twitter facebook stumble upon rss

Bad Brother, Good Sister

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

Guest blogger Kendra: I need some advice.

Bad brother good sister

I have a 7-year-old son and a 9-year-old daughter, and they are friends with another set of siblings -- a boy and a girl who are in their same classes in school. My daughter's friend, Molly, is darling. She is kind, creative and smart -- the type of child I want hanging out with my kid. Her brother, Max, however, is a little creep. I cannot stand this boy: He is sneaky, manipulative and a bad influence on my son. I have always said to my kids, "Mommy has to like your friends, or you can't be friends with them" -- and I have had no trouble with this rule in the past. It's always been easy to enforce ... until now. Do you see my dilemma? How can I get rid of Max without damaging my daughter's friendship with Molly? Or without their mother getting offended and making Molly stay away from us?

This hasn't been slow in coming: I've witnessed little things about Max's character while he has been at our home, and there have been a few incidents at school as well. Last week, Max urged my son to steal money from my purse to buy something for the both of them at the after-school sale the next day. Of course my kid told me about it, and I called Max's mom to let her know. Did she thank me and tell me she'd take care of it? Nope. She said, "That doesn't sound like something he'd do." Yeah, go on living in denial, lady.

Had that been the first time something like this happened, I might have agreed with her. But then there was the time Max urged my son to steal a chocolate milk for him (their teacher overheard it and told me about it) and the time that Max was overheard (by another mother, a friend of mine) at the book fair telling my son he couldn't buy a certain book, because if he did, he wouldn't be able to afford books for both of them. WTF?! That, combined with all the other manipulative, Eddie Haskell-ish things that Max does, makes me know he's not someone I want in my son's life. I have a sinking feeling about this boy; the longer he's around, the worse it's going to be. He's only going to get worse in middle and high school, too.

I have talked frankly with my son about Max and told him that he needs to stay away from him and pursue friendships with other kids as much as possible. He said, "Yeah, Mom, right. He follows me everywhere. And he doesn't like me to be friends with Danny or Nico." OMG, this gets my blood BOILING.

It's got to stop! But honestly, if a mother in my position came to me and explained that she didn't want one of my children around her kid, but that the other one was OK -- I don't know -- I might just make a clean cut and separate my whole family from hers. It would be too weird.

I need some advice here. How do I get rid of Max without alienating his sweet sister, Molly -- or pissing off their mother?! Help!

next: Girl on Grill Action
11 comments so far | Post a comment now
ambur May 31, 2010, 8:47 AM

Honestly if I were in ur shoes, I would choose the lesser of two evils. If it pushes molly away I know it’s gonna be hard on ur daughter which makes it hard for a mother but she’s still young and capable of making other friends just as great if not greater. And as they get older they may drift apart anyway. Very rarely do ppl remain friends with the same ppl from grade school all throughout their life….but that’s just my perspective.

Peggy Brister May 31, 2010, 9:16 AM

I would have to just make a clean break with the boy and if that meant my daughter losing her friend too, then so be it. I had the same type of situation with my stepson. I call him demon seed b/c he is so mean and manipulative and treats my son like his little servant and gets him in trouble every single time he is around. He has continually stole from us and my kids. SO I told my husband from now on I will NOT have my kids at this house when your son is here. And that’s the way it is now. We have to be proactive about who our kids hang around with and I won’t tolerate a bad influence. I would tell the little kids mom of ALL the incidents combined, and tell her it just adds up to too much. If you can’t bring yourself to tell her over the phone then email it to her, whatever it takes. Some ppl will never see the bad in thier own kids. I have a friend who is that way and I don’t take my kids around her son. She asks us over all the time and I always make up excuses. DO what you gotta do.

