If Your Kid Has A Friend You Don't Like... — The Bump
School-Aged Children

If Your Kid Has A Friend You Don't Like...

...how have you handled it?
High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade

Re: If Your Kid Has A Friend You Don't Like...

  • Don't like for what reason? It hasn't happened yet, but the reason would dictate my reaction.
    Wendy Twins 1/27/06. DS and DD
  • Need more info to answer...why don't you like the friend? How old is your child?  How long have they been friends?
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  • Agree with PP...depends on why. If the kid has a foul mouth or tends to be violent, I would either talk to the parent (depending on my relationship with them) or try to discourage playdates and such. If the kid is just annoying for whatever reason...eh, DD gets to pick her friends. 
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  • Ooh -- follow-up question!   Well, this is strictly a hypothetical situation, not drawn from my real life, so I wasn't thinking of a particular reason to dislike the child.

    Let's just say that your child is in early elementary, the friend is a neighborhood friend, and your problem with the child is twofold: 1) the friend isn't always nice to your kid, and 2) the friend has introduced your child to "pg-rated or r-rated" concepts that your child would not have found on his/her own.

    Example of 1:  The friend seems to boss your child around quite a bit, making sure that the deck is always stacked in his/her favor.  When your child plays with this kid, this kid always gets the best toy, never has to be "it" first, will change the rules of the game or makes up a new rule if he/she is  in danger of losing.  When you talk about it with your child afterwards, your child knows that what the friend is doing is not always fair, but seems unwilling to take a stand.

    Example of 2: Your kid comes home after playing with this kid and explains that this kid's older sister was dressed like a slut.  Your child doesn't know what "slut" means, but overheard this said at the friend's house.
    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
  • 1) My daughter has had some "alpha" friends- funny because she tends to be that way too, but the rare few end up being more controlling and have their rules. In that case- it is what it is- I take it as an opportunity to teach my child to think for herself, push back and not always be the follower. It is a good life lesson and there are going to be instances like this a lot. I also encouraged lots of playdates with other kids so she wasn't always in this situation, but never stopped the playdate.

     

    2) if that happened, honestly? I am not so worried. They get introduced to so much when they enter school. My K daughter takes the bus everyday, and came home and asked Mommy- what is the "f" word, "s" word, and "b" word. I was like WHAT?! She said kids on the bus were talking about it.

     

    Unless someone was really mean/hurtful to my child, or I felt that the house she was visiting wasn't safe with good parents, I take it all as growing up.

     

  • #1 is 100% my daughter. She is an alpha, and she is bossy. It's something I work on and struggle with her daily but her father is that way so I'm sure she learned it from him. It's a good trait for a kid to have as an adult but is a royal pain for her peers, who get bossed around. My poor niece (same age) is a passive, go with the flow kid so she always gets the rough end of it. Eventually my niece got fed up and put my daughter in her place and told her she didn't want to play with her anymore, and since then DD has been totally open to compromise with her. I figure it was a lesson learned on both of their parts. My niece learned to stand up for herself and my daughter learned that if she bosses people around they're not going to play with her.

    #2 would bother me. Not gonna lie about that. But, I know like @janinekrause said, they're going to hear all of that stuff at school. It's almost natural for them to try out different words to gauge the reaction. My nephew (age 7) has a terrible potty mouth and DD has "tried out" the words he's taught her a few times. I just try not to have a knee-jerk reaction and calmly explain, "Those are grownup words. When you're a grownup, you can choose whether or not to say them, but until then, please choose a better word for X Y Z." I've also talked with my sister about it and she's working with my nephew to try to curb the outbursts.  

    DD now will "tattle" on her cousin for saying these words (and making rude gestures) so IDK which is worse. Haha. 
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