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has a friendship of yours suffered because of parenting disagreement?

(28 Posts)
dedado Fri 13-Sep-13 21:46:03

Just wondered if anyone else has been there.

I had a friend for many years but since both having dc it often seems hard work and fraught with disagreement. Anyway it's got to the point that the disagreements or difference in opinion with parenting seem to be souring the previous friendship. I've tried meeting her without the dc (nights out etc) which go better.

Friend's dc (3) is often bossy or rough, not just with with my 2yo but with all toddlers in the friendship group. Friend won't intervene or makes half-hearted calls to her dc to stop which he ignores. Friend doesn't like anyone else to intervene though either (e.g. her dc being rough, I distract my dc to remove him from the situation. Friend makes comments to my dc or her dc instead of talking directly to me, or follows up with a snidey comment about something unrelated.) I realise this may seem a minor complaint but I dont want my 2yo to get the message that other children can hit him / snatch toys from him etc without consequence.

Waferthinmint Fri 13-Sep-13 22:00:48

Yes. I no longer see my ex BF. children are the same age but she became a helicopter parent and wouldn't be without the kids. I never saw her alone again . . .i missed her company but now realise we no longer have anything in common (I work and use a CM - she hates working parents etc)

PoppyWearer Fri 13-Sep-13 22:08:32

I have a couple of friends who don't believe in supervising their DCs at all, whereas I at least want to be able to see my DCs. I'm not a helicopter parent, but I do like to know where they are and monitor their behaviour whilst I'm at it.

Results in me watching their DCs as well, and running around after theirs as well as mine. And issue inevitable apologies to other people's children that they trample over, etc.

"Friends" sit/stand and chat, drink tea/coffee, relax.

I gain another fifty grey hairs and feel as if I have only been invited along to provide childcare.

Very hard work, not people whose company I seek out anymore.

BerylStreep Sat 14-Sep-13 00:00:55

Yes, a very good friendship has fallen by the way because I simply can't cope with her DC. She had 3 in quick succession (3 under 2.5 at one stage) and they are pretty feral. (think breaking everything in sight, climbing up / over everything, open every cupboard etc).

Good manners are important to me, and my DC have been raised as such. We just have 2 completely different parenting styles, and it is sad, but we have drifted apart.

My SIL has also raised feral children. At a recent dinner at the PIL's golf club, she happily chatted and ignored her youngest who was doing karate kicks on the glass doors in the restaurant, whilst other diners were very obviously upset by his behaviour, she completely ignored it.

Bumpstarter Sat 14-Sep-13 00:17:10

Hi, poppy wearer , I could be one of your ex friend grin. But what you need to realise is that I have brought my children up to need little supervision. If you were not there, I would not be behaving any differently. I have been lucky in that I have 2 close together who love playing together and are not very naughty. Your experience of being a parent is different. You are the single mum of one whose parenting responsibility weighs heavily on you, and your child is very demanding and requires constant input.

Actually, I think you might not be my ex friend after all, because my children have NEVER trampled over another child. They always look where they are going.

duchesse Sat 14-Sep-13 00:22:47

Yup. Completely lost touch with some friends whose two older DC were challenging each in his own way. Older DS told bare-faced lies constantly and exhibited a rather cruel streak that led to my DS needing hospital treatment once. Younger DS behaved extremely oddly quite a lot of the time: eg he once climbed onto the middle of our dining table within minutes of arriving at our house- parents did nothing about it and the mum reacted angrily when I suggested her DS might like to get down from the dining table with his shoes on- apparently he was only "exploring his environment". Only their DD was easy to get along with.

duchesse Sat 14-Sep-13 00:25:37

PS: my conclusion over the last 20 years is that life is easier, much easier, if you tend to pick the parent friends you hang out with most based on whether their parenting styles are close to yours. Funnily enough though all our oldest university friends seem to have much the same parenting style as us- I wonder why? We feel we could go on holiday with any of them for example without clashes whereas could not contemplate such a thing with most of our "parent friends"

Lavenderhoney Sat 14-Sep-13 04:43:04

" exploring their environment" made me laughsmile

I had to drop a good friend after we had our first pfb around the same time. It was ok when they were babies, but when crawling/ toddling, disaster. She shouted, she smacked, she made me nervous! Ds started to have nightmares after an afternoon at hers!

Tried to see her at places, but it was worse! The yelling - she was loud!- and impatience with her child, plus constantly saying " oh x is so naughty not like your ds" which was untrue, her child was very nice and just being a toddler.

I had to stop seeing her. My and ds nerves couldn't take it. We just drifted apart slowly. I couldn't say anything as if I tried gently she would shout me down.

Another had a ds who couldn't sit down at the table and raced about coming back now and then to pick. and my ds aged 2 said crossly " sit down! I want to eat now" the mum just said she loved him so much she couldn't tell him off. Or teach him manners and how to behave either.

