1. L.

    My very best friend has two daughters, and one of them gets on my every last nerve. I admittedly don’t have children so I might not be as understanding as some, but she is 5 years old, and already lying, bossy, manipulative, rude, and just mean. For example she waits until my friend leaves the room to whisper things that are cruel like ‘you shouldn’t wear that shirt, it makes you look fat’ or ‘i don’t like you.’ I do tell the girl these things are impolite and she shouldn’t say them, but she seems to ignore me and after my telling her mother once or twice what she says and watching her get in trouble, I feel a little silly ‘tattling’on her every time she does something naughty (which is often). The last time she was at our home she scratched my husband repeatedly, she said dinner was gross and refused to eat it, and she tore beautiful flowers from my garden to throw around the yard saying to her mom that they fell of the plant, and I found out after they’d left that she apparently used a leaf to smear dog poop on my house! She also often blames bad things, of which i’m fairly confident she does, on her younger sister and watches my friend scold her sister who is two and super polite and sweet. I really don’t know how I should act around her, because I honestly want to just scold her constantly, but I know its not my place so I instead just try to diplomatically correct her behaviors when they are aimed at me and let the rest slide, but almost everything she does irritates me quite a bit. My friend, often beams telling me how lucky she is to have well behaved wonderful children. And although she does a fair job of disciplining her daughter when she sees her doing something wrong, she is unfortunately often oblivious or manipulated. My friend has noted that I’ve really been spending less time with her and I don’t know what to say. I really would like to see her much more often, but she is rarely able to find a babysitter and loves to have her kids join us on all dinners, outing, and events. Is there something I can do differently? I don’t want to stop spending time with my friend, and I hope this is just a phase, but in the meantime her child is nearly unbearable to be around.

    • Jody

      I’m sorry you’re in this situation, it’s a very tough one. If your friend insists on both daughters being present during your get-togethers, I think that unfortunately you’ll need to curtail them. You could invite your friend to an outside-the-home activity and say you’d treasure an “adults-only” outing with her. That might be a good way to judge how open she is to getting together without the kids. If your friend asks why you want adult-only events, or why you don’t spend as much time with her, you’ll have to be honest and tell her that her older daughter’s behavior is not something you can handle (a hard part will be to keep it on a civil tone without being petty). Your friend may not like to hear it, but at least things will be out in the open.

      It sounds like the older child is school age or almost to that point. I don’t know if you’re both stay-at-home moms, but if you are you could always get together when the older child is in school.

      • Alicia

        I agree that you need to as kindly as possible say that her older daughter acts very differently with mom out of the room . Suggest that it may be a good thing for the mom to see this herself so that she knows what is going on and then I would suggest her getting a nanycam.

  2. scdeb

    This sounds like the beginning of a tragedy–the behavior you are describing is disturbing and it doesn’t sound like normal kid behavior. Kids get jealous and act out but this child is acting in a vindictive manner. I hope you don’t have any pets because they will be the next in this child’s destruction. I pity the 2 year old sister. There has to be something else wrong in the friend’s household–marital trouble, money woes, health problems to cause what you are describing.There is also a chance that the child has a health problem that is going untreated. Who’s watching this child? And no one wants to babysit because these incidents must happen then as well. This is a no win situation for you because you are caught in the middle. Tell the mom what you see & you look like the bad guy. Parents don’t take criticism of their kids with dignity & grace. They usually flip out. If you continue to see this friend you will be subjected to more abuse by the 5 yr old. Personally I would be afraid to stay friends because who knows what kind of lies this child will be telling about you to other people. Run fast in the opposite direction.

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