My Daughter’s Bestie is My Worst Nightmare

I don’t like my daughter’s bestie. Her closest and best friend. The friend that my daughter spends all of her time with. 

 

The child is a nightmare! It took me a long to time to admit this unsavory fact to myself, and even to my husband. Why? The friend in question is only six years old. Six! What kind of person doesn’t like a six-year-old? Apparently, me.

Bestie is rude. She’s disrespectful. She can be downright mean. On more than one occasion Bestie has made my daughter cry. But for whatever reason, my daughter wants to spend all of her time with Bestie. She even seems to look up to her. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why!

Here’s a little sampling of what I’m talking about. At the end of the summer, we had a mini back-to-school party. My daughter was so excited to play dress up with her friends. My sister recently handed down ten year’s worth of dance costumes, which has provided hours of imaginative play for my girls. Bestie initially joined in the fun, but it all went south when she wanted a certain costume that another guest had chosen first. When Bestie didn’t get her way, suddenly the game was “dumb” and she refused to play.  So, the girls moved on to board games. Chutes and Ladders – classic and harmless, right? Nope. When Bestie wasn’t winning, she claimed: “this game is stupid, I’m quitting.”

Poof! Just like that, the party was ruined. The girls started arguing with one another, the tears started and the fun that could have been, wasn’t.

Hmm….what to do, what to do? The adult in me wanted to put the little spoilsport in her place. I’ve seen preschoolers share better, and have a better attitude towards winning and losing. Honestly! But I’m not her mother, and disciplining other children is always a grey area for me. I’m also not a fan of micromanaging playdates. Children need to learn to independently problem solve, which unfortunately includes navigating tricky social dynamics like Bestie’s poor behavior. But I don’t think my daughter needs to learn this lesson every time she’s with Bestie. The party situation is pretty much status quo as far as Bestie is concerned. She’s not happy unless she’s the best and brightest at everything!

A mean mom, I am not. But I do expect a certain level of behavior and respect from my children. Please and thank you should be said, toys should be picked up, boundaries, rules, and authority figures should be respected. This respect should extend to siblings and friends as well. Bestie’s behavior is not respectful. Moreover, I’m afraid that her poor attitude is going to start rubbing off on my daughter! Believe me, I understand that respect is a growing and learning process. My girls are far from perfect. But by the age of six, I expect at least the building blocks of good behavior to be in place. Unfortunately, Bestie is a few blocks shy of a solid foundation.

I did speak to Bestie’s mom after the party. I had reached my limit! I was kind and didn’t point fingers. I simply mentioned that the girls were getting a little competitive in their play and that I had considered stepping in when the word “dumb” was used by Bestie to describe their game. It didn’t go over so well. I’ll spare you the gory details, but basically, her daughter can do no wrong. Bestie openly denied everything – right in front of me! – and mom took her word over mine. According to Bestie’s mom, her daughter is apparently the best and brightest at everything.

Help! What would YOU do?

  1. Should I start stepping in, and micromanaging parties and playdates?
  2. Do I discipline Bestie if her poor behavior is instigating drama, fighting, and tears under my roof?
  3. Should Bestie be Bestie-No-More?
  4. Am I missing something?

For those of you who have been through a similar situation, share your mama wisdom with me. I’m not sure my patience will last much longer with Bestie’s nightmare behavior!

 

 

 

 

 

24 Responses to My Daughter’s Bestie is My Worst Nightmare

  1. Ms mom September 29, 2017 at 8:07 am #

    I’m waiting to see advice. I having a similar issue. I have cut back on play dates. But they still see each other often and the other girl just tries to run all the other girls 🙁 especially my daughter who gives in. Drives me nuts. I want my daughter to be kind, but want her to expect others to treat her with respect and kindness too (she is 8).

    • Courtney Eastman
      Courtney Eastman September 30, 2017 at 2:45 pm #

      Thank you for your response! It’s good to know we’re not alone! We had some great responses on our FB platform, and anticipate some more here as well. Stay tuned, and thanks for reading! 🙂

  2. Renee October 1, 2017 at 3:29 pm #

    Bestie would be bestie no more. I have put a stop to this exact friendship. I told my daughter that she could see this other girl at school and that was it. She wouldn’t be invited to anymore parties and no more play dates. Our bestie mom was also a nightmare and fortunately I wasn’t the only mom that realized this. The comment was made “wow, this really went smoothly” at the first play date that didn’t include this other child. It’s my opinion that if you think that your better than everyone else and you raise your child to think the same then I hope you enjoy seeing your little precious get passed over for some really fun times. Life is too short and childhood is too short to deal with all that drama!

