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Advice please: When you don’t like the friend.

Punkin has lots of wonderful friends. Friends that I absolutely love having around.

And she has one that I don’t.

That makes me sound awful, I know. They’re only 9. But this kid comes from a home where things are much different. She runs the show. She sets the rules, and is rarely told, “no.” She doesn’t tolerate interruptions from younger siblings. She doesn’t ask – she tells. And then I maybe want to sit her down for a good talking-to. But that would be bad because she’s not my kid.

But the real kicker is the attitude – the meanness to my younger two, and the influence these attitudes and behaviors have on Punkin.

I don’t want to tell her she’s not allowed to be friends with her, because let’s face it, that never works anyway. They’re in the same class. But all the major rules we have (ask permission, use manners, wear shorts that cover your underwear) don’t apply in her home. And I kind of start twitching because I’m not sure how much I can require that in our home, she follows our rules – without offending the family.

It doesn’t help that I *loathe* drama queen behavior, and this kid has it down to a science. We don’t cry and pout when we lose a game. We crack jokes and move on. We don’t roll on the floor and cry when we bump our knee on the chair. We shake it off. (At this point, we’re shaking off huge needles, toxic medications, and cancer, so I’m admittedly a little biased in this department).

Here’s my predicament: I think this could be a great opportunity for Punkin to learn about standing up for herself and her sisters, for realizing that a lot of people will do things – and get away with them – that you can’t. That’s just life. I also know that this little girl comes from a home with a barely-there dad, a hands-off mom, and a grandparent doing the best he can with two little kids.

So. Teach me. How do I handle this? I can’t allow her to trample our rules and drive me to drink, but I also don’t want to cut off the friendship. I want to be a source of love for her. I want to teach Punkin through this.

I also don’t want anyone physically harmed in the process.

Words of wisdom, please?

About Mediocre Mom

I am a wife to the man who was made for me, and mom to three amazing girls: Punkin is eight, Goo is four, and Smush is two. I'm a Christian, a science geek, and completely addicted to coffee. Trying to stay sane one day at a time. Lowering the bar for moms everywhere.

10 responses »

  1. OH MY GAWWWWWW I have a dughter who is only three with two friends I don’t like…count ’em TWO! And I feel worse because they are so little how can you not like them ?!?! I’m going to stalk your comments section until I find an answer!

  2. Bahaha! Oh Charlotte, I like you. Stalk the comments on the Facebook page. More people comment there. So far I think I’m going to take everyone’s advice and have a gentle chat where I explain that our rules are different, but people in our home need to follow those rules. I think the same applies to 3-year-olds. And let me tell you – I SO UNDERSTAND. We had a little friend once that nearly brought my husband to blows. He’s a little protective.

    • Thank God I’m not alone LOL! Both little friends just bring out this attitude and Diva in my daughter that I didn’t even know existed! I hate it! It catches me off guard to the point where I say things like “I know you are but what am I”?

  3. Well…. I don’t know. I don’t have wisdom, as I don’t have older kids, but I have thoughts. But I have a friend with a daughter about her age. They came over one day and Nicole asked to bring Kayla and K’s friend. While the two girls were playing in the sprinkler Nicole told me about how this was the first time that she had allowed the other little girl to come over in a few weeks because of pretty much the same reasons you outlined. PLUS the girl in school had been pretending to be a boy and was touching all the other kids inappropriately, which her mother brushed off with a “it’s just a phase”. My friend isn’t in the greatest shape with her life, but I do think she’s a great mom. She said that she just started limiting the time they spent together, not cutting off entirely, but certainly putting a limit on it. And monitoring much more. Kayla had asked her why and she pretty much just told her what you said… how other kids just didn’t have the same rules in their house and we have these rules because they work for our house to keep you and your siblings safe. Or something. lol I don’t know. Maybe have a codeword with your daughter? Like when you say it, they know that something isn’t going with your households flow and she might want to asses the situation herself?

    • I love the code word idea! Never even thought of that. Brilliant. And it sounds like your friend is a very good mom. My life isn’t exactly a lesson is success and good fortune right now, either. 😉

  4. We have had that problem with my children’s friends (I have a 12, 10 and 5 year old). When it comes to children visiting my home, I enforce our family rules – this is MY home and the child is in OUR sanctuary. If the child won’t abide by our family rules then they are no longer welcome in our home – we’ve had kids jump on our furniture, speak disrespectfully, burst into the master bedroom after being told a few times that that space is off limits, treat the youngest in a mean way, etc. If it’s behavior that we don’t like but doesn’t break our family rules, then we ignore it…but we may also choose not to have this child in our home very often. I also encourage other friendships that are with more like-minded/behaved kids.

    We also have zero tolerance on the kids’ friends being mean to the younger one. I’ve taught the older ones that they need to stand up for him, but if the behavior is repeated then I step in. On a case by case, I still allow the kids to play but I keep the youngest away from that child or only allow them to play together under my direct supervision. Family loyalty is one of our values that we emphasize, and that includes working to treat siblings with more courtesy/kindness/love than friends (it’s harder!) and also respecting our family and what we are about. I believe that maintaining a standard and establishing boundaries protects those inside the family and outside – my first calling is to be an example to and protect my children. Maintaining our family boundaries also shows another way to a child that doesn’t have that security and stability – they may be acting out because of the lack of attention, guidelines, etc. I’ve had chats with kids in my home when they are behaving in ways that cross the line, and I let them know what our house rules are that they are violating. They can choose to stop the behavior while in our home or it may be time for them to go home. I’ve had that talk with children who act up while in my car and let them know the same thing – that I won’t drive them anywhere if they don’t stop their behavior. It’s not minor stuff that I talk to them about, but the ones that are dangerous or against our family rules. My kids and I talk about various play dates with all sorts of friends – how did it go, did you have any concerns, etc. I want to hear their perspective and observations abou different personalities and values, hear what they are taking away from these experiences dealing with people. Asking open-ended questions, hearing their hearts, reinforcing the values we are teaching them and allowing them to ask questions/express their thoughts has helped a lot. These are the real teaching moments and finding out how each child reacts to differences has been an eye-opener…but it also gives us the keys to what we need to help them with to navigate their futures out in the big, “scary” world more effectively!

    • We’ve talked with Punkin about this friend, but it’s just not sinking in yet. And I agree on the zero tolerance. We don’t allow the sisters to mean to each other, why should we allow it with friends or acquaintances? It’s wrong no matter who is involved. And I agree on the “minor stuff.” This particular friend wears clothing we would never allow in our home, but that’s not for us to determine for this girl. Her family buys her clothes, not us. We talk to Punkin about why we don’t allow it, and we talk about the “character” issues. If it involves disrespect or unkindness, it won’t be allowed. And I so agree – it actually is harder to deal with family in a loving manner sometimes!

  5. It takes a village to raise a child. Help the “friend” you don’t enjoy to be more of the way she should be in your home and ask her to leave if she can’t follow the rules. She will grow to love and respect you if you enforce the rules of your home on her as a guest as well and if she doesn’t you might hear from her parents and then you can tell them about the fact that her behavior isn’t appreciated in your home. (I had one that I did this with and he started acting more like one of mine at least while he was in our home, I wouldn’t let my son go to his house because they just weren’t supervised to my liking there. He still has issues but he is better behaved then he used to be)


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