Need Advice...not SF related

lovehadleyAugust 31, 2010

Okay, my DD is 8 years old and in third grade.

She has been at her school for four years now and has always thrived. She does really well academically and socially, she is great, too. The only *issue* that has ever come up at conferences and such is that she a) talks out of turn sometimes, and occasionally needs reminders to raise her hand, etc. But NOTHING out of the ordinary and i's always said by her teachers with a smile.

So she has this little friend and the two of them are thick as thieves, best friends, whatever. Last year, though, towards the middle of the year, DD was coming home on a daily basis complaining that this little girl--I'll call her Ava--was talking to her during work time or in the halls and then DD would get in trouble.

She would "get her card pulled" and this meant a warning the first time, 5 mins of recess lost the second.

I asked why Ava wasn't getting in trouble and DD said that the teacher always caught my DD b/c she had to turn around to respond to Ava.(Ava's desk was behind my DD's.)

Now, I will say--Ava is VERY similar to my DD in personality: outgoing, independant, friendly, social, smart, etc.

They are so similar that they get along great most of the time but clash from time to time, as well.

Time and time, DD would come home in tears, saying Ava was whispering to her, asking to copy off her work, etc. I kept telling DD to ignore, ignore, but the problem persisted for a couple weeks and DD was getting more and more upset.

I talked to Ava's mom (VERY NICELY, at a Brownies meeting) and we BOTH agreed BOTH girls are chatty cathys and that sitting next to each other was problematic all the way around.

I went to the teacher and asked that the girls be moved seat-wise.

That was the end of the issue altogether and DD's behavior went right back to normal.

Okay, so I---as DD's mom---kind of took DD's word for it that Ava was the "instigator" but I ALSO know that DD was culpable, as well. I am SURE DD talked equally as much, etc. The ONE thing that got me was Ava asking to copy off DD's work--DD would not do that, and it did bother me that this little girl was putting her in that position.

But whatever.

Not a big deal.

So we had a playdate or two with this girl over the summer and everything seemed fine.

Well, DD comes home today all upset. She said she asked Ava if she could come over sometime and have a sleepover, and Ava said no, her mom said my DD is a bad role model.

Ava also said she had a birthday party over the summer and did not invite DD because her mom wouldn't let her.

I am:

A.) having a hard time believing the latter, and am wondering if it's just third grade girls being third grade girls. This class is VERY small, only 14 kids--7 girls--and I just do NOT see Ava having a party and excluding anyone.

B.) thinking the mom may have said something about the bad role model thing last year when the talking issue was going on?

C.) I'm irritated that this mom---who I will also say I know well enough to SAY something to--would use the phrase "bad role model" in regards to a kid.

I am not sure if I should let it blow over? Say something politely to the mom, like, oh, FYI, this is what was said, I am sure you didn't say this but....

Or what?

I know I cannot help DD avoid hurt feelings and such but this makes me sad. And it makes me sad, too, if the mom would actually SAY something like that about my DD.

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I really don't know what i would do...her mom possibly is very controlling, DD had a friend whose mother was mean to DD and to her own daughter. I once had a huge argument with her mother because she called DD questioning her about some nonsense and made her cry. DD was maybe 12 or so.

The way i am, I would probably call and ask nicely what is going on. I would be very upset too. maybe it is a bad idea to call, but I probably would.

Your DD is not troubled. We used to have neighbor kids who were troubled and bad role models and I did tell DD not to be friends with them (these cousins ended up in juvenile eventually). But your DD is just a sweet little girl!!!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 9:20PM
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UGH, I am more irritated now.

I am *friends* on facebook with this mother and I snooped on her page--and in late July, when her DD's birthday is, two other moms from the class RSVPd on her page! Said they were sorry their kiddos couldn't make the the party.

So my DD was NOT invited to this party.

Now I do feel as though I should email or call and politely say what DD has said, and kind of see where the conversation goes.

I mean, if this woman seriously has THAT big of an issue with DD--so much so that she would exclude her from a party AND tell her DD that she did so--I feel like it needs to be discussed. Like I said, super small school, small class, only one class per grade, and four years left at the school.