    • Courtney Eastman
      Courtney Eastman October 2, 2017 at 3:31 pm #

      Thank you for reading, and for your reply! We love asking moms for advice and the broad responses that we get. We’re all in it together with figuring out and navigating the often tricky waters of motherhood. We will pass this on to the writer! Thank you for sharing your story with us!

    • Meg October 8, 2017 at 2:16 pm #

      Absolutely agree! When I meet a mother with adult children that are happy and successful O I always ask them for advice. What is the one thing you think you did right?? The most common answer I hear is “I had final say in who their friends were, and they knew it!”

      I tell my kids if you want to know the type of person you are look at your 5 closest friends, they collectively speak to what your character is. If you don’t like what you see, then you need to change and choose more wisely.

      • Courtney Eastman
        Courtney Eastman October 9, 2017 at 3:37 pm #

        Love all of this! We will pass it on to our writer. So true 🙂 Thank you for reading and for your advice and comments!

  3. Jen October 1, 2017 at 5:26 pm #

    I find this blog very interesting, probably because we dealt with something similar prior. I agree that kids have to resolve problems and learn how to deal with disappointment, but I also believe that if a pattern has been established of Bestie taking over than a parent needs to step in. I probably would have said something to Bestie during the costume fiasco similar to “I see that you are having a hard time with this. Let’s call your mom to come pick you up.” If she managed to change her behavior that would be great. If it continued, then a definite call would have been made to mom without any hesitation. In regards to Bestie’s Mom, it is easy to try and be diplomatic, but in the end it might not work. I probably would have just been honest and said that she was struggling to share and have a good attitide and it was effecting the others. If Bestie was lying to her Mom, I would have not hesitated to kindly say “It is not respectful to me or your mom when you are not being honest about what happened.” Again, this is just from what I’ve experienced in these situations. I think for me I just needed to start asking “Is this friendship a positive or negative relationship for my child. If it is negative, does my child have the ability to handle this based on their maturity level at this time.” I would also ask “Is this mom the type of person i want mentoring my child?” If not, is my child mature enough to not be influenced or hurt by their attitude or parenting? When my child went through this, we spoke with him about the situation and his kind heart felt he needed to keep the friendship going out of concern of hurting someone’s feelings. Once we told him it was ok that not all friendships worked out and it was fine to move on from this one, he has been a much happier child. I hope you can find a resolution that works for your child and family!

    • Courtney Eastman
      Courtney Eastman October 2, 2017 at 3:30 pm #

      Thank you for reading and for your reply and insight! We will pass it on to the writer. Lots of good info here!

    • Erica October 9, 2017 at 9:55 pm #

      I think how you explained this is amazing! And the best response being a role model, being polite and respectful yet showing you’re kid how to create boundaries and make decisions while being nice about it and protecting them when you can because they are still growing and learning. Will have to tuck this away for when my kids get older!

  4. Nicola October 1, 2017 at 10:57 pm #

    I feel awkward writing this but my son is the bestie. At 7 he has still not developed the skill to control his emotions, desires and impulses all the time. He knows the expectations when he is calm but his brain loses that logic when he is stressed. We are trying everything to help him and we never encouraged this behaviour but his maturity gap is really starting to stand out. I am terrified that he will also start to lose friends due to this, like all of you suggest he should. I do hope other parents never hesitate to put him in his place as he needs to accept the world will not change to suit him. However, I also hope they realise that he is just a little later to the maturity game and this is a behaviour that will get better, not worse. On behalf of frustrating besties, I apologise.

    • Courtney Eastman
      Courtney Eastman October 2, 2017 at 3:33 pm #

      My son has been the “Bestie” as well, and I thank you for sharing your story and your insight with us! I will pass this on to the writer. When our team asks a question about a motherhood dilemma, we truly want your advice, opinions and experiences. This is a great perspective! I’m with you…..boys can be so challenging when it comes to regulating emotions and behaviors! Best of luck to YOU in your motherhood journey!

