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Q

A Child in My Daughter's Class Is Dirty and Smells Bad. How Can I Help?

Binghamton, NY

My 12-year-old is in 7th grade and had mentioned this child a while ago, but I was truly horrified to see and, unfortunately, smell her at a recent class event. Her father was there too and rather fragrant himself. I know the girls in the class like her otherwise, but are disgusted by her greasy hair and general lack of hygene. She seems so isolated. More frequent showers would probably do the trick, but how can this message be relayed to her without hurting her feelings horribly? I would so like to help, but am at a loss as to whether there is anything I can do.

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Q

Advice for My Daughters First Break Up

Los Angeles, CA

Hello again. My last request was for advice on my 16 year old daughter and her 18 year old boyfriend, and I would like to thank you all. Well, I now seek advice on helping her cope with her first "heartbreak". That's right, he broke up with her last week. Don't get me wrong, I'm pleased as heck, but I don't want her to know that. She is taking this real hard, he first told her that he didn't love her anymore, but now says he did it to protect them both, which I agree with. How do I help her through this? She doesn't want to talk about it and continues to talk to him on the phone, a lot! I've told her that I'm here if she decides she wants to talk, but she's pretty closed up anyway. Any advices will be greatly appreciated.

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Q

Advice for Preteen/teen to Get More Active/involved

Tampa, FL

My 12 you just loves to be on the computer, readying, watching TV. She also exercises and plays basketball and loves it. The problem is she never wants to do any activities, go to dinner, go to neighbor's parties, have friends over, do anything social. She wants to be alone all the time. I've tried having her have friends over, then she gets made about me "meddling". She is a great student and I see her interact with other kids and they like her, she just is a home body (and I am definitely not) Any suggestions to help her with her social life?

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Q

Advice on Child's Friend

Norfolk, VA

Hello. My daughter is 4-years old. She has made friends with one of my neighbor's daughters in the past year. One goes to the same preschool as my daughter, and next year they will all be attending the same school for Kindergarten. As of right now, they are my daughter's only friends outside of school. We have all went on a few outings together.. Busch Gardens, parks, etc. They also play together after school at least once a week. Their mother and I have also became good friends, and we have done things together without the kids too. The problem is that her daughter that goes to the same preschool can be very mean. She is frequently disrespectful when she is over my house. She also hits a lot and has hit my daughter. When they go to parks, she is mean to some of the other kids and does not want to make friends with them. I am allowed to discipline her (put her in time out) when she is disrespectful to me. Her mother also disciplines her as well when she acts up.. but it seems to no avail. My daughter has always been very friendly, and makes new friends easily, and I try to encourage this trait. She is also relatively well-behaved. I am afraid that if she continues being around this friend, some of her behaviors will rub off on her. However, my daughter is an only child, and I don't want to take away her only friends. I also want to keep my friendship with their mother. I'm not sure how to handle this situation. Has anybody ever went through this with their children's friends? Does anybody have any advice for me? Thanks.

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Q

Am I over Stepping the Boundaries.... REVISED!!!!

Dallas, TX

My daughter has a friend that lives on our street. She is at our house all the time and she is a very sweet girl. She rides to school with us (because she doesnt want to ride the bus) and each morning she comes over hungry - so I feed her breakfast. One day she had a Dr. Pepper and a snack for her lunch and I offered her more food to take. Yesterday we were in the car and my daughter asked her why she brought her drink from breakfast.. and she said because she didnt have a drink in her lunch because they didnt have anything at home and they dont have any money right now. (I dont like when parents burden their children with financial problems) Today, I asked her if she had a drink for her lunch and she said she was buying because her mom didnt feel like making her a lunch. YES...didnt feel like it!!!! She didnt even know what they were having at school so I told her and she said she didnt like it. I was making my daughters lunch- so I offered to make her one and she said yes please. I help out whenever I can and I never make a big deal out of it in front of her or my daughter. Am I overstepping the boundaries by helping so much. I dont want the mom to get offended but I feel bad for the girl. They have alot of children and try hard to make ends meet. So, I feel like if I can help- I will. Please let me know if I am doing the right thing. Thanks!! First I want to thank everyone for the great responses. No, Im not offended by anything that anyone says on here. Just to clear a few things up.. I do know the mom and she is very nice. I think she provides as best as she can for her kids- they are all happy and healthy children. Im comfortable with my daughter going over there and she has even stayed the night a few times. I also know first hand that they do have financial troubles because the mom tells me. She has borrowed gas money, diapers and food a few times, and has no problem telling me that they have no money. She does know that her daughter rides to school with us- the mom is unable to take her. I dont think anything bad of the mom or the family- I just want to help if I can. The little girl never asks me for anything- I just offer. I wasnt planning on talking to the mom at this point because I dont think it is that extreme. The children are not neglected- the mom has told me before, that she doesnt have alot to give them- but if they are loved and happy who cares! I totally agree with that but if I am able to offer something, I am going to. Thanks Again to everyone!!

