A little advice?

by Lo-ru-hamah 7 Replies latest jw friends

  • Lo-ru-hamah

    I would like some advice from any that are willing to offer it.

    We have a neighbor that we have been developing a friendship with her and her husband. My son likes to play with her boys of the same age as well. She has four kids and they run all over her. They seem to be pretty nice kids on the whole but they cry a lot and throw temper tantrums and are very unappreciative (what kid isn't). Anyway, she has complained a bit about the problems to me. The other night her and I took the kids to the movies and all three of her kids threw some kind of fit at least once. This isn't the first time I have seen them act that way. Well, this evening she was speaking to me about it and I might have overstepped my bounds, I told her that her kids abused her and ran all over her and that I felt really sorry for her. I told her that I thought that she was a great parent and that the kids were great kids but that they seemed to really treat her bad. Also, told her that my mom had four kids and when I see the way her kids treat her it makes me want to call my mom and apologize.

    Well, now I feel like I said too much and wish that I could just listen and not offer advice. It isn't like I have a ton of experience, we have one five year old. Do you think that I said too much and that I could have offended her? What should I say in the future that would be kind and friendly but not overstepping boundaries?

    Any advise would be welcome. Friends are hard to come by, don't really want to loose the few I have by my stupid mouth.


  • Hope4Others

    See how see reacts to you tomorrow, and if you feel a little coldness then perhaps "I'm sorry I over stepped my boundaries"

    would be in good order. I do agree with how you feel, but you probably remember how jw's reacted when we were frank with them.

    Most people are protective with their children, some things are better off not said. Its something she & her husband have to deal with,

    and some kids get better with age.



  • mind my own
    mind my own

    I think part of being a good friend is being able to tell your friends what you really think.

    I dont' think you overstepped your bounds at all. You are only trying to help her. I guess it does depend on your tone with her and her perception etc. You have to act normal the next time you see her and if she is acting a little off, just act like nothing is wrong and try to be extra sweet in order to show her you weren't trying to be mean, hurtful, inappropriate etc. Chances are she knows you are right anyhow, she just doesn't know how to fix her problem.


  • sass_my_frass

    Don't worry about it. She was asking for advice; you gave yours. Sounds like it was probably accurate. You probably helped her, even if she didn't like it. We can't get everybody to love us.

  • hotchocolate

    I think if I had four young kids and a person with only one said that to me, I'd be annoyed.

    Four kids are hard to control at the best of times. Giving advice can work if done right, but criticism of a busy mum is not a good idea. I would have been more inclined to just offer suggestions of what works for you.

    I would apologise. I'd tell her you realise that four is a whole different level to just one, you realise it's a huge job, and tell her what you like about her mothering skills. :-)

    If you're not sure if you offended someone, I think the best thing is always to apologise in case. :-)

  • BabaYaga

    A dear friend of mine has two children, and they are WONDERFUL, lovely, delightful, smart and talented.

    Unfortunately, when we were all together, my friend would let them walk all over her. I couldn't take it, it drove me crazy and made me uncomfortable enough not to want to be around them, even though I loved and appreciated each one of them.

    I thought and thought about what I should do, because if I did not say something, I would not be able to enjoy their company at all. The way I dealt with it? I started to firmly but lovingly tell the kids not to speak to their mother like that. I assumed the role of the "parent" in the room who would not let that sort of disrespect continue.

    We are all still friends, and very much so. The children are much, much more respectful of her... and the mom stands up for herself now, too. It was just a matter of enabling and over-compensation for some very, very difficult times... and apparently just a stage that everyone had to get through.

    Kids want boundaries. Love first... boundaries second. Enabling a child to be cruel and disrespectful doesn't do anyone any good... and can seriously be detrimental to their future relationships.

  • chickpea

    hmmmm.... my first thought is " what is she feeding the kids?"

    food allergies can manifest as behaviour problems............... sugar and high fructose corn syrup is like meth for a kid...... food can affect sleep ..... food coloring, nutritionally depleted foodstuffs ( junk food)

  • Lo-ru-hamah

    Thank you all for your replies.

    BabaYaga that is almost exactly like our situation. It does make it difficult to be around but I don't think that we have been friends long enough for me to say things to her children. My son isn't perfect either. It feels wrong to correct someone else when you don't have the perfect child. Though, he doesn't treat me like they treat her.

    Chickpea, you probably hit something big there. The kids seem to eat a lot of sugar. Any suggestions on how to say that nicely?

    Hotchocolate, I have already apologised. I told her that I was sorry if I overstepped my bounds and that raising four kids was a totally different story than raising one.

    Thank you Sass and Mind my own. Your comments made me feel a little better.


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