I ask the dc now who they want round, and small as they are, they like dc like them, so the issues don't arise really. If I like a mum and her dc are wild/ aggressive mine I try to arrange to see mum only and the dc at the park, where its diluted and they can get away.

No. I have one which could have but even though my eyebrows have disappeared into my hairline over the years I always shut my gob.
I'm glad I did because her kids turned out to be lovely grin
And she is still my best friend grin

Yes I once had a friendship go sour but I never knew why. Then in a perfectly normal conversation about something else she threw in the line "I know we have dofferences of opinion when it comes to parenting."

Well, I thought she was pathetic and a martyr but didn't like to say. grin

Anyway it turns out that her and her partner had decided all the parents they knew were doing it wrong, and she listed examples. One was "(partner) gets so upset when my sister gives her son his bottle before his dinner and not after." hmm

After that I never contacted her again. God knows what I did to displease her, probably because I taught DD1 manners and didn't allow her to hit other kids. smile

Tryharder Sat 14-Sep-13 08:32:04

The answer to the question in the OP, is 'no' because I am quite tolerant and understand that everyone has a different way and some children are challenging despite 'good' or 'bad' parenting.

I generally find threads like this very unkind because when people say that their ways are 'different', they mean 'better'; cue a lot of smug descriptions of Other People's Feral Children in direct comparison with their own little angels.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 14-Sep-13 08:34:42

Not parenting disagreements exactly, but I certainly quietly dropped one couple because they had horribly behaved kids.

I'm anti social and don't spend time with other people or their dc very often it's great but my bils kids are bloody hard work, the oldest always has been but the two year old makes me want to rip my hair out! It's not even 'bad' stuff but she snatches off ds, pulls hundreds of toys out and doesn't tidy, hits ds, whinges constantly, has squished crisps into our brand new carpet, is always telling on ds when he's not doing anything wrong etc.

Not bad as such just allowed to puss about a lot more than my dc are. Dp makes bil tidy up all the toys etc and the carpet incident he flipping hoovered. dp is the older brother and so in charge grin

PoppyWearer Sat 14-Sep-13 09:29:51

BumpStarter your post was a joke, right? Because I don't know what you used as a basis for your post?

I'm not a single parent, my DCs are not badly-behaved, just normal young children (one is a toddler) who get into bumps and scrapes and, call me old-fashioned, but I like to try to prevent my DD from dislocating joints, to which she is prone due to a medical condition. So I, y'know, supervise them.

And my don't-supervise-their-DCs friends certainly don't have perfectly-behaved children. I am forever picking up their DCs from the playground floor, mopping up bloody knees and snotty noses, giving them cuddles and also telling them off for hurting or pushing other children.

Parenting my own DCs is exhausting enough, I don't understand how anyone can switch off so completely and leave it all to a "friend". For friend, read "mug". I don't want to spend my time with my DCs being someone else's unpaid nanny!

Hence I keep my distance as much as possible.

jimijack Sat 14-Sep-13 09:44:23

I distance myself from my sister's as we are poles apart in our methods.

It's them that cannot stand my child, but then neither of them actually like other people's children at all in any shape or form no matter how well behaved they are.

I don't want my child subjected to such negativity and vitriolic nastiness.

The sad result is that I don't see my nephew &(very badly behaved) niece ever.

Lavenderhoney Sat 14-Sep-13 10:41:34

Try harder, I don't see my parenting as better, just different to some, and its up to others how they parent.

However, I can decide if I want my dc exposed to shouting, slapping etc at a young age, before they as teens decide for themselves if they want to spend time round x house even though there parents parent like that.

I don't hold myself up as a paragon of parenting by any meanssmile

I hope I didn't come across as feeling better, because I don't feel that way!

Bumpstarter Sat 14-Sep-13 12:02:07

Poppy wearer, it's ok, it was a joke, but seriously, I did have a friend who I think could have written your post. What I am getting at is that there are 2 sides to each story, and while your friend sounds completely unreasonable, I just wanted to illustrate the different sides to the coin.

Sorry if you felt criticised in any way, I thought the grin would make it clear it was a joke.

Ethlinn Sat 14-Sep-13 12:08:42

Yes, and not just one. I have (had?) two friends who know everything better when it comes to looking after a newborn or in fact a baby at any stage. They were so harsh with me that I just stopped seeing them. I had a really bad time with DS when he was tiny (reflux) and all I was getting from them was: "well none of mine screamed like that, you must be doing something wrong", "4 wk old still not sleeping at 9pm? mine were asleep at 7!", "is he still not sleeping through? really?" (at 10 weeks, ffs!!!!)
I decided to take no more of that shit when we all met up for lunch, DS was 6mo and feeding every 3 hours. One of them said that at 6 months I should be aiming for at least 4 hour breaks cause otherwise I am doing it wrong and it's just so much hassle. By that time DS was sleeping 7pm till 6am and I didn't really care how often he needed fed during the day. I told them both they were fecking idiots, I don't do some sort of stupid schedules and IMO baby should eat whenever he's hungry!!!
We're not so friendly any more.

duchesse Sat 14-Sep-13 12:32:57

Lavender, I wouldn't have minded so much if he'd been a toddler, but he was 8!!!