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Q

Awkward Situation with Neighborhood Children

Denver, CO

We live in a cul-de-sac and have two neighbor families with whom we are very close. The children all knock on each other's doors to play and all three families are comfortable parenting the other's children during our playtime. All three groups of kids are also very respectful. There is a family at the end of the block who has seldom made an effort to join in any of our activities or block parties, so we rarely see them. Recently my 5 yr. old son has begun asking to play with their son and daughter, 8 and 6 yrs. old respectively. Often the group will go knock on their door and invite them to come out. The children are home schooled and not well socialized, and I have noticed very unacceptable behavior from them. IE: the 6 yr. old girl plays keep away with my 2 year old daughter because as she says "I am testing her to see if she will cry." The son has an explosive temper and always expects to get his way. I could deal with this if the children would actually listen to me, as I am a teacher and used to handling discipline and behavior. Unfortunately these kids ignore me completely,and they don't even listen to their own parents (who seldom notice their behavior, they are so busy chatting when we do see them...) I do not want to tell my son he cannot play with them, but I feel very wary about having them around. I am simply not sure how to handle this new development. I don't want to alienate the children or the parents, but I don't want my children picking up bad habits or worse, being bullied. Help! ***For all of you who home school your kids, kudos for taking on such an important task!! In no way am I demeaning home schooling, as I know it is the perfect choice for many. I only mentioned it here because these particular kids are not socializing with other kids, (as I know most home schooled children do) and knowing what I do about the family and their education history, I fear it may not have been a good fit for them.

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Q

Bad Influence with Friend

Steubenville, OH

My oldest son has a friend at school who is so hyper and not the greatest influence. I have talked to his mom and we have even had playdates together. Her parenting is so different. She lets her kids run the house and gives them anything they want. She has invited us to birthday parties for both her kids. My son is only in kindergarden and i dont think the friendship is really established. I dont want to choose my sons friends but i'm not crazy about hanging out with this family. Another birthday is coming up and i really dont want to go. How do i go about finding a way for my family to disconnect with the other. I dont want to be mean or hurt my son but i would rather him not play with the other boy. Help

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Q

Daughter Complains of Sickness Frequently

Dayton, OH

My daughter is 6 years old and in kindergarten. Lately she's been complaining quite often that her head and her tummy hurt. It is usually at bedtime or first thing in the morning. She is eating fine and typically snaps out of it and plays and acts normally. I think it may have something to do with her not wanting to go to school. She told me tonight that two boys at school are mean to her and call her and some of her friends "butthead". I told her that she is special and that we are so proud of her. Anyway, I was just wondering if any of you could give me some advice. Thanks!

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Q

Daughter Gets Feelings Hurt-1 Sided Friendships

Dallas, TX

Hello ladies. I have a 10 y/o daughter who has had the same friends since she was 5. My daughter is funny, outgoing, and very loyal.She seems to be the "one" in her group that tries to make everyone get along and has a strong personality--except when it comes to her friends. She lets them hurt her feelings and won't say anything until she vents to me. She is the one her friends seem to want to sit by at school, on the bus, they ask to come over to her house(and we have them over)but then outside of school she seems to be the one that never gets asked to do anything. She is older now and notices things and her feelings are starting to get hurt-and it breaks my heart. It's not that I want to "pawn" her off on them, but when we have her friends over-it seems every now and then she would get asked back-or to do anything. The other girls in the group get asked by the other friends-just not my daughter. I am at the point where I want to talk to one of the Moms(the one I'm closest to) to see if my daughter has done something to warrent her not ever getting invited out-or if I've done something I dont know about. It is becoming somehting daily and my daughter is starting to wonder about this. It's even to the point I cry at times(not in front of her) bc it hurts to see her getting "shunned". Anyways, she's had the same friends for 5 years--how should I handle this? It has been going on for at least 2 years now. She did get asked over and do to some things until about 2 yrs ago. We do a lot of family things and I keep her active and make sure she knows how special and sweet she is to us, but she's getting older and wanting to do a little more with friends. Do I talk to the Mom I'm more comfy with? These are her best friends and I don't want to pull her away from them--like I said everything is fine at school except the occasional "girl" issues. Should I have someone over she is friends with, but isnt one of her best friends and see if something comes of it?I jsut dont know what do do anymore. Does anyone have any advice??? I'm sorry this sounds confusing--I am just as confused about this issue myself!!!

