Nasty Mother of Friends at It Again! Now What?

Updated on September 17, 2018
S.J. asks from Des Moines, IA
16 answers

For the history of this woman, see my last question. Well...the latest issue occurred over the weekend. I am have a horrible cold...maybe mild flu...headache, cough cold etc. My dd's friends asked her to go to the mall on Saturday night. I told her I would drive but that I was going to go to bed early. When they got out of the car, I told all of them they would need a ride home because I was going to bed - they said ok (the unspoken agreement is that one parent drives one way, the other parent drives the other - and the mall is only 5 minutes away)
When it was time to go home, the friends called their mother - she blew up because she had company over but she begrudgingly came to get them . My dd texted me (I was in bed, but still awake - and I told her if worse came to worse I would pick them up - but I had to get up and dressed)
My daughter told them that I could have picked them up and the other mother yelled at her because she had to leave her company (the timing was such that the other mother was already on the way when I said I would pick them up). My dd's friend (daughter of this woman) even told her it wasn't her fault.
After getting the whole story, I texted the mom and apologized that she had to leave her company and that I had gone to bed early and left it at that.
Soooo...I'm at the point with this woman who constantly badgers my kid that I'm going to forbid her to ride in her car or go to their house. The kids all get along pretty well, most of the problems come from the mother.
Suggestions? What would you do?

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So What Happened?

Yes, all the rides should have been prearranged, but the kids have been friends for many many years and we've always had one parent drive one way and the other pick up. How was I supposed to know that this night was different? Rather than saying they will need to get a ride home, I should have said..."Your mom can pick up, right?" Nobody told me she had company...and, I would have picked them up if need be...of course I'm not going to leave them there! Yes, I apologized that she had to leave her company...I'm sure I would have been angry too. But...the REAL issue is that she yelled at my kid for what was clearly not her fault.
My kid has taken enough grief. I guess I'll be the driver from now on. Too much drama with this woman. And...just for the record, it was her kids that asked my dd to go to the mall!

Featured Answers

C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

The kids needed to get permission from the other mom and have a ride back all set up beforehand. It sounds like they did not do this. In my opinion you should be mad at the girls. This is their fault. There was no need for you to apologize or call the other mom or really get involved...except to agree with her that they need to learn a lesson and they are not allowed to go to the mall ever unless they have rides all sorted out before they go. PS - I believe it takes a village and she did have the right to be upset with them and be pissed. Maybe after this the kids will stop just assuming someone will come pick them up and that parents don't have lives of their own.

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T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

What I would do is actually speak to her before any future plans and not assume anything. How hard is it to pick up the phone and say, hey, the girls want to go to the mall, I'm happy to drive them but not feeling well and would like to turn in early, can you pick them up?

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A.W.

answers from Kalamazoo on

First off, I never ever would drop my dd off anywhere unless I 100% knew who was picking them up and had confirmed that with the other parent. So that problem couldn't happen.
Maybe do more of that in the future. You can't change/control other people. You can only control your own actions. AND you can't just rely on the kids to make the plans!!!

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M.D.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I think that the lesson you should have learned from this one is that all plans with dd's friend needs to be confirmed by you with the other mom, because this friend is manipulating the adults to get her own way (if she had told her mom in advance of the driving plan, her mom probably would have said no and nixed the trip to the mall. The friend knew this, so waited until they were at the mall with no way to get home to tell her mom that she had to pick up. Thus, the mom felt trapped into the situation which made her angry, and she blew up in frustration with the kids for manipulating her. Not a great way to handle it, but I can sympathize with her frustration).

That said, if you aren't comfortable with this woman being around your dd, then sure, plan to do all the driving and have them spend time at your house. I don't think you need to be dramatic about "forbidding it". That is going to create more drama than you have already. When your daughter asks to do things with her, simply say "Sure, I'll drop off and pick up. What time?" Or "Instead of going to Jane's house, it would work better for me if you both came to our house instead. I can go pick her up if needed. What time should we go get her?"

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D.B.

answers from Boston on

What I would have done is clarified with the other mom FIRST rather than take the kids, drop them off, and say, "By the way, find your own way home." Or, I'd have said, "Not today, honey. I'm sick." But instead, you put the other mom in a corner and you're mad at her?

