Friends of a bad influence


(I'am the member formally known as Coolmama. I had my internet turned off for about four months while I moved and stuff and requested that account to be closed.)

What I want to know,is how many of you have exprienced a child that you felt wasnt the best influence on your child?

What did you do in the situation? Continue to let your child play with them? Limit their time together? Try to talk to their parents?

Here is where I'm at.My daughter has recently started puberty (a topic that certainly deserves it's own thread!).

There is a girl younger then her that constantly wants to come over in the neighborhood. She is very immature,very loud,sometimes rude and disrespectful.She often yells at the other kids around and tells them what to do.She tries to "team up" with my daughter to leave other children out,and then drama insues.

Twice I have grounded my daughter because I do not feel this is good behavior and I feel she's being a "follower".

Recently I have told my daughter that she needs a break from this girl.

I got a phone call from her mother (after my husband had already told her what the problem was) wanting to know why her daughter cant play with mine.

I havent responded yet.So,has anyone here dealt with a similar situation? I really dont want to come off as rude about this to my neighbor.I do think maybe my daughter should start hanging out with girls her own age though.Kids definitely pick up their friend's behavior,and I dont really like what she is picking up from this girl.

Comments (15)
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Plasticgarden ,

I can feel for you, I have been in the same predicament! My dear 16 year old daughter has had experiences and as she is a " follower natured girl " too.
Remember that in your house YOU have the right to who comes so that if you do not like certain misdemeanors and situations say no to your child.
We have constantly said over the years to our children, "We do things differently than so and so".
Your values that you have will in the end have a great effect on your children.
Best of luck with your daughter.

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Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post Bones-hobby2007. Sometimes it just feels good to hear from another parent you arent alone! In a way I have felt maybe I'am wrong to feel this way,but my husband agrees with me that the girl has a negative effect on our daughter as well. I'm just not sure there is a "PC" way of telling the girl's mom I'd rather they not play together.

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You could try putting the "blame" on your daughter- "I don't think my daughter behaves well when she's with your daughter- it's almost as if she feels she has to show off how poorly she can behave when your daughter is around. So, I would rather they don't play together until my daughter learns to control her own behaviour."
With your own daughter you can tell her, "When So-and-so is around you seem to be a different person. You're not your usual friendly helpful self. Have you noticed how often there are dramas when So-and-so is around, and you end up grounded? Don't you agree you would all be happier if this didn't happen? Let's try to avoid these situations by not having So-and-so over to play." This worked with my daughter- she was very enamoured of another girl who was not a good influence, but we gently brought our daughter around to see that the other girl was not a good person to be around and cut her off of her own free will.

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You're the only parent your child has. You have to do what's right for her, and sometimes, that means someone else isn't going to be happy (and sometimes, it means your daughter isn't going to be happy--LOL). My dd is in her mid-20's now, but when she was young, I definitely exercised my 'right of refusal' over her friends. I simply didn't allow her to hang out with kids who were abusive, loud, or whose parents didn't supervise when they played at their houses, or those who had other undesireable traits (cursing, being light-fingered, whatever). There are enough wonderful kids out there, that I didn't feel my dd needed to waste her time on the dregs.

Now, as it happens, in this case, you have the perfect out--you are encouraging your dd to hang out with friends her own age. As children entering puberty, you feel they've outgrown the younger kids, and they have a right to be able to have their discussions without being overheard or commented on by immature children (okay, so you're going to put that more tactfully--but definitely FIRMLY). Of course, the problem you're going to run into here, is if you've allowed this friendship to continue for a while already, then it's a lot harder to say, 'okay, now it's got to stop'. And you're probably not the first family who has dropped this gal from their circle of friends--so this mother will probably be prepared with her arguments. Be strong. Stand your ground.

