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Mean "friends" - how do you coach yours in dealing with them?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
What do you say to your child when they tell you that their "friend" has been mean to them, regularly picking on them even when your child asks them to stop (after he or she has already taken as much as they can or when childish teasing then escalates). I don't want my child to also become a mean person back so what tips could I offer to help them when dealing with these types of "friends"? (sadly even as an adult you need to deal with mean people).
post #2 of 8
We haven't had a situation where an actual FRIEND has been mean, so I'm not sure what I would do about that...if the kids were young, I'd probably mention it to the mother to be honest.

Can you give an example with what is happening? How old are the kids involved?

My kids are both VERY quiet, so they would never be the people to say something mean back or draw attention to the situation. We have dealt with other people, not friends, saying obnoxious things or being annoying, and I just tell my kids to walk way/ignore it and that seems to work. It really depends on what exactly is being said, but my younger son has had success with saying stuff back, but like I said, it really just depends on the specific situation.

Have I dealt with obnoxious adults? Sure. And what I do is that I don't put myself in situations with them and if I can't avoid it, I ignore them. Works for me.
post #3 of 8
Well I think it depends somewhat on the age of your child and how emotionally mature they are. If your child is old enough and brave enough, I'd have them say "I don't want to play with you anymore if you're going to say mean things to me". Then either the other child will stop or your child can remove themselves. It's a good learning experience for the mean child to learn people won't be around you if you're mean and it's a good learning experience for your child to learn they don't have to put up with abusive behavior directed at them. Of course that probably won't work with very young children.

When my children were young I always told them they had three choices when people were mean or bothering them.
Ask them to stop
Remove yourself from the situation
Tell an adult

I would have never encouraged my child to be mean back so I'm glad you're not. That makes them no better than the mean child.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
I agree about the emotional maturity. I like these tips and feel I have not been that far off the mark on helping my child deal with this "friend". These are elementary school aged kids. 3 of them have been outside playing (I understand how 3 playing usually leaves one person odd man out) and one will continue to say words under their breath and say my child is saying the word(s). So the 2 kids keep telling my child "why are you saying that, stop talking like that" as the 1st continues to say words under their breath... this teasing game is going on and targeting my child. My child has asked them to stop-they don't. He has reached out to the adult and mentioned he wanted to go home, the adult "fixes" it and encourages my child to stay, but as soon as the adult leaves they start again. My child has come home very upset (also quiet and not one to fire back) and wondering why these "friends" are being mean and don't want to play with him.
post #5 of 8
I told M'ija that she didn't have to stay and play with anyone who was being mean to her, and that she had my permission to offer them the use of her chapsitck so their lips would be soft and smooth when they kissed her arse.
post #6 of 8
Well I so hear you because ds had some 'friends' like that. Role playing worked well for us, even though ds hated it. I would pretend to be the mean kid, and say things I knew the mean kid was saying. Ds is so nice and mild mannered that he wouldn't even be able to tell the kid when he came to the front door that he didn't want to go out and play with him. So I made it a game and pretended to be the mean kid, rang the doorbell and had ds 'practice' telling the mean kid that he was not going to be coming out.

Whatever you do though, my advice is to make it pretty generic. What I mean by this is, say when the mean kid came to the door, I wouldn't have ds say (even though it was true and I wanted to) "You are not a good friend and I don't want to come out and play with you". Instead I just had him practice, "I can't come out right now, we're leaving soon". It was not a lie because we were always going somewhere. Going into specifics, even if they are true, just to me doesn't seem like a good idea.

Oh and my heart goes out to you, because I have been in your shoes and it is gut wrenching and nerve wracking. Eventually your ds will 'discover' these are mean kids and he just won't want to play with them. But as your child IS a good friend to their friends, the concept of 'mean' friends cannot be taught. Eventually the light will dawn, and be prepared for that too, because that is Really hard. I had my speech all ready for when this came last summer. It was a hard few days but it does get better.

Personally I'd try to start lining up nice playdates for your ds now before summer starts. The summer is very long and lonely for a nice kid with mean neighbor kid 'friends'.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Stormy-GREAT advice. Thank you!
post #8 of 8
Glad I could help
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