I am really irritated by this. I just cannot imagine not inviting someone to DD's party and TELLING DD that it was because they were a bad role model.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 9:34PM
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For this mother to go to such lengths to not include your DD, perhaps you should re-evaluate the issues from last year. Your DD is telling you one thing, "Ava" is probably telling her mother another. Who's telling the truth?? You may believe your daughter would not cheat off someone's paper, however, maybe Ava's mom doesn't believe Ava would do something like that either...

In the alternative, do you really want your DD spending time at this woman's house who intentionally not included your daughter without any follow-up or discussion with you about the problems that had occurred?

However, if I was Ava's mom and someone called me and said they were upset because I didn't invite their child to my DD's party, I would be irritated that this other mother thought she could control who I could or couldn't invite to my own home, etc...

"Darned if you do and darned if you don't" sums it up.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 10:00PM
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I agree with lonepiper in regards to not mentioning birthday party, no one is obligated to invite anyone. But i would ask about "bad role model" comment.

I wonder where is this coming from? Silly question...but does this mother know BM?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 10:09PM
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Lonepiper, no doubt this woman heard a different side of the story than I did. I expect that each girl was exaggerating/fabricating a bit. (I don't think Ava's mom ever heard about the copying/asking for answers part; my DD told me that but I never mentioned that to Ava's mom.)

And I definitely think the girls are a bad combo in an academic setting--the temptation to talk to one another is too great.

If I said anything to the mom, I wouldn't mention the party at all. I would bring up the DD heard that the mom said she was a bad role model. IMO, that is not an appropriate thing to say---about an EIGHT YEAR OLD--to your child. I would not dream of speaking about another child to DD that way, largely because I think she would repeat it.

It would be one thing if this mom said that to ANOTHER mom but to say it to her child when she has got to know she is going to repeat it, is quite another. The commment really hurt my daughter's feelings! The problem is now my daughter feels like her friend's mom does not like her. And that just shouldn't be happening, I don't think, especially not at the third grade level.

I don't know.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 10:13PM
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Parent--haha. No, she doesn't know BM.

I will say, this woman is somewhat...cold is the best word I can think of. She is just kind of...pissy. I try extra hard to be friendly with her and I just always kind of feel like I am forcing the conversation, or that she is irritable. It's hard to explain.

We've taken our girls on outings together a couple times and I am just so shocked at this comment and what is behind it.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 10:16PM
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Mmmm, I think saying something might just make things more uncomfortable for both girls, and possibly cause a little squabble to escalate. I'd encourage DD to develop friendships with the other little girls in the class (not to exclude this gal) but to focus on being friends with all her classmates and expanding her horizons a bit.

Tough situation but probably no good will come from confronting other mom. Also your DD is going to have to deal with situations like this throughout her life as everyone does. I suggest gentle guidance here.

Hugs xoxo

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 10:36PM
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" I think saying something might just make things more uncomfortable for both girls, and possibly cause a little squabble to escalate."

This is a good point; I do NOT want to get in the middle of something between the girls, a playground tiff or what have you.

And if the mom did say something about my DD to HER DD, then I wonder what else might she say if I "confront" her? I worry she would say worse things.

I am so torn. Part of me thinks I should kindly bring it up, and see what the other mom says--other part thinks I should let it blow over.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 10:41PM
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Trust me let it blow over. DD is going run into difficult people throughout her life and this is great opportunity to teach her
how to let stuff roll of her back like a little duckie. You know how mean girls are in high school.

Simply guide here by the golden rule and the rest will sort itself out. It is so difficult to let our children learn that not everyone plays nice or fair without going into Mommy Bear mode. But she's going to have to deal with these types of people throughout life, nows the time to show her the healthy way to do it.

What the other mom says or thinks is irrelevant as long as DD is respectful and polite to her. What MOMMY thinks is what matters.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 7:30AM
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I'd tread very lightly. While her friend's mom may have used the phrase "bad role model", that doesn't mean that she intended for her daughter to hear it, or for that matter that it was even in reference to your daughter. SS has hearing like a bat and a tendency to eavesdrop, so we have to be very careful because we've had similar issues (in his eight year old mind, the world tends to revolve around him, of course - so any comment made about a person must be about a person he knows. It's very dangerous to discuss literary characters or movie plots if he's in half-hearing!)

There could have been any number of reasons why DD was excluded from the party; Ava's mom may even have felt that if your DD was there Ava would neglect her other guests to chat away and was trying to prevent that. Who knows what people think?