If another adult is inappropriate with my kid, then my kid doesn't go there. Easy. Or, I'd give my kid the skills to handle difficult people. Not as easy, but doable.

When you recover from the flu, maybe you'll be able to think clearly.

5 moms found this helpful

B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

It's good to take a break sometimes.
Friend can come to your house (if her mother will allow her to).

I would have had the kids work out rides to/from mall BEFORE dropping them off.
If rides were not firmly arranged ahead of time - then the mall trip is cancelled.
'Unspoken agreement' isn't really any sort of agreement because everyone has different expectations and assumptions.
If the mall is a 5 minute drive away - why can't the kids walk?
Unless the traffic is unusually dangerous there's no reason they can't hoof it.

What you have is a failure to communicate.
You can either work together to improve communication - or cease trying altogether (which I think is what you are going to do next).

Will it happen again with anyone else?
Maybe.
Maybe not.
But if it happens a lot you have to start thinking that maybe the problem isn't with everyone else.

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A.D.

answers from Minneapolis on

Nothing right now. Have as little to do with this woman as possible. Your daughter seems like she has a nice friendship with her daughter. That's all good, don't mess with it. Your daughter has to learn to deal with all types. If her friend's mom is crabby or rude, let your daughter decide whether it's worth it to accept rides from her or spend time in her house in the future. Don't forbid it, you daughter may decide she can put up with it for a short period of passing time in order to spend time with her good friend. Or she'll decide to hang out other places. Don't let yourself be more bothered by it, or hold onto a grudge longer than your daughter.

Regarding the mall incident, the lesson learned is that you can't count on the kids to have firmed up the plan for getting home. If your daughter wants to go somewhere, she'll need to have your OK that YOU can drive her to and from. If you aren't available, before you give her permission, you ask her, since I can't pick you up, what is your plan for getting home? Then whomever she says has agreed to drive her, YOU will need to give a friendly call or text to confirm that is definitely OK with them. A simple call or text to the other mom before Saturday night, and you would have known that she had company planned. And she probably would have understood you bowing out too because you are sick. So then you both could have told your daughters no, unless a third friend had a willing and available parent you could confirm could do pick up, the Saturday night trip to the mall wasn't going to be possible this time. Both you and the other mom counted on the kids to communicate like responsible adults, and they didn't. This is a lack of communication issue, all around. Going forward you'll have to verify instead of letting her go out on her word that she has a ride home.

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E.A.

answers from Erie on

I would have made the girls take the bus or an Uber home. If I said I wouldn't pick them up, then I wouldn't, there are other options than making a parent a chauffeur, and they are plenty old enough to know how to use public transportation.

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J.B.

answers from Boston on

I don't understand why you think the problem is with the mother and not with the girls and their inability to communicate. A ride home should have been agreed on before you dropped them off. Then your daughter backtracked and told the mom that you could have picked them up. And you're assuming that your daughter reporting that the other mom "yelled" at them is true. My kids claim that anyone who talks to them in any tone other than sweet and enthusiastic is yelling at them when clearly no one is. Adults are allowed to be irritated when inconsiderate, disorganized kids like your daughter and her friends interrupt plans.

Focus on your kid and her friends. If they ask for a ride, ask them to have whomever is picking up text or call you confirm that they actually know of the plan. Problem solved - no ride home confirmed, no drop off.

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J.C.

answers from Anchorage on

Sounds like there was a major breakdown in communication, but I don't think that no longer allowing your daughter to socialize with her friends outside of school, which you are essentially doing unless you plan on doing all of the driving, is going to fix the issue. Don't punish your daughter for this woman's behavior.

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M.G.

answers from Portland on

The mom yelled at your daughter, and your response was to text her to apologize for having her leave her company.

I say take a break. You can see how messed that is.

We had a similar situation happen with one of our sons. There wasn't clear communication - the neighbor was angry at his son, but took it out on our child. We said no more.

ETA:
Read your SWH and the other moms suggestions.
Taking a break was good for us - because it gave everyone a chance to cool down. In the end, we asked our son what he felt comfortable with. We knew we'd never let him go over there again - but as far as the friendship went, when his friend came by and they talked, my son felt he was done with the drama. He let it fizzle.
I was sad for him (for them both) but it had been more upsets than it was worth. It wasn't a long friendship as in your daughter's case - this was short lived. I felt my son had made the right choice. We talked, and it was a learning experience.
It's hard to limit or put conditions on a child's friendship. If you say only at our house or she can't drive you anywhere - be prepared to explain that to them all. It will be awkward for your daughter. That's why I would take a break.
Talking to the mother in person - or a call might be best in time. I don't know. I don't know how that kind of thing plays out. I think if your daughter has to tell her friends - sorry I can't come over, that puts pressure on her and will be uncomfortable.

