Social quandary: My daughter’s playmate (my friend’s child) is a brat

How does she tell her friend that she doesn’t want their kids playing with each other anymore.

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Have you found yourself in an awkward situation? Has someone irked you and you’re not sure how best to proceed? If so, you’re not alone! Every week, we feature a reader-submitted quandary so that you can weigh in with your best advice. What would you do in their situation? If you’d like to submit your own quandary, click here.

My seven-year-old daughter, Jane*, is best friends with my good friend’s daughter, Lila. For years, it seemed like the perfect situation. We got to hang out while the girls would play. Lately, however, Lila has been acting out. She’s become bossy, demanding, rude and an attention seeker. It could be just a phase, but there are two reasons why I’m not sure if I should wait it out: Firstly, I don’t want Jane picking up Lila’s bad habits. Secondly, I don’t think Jane enjoys Lila’s company as much anymore. The situation puts me in an awkward place. I can’t tell my friend that her kid’s a brat – no mother wants to be told how to parent her child. Obviously, I want to continue hanging out with my friend, but I don’t want our kids playing together anymore. Also, I’m not sure if I should intervene at all – the girls are best friends, and maybe I should just let things be. What should I do?

*names have been changed

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4 comments on “Social quandary: My daughter’s playmate (my friend’s child) is a brat

  1. If you truly feel the child is not a suitable friend for your child, then you will have to move on if you can’t say anything to the other parents.

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  2. This is a good opportunity to show your daughter how to stand up for herself by you correcting bad behaviour. When Lila is rude or bossy then interrupt their play and tell her that’s rude or bossy and that you don’t play that way in your house. Then give her an example of how to say it nicely. Lila will never change if no one shows her a more acceptable way of behaving. Later, you can talk about it with Jane and explain that she, too can correct Lila, just like Mommy did. It’s a lesson in how we can stand up to a bully that will generate confidence and self esteem that will last a lifetime.

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  3. I have confronted this issue repeatedly, having raised three kids and all of them having had similar friends. I have never had to cut those children off, as my kids all knew that the bahaviour they were seeing would not fly at home. After a sleepover recently, my youngest exclaimed “You would not believe how X talks to his mother! I told him it’s not cool to do that!”. In the end, the lessons they learn and that you model for them will be the ones they learn best from. If you let it go, I suspect that your child will tire of Lila’s drama all on her own. Letting her make the decision and draw hetr own lines is very empowering, and shows that you trust her judgement. You may simply wish to have a discussion after a playdate, where you ask your daughter “What do you think of Lila’s behaviour today?” and hear her feelings and reactions. I suspect you will be impressed by he insight and maturity.

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  4. I agree.I have the same problem with my son and his good friend at school, but I am relying on his judgement.He also tells me the type of things this friend does and he know it would never fly at home and that it is unacceptable. Problem is my son seems to be attracted to these type of kids. I am waiting for him to realize that he needs new friends…before he gets burned!

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