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Q

Daughter's Classmate Is a "Tattletale" and a Trouble-maker

Los Angeles, CA

Can anyone give me some advice? My daughter is having trouble with a boy in her class who is making up lies about her and other girls to get them in trouble if they don't give him something he wants (like snacks from their lunches). The teacher always believes him and never lets my daughter or the other kids defend themselves. She "shushes" them when they try to tell her he is lying. Then she takes away some kind of behaivior award from them. Something to do with a "clip". I don't know exactly what that is, but it is unfair when they did nothing wrong. She doesn't know who is telling the truth since she didn't see the situation, so why does she assume that this boy is honest and all the other kids are lying? What's going to happen to this kid when he grows up if this behaivior is not stopped? He is learning to manipulate and trick people which is not good. My daughter doesn't want to go to school sometimes because of him and the teacher's unfairness. I can't move her to another room because she is in a special program for advanced students and this teacher is the only one that takes these students. She is 7 and in 2nd grade. I think I need to speak to this teacher. What would be the best approach?

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Q

First Sleepover : / What Is a Mom to Do?

Columbus, OH

My 6 year old daughter was invited to a sleepover which will be in a few weeks. I am very hesitant to let her go! NO, I'm not one the those mothers who keeps her child in a bubble, but I do teach at the same school that she attends and am not sure that this particular little friend is the best choice for a sleepover! I wouldn't mind if she goes to the party but as for a sleepover I'm leaning on the "no" side! When did you feel comfortable letting your child go to a sleepover? I'm very unsure with the world the way it is to let her go anywhere without family or close friends. I can't very well question the little girl's mother without worries that she may feel judged since I work at the same school, but I don't want my daughter punished for my fears! Any good advice would be greatly apperciated!

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Q

Friend Not Such a Friend After Baby Was Born

New York, NY

I had a best friend for many years whom we did everything together, when i got pregnant in 2005 things started to change, she no longer would call me to do things or make up excuses for why i shouldnt attend certain social events. i was really uspet, but kinda figured, ok i am pregnant, i cant do the same things as everyone etc... when my daughter was born, she was there in the hospital waiting room, and basically hasnt been there for me since. she lives around the corner and never comes to visit, nor did she include me on any "social events" - needlesstosay i have been very upset by this, i did confront her several times and no response, then one day after she had a few too many cocktails, she admitted that she is jealous of my daughter and doesnt know how to deal with it. that was 6 months ago and no change. I feel very hurt that she cannot accept my child and i dont think out friendship will ever be the same. she also claimed she was upset that she was not my daughters godmother, but i chose my sis in law #1 she is family and #2 yes, i was hurt that my friend abandoned me at such an important time in my life. this friend is not married and doesnt have children, but i have a few friends in the same position and none act like her. i make a point to spend time with my friends on a social level when i can. during the holidays she accused me of not calling her when i did things, but the truth is, i didnt go out and do many things at all, she went out every weekend and didnt call me. i have had enough of these games and my family comes first now, i have a baby on the way and dont plan on asking her to be godmother, i think this will be a huge problem for her but dont know how to handle it. i dont want to lose her as a friend, but dont know what else to do.