Madonna May 31, 2010, 9:23 AM

I know that you really like Maxes sister but you can’t possibly get rid of one without the other ,what you can do is set up play dates that are geared towards girls,say things like,hey I’d like to have a girls day with Molly and just a girl thing and tell her that your son has other plans when she asks if Max can come too,otherwise you will just have to break off the whole relationship ,where that would be hard on your daughter she will make new friends, Molly and her will still be friends in school just don’t invite them over anymore,good luck

JD in Van May 31, 2010, 9:42 AM

As you said, this behavior only gets worse unless it’s nipped in the butt at a very young age. I would tell my son he’s not allowed to spend time with this boy and outline why in very clear terms so that your boy understands what sort of unacceptable behavior he needs to avoid. And what can’t be tolerated.

Also, with the mother’s denial, it is possible that there’s some issues at home or has been in the past that are precipitating such behavior. Infact I would suspect, seeing such manipulation and theft from a 7 year old that this is the case. Baring in mind that even if the possibility is remote that there is some sort of abuse/neglect or past trauma that could have created this problem in the first place, it may be wise of you to speak to the boy’s teachers and ask the school to look into his situation and have the school counciller speak to him.

Lisa R. May 31, 2010, 10:15 AM

I think the other posters here are right. Your daughter will probably lose Molly’s friendship, and that’s a shame, but you need to weigh your daughter’s (short-lived) disappointment with the long-term effects of allowing Max to be around your son. As for offending the mother, I wouldn’t even worry about that. You told her about an incident that happened between your boys & involved your son directly, and she blew you off. Her attitude seems to be “not my son,” which means there is nothing you can say or do to handle this situation. She’ll be offended & blame you (or your kid) either way, so make the break. This is a tough situation for any mother because we all want to like our kids’ friends & hope they make good choices. But it sounds like you’ve made your position clear with your “I have to like your friends” rule, so your kids shouldn’t be surprised. You have to cut this family loose.

Traci May 31, 2010, 10:39 AM

No one’s concerned about Max in this situation? I agree that we have to first protect our own children, but you have an opportunity to be a guiding light to this child and teach him as best you can, what he’s obviously not getting at home. Supervised play dates where you can manage his behavior around your son and show him how he’s supposed to behave would be a wonderful example for this boy.

friend May 31, 2010, 3:43 PM

i agree with traci. there are going to be other maxes in your son’s life. how are you going to keep all of them away? i think what you should do is first build up a strong character in your own son so that he is not easily manipulated by others. then allow your son to positively influence max. no mother wishes to hear that their own kid is bad. and severing relationships still leaves your son vulnerable to similar influences in the course of their life. as they get older, they learn to be more sly and cunning. so it’s a good thing this is caught early when they still listen to you so something can be done about it. even if he doesn’t learn to be a manipulator, at least make him strong enough to see through it and NOT be manipulated.

Black Iris May 31, 2010, 4:34 PM

1. You can’t get rid of one kid without upsetting his mom and sister.
2. If your son sees this boy at school anyway, why not have him over to play? At least then you’re there to influence things.
3. Does you son like the boy?
4. The boy’s behavior is pretty bad for his age. On the other hand, he really is young. He shouldn’t be written off as a bad kid.
5. The sister may not be as sweet as you think.

tennmom May 31, 2010, 5:57 PM

If the poster speaks with the other parent(s) surely there is a way to allow the girls to remain friends. It is possible that the boys can, too, if both sets of parents work together.
I have to keep a close eye on one of my 12 year old daughter’s friends. She is a great kid, I adore her, but she will say things I don’t care for my daughters to hear. Her mother tends to stay out all night partying, leaving her mother to care for her 4 children and my daughter, so I offer to host sleepovers. My daughter understands. My younger (10 year old) daughter understands, too. She is friends with my older daughter’s younger sister.

Flashpler011 February 7, 2011, 6:18 PM

Its not the case that reader must be completely agreed with author’s views about article. So this is what happened with me, anyways its a good effort, I appreciate it. Thanks
closet doors

Utah Paul February 25, 2011, 8:42 AM

Moreover the image of the tasty chicken above looks delicious and it reminds me of how much I like to grill chicken and other meats in the backyard with the george foreman grill that is one of the best grilling machines in my opinion. Anyhow, I wanted to add that the legs really are nice and I would love to eat them.
locksmith houston

Back to top >>