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 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?
- Should I start stepping in, and micromanaging parties and playdates?
- Do I discipline Bestie if her poor behavior is instigating drama, fighting, and tears under my roof?
- Should Bestie be Bestie-No-More?
- 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!