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Annoying kid/"friend"-how to break it off??


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There is a boy in our hs group that always want to get together with my 11 yo boys. He is 2.5 years younger (8 years old), bossy, and not afraid to open his trap and point out how messy our house is, or how boring it is here. Yet, he begs his mom for playdates with my boys who don't want to spend time with him.

 

The mom is a friend of mine-not super close, but a nice person. She asked if her son could come over two days ago while they were at an older son's football game and last night she asked if he could come over tonight while they are all at the homecoming football game. I was gone the other day, but told her tonight would be ok. (They don't want him at the football game because the kids he plays with under the bleachers are too rough and talk rough.)

 

I never invite our boys over to their home. I never invite my kids to anyone's home at any time. I never invite her son over here. If I run into them around town, the boy begs to come over and play and I'm put on the spot trying and making excuses. His mom asks to get them together sometimes.

 

Question is, if we don't want him here and putting them off doesn't work, how do we gracefully cut off the relationship, or don't we? I've considered trying to explain to the mom that the age difference is difficult for the boys, but I risk offending her. Is there any way to remedy this so we don't have to keep dancing around them and coming up with excuses?

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I would just not be available. If her son is in football and they go to the games, well the 8yo goes with. It is not your responsibility because the mother won't make her son sit with her in the bleachers. I would think after a few times of being unavailable she will find someone else to watch her kids.

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Maybe talk to the mom about the issue. In situations like that I realize that it could easily be my kid with the personality issue. I would want to know that other people are being bothered so that I could handle it with my kid. I would not want to be given an excuse and remain ignorant of the problem.

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We've had a similar situation going on for 1.5 years. Although close in age, my ds no longer has any interest in maintaining a friendship with two brothers. Their (very nice) mom continues to invite us to bday parties, changing dates in the hopes we can attend, invite our family for holidays (in the three years, we've never had the families together once). She mailed my ds a bday present last month, and she's asked a few times if she can bring her boys to play while she has another engagement nearby.

 

I sought and heeded encouragement and advice here a few times. I continue to decline invitations, "I'm sorry, we/he can't make it," ignore e-mail requests re dropping off her boys, and had my ds send a thank you note when he received the present. I do not make apologies, or give any indication that "maybe" the day will work. Although I really do care, I've stopped initiating contact and asking generally how she is. I still feel guilty.

 

I think you are doing the right thing by denying her son's requests. I would encourage you to decline the next time she asks if you can watch her son, "I'm sorry, I can't." If she persists, you can just say, "Oh, it really won't work for us." Making up an excuse ("my husband's tired," "we have other plans") gives her a reason to try again.

 

As women, as moms, we are often used to being the "people pleaser." But the people you want to please in this case are your boys, not her. You can continue to be truly polite and continue to repeat, "We can't; we've just been swamped." And yes, you can be swamped for a year or more. Eventually her son will move on.

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The next time she tries for a playdate (not you watching her son while the rest of her family has plans) I would find a way to say that the "playdates aren't a good fit" between the boys. Pass it off on the age gap. There is a big difference between 8 and 11. And then the next time she asks to leave him at your house while her family has other plans, just be unavailable. "I'm sorry that day won't work for us, hope you can figure something else out".

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We have a similar situation. The boy is very awkward -- I really feel for him. His mom has told me he has no friends, but he likes my son. Well, we've tried (a few play-times and a birthday party) but the poor kid is not a good friend for my son. He won't really talk, doesn't look at people, and seems generally miserable. He gets resentful when my son plays with the other boys. I don't want to criticize the boy, but the truth is that he's hard to be with.

 

I've been declining invitations, and his mom seems angry at me.

 

No easy way out. Just keep firmly declining and wait it out.

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Thanks for the input everyone. I have often considered telling her that the boys don't always get along and it's sometimes hard for my boys to play with him, but don't know if that would upset her. She's a nice friend and wouldn't want to burden me. She's just trying to get her son together with boys he likes and she thinks likes him too.

 

I have told her how he's commented on our messy house more than once and he's said it's no fun at our place, and she's talked to him about it, but the boys don't look forward to playing with him.

 

However, when he came over that night, the boys all had fun together, so it wasn't a bad night. I need to talk to my boys and see what they thought. Maybe he's not as bad as he used to be...

