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Author Topic: S/O: "Former" friend thread-when it's a child  (Read 4075 times)

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S/O: "Former" friend thread-when it's a child
« on: November 19, 2012, 07:27:33 AM »
Hi, all:

BG:  The downstairs neighbor, "Duane", used to live with"Becky" and her two daughters, "Abby" and "Alexis".  Alexis became good friends with my DD.  They brought all kinds of drama and finally broke up in a screaming fight last spring.  Then, "Duane" lived with another woman and her older children (the "taking out the garbage" thread I wrote about here).  Then they left, and guess who's back?!  That's right!

Alexis and DD resumed their friendship, which never really ended due to Becky being back here periodically to "do her laundry".  Yesterday, I took Alexis and DD to the mall for some necessities of DD's.  As we were entering the parking lot, Alexis came out with a horribly racist remark about how an entire nationality should be sent back to their home country, and how this could have happened if the recent election had gone differently.  I yanked the car into a space, slammed on the brakes, and told Alexis that that kind of talk was unacceptable.  She didn't apologize, and we had a quick, strained trip to the mall.

Talking to the parents doesn't seem to be an option.  I've heard similar out of their mouths, and out of Duane's daughter "Miranda".

I have told DD that she can be polite to Alexis and the whole family, but I want the friendship scaled back-no sleepovers, no taking Alexis anywhere after that.  I know the drama isn't the little girl's fault entirely, but where this family goes, a vicious fight is sure to follow sooner or later.  I'm sure to be pulled into their dysfunction sooner or later, or ending up as a kind of parent to the kids myself.  No thanks.

 Ironically, several people of the nationality Alexis insulted happen to work for Duane in the complex.  If there's ever an ugly incident, well, I guess in a way he brought it on himself.

Is this the best I can do?


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Re: S/O: "Former" friend thread-when it's a child
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2012, 07:56:16 AM »
I have dealt with this before, and it can be quite easy for you. If a child in your care makes a hateful remark, an easy response is "That sort of talk is not tolerated in this household. At all. I can't change what you believe, I won't tell you how to talk when I am not around. But I consider that sort of talk to be ignorant and hate-filled, and I won't accept it when you are with me. If it continues, we will go directly home. Do you understand?"

I have had this talk with a Little Sister from Big Brothers/Big Sisters. I have had this talk with my own stepson. I can't make the other adults in their lives adjust to what I consider acceptable. But I can absolutely be the adult and set the standard when they are in my care. I also do not allow loud statements of political or religious opinions in public.


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Re: S/O: "Former" friend thread-when it's a child
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2012, 08:10:30 AM »
your children will have friends of whom you don't approve or who you wish your children would break up with. it happens. I never tried to 're-educate' my son's friends - all i would do is what you did "this is not tolerated in my home/car" as well as reinforce to your own child what kind of behavior is or is not acceptable. I wouldn't necessarily ban the child from your home/life, but I probably would encourage your DD to make other friends and continue to reinforce the kind of behavior you wish for her to emulate.

what happens to duane etc is not the issue nor is it your problem.

I think that a part of me is saying 'yea! guihong really doesn't need that kind of drama in her life" but I think it's important to teach our children to form their own judgements about friends.

This happened once to my son - there was a kid in our neighborhood who was trying to "buy" friendships (there was a reason for this and there was a reason his parents were allowing it. misguided perhaps, but they had their reasons) and he was manipulative and took advantage of people. he was also quite charming. my son fell for it like everyone else did. i didn't say anything, continued to be pleasant to the boy, until the day that he was really mean to DS and DS, on his own, cooled the friendship. I didn't really have to say anything because I knew that (a) DS would figure it out and (b) if i tried to stop the friendship it would probably only make the friendship stronger.

trust yourself - you are raising  a good DD with good values. she will, eventually, tire of alexis and all the drama.

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Re: S/O: "Former" friend thread-when it's a child
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2012, 08:41:32 AM »
Absolutely agree with both the suggestion that you tell the little bigot-in-training that those words are not allowed in your presence or in your home, and that your DD will, once she tires of the novelty, most likely cool the friendship on her own. Who knows, maybe your DD will be the higher influence that lifts rather than her being pulled down by those she's associating with - it does happen. We had a girl I was 'friends' with when I was about 9, who shoplifted. She did it daily, and I suspect the owners of the little corner store knew she did it - they were friendly with everyone, but cool with her. I stopped being her friend when my mom caught me with a bunch of little candies that the friend had given me, presumably from the store - mom explained that every one of those was money that the store didn't make, and that they might go out of business if everyone did it.


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Re: S/O: "Former" friend thread-when it's a child
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2012, 11:01:48 AM »
First off, you're making the right decision with Alexis. Frankly I'm shocked that you haven't taken this stance before considering all the trouble she and her family bring.

Second, if all other factors were ideal, I don't think this would be something to ban a kid over. If the person, adult or kid, were someone I knew sufficiently well, I'd talk to them about it. I'd try to get them thinking about what they said and how it might be wrong. Get them questioning the attitude they are being taught. ("Do you think that about Bill and Sue who work at the apartments? They are part of that group. They don't strike me as being that way. What do you think? Any kids at school that are in that group? What are they like?") In fact I'd be more likely to do this with a kid. Now if the parents don't like me doing that, they can ban the kid from talking to me. Nothing I can do about it. Or if the kid doesn't want to be around me for being serious with them, they can decide to chill the friendship.

It might be worth noting that I don't have kids so the friendship would be between me and the kid, not my kid and the kid. And I had friends' parents who would talk to me that way when I was visiting and I think it was good for me.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
Walt Whitman