Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Parenting 101

A good friend who I had not talked to in a long time called the house tonight. We were catching up on careers, college, children and parents when she brought up the following subject. She said that her daughter has told her that she really doesn't like hanging out with my friend's kids. She says that they just don't have anything in common and that she doesn't feel like she should have to be friends with, and spend all of her time with, her Mom's friend's kids. I should point out, that she and I don't force our kids to hang out.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation like this? How would you or do you react? Do you basically not listen to what your own child is saying, all for the sake of spending time with your own friend? Or do you listen to your child and perhaps try to remodel the friendship, where you can be friends with this person, but the children don't really have to interact each time you are together?

For me, I have to do what's in the best interest of my own child. I told her that I have several friends who have children around The Doodlebug's age but that we don't force our children to be friends and hang out constantly. I like it if they are friends, but it's not mandatory.

Does this even make sense? LOL Anyway, thoughts on friendships and children... I'm eager to hear what you have to say.


a Tonggu Momma said...

I personally feel that it depends on the age of the child. There is a huge difference in friendship expectations for a three-year-old versus an eight-year-old versus a sixteen-year-old. As my child grows older, I suspect some of my friendships will have to change.

Then again, my daughter is only four, so we haven't had many of these conversations with her... not yet, at least. Easier said than done, I am sure.

Scrappy Girl said...

I don't really have that problem right now. Unfortunately the biggest issue right now for us is that Manga Dork can not stand my niece. It is really hard because I totally understand why she has these feelings. My niece is not an easy child to get along with. Because she is family though Manga Dork has to spend a little time with her at family functions.

The Source said...

Umm..our problem isn't with friends, it's with cousins. My children all have cousins very close in age (except Darling Daughter) and with whom they have absolutely nothing in common. They share no interests and they share none of the same manners, courtesy, discipline, etc. So while MIL pushes for them all to be "close" they cannot stand to go near them. Can't pick your family, huh?

Extraordinary Ordinary Life said...

Well, my children are pretty small (both under 3) and we haven't quite run into this yet. But I think that would be very hard because you probably want to get together as families as well. I know I would. I would say that the kids do not have to be friends, but can be polite and talk to one another whenever the moms get together.