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How do I confront my best-friend about her 7yr old who is intentionally mean and nasty to my 20 month old? I need to bring it up because his behavior is getting worse and I am concerned that one day he will go to far and actually cause bodily harm to my son.

My son is 20 months old, her youngest is 3 (w/ downsyndrom) and they are best buddies and play well together. She is my go-to babysitter and I have watched her kids on many occasions. Her oldest has madecomments about not wanting my son near him or at his house and I have caught him kicking couch cushions at his face, shoving him, and once he has cried when they wern't in our direct sight. - That time my friend asked her oldest if he had done something to make my son cry but of course, he denied it- Don't get me wrong, I will say something and have decided to do it this week when I see her- but I need to do it tactfully.

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Asked by ShannonLeighM at 2:59 PM on Aug. 18, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 4 (30 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • I would probably look for a different babysitter..not because shes not good at taking care of your little one but because thats really putting your child in a situation where he cant fend for himself. Being only 20 months old, he has no way of telling what happened to him, no way to stop it.
    I would talk to her though and ask her if shes noticed any kind of negative behavior toward your child. Tell her your really concerned about it and dont want him to get hurt.
    If shes willing to acknowledge it and show some action toward putting an end to it, it may be a workable situation. If she gets defensive and upset about it...then move on for sure.
    Good Luck.

    Answer by kimberlyinberea at 3:02 PM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • honestly i dont think there is no nice way just tell her so your child wont get hurt and soon too

    Answer by cnoble927 at 3:03 PM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • I would just let her know your not sure that she will take it well since her son is the accused..i had the same issues with my bff's son..he was a total jackass.and would purposely do things to annoy the crap outta me..i told her she got pissy and we didnt talk for a few days..but life went on...i would just be honest with her..its your son that cant defend himself i surely wouldnt wait until something did happen..then you would feel worse

    Answer by jorjiegirl at 3:04 PM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • My best suggestion is to approach it in the way that you are concerned your children aren't getting along well, not necessarily that her son is being a bully. You can gage her reaction from there and slowly elaborate based on how she is responding. I would try to focus on why they would have any problems with each other and perhaps at what point you both agree it would become out of hand. Then maybe you can both brainstorm on ways to help them bond so the seven year old would feel closer and perhaps more protective to your son. It's amazing how different a persons reaction can be to the same conversation just based on how it is approached, such as addressing solutions not problems. Focusing on it more as a conflict between two people that you don't understand may help her react in a more cooperative way than accusing her son of being a bully (even if it is the truth, considering the age difference)

    Answer by MamaSunBear at 3:15 PM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • I would try to approach it with making as little accusation as possible and saying things to kind of neutralize the situation at least to start with so that she may be more receptive to hearing you out. Things like, "I know boys will be boys, but I worry because my son is so much littler. Your son probably doesn't realize he could really hurt my son." Does her son act this way with his 3 year old brother? That would be a clue to me whether he just plays rough and aggressive in general or whether he is directing it specifically at your son. Either way, I agree you have to say something to deal with it. Let her know you don't think her son is bad, you just have a worry to address so that the two of you can come up with a good solution.

    Answer by MaryMW at 3:18 PM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • First of all i would not have her be my go to babysitter any longer. I would tactfully speak to her and tell her straight up that her older boy is down right mean and you need to have her do something about it and until something is done with this child of hers you and her will not be having the children play together. If there is a child that is mean to my child then i don't keep my mouth shut i am just someone that nips shit in the butt right then and there. I hope and pray you don't lose your friend over this but start out by telling her that you value your friendship with her and her child is causing a big issue............................


    Answer by raemommy at 3:21 PM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • I wonder if the 7 yr acts like that toward his 3 yr old brother. He may very resentful of his brother and then having another little one makes it even worse. Maybe talking about the interaction between the brothers can lead to his behavior with your son. Have you spoken with the 7 yr old? It might help to talk with him about the size difference and for him to know that you've noticed and don't approve of his actions.

    Answer by AzAngie at 3:38 PM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • Thanks every one for your input! I do appreciate it. I was gonna go for the super-direct approach but I think I will try to soften the blow a bit- after all, I am talking about her CHILD- even if he is a jerk.
    One person asked if he was nice to his little brother or not and other than the normal big brother, little brother crap he is very nice and protective to him. I don't know why he doesn't like my son and frankly I don't care. I don't want to lose a friend but my son and his safety are way more important than any friendship could ever be.

    Comment by ShannonLeighM (original poster) at 4:48 PM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • if she really is your bestfriend she will understand when you tell about her son & believe you but if you feel you need to find another babysitter then you should good luck

    Answer by Ricanmami1 at 5:16 PM on Aug. 18, 2010

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