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Mommaliz
Mommaliz asks:
Q:

How does a parent react to her 4-yr.-old being taunted and teased by a playmate, who singles him out?

My daughter and friend have 4-yr.-olds who are occasionally together when the moms are.  One child (a premie at birth and who has had MUCH attention for medical reasons) has very reckless behavior in play areas, dumping containers of toys, flitting from one toy to another.  When playing around my grandson, this child teases and taunts him continually, accusing him of doing the very disruptive things that HE does, and usually reporting it to an adult (lying).  Without risking losing friendship with the mom, how can my daughter respond in these situations?   What should the child's mom do? The friend occasionally verbally responds with a mild disciplinary statement, but tends to excuse the behavior.

Question asked after reading: http://www.education.com/reference/article/temp...
In Topics: Bullying and teasing
> 60 days ago

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Expert

BBerry
Jan 13, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

It sounds like your daughter is finding herself in a tough situation: of course she wants to protect her son from being teased and taunted but she also doesn’t want to jeopardize the relationship she has with her friend.

It might be a good idea for your daughter and her friend to sit down and have an honest discussion about the expectations they have for their children. Even if your daughter and her friend have a different overall set of expectations for their children, they may be able to agree on some expectations they both have for their children when they play together. Together, your daughter and friend may be able to set up some ground rules for their children and agreed-upon ways to praise the children for good behavior and acceptable punishments (e.g., time-out) for negative behaviors. It would be important for both your daughter and her friend to describe the ‘play rules’ they decide upon to their children. Children generally respond best to a small number of rules, such as 3-5, that are phrased positively, stating exactly what the children are to do (i.e., “Speak quietly” as opposed to “Don’t yell”).  They should also clearly state the consequences their children will face if they fail to follow these rules. For more ideas, see the following article on effective discipline: http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Effective_Discipline/

I realize that it may be easier said than done to have this conversation and to come up with rules and consequences that are acceptable for both your daughter and her friend, especially if your daughter’s friend doesn’t see any behavior problems. If there is a way to quietly watch the children at play when they don’t realize they are being watched, this can be a powerful way to see exactly what sorts of behaviors the children are exhibiting, both positive and negative. In any case, your daughter should be honest and open about her concerns, while taking care to present them in a way that does not single out or attack her friend’s child, such as by saying “I’m worried that our kids aren’t behaving as well as they should” or stating that she’s worried her son’s feelings are hurt when he is teased. A good friend should be able to understand where your daughter is coming from in terms of being concerned for her child.
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Additional Answers (3)

Rebecca Delbosque
The child has problems he or she needs help that child has to much attention. and is a jealous baby. get some help for that child.
> 60 days ago

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Lionors
Lionors writes:
Hello?  What kind of a friend is this?  Your daughter is putting her so-called friendship with an incompetent mom over her child's welfare.  Where's her priorities?

Forget the kind and gentle 'lets meet and make rules', because this mom isn't going to follow through.  Your daughter needs to put her foot down and tell her so-called friend what is happening.  If the 'friend' refuses to deal with the situation (and I expect she won't), your daughter needs to re-evaluate just how valuable that friendship is to her.  When the 'friend' calls again to ask to get together, your daughter should refuse and explain that she doesn't want her child in that situation.  If the 'friend' is a friend, she'll wise up and deal with the problem.  If she's not, your daughter's not out anything, and her child will probably be relieved and grateful.

At four years old, there's not a lot your grandchild can to do deal with the situation.  He's got to rely upon your daughter to do that.  Your daughter needs to be proactive.
> 60 days ago

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EdieRaether
EdieRaether , Teacher writes:
Building your child's resilience is important but the playmate needs help.
Do not tolerate this.   I call it CAREfrontation.   Your child is more important than the friendship with the mom but you can have both...not what you say but HOW you say it.
Go for it and do what is right.
Edie

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