya know, as a parent of a kid that kids don't want to play with, I appreciate the parents that have the cahonas to say to me "my kid really doesn't want to play with your kid because..."

    I always wonder it before they actually say it, and then I start feeling bad calling and asking them if their kid can come play with difficult child and they repeatedly say no. At least once I know where they stand, I don't waste my time entertaining difficult child's notions that he can invite that friend over anymore.

    But either side of the fence you're on in this situation hoovers.
  8. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Does Manster ever verbalize to R what he doesn't like about her behavior? I think that's important for him to do as well, because just avoiding the situation doesn't teach him how to stand up for himself -- especially if she's manipulative and/or abusive towards him.

    He needs to know it's okay to tell her "Stop hitting me," or to tell her "You cannot tell me who my friends can be." Followed by clear explanation of what the consequences will be if she doesn't treat him better, "I won't hang out with you any more if you don't stop [fill in the blank]," and then allow him to follow through.

    The adults in R's life need to understand the negative dynamics going on, too. That way Manster doesn't look like he's being difficult and the truth about R will be seen for what it is.
  9. ML

    ML Guest

    Thanks EVERYONE! GCVMOM you hit the nail on the head. I was thinking the same thing. This situation is a good opportunity for Manster to stand up for himself. He needs to be able to verbalize what he doesn't like with R. R has a very strong personality, very confident and outgoing, the opposite of Manster. I will encourage him to stand up for himself more. He can't look to me to rescue him from situations he is uncomfortable with.

    So I won't say anything to T except to put boundaries on the after swimming time. That's just too late and manster needs that time to decompress, and frankly so do I.

    I feel better about this now. Thanks so much. Love, ML
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think you may have to role play with Manster to get him to stand up for himself. Let him know that no matter how confident someone looks on the outside, everyone has something they are sensitive about (the way he is about his weight).

    I would flat out let them know that R needs to be picked up at swimming by her mom because Manster needs to go home and get ready for the next day. Let T know if you are still willing to give her a ride to swimming (if you are), but put that limit in there for afterwards.

    does Dad know that Manster has a hard time with R? It might be good if you could approach HIM about arranging activities that are R-free.

    I don't know T, but I know some parents of difficult child's welcome being told "my child does not enjoy your daughter because of her behavior to him" and some parents of difficult children really go bonkers if you say that. So use some caution here - it could mess up dad's living arrangements, or even mess up dad's willingness to spend time with Manster. You could even end up with dad putting a lot of pressure on Manster that he just doesn't need. It can be a touchy situation. with-o knowing the players in person, it is hard to judge.

    I do think it is a great idea to work on having Manster stand up for himself.