    • Erica October 9, 2017 at 10:02 pm #

      Nicola also a great perspective and reminder that sometimes those kids (not nesscisarily yours) are suffering at home or don’t have great role models or like you said are struggling with maturity and in some other kids situation mental health issues like anxiety and such. Maybe as the parent of a kid who is the one having issues you can try and be open and honest with parents so they know you’re aware and doing your best. Also be sure to host play dates where you are around to help model and direct your child or offer to come help at parties so they see you are trying to support your child in learning how to have healthy relationships with other kids. If your child is struggling interventions are important and appropriate so you set strong foundations and teach them what to do if they are struggling to learn on their own.

  5. Robin October 2, 2017 at 4:18 pm #

    BTDT, friend was mean and controlling, but her Mother felt she could do no wrong. My daughter was older,so I made sure that my daughter started including other friends and spent time with others. Eventually mean girl lost her mind because she no longer had control and the friendship ended. Had some bullying going on for a while at school,but thankfully that ended as well.

    • Courtney Eastman
      Courtney Eastman October 3, 2017 at 6:18 am #

      Thank you for sharing this! It’s amazing that kids go through this stuff so young, but it’s so nice to connect with other parents who have been there. We’re so happy that your situation resolved itself with your daughter’s kind actions! Thank you for sharing, and for your advice. We will pass this on to the writer!

  6. Leslie October 2, 2017 at 7:30 pm #

    We have a similar experience with 2 friends and with both a different approach worked. With one we simply were able to explain (In a firm but calm way) what the rules arr and that if the problems couldn’t be resolved then playdate over. The other child decided she wanted to stay and join in the fun more than go home alone. In the second case that did not work so we cut out playdates and encouraged other friendships. We did talk to our daughter about still being nice to the bestie but explained that until the dynamic changes we are not having playdates. My daughter is impulsive and immature as far as sportsmanship, although generally polite. I find it helpful to remind her of my expectations for her behavior in front of the other moms and tell her they will call me to pick her up if she is not behaving so they don’t struggle with that Gray area as much. The other moms often reciprocate based on my action. It is a nice way to get on the same page! Good luck, parenting a kid is tough these days!

    • Courtney Eastman
      Courtney Eastman October 3, 2017 at 6:19 am #

      Thanks for sharing, and offering your advice! We love this part: “I find it helpful to remind her of my expectations for her behavior in front of the other moms and tell her they will call me to pick her up if she is not behaving so they don’t struggle with that Gray area as much.” This is great advice for SO many situations! We will pass this on to the writer, and truly appreciate your input and the read! 🙂

  7. Em October 2, 2017 at 8:05 pm #

    I have a daughter who struggles with her emotions and whines sometimes or likes to attract attention and is frustrated when things don’t go her way, slowly she is maturing. I get so embarrassed by her behavior sometimes. It mainly escalates when we are on vacation with other cousins or when its more than three kids. Realizing this happens in those scenarios, I am trying to put systems in place to help things go more smoothly or to avoid emotional overloads. I always struggle when there is three girls playing together, it does not seem to go well. My daughter does way better, one on one. I have another child, who is easy going, but she will pick up on the behavior of other children and implement it quickly and it drives me crazy! I call out the behavior, telling her I miss her and I don’t want her to copy anyone else. My neighbors granddaughter often plays at my house, she has been through challenging situations in her home life. And as a result does not always have behavior I would want my children around. The difference is, I try to step in as a parent figure and mentor and guide her. I love her and am patient with her, if I don’t like what I am hearing in their pretend play, I tell them to stop and find a different activity. I will redirect. Often, when other children don’t understand why my daughter is struggling, I explain what sensory processing disorder is and how it impacts my daughter and that we are working on controlling our emotions. It is challenging on both sides. Situations are not always what they first appear to be, I would pray about what is best for your child and establish a firm plan for when her friend acts up.