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sat 14-Sep-13 12:44:03

No, but there are some friendships where I've adjusted how we see one another. For example, I have a friend where play dates work really well but holidays don't due to parenting differences. We are just strict about different things and it is a ball ache when you're in a situation where you need to be consistent across the group or have the kids constantly say 'why do I have to do x and Y doesn't' or conversely ' why do I have to do x. I don't have to at home'

dedado Sat 14-Sep-13 16:13:46

These stories are interesting. No magic solution though, and for me is has got to the stage that I don't want to see this one friend unless she doesn't have her child with her. At this point can I say this is not AIBU, I started this thread to hear if anyone else had been there and if they had any advice. Basically I don't enjoy meeting up with the dc as I find it stressful, there's no chance to relax like when meeting with other families, it's just hard work and I have enough stress already (long story ) so don't want to spend my social time like this. Of course my 2yo doesn't always do the right thing but I deal with that when it happens. Her 3yo hits, shouts, snatches etc pretty much constantly and is indulged so he sees it as behaviour that gets the result he wants. I will say that other toddlers we know sometimes hit etc, I know it is common. However this friend excuses her child's behaviour rather than reminding him how to behave.

Anyway if I say I don't want to meet up with dc she'll not take that well. I've hinted that it's hard work when they're together (without being specific why), "let's go shopping without dc", "let's go out in the evening without dc" but she wants to meet with them. And I don't.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 14-Sep-13 16:20:03

I think you're going to have to be less oblique dedado and take your chances with a more direct approach. I wouldn't blame her parenting exactly, but you can say that you find her 3yo too challenging to be around to enjoy meeting up with her and let her reach her own conclusion. 'More in sorrow than in anger'... as it were. She'll probably be highly hacked off but all the hint-dropping in the world isn't going to resolve this one.

dedado Sat 14-Sep-13 16:32:30

Yes you're right, I need a tactful way of saying that I can't stand by when her ds hits mine, or tells mine that he isn't allowed to do something, or whatever the immediate issue is. My 2yo is learning the rules of behaviour. Friend does not like me stepping in, e.g. splitting the 2 of them up and suggesting my ds plays with another toy, and when I've said "this isn't much fun today, we're off home" she got quite annoyed.

Onesleeptillwembley Sat 14-Sep-13 16:33:32

Yes, we got slightly matey with a couple, had a few evenings out, saw very little of their children. We all went for a meal, 10 and 9 year olds fighting, disgusting manners, didn't even use a knife and fork, rude to the staff, etc. even my kids were shellshocked. It was actually humiliating being with them. The fact the parents treated it as normal showed that, to them, it was. We always had an excuse after that, and never really saw them again. A year or so later a mutual acquaintance actually told them straight.

PiddlingWeather Sat 14-Sep-13 17:22:24

I'm probably going to get flamed for this, but I deliberately cut contact with a very good friend, purely on the basis of her DC's behaviour.

I met her at playgroup when my DD and her DD were about a year old. She had a DS of 10 too. For about 3-4 years we did loads together.

She didn't have the same approach to parenting as me- rather heavy on the junk food and TV whereas I am not- but frankly I couldn't give a shit, we went to soft play, petting farms etc, lots of lovely days out.

Long story short, the older the son got, the stranger his behavior was. He did have some mild SN, but was in mainstream school, and it went beyond SN. He watched a lot of late night TV and played grand theft auto etc, and began to develop a fixation with violence, to the point where he deliberately crushed a pet guinea pug with a breezeblock to 'put it out of its misery' after a fox got it. 'It made him feel good' apparently. He also became increasingly violent and aggressive towards his mother and sister, and other, smaller DC

I feel horrible saying it about a kid, but he made me feel very, very uncomfortable. Unfortunately his behaviour filtered down to his little sister, whom he bullied terribly- and this of course, had an effect on my DD.

It came to a head when the little girl, on a visit to my house, hurt my DD quite badly, destroyed some of her toys, and threw things at me when I remonstrated with her. The whole time, my friend just sat there, saying nothing. I had to ask them to leave, as my DD was distraught.

Friend tried to get in touch/meet up after that, but I just found excuses or ignored her. I couldn't have my DD subjected to that in her own home, and it was becoming increasingly apparent that there was something not right happening in that family.

Sure enough, a year ago, I found out something which confirmed my suspicions.

I still miss my friend, and I miss the lovely little girl her DD used to be, and the times we had, but honestly, I was out of my depth with that situation- it got to the point where before every meet up, I was apprehensive and anxious, and I was not happy with my DD being in the company of her children, because frankly, I didn't know what they would do next.

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