And on a positive note, how about getting your daughter involved in some wholesome school or community activities? Sports, clubs. Volunteering--you could go as a family to walk the dogs at the shelter, or see what volunteering she's old enough to do (candy striping? helping at the Ronald McDonald house, at the library perhaps). How about getting involved in 4-H? or taking some classes in a field she's interested in--art, music, cooking, dance, modelling, babysitting (sometimes the Y offers those last 2 for 'tweens). Not only will she enjoy learning something new and making new friends who share her interests, but she'll be too busy to be this other girl's 'go to' playmate.

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Thank you,all great,and very helpful suggestions! I have thought of putting her in an after school program,she will just need to pick out something she likes. Which shouldnt be a problem because she is interested in so many things.

Colleenoz,great suggestion about blaming it on my daughter. My daughter does know how different she acts when this child is around and she says,"she cant help it",so it is not a lie.

Thanks very much,I really appreciate the help! :)

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Hi Plasticgarden, welcome back, I was wondering where you went.

Does this child come over to your house under her own steam ? Or is she invited ? Its tricky when they just turn up at the door.

I have found with my children, that it becomes clear, to me, early on, when a "friend" is not going to last. I think I know what sort of people my children want to socialise with, and after they have figured out the undesirable elements about the dubious friend, the friendship usually disolves.

I have often hastened this along, with comments like "gee she doesn't speak nicely" or "gee she is really loud and bossy". Just sewing the seed of doubt in my child's mind is usually all that is needed.

I would not enter into discussions with the other mother about how unsuitable her child is as a friend for your child. That will only lead to more conflict and problems. I think the "being vague" technique works well here. Its easy to just say "not today" or "it's not convenient today", or "we have to go out". Sooner or later with no social interaction, the girls will just loose contact, or that is what is hoped for !

Anyway, just a few ideas for you.

I think all this can be a lot more difficult when the children are older, and more mobile and out of your realm of control.

How old is your daughter ?

Be patient, things will work out, emphasize the good way to behaviour with your daughter and she will shine.


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Hi popi!

Unfortunately this child will show up on her own and knock on the door all day. She is never "invited".I do think being vague is a good idea,but this lady is pretty pushy. I have tried screening her calls and hoping if I ignored her she might just go away...
I guess I'll try this attemp first (ignoring,making excuses) and then if pushed I'll just tell her what Colleenoz suggested.
My daughter is almost 10 (not really that old,but starting to go through early puberty already and acting pre-teenish)

Thanks for the advice,I'm glad to be back! :)

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Hmmm... I find it sad when parents encourage their kids to "dump" other children because they are not the model children we think they should be. If your child is 10, and the other girl is younger (how old is she anyway?) -- that little girl is a "work in progress" and hardly deserves being ostracized at her age.

My daughter is 7 1/2 and while I would hate to say she is "loud and bossy" sometimes she can be. Mostly though, she loves other kids and wants nothing more than to play with them and be accepted. I would hate to get a phone call like the one you are considering making.

If your child enjoys playing with this girl, why don't you just set up some rules. For instance, I notice when I have more than two girls playing there is a lot of fighting. So, try to avoid this -- especially the 3's a crowd thing. Also, I will tell them, if I hear bickering or someone crying that they are being left out -- playtime is over and everyone goes home. It is amazing how well they will play if they know I am watching and will not tolerate the drama.

Maybe this girl need friends and does not have the social skills yet to play well in a group. Whatever it is -- just don't be hasty and teach your daughter the wrong lesson on this.

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My DD(8) has a friend who comes over and is not always very nice. After metting her mom i see where she gets it from. However, i think my DD friend is'nt a bad little girl but rather misguided. So i keep a very close eye on them when she comes over. Their has been many times that i had to tell this girl that we do'nt treat people that way in our house. When it is both girls(including my DD) being naughty i will make a point of disciplining BOTH girls. It has'nt gotten to the point where i have ask this girl to go home. Atleast not yet.
Sooner or later you may bump into the parents of your DD's friend. Maybe you could invite her over one more time and watch them closely. Do you feel as though this girl is just a brat? If that is the case then it is your right to limit your DD's time with her. Otherwise i would give it one more shot. Like i said, you need to watch them closely. So when mom calls you will have alot to tell her.
Welcome Back!

