Friday, September 9, 2011

Handling bullies....and their mums

I have a new(ish) friend here in London with whom I'm not sure I can continue to be friends. It's not her, we get along quite's her kids that are the problem. Well, no, it's not really her kids, it's her son and the way she reacts to him.

Let me set a scene, I have them over for a playdate the other day. She shows up with her son, T, who is just about to turn seven, and her 3 1/2 year old daughter, S. The kids are playing in the lounge as my friend and I are in the kitchen making coffee (and cake!). No more than 10 minutes pass before Cate is crying hysterically and comes running in, closely followed by T. T is full of excuses: he was playing with the plastic sword and Cate grabbed it and wouldn't let go so he 'accidentally' hit her over the head with it.

There are holes in this story you could drive an armoured tank through. Cate likes playing with both of them but something always goes wrong... always out of my sight and always results in Cate crying. Cate's no angel, but I've caught him pushing her, shoving her, snatching things away from her and then lying about it. Each time he is not reprimanded, but my friend is quite keen to try defend him and put the blame on Cate. It's irritating in the extreme and I'm getting tired of defending my child - who doesn't deserve to be talked down to when she isn't always in the wrong.

I ask Cate what happened and she said, 'T hit me.' T quickly repeats his story and looks to his mum. His mum then gets down to Cate's level and said, 'Cate, you can't grab things out of someone's hands and get rough. T was only protecting himself.'


I bit my tongue. Hard. I took the sword and put it into a time out in my bedroom. When I returned I got a 'friendly' lecture from my friend on child parenting. I know she thinks she's a whiz and parenting, and God knows I am willing to learn, but her kids are serious pains in the ass. They talk back, they destroy my house even when I ask them not to, they help themselves to anything and T has even tried to break a few of my things - on purpose. Is it wrong to seriously dislike a nearly 7-year-old boy?

I debated about saying anything to her for a while but she didn't let it go. Finally, I said, 'Thanks for the advice, but I think I'm good.'

She made a definite 'I don't think so' look and picked her coffee cup up, ever so slightly rolling her eyes.

I'm done here, I believe. She's not a member of my women's club and she doesn't know about this blog (maybe). So, what do you think? Adios, or what?


  1. Definitely adios!

    I would not have been able to bite my tongue as well as you did...

  2. She doesnt sound like a friend to me at all

  3. Oh my goodness, that's AWFUL! She is obviously one of those people who likes to try to make others look bad to detract from her (and her childrens) shortcomings. How absolutely horrible, rude and spiteful of her and her son. My son is seven and I would be mortified if he behaved that way with a child of any age. He is certainly old enough to know better - he sounds like a very spiteful little so-and-so and not to be trusted around your lovely kids!

    On your previous post, just want to wish you luck for the BRCA test.

  4. I always take the blame when my kids are accused of doing something wrong, even when I suspect that it might not be true. So do all of my friends. I would A/B/C ya later on this one. Doesn't sound promising to me...

    Delia Lloyd

  5. I have had long term friends I have had to give up after us all becoming parents. If there are real parenting differences I find it impossible to remain close to someone regardless of how much I like them.

  6. Doesn't sound like much of a friend to me. I'd say adios to that woman.

  7. It doesn't sound like she and her children are a very good crowd to hang around with. I would give up on that relationship altogether and quickly too. If only to protect your little girl.

  8. Thanks for the support everyone. She called to invite us over and I told her I didn't think it was a good idea. She seems quite put out by it, but I think she realizes that this isn't going to happen. I'm relieved. I'll stick with my real friends for now.

  9. I would drop her-and tell her exactly why. That way you won't have any frustration when you think about it. You can tell her what a bloody cheek she had, patronising your child like that, and maybe if she actually paid attention to how her kids behave, she would see they're not angels. She must be living in cloud cuckoo land.
    Then when she's standing there gaping like a fish, walk away and never look back.

  10. It's really interesting that this happened because it's definitely not the first time I've heard of similar incidents. I used to live north of London and was acquainted with a British family. I loved the parents, but I was amazed at how the children acted and the lack of reprimand from the parents. (Now, that's not to say all Brits are passive parents... I'm a former teacher from the States and I've seen some seriously bad parenting!)

    Maybe passive parenting is the new thing. Makes for bratty kids, unfortunately. I feel for their teachers!


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