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What to do when you're not comfortable with your child's best friend?

Started by Erin , author of Make Her Up 4/11/2011 1:07:10 PM

Hey everyone, this is Jocelyn - Erin & I run the website Make Her Up.

I'm a 33-year-old, married, mother of two boys, ages 10 & 8 (those aren't my boys above smiley). I live outside of Portland, Oregon, and thank the Lord I see blue sky today! :)

I want your advice!

My 10-year-old son is a quiet, sensitive boy. He has many friends at school, but he's really shy, so he doesn't make best friends all that easy.

His "best friend" is a boy I CANNOT stand! We've had him to our home many, many, times - and he is unbelievably disrespectful. He asks for things he shouldn't (when we say no - he asks "why not!"), he talks back to my husband and I, he whispers under his breath about us to our son, and is an all around punk. When my son spends the night at his home - he comes home a different boy. He adopts the way this boy talks, and acts, and it takes us a good 24 hours to get our son back!

I recently cut out sleepovers at his friends house. Told him if he wants to do a sleepover, it has to be at our house, so I can monitor (I'm not sure his friend's parents monitor anything).

It's getting to the point where I don't even want this boy at our house. He's rude and disrespectful, and I don't want Cam being friends with him!

But here's the tricky part... my son is so sad about it. He says this kid is his "best friend" and he gets so upset anytime I say they can't hang out. I don't want to hurt my son's spirit - and take away his "best friend"...but this kid is so challenging for me!

So what do you do when you don't like your child's best friend?

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Reply by Renee

author of Giraffe Puzzles 4/11/2011 3:51:02 PM

I would ask him what appeals to him about his friend and write these down  (pro -list) then do the opposite and ask him is there anything he does not like about this friend (con list). Then talk to your son about the con's and if they outweigh the pros. 

If he doesn't notice any con's you can "help" him along by using prompts such as "how would you feel if a stranger said something rude to me?"what would you think of this stranger? " Then tell him how these boys comments are hurtful. 

What I am trying to do is help your son gain empathy for you rather than have him just see the fact that you don't like his friend.  

Really try to show him that his friend is hurtful to you and that real friends are nice to each others family.

hope that helps!


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Reply by Erin

author of Make Her Up 4/11/2011 4:00:24 PM

 


Renee's profile picture
Renee said ...
What I am trying to do is help your son gain empathy for you rather than have him just see the fact that you don't like his friend.  

That's great advice... I keep waiting for him to just realize that this kid is not a good friend, but it's not happening. It's so frustrating. Can't kids just do what we tell them, and realize we have their best interest at heart? :)


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Reply by Anne

author of Mama's Gotta Go 4/11/2011 4:34:55 PM

That is a really hard one!  I think just getting your son involved and busy in activities he enjoys and steering him towards other friends is the way to go.  I've had kids for playdates that have been so disrespecftul and I tend to not invite them back.  I do tell my kids why so that they know that certain behaviors are just not acceptable.  They agree when I point it out to them. Good luck!


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Reply by Renee

author of Giraffe Puzzles 4/11/2011 5:24:16 PM

"It's so frustrating. Can't kids just do what we tell them, and realize we have their best interest at heart? :)"

It's a little reverse psychology, but most times it will work. I once had a student who Always went to use the washroom during class and then he would not know what was going on when he came back (our school had a policy that we had to let them go if they asked). It got to the point he was doing it up to six times per day. Every day I would tell him to try to go during scheduled break times, but this direct approach would not help.

Eventually I sat him down and asked him to point out on the daily schedule when we had breaks. After he did this and I underlined all those times, I told him that he just showed me 8 different times in a day when a better time to use the washroom would be. 

He was a little flustered that I "outed" him but I never had him ask during class time ever again!


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Reply by Erin

author of Make Her Up 4/11/2011 5:34:34 PM

 


Renee's profile picture
Renee said ...
Eventually I sat him down and asked him to point out on the daily schedule when we had breaks. After he did this and I underlined all those times, I told him that he just showed me 8 different times in a day when a better time to use the washroom would be. 

LOL!


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Reply by Erin

author of Make Her Up 4/11/2011 5:38:10 PM

It's hard because you don't want to tell your children who to hang out with - but I'm a firm believer that your childrens friends can play a huge role in the path they're going to take in life. I want my son headed down the right path, and I think friends are like the pavement under your feet - they'll guide you where you're going to end up in life.


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