My Friend's Son Is No Friend to My Son

Updated on July 09, 2011
J.N. asks from Chicago, IL
21 answers

I have a dear friend and our sons have been friends for most of their 15 years of life. They don't go to school together so have different school friends but they have been summer friends forever. we go away to the same place every summer. Recently her son has been clearly leaving my son out of things but is happy to be with him when no one else is around. It's really gotten under my skin. Her son just seems so arrogant lately. My son seems bothered by it but doesn't "admit" that anything is wrong. They haven't had a falling out but it irritates the heck out of me to see a lifelong friend treat my son this way (mama bear comes out). My friend seems to think her son reaches out to my son and that my son doesn't want to go out but I know that's not the case. My son does not want me involved and I dont want to be either and I won't be. But I have a hard time not being mad at them for this treatment. Any pearls of wisdom would be appreciated.

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answers from Chicago on

My 17 year old daughter has a "friend" like that. Best thing, I think is to just let go, as much as it might bother you, sometimes kids just grow apart. Also , in my case, the family is related to us (distantly), and we have always been very close, vacationed together, etc. The other girl is actually mean to my daughter, and spreads false rumors. It was very hard for me not to call her mother, but I resisted. I think she is jealous because my daughter has a ton of real friends, and she doesn't, despite having everything else in life handed to her on a silver platter.

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answers from Chicago on

Stay out of it. The boys are 15 - they'll either work it out or they won't. Stop pestering your kid about it too. If he wants to talk, he'll talk. See if he can find other friends to do stuff with.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

To your son:
"You know Junior, I gotta really hand it to you for being nice about your friend like you are. In my opinion he's a total jerk. I really respect how you're handling this."
And keep letting him be in charge. Good work. I would feel the same way.

To your friend when she says her son is nice:
"________________" silence. I'd be tempted to ween off of a friend whose kid was treating mine badly...the very same way their kid was gradually shunning mine UNLESS she was the greatest human since sliced bread and my son was happily having other friends instead and everyone was OK I guess.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

Have you any idea what the "friend" is doing with the other kids. Maybe your son isn't into drinking beer or chasing girls. He might not be happy in that crowd. Different people develop at different rates. One of my daughters had a boyfriend at age 13 the other waited until she was going into her senior year.

Let it be. When you and your friend have dinner together include your sons. It could be that next year they are friends again.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

The boys are 15 now. They should be able to choose their own friends.

Just continue the friendship with your friend and leave the kids be. It's part of the process of growing up - Make new friends, but keep some old. One is silver and the other's gold.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

It's not like I don't understand. Recently a girl was mean to my daughter on the playground and man, I wanted to go and give her my two cents... but I didn't. Kids need to learn how to handle these kinds of situations by themselves, no matter if they are 4 or 15.
These two boys are on the brink of adulthood, I think you can trust them to handle this themselves. Fact is that they may not have as much in common or maybe their personalities have diverged over the years. The other boy (just as your son) should be allowed to pick his own friends and not be required to be friends with your son, just because his mom is your friend.
If he is no longer interested in being friends with your son, then so be it.
Just stay out of it and don't let it affect YOUR friendship.
Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Make some different friends at that place, and cut the annoying kid out of the picture little by little. Maybe you can meet some people with a similar-age son before you get there for the summer via social networking, and then when you arrive, have their family over for dinner, and hope they hit it off.

I had that happen with my son too, under slightly different circumstances. It was painful, but instructive. Some friendships are only for a season.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I don't see why you can't speak to your friend - otherwise it will effect your friendship. But I wouldn't broach the subject like she has to do anything about it or defend her son. But at least this way, you guys could feel like you're on the same team. You could say something like this:

You: "The boys are getting so grown up now - it's interesting to see how different they relate to each other now, isn't it?"

Friend: " What do you mean?"

You: "Oh, it just seems that they don't hang out together in groups as much anymore. I don't really know - my son doesn't say anything. I just notice he's by himself a lot lately when there are a group of kids out. I wonder what's going on or if we need to sit down with all the boys to make sure that all the kids around here are being included. What about you? Are you sensing anything different with them this year?"

That way, you aren't accusing her of anything. It's hard because people do grow apart and just because you're lifelong friends, might not mean that they are going to be. But I absolutley know what you mean. It's awful watching this stuff unfold. Of all the bumps and bruises of growing up, I think this social stuff is the hardest!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

It's so hard, but Mama Bear, you need to let your Cub deal with the situation on his own, in his own way. Respect your son's wishes, take a deep breath, exhale your anger and step away. However your son deals with this situation, let him do it his way. You won't be there to fight or sort out his battles and challenges in life, he has to learn to do it on his own. Dealing with life is something we all have to learn, and 15 is the perfect age. That's why we raise them with morals, manners, and to think for themselves.

I'm guessing your anger may be disappointment for your son in disguise, but don't hold it against your friend or her son, people outgrow friendships all the time. They develop new interests, and there's nothing wrong with that. The boys have lives away from each other 3/4 of the year, so it makes sense that they would have different interests, pursuits and goals. If you can encourage your son to get involved with new interests and friends, go for it.