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Another way to look at the situation is, whilst this child is in your house, YOU have influence over her and can perhaps help her behave in a better way. Basically what Ninos said.

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DD same age, almost 10. Neighbor's daughter was bad influence. Sweet kid, but she lies and steals. She would often just pop up. I had no problem sending her home telling her that unless I had arranged with her mom, for her to be there, I could not let her stay.

It was mainly the stealing and lying. just lied to get attention (dysfunctional family at home where she was daughter of mom and ex, and lil sis was daughter of mom and stepdad) and she lied just to get in trouble.

BOY she killed me too. Grinning with those dimples, "What?" when caught in a lie. She is going to be way worse as she gets older.

I have had long talks with my daughter about the subject, bringing up the old boy who cries wolf again. I told her that this girl lies so much that one day, when she really is in trouble, no one is going to believe her.

Popi, unfortunately in my experience, trying to influence these kids is not something that succeeds, except in after school specials on TV. In real life, you open the door to a lot of real trouble. I hate to be that way but I have seen it enough.

In this girl's case for example, I have no right to punish if I catch her stealing or lying. So all I'm doing is opening my home, purse, belongings, to being pilfered.

In another child's case a couple of years ago, allowing them in once, led to having to feed the kid every day of the week. I know they are despareate, and in the case 2 years ago, parent left kids to watch themselves, so no parent to send them home to. I'm not sure what else to do, but I certainly can't fix the issues of all these kids in my area who have parents who should be fixing them.

Once, had a kid, six years old, showed up on my doorstep. He lives in another neighborhood down the street. Significant distance for a six year old to just go off on their own.

I talked to his dad later that week at school. His dad said, "Sure, I told him we live in a safe area, and that after he gets home from school, he can feel free to go to anyone's house." And then he just smiled and walked away. Saw nothing wrong with a child this small just wandering.

(later that year, child who does not have a pool membership and was turned away from swimming in the pool, got mad, went out at night, snuck in, stopped up the sink in the pool bathroom, and turned the water on, and flooded the pool house. At six, he was thinking this way. So obviously he had befriended older kids with even worse influence).

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Alot of interesting opinions.

Livvysmom,I can completely see where you are coming from,but I think I'm going to use ninos word and say she is just rather a brat.

Example,everytime she comes over she has a drink or snack and just throws her trash in my yard.I have asked more than once for her to put it in the trash can that is right there.Once I saw her doing it,and I heard my daughter say,"You better put that in the trash or my mom will be mad."
The girl responded with,"So? You throw it away then!"
Also,once she was being really loud,so I opened the door and asked her to please stop screaming or she could go home.
Know what she did? She rode her bike by and looked right at me and then yelled as loud as she could!
I have discussed this with her mom,but it seems the attitude never changes.Her mom seems proud of her daughter's "roughneck attitude".(which is how she described it,not me).
She also has a rather foul mouth and every sentence has the word poopy in it.

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It's hard, isn't it, to feel that you are turning your back on an ill-mannered child, when in many cases, it is not the child's fault at all? And to wonder if perhaps you could be a good influence in that child's life? I was always O.K. with having "questionable" children over, when my kids were younger and I monitored them very closely anyway. It seemed that the kids were generally smart enough to behave as well as they needed to when they knew I would send them home for misbehaving.

Now that my kids are older (12, 10, 7 and 5), though, it's trickier. It feels awkward to shadow the older kids, or to stay in the same room the entire time their "questionable" friend is over, like I used to do when they were younger (plus, who has time?). And invariably the friend asks them to come over, and then I either have to make an excuse or explain that I won't allow it because I'm worried they won't be adequately supervised - that's awkward, too. Seems like those friends have tended to fade away - maybe they have gone to someone else's house where the parents are not so nosy??

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Well, I would not be happy having the rude child at my house, and does your daughter even like her?

If the child cannot behave then she is not welcome.

You don't need the hassle, do you !


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Forbidden fruit always tastes most sweet.

Telling her to avoid this friend will bind them together.

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