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What to Do When You Hate Your Friend's Kids?

good friends

Good Friends...and Their Kids

Kids can be mischievous and annoying. They can talk back and gang up.

It’s hard enough when they’re your kids, but what to do when they’re your friends kids — and you can’t stand them?

Last week, a desperate mom wrote in for advice to Carolyn Hax’s column in The Washington Post complaining that she can’t stand her dear friend’s bratty daughters — or her friend’s way of dealing with them.

“She spoils her kids rotten and as such has created a couple of monsters,” wrote the woman. The real problem is that her daughter can’t bear their behavior either. Should she decline playdates with her friend and her kids or should she say something about the kids’ behavior?

According to Hax, she shouldn’t do either — unless, of course, her own daughter isn’t safe around her friend’s kids, in which case she should end all contact. But as long as the kids are just garden-variety bratty, Hax advises the mom to find shared interests and go on an outing rather than let the kids run wild at home. If supervised activities don’t work and she truly values the friendship, the mom should make time for her friend outside of playdates.

Hax also points out that before this woman knows it, her kids will be busy with their own friends and won’t be tagging along on their mom’s social visits. “Choosing to put the friendship at risk seems shortsighted when time is leaning your way,” writes Hax.

Babble’s own Madeline Holler wrote an excellent personal essay on the same topic a few years ago. It’s hard enough dealing with a difficult child when it’s your own, but when it’s someone else’s, patience wears even thinner.

Has this ever happened to you? How did you manage the situation without endangering the friendship?

photo: iStockphoto.com

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