Like I said, it's hard, but we as mamas have to do it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Its their ages.

Kids grow apart.
They find other friends and have different interests.
It is also just how it is at this age.

Just teach your son, about social situations and friends.
To be himself, to be self-assured and find other friends.
These things happens, and will always happen, and happens in high school, college, and even when an adult.
It is a life lesson.
It cannot always be avoided or 'fixed.'
It just happens.

So, use this as a life lesson for him.
You can guide him.
Some people just grow apart, or don't want to be friends. Even if nothing happened to instigate it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Good that you are staying out of it. If the other boy is running off with others who dont want to include your son, it might be that they are into trouble or things they shouldnt be doing. You might not want your son with them. Your friend may be hearing lies from her son saying your son is included so she is under the impretion everything is fine. She may be in for a real rude awakening if she finds out whats really going on. Just let your son find his own friends.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I don't think that you should be mad at your friend because you said that she thinks that your son is being included. If she is under the impression that he is just not interested in doing whatever it is that they are doing then she cannot do anything to change the behavior that she does not know is going on. If you/your son do not want to tell her then you have no right to be upset with her.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

No one said that being a parent was easy and it certainly doesn't get easier as they grow up!! I am a big mamma bear and I'm so proud of you to let your little cub navigate this tricky road. You just have to let them work it out or not. They may not be friends. My mom's best friend had a daughter a year older than me and I couldn't stand the snot!! So this could a changing relationship.



answers from Chicago on

You have to leave it be. As they mature there are bound to be differences. Just because you are best friends with the Mom does not mean it will rub off on your children. Make sure your son is focused on being kind and receptive to getting together but if he doesn't want to be with the other kid don't force him. I am sure at 15 he has other people he can hang with or get him involved in a summer camp program or part time work to keep him focused on better things. Don't bring it up to your friend..If she does say you know you and I are friends but I just think our sons have a different mind set so if they aren't close or together a lot that's ok. and move on.

No one wants hurt feelings.



answers from Chicago on

This is the time when kids branch out and try new things. Maybe the other boy is going through this and doesn't want to feel tied to his childhood friend. If he's not being noticeably mean, and your son isn't that bothered by it, you should probably not worry so much about it. Chances are, they will remain lifelong friends and will appreciate each other more after the teen years. Encourage your son to branch out as well, but don't encourage him to be upset about this change. My 12 year old and his cousin have always gone to the same school, but don't spend all their time together. They have some friends in common, but also have separate interests. They still have a good relationship, but don't hang out together all the time. Good luck.


answers from Dallas on

I agree, he may be maturing at a differant level or the culture may be differant at his school. He may be into things your son isn't. He may have his feet in 2 worlds and maybe it's a good thing he isn't trying to take your son into his. I have differant friends I do differant things with. For example: My church friends and I go to dinner together. But, My college friends and I go listen to live music, and there's usually a frosty beverage or 2 included. I don't really mix the 2 groups together because they wouldn't have much in common, other than me.



answers from Chicago on

Trust your son. Maybe your friend's son is into things that your son doesn't want to be a part of. Maybe they are growing a part and that happens to friendships. Also, consider that your son might not want to go into details about it because then it would have to involve you and your friend's relationship and that's pressure. This happened to me when my mother's best friend's daughter and I grew apart. She was really into fooling around with boys and smoking pot behind her mother's back when I was still into Duran Duran and supermodels. It was healthy for me to create some distance because I needed boundaries. I didn't want to tell my mother. We're still friends today- but we needed space to grow. Give it to them.


answers from Dover on

I would stay out of it for the most part. Seems like normal childhood immaturity to me. If your friend says something that leads you to believe that she thinks her son is reaching out and your son is the one declining, it would be fair to say "I think there must be a misunderstanding because Johnny (her son) hasn't asked Bobby (your son) to go. It seems Johnny only includes Bobby when no one else is around. I'm sure they will work it out".



answers from Baton Rouge on

Your friendships are yours to manage; your son's friendships are his to manage. Just because you and the other mom are still friends doesn't meant that your sons haven't outgrown each other.



answers from Chicago on

At the age that these boys are, your friend can't control her son's social choices any more than you can control your son's social choices. Leave the boys to sort it out amongst themselves and support your son as you would any time he has an issue with a friend. Continue your friendship with the other mom independent of what is happening with your sons.


answers from Atlanta on

Kids develop different interests, they grow apart. They may now be at an age where they don't have the same core interests--and that's ok. I would suggest that you let your son invite a friend to hang out with him for the summer... or arrange for several friends to visit at different times or arrange for him to do something else (like, survival skills camp for teens, rafting camp, etc) while you're there. I mean, just because you are best friends with the mom doesn't mean your kids will be best friends. If he is leaving him out of events or outings, well... maybe you don't really want your son exposed to that anyway.

You definitely don't want your friend's son introducing him to 'other' interests (rebellious or rude behaviour, drinking, drugs, etc.). After all, you don't really know what crowd he is friends with or what he might be into at his school.

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