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M.P.

answers from Portland on

I read your description of other mother's comments. I suggest you are overly sensitive to minor comments. Perhaps your daughter is also overly sensitive. Hopefully your daughter will learn to not take such comments seriously.

I suggest that you let your daughter deal with her own relationships. If you can, teach her ways she can respond when she's uncomfortable with the comment. Most often it's best to ignore such comments. I suggest that she answer questions that are rhetorical. She could just answer the question. I bought....
Another way is to respond with humor. Do you think I bought something sexy and pull it out to show her what she bought.

Pink stores are popular with teens. Why do you think the mother's comment was inappropriate? I suggest that either she was asking to make conversation or she was teasing your daughter. If your daughter was upset, I suggest you help her consider that there are other ways of looking at it.When you decide the mother was inappropriate, even tho you weren't there and cam't know the mothers demeanor or reason for her comment, you are teaching your daughter to take offense to comments. To make assumptions. Support would be teaching her how to handle comments. She is going to hear comments her whole life. Taking offense or getting upset will not help her get along with people or make her happy. It's very important to not take life so seriously that passing comments are upsetting.

As to the pick up situation, I don't understand why you would assume the other mother would do it. Just because it's "always" been that way doesn't mean that the other mother or you is able to do it that way all the time. You didn't make arrangements for pick up and you told the girls as you let them out of the car making it impossible for them to make arrangements. Both you and the other mother made assumptions that turned out to not be helpful. Sounds like a communication problem that can be improved now that you know she won't always be able to pick them up. You now know you need to confirm pick up. Lesson learned. Why hold on to your anger?

Anger never solves anything. Consider that life teaches us lessons, learn from them and move on.

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S.L.

answers from Denver on

It may be more work for you, but you should drive from now on. Some people are just difficult. The mother should take this up with other adults, not your kid

Updated

It may be more work for you, but you should drive from now on. Some people are just difficult. The mother should take this up with other adults, not your kid

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R.K.

answers from Appleton on

I agree you had a complete breakdown in communication. You are the parent and should have called the mom to be sure she was picking up the girls.
Now onto another matter: These girls should never be dropped off at the mall and left alone. Trafficking is a major problem, there are hundreds of missing girls and women from Iowa alone. Girls left alone at the mall are easy picking for someone up to no good. I worked at our local mall and would never leave girls alone at a mall. A lot of creepy people hang out at malls.

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J.J.

answers from Buffalo on

Wow, some people's responses are really out of line here. I totally see where you are coming from after dealing with teens and their rides or lack thereof. I understand the whole "one pick up, one drop off" arrangement. I would have assumed the same as you. It's easy for others to criticize... Obviously tact is not this woman's strong point and if I were you, I would not ask anything of her in the future. From your previous question, she insults, teases and yells at your kid. Who needs it? If the kids want to hang out, then they either walk or you drive. You will never change her and she's already shown what she's made of. Accept it and move on. As soon as the kids get their own licenses (based on their ages, it should be soon), this will be a non-issue. There are difficult people in all stages of life. Actually it's a good learning experience for your kid.

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D..

answers from Miami on

Your daughter shouldn't have said that you could have picked them up. She started this mess. One mom takes them, another mom picks them up. That's the deal. You are letting this nasty mom BULLY you and your daughter into doing all the work for her.

You need to have a talk with your daughter and come to an agreement between you two that she won't throw you under the bus again with this woman. And you need to stop sending apologies for something you don't owe an apology for. When you do that, she believes that any nasty way she treats you is justified, because you are allowing her to think it by saying you are sorry. And for heaven's sake, why would you apologize for going to bed sick when you had already told them you were doing it??? That is just nuts!

From now on, text EVERYONE by group text what you will be doing and what you will NOT be doing. And stick to it. Have as little to do with this mom as possible. And be sweet to her daughter. I'm sure the mom is awful to her.

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