 

Thanks all!

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Hi. I know this must be a tough situation, because this has MAJOR "hurt feelings" potential. I think maybe what I would do in your situation is give him another chance, but deal with his behavior issues directly. "I'm sorry you think our house is messy, I can call your mom to get you now if it bothers you." Put the ball in his court and give him a chance to correct his (obnoxious) behavior. If he continues, I don't think I would allow him over anymore. He is simply being rude. But do give him a chance to correct himself, if you can. :001_smile:

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Hi. I know this must be a tough situation, because this has MAJOR "hurt feelings" potential. I think maybe what I would do in your situation is give him another chance, but deal with his behavior issues directly. "I'm sorry you think our house is messy, I can call your mom to get you now if it bothers you." Put the ball in his court and give him a chance to correct his (obnoxious) behavior. If he continues, I don't think I would allow him over anymore. He is simply being rude. But do give him a chance to correct himself, if you can. :001_smile:

 

ooh! I like this advice.

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Hi. I know this must be a tough situation, because this has MAJOR "hurt feelings" potential. I think maybe what I would do in your situation is give him another chance, but deal with his behavior issues directly. "I'm sorry you think our house is messy, I can call your mom to get you now if it bothers you." Put the ball in his court and give him a chance to correct his (obnoxious) behavior. If he continues, I don't think I would allow him over anymore. He is simply being rude. But do give him a chance to correct himself, if you can. :001_smile:

 

There's no reason to preface it with an apology. I'd go straight to "I can call your mom to get you now if it bothers you." And I'd consider it a kindness to him to let him know that he's being very rude. I try to be kind, but there is no way that any guest is going to get away with complaining about my hospitality without me calling them on it. Some kids truly have no clue, and I do think it's a kindness to inform them that it's not cool to say that we 'do things weird,' or to wander into my pantry or open my refrigerator and demand certain food/drinks, or any of the other things I have been surprised with over the years :tongue_smilie:

 

As far as the overall situation, I would simply say "yes" when I want to have him over, and "no" when I don't. I feel no responsibility to provide free babysitting just because someone asks, and I don't feel the need to offer any reason other than, "No, that doesn't work for me."

 

Situations like this are much more bearable when you quit trying to be polite enough for both sides, lol. You can be perfectly polite on your end while declining to have him over, or declining to overlook rude or simply annoying behavior when you do have him over. My rule is that if I don't put up with it from my own kids, I'm dang sure not going to put up with it from other kids! "It" being anything I don't care to put up with, y'know.

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"I'm sorry; we have plans." It doesn't matter what the plans are. You could be planning to sit on your duff and watch tv and clip your toenails. Doesn't matter. You're not available. Only someone very rude would ask what the plans are, as if they're up for negotiation. The best response to that is, "Why do you need to know that?"

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I never invite our boys over to their home. I never invite my kids to anyone's home at any time. I never invite her son over here. If I run into them around town, the boy begs to come over and play and I'm put on the spot trying and making excuses. His mom asks to get them together sometimes.

 

 

I find this to be rude on the part of the mom. She should correct his behavior and poor manners. This alone would cause me to be reluctant to have him over. I don't like feeling pressured to do something that I didn't already make plans for.

 

"I'm sorry; we have plans." It doesn't matter what the plans are. You could be planning to sit on your duff and watch tv and clip your toenails. Doesn't matter. You're not available. Only someone very rude would ask what the plans are, as if they're up for negotiation. The best response to that is, "Why do you need to know that?"

 

:iagree:

 

The mom is wrong for not correcting the child's rude behavior, which makes her rude as well. The fault ultimately lies with her. You don't need make excuses.

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Hi. I know this must be a tough situation, because this has MAJOR "hurt feelings" potential. I think maybe what I would do in your situation is give him another chance, but deal with his behavior issues directly. "I'm sorry you think our house is messy, I can call your mom to get you now if it bothers you." Put the ball in his court and give him a chance to correct his (obnoxious) behavior. If he continues, I don't think I would allow him over anymore. He is simply being rude. But do give him a chance to correct himself, if you can. :001_smile:

 

:iagree: This sounds like something good to try. I would still pay attention to your gut and limit the time the boys play. The more time together can in and of itself create potential issues.