I also agree about not pushing a friendship where for any reason, Ava's mom may be hesitant. If she is so inclined to believe Ava without question, it is probably best (although regrettable) that DD not spend too much time with Ava anyway. If there is some other issue well then, so be it. I agree with catlettuce; this kind of thing is going to happen in life.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 7:57AM
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Thanks ladies. After sleeping on it, and reading some of your thoughts, I think I will *let it go* for now. If more comes up, then I will say something to the mom.

The party issue---oh my, I would NEVER bring that up--but that is bothering ME big time. See, in my DD's class, everyone has parties for the WHOLE class, since it's such a small group. The only time that kids don't is if they have a girls-only or boys-only party.

But two of the moms I saw RSVPing on the page were a mom of either sex---so this party obviously wasn't just a handful of girls.

UGH. I just cannot believe she would really exclude DD as the only one. Wow. If that's really true...just wow. When I was growing up, for THAT reason, my mom made me either a) invite the whole class or b) just the girls. I never pick and chose and that is something I've carried over to my own kids.

And like I said, since there are only 14 in DD's class, everyone else seems to do the same--every party DD's been to has been the whole class, save for a few girls-only parties.

I'm totally just VENTING here, too--I would never mention the party to the mom, no matter how badly it irritates me just b/c it's not *my place.*

The comment...I will let go for now and see if anything more/further is said.

It just saddens me because my DD is a sweet, kind-hearted, GOOD girl, and this is the first
*encounter* I've had with anyone who may think otherwise. Of course, she is not perfect, but she is really a great kid--teachers/other parents/friends of mine etc. ALWAYS comment on how kind and outgoing and friendly she is. I never thought I would hear the words "bad role model" used about her, especially in freaking third grade!

It's more MY mommy feelings that are hurt at this point.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 9:17AM
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((((hugs for your mommy feelings))))

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 11:04AM
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Seems like you got a lot of good advice. A similar thing happened to DS at the end of the year last year. I gave DS the advice that "it's his birthday party and you don't know what the reasons were he didn't invite you. You didn't invite him to yours because I gave you a limit, so maybe it's something like that."

I try to give DS advice on how to deal with others because I didn't have that growing up.

I wonder if maybe you gave advice to DD on how to react to this girl. Maybe like "well, you and I know you aren't a bad role model, and that's all that matters. As long as you are doing the things you know are right, you don't have to be bothered when people say things like that."

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 11:09AM
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Love, I wonder if the original conversation with Ava's mother about moving your DD to a different seat didn't go as well as you thought, or as she let on? Some people are extremely defensive when it comes to their kids, and can even be somewhat vengeful if they perceive that anyone would dare critcize their darlings in any way. (Ironically, in my experience, those same parents are often hypercritical of their own kids--stemming from the same self-esteem problem.) It could be she is also one of those people who let things fester, and rather than getting over any perceived criticism, she built it up in her head?

I wonder if this mom didn't pull that classic defensiveness trick of reversing the criticism? Maybe she voiced it to Ava, or maybe Ava overheard, that Mom turned the same perceived complaint back on your DD?

I agree with the other posters about treating it lightly for now--maybe say "Well that's silly, DD, you are a great role model. Ava must have misunderstood her mom. Maybe her mom remembers that you two used to get each other in trouble talking in class" or the like.

But then, I would definitely keep my ears open and keep an eye on the friendship; if by any chance Ava's mom is indeed one of those psycho moms who will trash another kid, that would be the time to step in!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 2:25PM
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You know, I think I'd want to have a face to face conversation with the other mom. Note "conversation", not "confrontation" -- because it should absolutely not be confrontational.

Maybe express your concern because your 'Mommy sense' tells you there's a misunderstanding, and the girls used to be such good friends... Perhaps explain that you asked that the girls be separated last year NOT because you didn't like Ava or thought she was a bad influence, but because of the talking in class issue, and that you hope your actions weren't misconstrued.

Basically, I'd apologize for anything you did that may have offended her (even though that's probably not it) and sniff around for whatever her real reasons are. If you go is with 'concern' and not confrontation -- asking for her help, really -- it'll be hard for her to refuse without seeming nasty.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 2:40PM
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I would talk to teacher and suggest they seperate the girls, and help my DD make other friends. But thats me.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 10:08PM
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There are * 7 * girls in that class --
Shouldn't *every* effort be made to try to mend fences and foster friendships?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 2:01PM
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