Preserving Friendship when Kids Don't Get Along

How do I tell a dear friend that my child does not want to be friends with her child, and not ruin the friendship?

Mom

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August 2, 20070 found this helpful

My thought is honesty is the best policy. You can tell the truth to your friend while saying it in a tactful way. I would think about the reasoning behind your child not wanting to be friends with the other child. Is this child a bad influence? If so maybe your friend should know about it. Is it a difference in popularity? I know that is a shallow question but kids are like that! Is this child not "cool" enough for yours or visa versa? Is it a difference of interests? I would just be honest. Just because your child doesn't want to be friends doesn't mean you and the mother can't be friends. Just tell the other mother in a way that doesn't put down her child.

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August 2, 20070 found this helpful

I agree with tthompson's post but I would also be careful not to blame your child either. It would be easy to dismiss her feelings in this in favor of keeping your friend.

Also, I would make sure that your child understands that, while you don't expect them to be best friends, there will be times when they will be expected to associate with each other (parties, etc.). Everyone needs to be able to get along with people.

It sounds like the other child would like to be friends. It's a tough situation. Good luck!

Jess

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August 4, 20070 found this helpful

Why do you feel the need to explain to your friend at all? Is it because you have the need to unburden? Some things are best left unsaid. No matter how kindly you state the facts (whatever they are), you run the possibility of upsetting the other person and jepordizing the friendship. Do you want that?

How old is your child? Hers? Children are people too and are able to make up their own minds (just like adults) who they like and want to be friends with. Just because you're friends with the parent does not mean that the children must be friends too. There might be a very good reason why your child has chosen this decision, and he/she may not want to discuss it with you. Your child may not even know how to articulate the reason to you. Part of growing up and being a responsible adult is being able to make decisions on your own, good or bad. If you are comfortable in how you are raising your child, sooner or later, you must learn to accept your child's decisions. Who we chose to be friends with is a pretty basic decision.

I'd just let it go and not explain anything. If your friend presses, I'd just state that my child is growing up and trying to stretch her/his wings by making and maintaining his/her own friendships, apart from family ones, and that I'm not worried, the pendulum will come full swing and (s)he'll decide to be part of our circle again. I'm sure your child will appreciate your acceptance of his/her choices along with you not forcing your friendships down his/her throat. Down the road, the children will probably have a better relationship on their own terms rather than yours.

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August 6, 20070 found this helpful

We have a similar situation. Our family is friends with another family and we were friends before either of us had children. They have all girls and we have all boys. Our younger boys love it when we get together and play well with their girls. Our oldest son is at the age where he thinks girls are "gross"..... to put it mildly! LOL! So, what we sometimes do is try to plan our get togethers when he can make other plans at another friends house. They are understanding about it, but their girls are a little dissapointed when he is not with us. However, we just explain that he is at a friends house and they say "o.k." and go on. We try not to make it a big deal. I don't know if this is a possibility with your child, but maybe it would help. I would also make this a learning opportunity for your child. We all have people we don't especially like, but have to be around at work, etc. maybe even a family member at the holidays. You could explain this to her and help her learn how to show grace to this other child when them being together can't be avoided. This is, of course, provided your friends child is not hurting your child in some way.

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September 18, 20070 found this helpful

My situation is a bit more complicated. I own a two family house. We live on one side and rent the other. Up until now we have been able to maintain our different roles. I am a landlord first, friend and mother second. I have 3 children 12, 9, and 6 and she has 4 ages 11, 8, 3 and 8 months. Our youngest children argue often but we address each incident and move on. However our oldest girls are having problems and despite how stupid this situation seems it still has come between us.

Yesterday at school her daughter forgot a book for study hall so she shared with mine. During this time my daughter covered her answers when her friend went to look at the book. She then became mad because she felt my daughter considered her a cheater. My daughter covers her work no matter who is around. It was not a personal thing. It was not because she considers her a cheater but still her mother was angry. I in turn am angry that she even reacted that way and still was angry even after I explained my daughters reasoning. On top of that her daughter has been taking everything personally.

If my daughter wants to sit alone its because she doesn't like her. Not because she takes a massive tenor sax to school everyday. This is coming on the heels of my daughter telling me privately that my friends daughter said the B word on the bus. It was a private conversation and I sat on it for days. When my friend and I were talking I told her what has happened more as a FYI. She then confronted her daughter who denies this and said she was disgusted with my daughter. My friend said that she really has a hard time believing that her daughter swore. Yet my daughter had no reason to come home and tell me this nor did she expect me to tell my friend.

So we decided that it was a wash despite the fact that she swears all the time in front of her children and her 3 year old says f***. Whereas I don't swear in front of mine and my daughter (12) asked me just last week not to be mad because she says shut up and you suck to her friends. We believe what we want and that's fine. My friend then proceeds to tell me that she doesn't want our children's conflict to come between us and then the cheating incident happened. I am really torn on how best to handle this.

We all sit out front to wait for the buses and my friend stayed inside. Her daughter refused to even acknowledge mine and sat down by the road to wait. I think that it is rude and disrespectful. They don't have to be friends but they have to get along. We share too much here to allow that kind of behavior. I don't know if the best thing to do is to have a talk as parents, then address the kids together and set up some kind of boundaries. Then letting them just work it out among each other where we just guide them and hope for the best. A big part of me feels that we are too involved in their conflicts.

Sorry for going on I just wanted to give as clear a picture as I can. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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