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I agree with Mercy_Me. When someone else's child is at my home, especially when I am babysitting, that child has to abide by my rules and my standards for behavior. There have been many times that someone else's child has been put into a time-out at my house because of bad behavior. I have also on many occasions told other's children that their comments are rude, inappropriate, uncalled for or unnecessary. They are always given the option of going home early if they don't want to comply. I'm never mean about it and try very hard to do it in a kind, friendly way. Oh, and I always tell the parent up front that those are my policies.

 

I only had one acquaintance that had a problem with it. She didn't believe in time-outs or much discipline at all (which was obvious in her child's behavior). I explained that I respected her wishes to not discipline her dd and that in light of that I wouldn't be able to have her daughter at my house without her present. I invited her and her dd over a couple times after that. She asked if she could just drop her dd off and I reminded her that if her dd misbehaved I would put her in time-out. She declined. Fine with me.:D

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"I'm sorry; we have plans." It doesn't matter what the plans are. You could be planning to sit on your duff and watch tv and clip your toenails. Doesn't matter. You're not available. Only someone very rude would ask what the plans are, as if they're up for negotiation. The best response to that is, "Why do you need to know that?"

 

I totally agree. And one thing I've had to figure out is the way around the opening salvo, "What are you doing on Friday night?" If I say we don't have any plans, it's hard to back pedal and say we're unavailable. So I've learned to respond to that question with, "Why do you ask?" That leaves my options open.

 

If a kid-guest at my home commented on the messiness of it, I would most certainly say, with a big smile, "Did you know it is rather rude to say something like that when you are a guest in someone's home? Even if you are correct, it's not good manners to say it."

 

I think, in your case, that my attitudes and responses would depend a lot on the other mom's intentions. If she genuinely wants her son to forge relationships AND your boys are willing, I might take him in small (60-90 minute) doses. But if she just doesn't feel like taking him along to the football game and wants you to be a babysitter... I get the feeling she is neglecting an opportunity to train and discipline her son to attentiveness. It's not like he's a 3 year old that might reasonably get tired and squirmy.

 

We have had kids like that intersect with our family, but not so persistently. I am sorry you feel like the burden is on you, it really shouldn't be.

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:grouphug: This a touchy situation. I have a friend who loves the influence my daughter has on her kid, but her kid is a terrible influence on my daughter...

 

You know how some kids just don't bring out the best in your kid? Or how one six year old and another can play together for hours and how another two six years can't be together for five minutes without fighting?

 

Anyway, this family seems to seek us out because we see them everywhere!!!???

 

I do try to be friendly and make friends with lots of people, as a rule, but it is hard when a relationship is a real tax and stresser again and again and again.

 

Anyway,

 

In your situation, it sounds like the mom is encouraging the boy to ask... probably so that she isn't the one asking all the time.

 

I like what other moms said, "We have plans." Or...

 

If either of them ask, I'd just start saying, "Not this time" and try not to give them anymore explanation. After a while, the mom should get the hint... eventually. ;)

 

Or, you can try to see the situation in a whole new way and try to be a blessing. (This is what we did with our difficult friend. It was easier than trying to avoid them). The mom might not ever acknowledge what you do for her... the boy might not ever be grateful or nice... but you can use it as a chance to teach your kids service and forbearance and how to behave even when other kids don't.

 

My mentor used to say that some people are like "spiritual sandpaper" ...smoothing our rough edges.

 

Good luck!

Edited by VBoulden
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I have also on many occasions told other's children that their comments are rude, inappropriate, uncalled for or unnecessary.

 

I do that with the neigbhor kids all the time. Letting them know what I expect makes them easier to deal with in general. I just told one neighbor boy today that he wasn't allowed to use the word "gayest" in a derogatory way in my yard.

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There's no reason to preface it with an apology. I'd go straight to "I can call your mom to get you now if it bothers you."

 

IMO, "I'm sorry YOU think our house is messy" is NOT an apology. To tell your child "I'm sorry, but it is raining today, and we can't go to X" is not apologizing for the rain, it is stating you regret it, too.

 

Contrast with "I'm sorry my house is messy".