    • Courtney Eastman
      Courtney Eastman October 3, 2017 at 6:24 am #

      Thank you for sharing this with GCMB, and with our readers! You are absolutely right: situations are not always what they first appear to be. This is so important to remember in a variety of parenting situations, especially as our kids grow and welcome more people and friends into their little worlds. I, too, have a child that “struggles with … emotions and whines”, and it’s HARD. It’s caused issues with friendships and social interactions. We will pass this on to the writer, and thank you again for sharing this perspective and advice! We’re all in this together, and we truly value input from moms and parents who have “been there” or have experienced a similar situation on either side. It helps us all grow and learn in our parenting, and we all stand to benefit from that!

  8. Hali October 4, 2017 at 10:09 pm #

    I have been the daughter in this situation and as a result, I handle it differently now as a parent. My mom was in the “let them figure it out” camp. We did not figure it out. Eventually the whole situation grew into a true bullying situation and all us girls really felt like we were in way too deep to get out. We put up with her vicious comments and behaviors all through elementary, junior high and high school. So, I fall into the “no play dates” camp. We VERY OFTEN talk about true friends, expectations for behaviors of my own kids and also for their friends and how friendships work. It’s AMAZING how these conversations have developed in the last couple years. Yes, my oldest is only in kinder, so we’ve been talking about this for quite a while. In the beginning we also used to do a lot of role playing to help them figure out what to do in certain situations in MDO (again, no play dates with these kids outside of school). Now I can usually ask them for ideas on what they can say and they can come up with suggestions and ideas. We do talk about other kids maybe having a tough time due to “health” issues (easiest for my kids to grasp that term) & ive had a couple of very proud mom moments this year with my daughter in kinder. Her kindness and empathy astound me & even I can learn from her confidence in telling and SHOWING classmates how to treat friends. I feel like we’ve got a good base so far. I know it’s only going to get tougher as the years go on navigating these friendships. I feel like girls are especially vicious, and having had a mean girl “friend” as I did growing up, I’m very anxious about this and just hope I’m giving her the skills to say “this doesn’t feel like friendship. I’m out.”

    • Courtney Eastman
      Courtney Eastman October 6, 2017 at 10:48 am #

      Thank you for sharing! We love hearing all different perspectives and words of wisdom, and yours are certainly valuable! Friendship and peer relationships are SO hard. We all remember the difficulties when we were kids: I know I do! We will pass your words on to our author, and thank you for weighing in on this important topic and for this mom experiencing the “Bestie” situation!

  9. Tonya October 5, 2017 at 11:00 am #

    Our rule for friends, is we have house rules and everyone at our house has to abide by our rules. And I have grounded kids from the fun of coming to play when they couldn’t follow our house rules. Clear expectations of behavior is always the best rule. I wouldn’t micro manage but I would definitely stay within ear shot you have the right as a Mom to decide which influences your kids are around. The worst that could happened is when your daughter mimics the behaviour and treats someone else poorly. Lots of positive inforcement and comments like “this is how you are expected to act here”. Also you can choose not to foster the relationship and let your daughter be exposed to new friends and she might just grow out of the relationship. I hope this helps from a Mom of 2 girls and a boy and countless neighborhood kids.

    • Courtney Eastman
      Courtney Eastman October 6, 2017 at 10:52 am #

      Thank you for your insight! We love advice from moms who have been through it! I love the “house rules” concept, and staying within ear shot instead of micromanaging. We will pass this on to our writer, and I’m sure it will be most helpful in her situation with “Bestie”!

  10. Cathy October 10, 2017 at 8:40 pm #

    This could have been written about my oldest daughter’s bestie from kindergarten. They are now 3rd grade and while friends they are not nearly as close. My daughter sort of had enough of bestie having to be the best, smartest, first, fastest etc. Bestie came to my daughter’s birthday party. All the kids were swimming and having fun but when bestie was done with swimming she went and changed and sat amd sulked and asked about 10 times when was pizza and cake. It became all about her. I simply told my daughter to be polite, play with all of her friends and focus on being her best self. Be a kind and good friend. Don’t worry about what bestie says and does worry about you. My daughter also has a neuromuscular condition so will never be the fastest so she has learned to let a lot go and focus on the things she loves and being with kids that make her happy.

    • Courtney Eastman
      Courtney Eastman October 16, 2017 at 9:58 pm #

      Thank you for sharing this! We will pass this on to our writer. “Be a kind and good friend”: love this!