 

Saying you regret that THE KID thinks the house is messy is sort of pointing out we are fine with it. When someone screams something horrible to me at work (I work with the mentally ill), we often say "I'm sorry you feel that way". It is putting the feeling on the person. They have it, I'm not happy they do, but I'm not admitting I'm the f-ing b*t*h they have just screamed that I am. Much more productive than "oh no I'm not" ("oh yes you are"), or just turning away, which doesn't address the rage or paranoia they are in the hospital for.

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:grouphug: This a touchy situation. .....

Or, you can try to see the situation in a whole new way and try to be a blessing. (This is what we did with our difficult friend. It was easier than trying to avoid them). The mom might not ever acknowledge what you do for her... the boy might not ever be grateful or nice... but you can use it as a chance to teach your kids service and forbearance and how to behave even when other kids don't.

 

My mentor used to say that some people are like "spiritual sandpaper" ...smoothing our rough edges.

 

Good luck!

 

:iagree:

 

I would BET that MOST responders to this thread would claim to be Christians and that they LIKELY have their kids enrolled in Sunday School, Awanas, and they have the homeschooling (christian) books abounding, but when I see this PERFECT example of how one could TEACH their children to SHOW CHRIST to this CHILD and accept him and treat him kindly and love him DESPITE his flaws (Remember what we looked like to GOD before we were in Christ?), I get a bit upset. I mean what is the POINT in ALL our homeschooling if we fail to teach our children to LOVE others WHERE THEY ARE? How do they practice forbearance/kindness? Could our kids get the idea that we're going to reject (in effect) this child because WE DON'T ENJOY him or we find him annoying or boring or whatever? We treat a normal kid like this, so I guess there's no point in encouraging us to perhaps have our children go hang out at a nursing home with drolling old people or spend time with a retarded person.

 

I'm sure my tone is harsh, but when the rubber meets the road and we are faced with a real live example of a harder place to practice our love/manners "to the least of these" (as Christ would say) and we respond like this! And...yet, I'd GUESS (another assumption) that some of our kids went to CHURCH tonight (Wednesday night) to learn what? --- to learn how to hide our light and love to a child in need of friends? -- how to love those who are LIKE us that are EASY to like and be around?

 

We all know how inherently isolating hsing can be and how all moms consider their children's socialization. Maybe this mom is just wanting some good influences.

 

Why not consider what's best for this kid?

What if he could use some good friends? What if all he has are rude playmates and a mom who doesn't take the time to teach him manners?

 

Now.....I wouldn't have my children hang out with some child who'd be exposed to porn/howard stern/etc. UNSUPERVISED where he COULD expose mine to dangerous ideas/influences, as we're not CALLED to RISK such and are called to protect our own from such, but --- if he's just a bratty nuissance, that could be tolerated and redirected.

Now, granted, if he refuses to treat you all with respect after a season of setting down the boundaries, then I agree that the consequence should be separation. I agree that this child shouldn't be allowed to speak to you all like you were cattle, but this can be handled easily enough. So long as he learns to use his manners (which he will if he's kindly instructed and given boundaries such as, "You're welcome to come over, but if you continue to criticize this house God has given us, then you'll have to not come over anymore and that would make us all sad, etc."). Now, I agree the mom shouldn't take advantage with "surprise" visits, but I think it'd be kind for you to perhaps have a playdate on a given day (maybe the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month for ____ hours) and just explain to the mom that you have to operate on more of a schedule to keep things on track. But....what an opportunity to TEACH your children character and to love a person REGARDLESS of the rough exteriors and to stand firm enough not to TAKE ON those negative traits themselves (a lesson in coming out on top in face of peer pressure).

 

The world isn't full of people that would be PERFECT matches for our kids. Christ calls us to love the unlovable (just like he did in adopting us by the shedding of his blood). Now....I realize I'm ASSUMING that some responders to this are Christians, but --- even if not ----- the concept of loving the unlovable is a basic human kindness.

 

I'd consider it a compliment for a mom to perhaps want my kids "to rub off" on her own.

 

I think of what Matthew says to Marilla in Anne of Green Gables when Marilla wants to send Anne back and she says, "She's no good to us, Matthew" and Matthew says, "Well we might be of some good to her."

 

You might be of some good TO HIM.

Edited by PygmyShrew
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