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Q

Friend Now Says My Daughter Isn't "Cool" Enough

Chicago, IL

I have a situation that I'm hoping other moms may be able to help me with. First, I'll give a little background information which is necessary for you to understand the problem. My 9 year old daughter attended one of the most prominant private schools in Chicago for 4 years but we now homeschool her. While she was in school she became friends with another little girl in her class and my husband and I also became close friends with this girl's parents. After my daughter left school the girls continued to do things together - as well as the families hanging out together. Yesterday they came over for the afternoon and stayed for dinner. At one point I noticed that my daughter was showing impatience with her friend and, not knowing what all had been going on while they were playing upstairs in my daughter's bedroom, I got a little upset with her because I thought she needed to be a better hostess to her friend - and told her so. Well, after they left, my daughter told me how obnoxious this girl had been to her - going through her boxes and drawers even after my daughter told her they were private, taking my daughter's journal and scribbling all over it, she tore up her bed totally - all the sheets and everything were on the floor. Then to top it off, she told my daughter that she wasn't cool enough anymore for her to hang around with and that she really hadn't wanted to come over yesterday. When my daughter, who is very mature for her 9 years, asked her if there was anything from their friendship that they could salvage, the girl said absolutely not. So then my daughter said she wanted both of them to go downstairs and tell the parents what was going on between them, but the girl blocked her from going down the stairs and said that she didn't want to tell her parents how she felt because they never listen to her. Today, they called and left a message saying what a wonderful time they all had yesterday and let's get together again soon, etc. I feel I need to let the parents know that apparently their daughter no longer has any interest in being friends with mine but I know it will hurt the relationship that my husband and I have with them. It sounds like from their voicemail message that the girl has not said a word to them about arguing with my daughter. Oh, she also said that she wants to be "cool" so that she can fit in with the other girls in her school but if she told her parents that, they would be alarmed and wouldn't like it at all. So, what do I do? I will not subject my daughter to another play date with her if she is going to treat her that way. I have been thinking that I would call when she is in school and talk with her mother about what happened - not accusingly but as gently and diplomatically as I can. The thing is, if her daughter won't be honest with her, then she is just going to think it is all my daughter's problem - that she is making it up or whatever. I am also trying to understand the motives behind why this girl is acting this way. I think part of it is that she is herself bullied at school and told she isn't "cool" so this is her way of kind of feeling like she has power over someone else. Has anyone else had a similar thing happen and how did you handle it? Any advice or thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

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Q

Girl Really Annoying My Daughter

Salt Lake City, UT

There is this girl in my daughters Girl Scout troop that really annoys her. This girl is new and doesn't know anyone (not even my daughter really) but she has decided that her and my daughter are going to be "best friends". The only problem...My daughter can't stand her. Wherever my daughter is, this girl has to be. When my daughter gets up to move away, the girl gets up and follows her. She doesn't even want to go into the next level of Girl Scouts next year because my daughter won't be in that group yet. I have told my daughter not to worry about it and kind of ignore it but I don't think she should have to. I want to tell this girl to "back off" a bit but from what I have seen, she is very sensitive and don't want to hurt her feelings. I'm concerned that if something is not done, my daughter won't want to go to Scouts anymore. I have tried to explain to my daughter that sometimes people need to be around others that they are comfortable with and that she should feel special that this girl wants to be around her but my daughter is having no part of it. I have told my daughter that she needs to tell this other girl how she feels but she is VERY shy and don't think she is comfortable with doing that. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Q

Help Explaining Friend's Divorce to 3-Year-old

Houston, TX

My friend down the street is getting divorced. Her daughter and mine play together nearly every afternoon (her dd is 4 years, mine is 3). Both of the parents have moved out of the house and have been coming and going lately to move things out, but my friend is still living there part of the time while they sell the house. Anyway, my dd has started asking questions. Where is her friend? Why can't they play? Sometimes she's home, but it's not appropriate to go over. My dd sees her friend home, but doesn't understand why she can't just go over and play. I need a little advice explaining the sitution in 3 year old terms. I'm a child of divorce myself, and my dad is no longer in the picture. I was going to talk to her someday, but it seems like something needs to be said now, if only just a little bit. Any advice is greatly appreciated!!

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Q

HELP What to Do About Neighborhood Parent Fights

Bismarck, ND

This is sooooo Silly. A couple of weeks ago I was sitting down relaxing after supper when a child came to my door and told me that my daughter who is 8 flicked them off while they were riding there bikes. Like any parent will do I called her over and told her to go and get her bike from her friends house and come home I wanted to talk to her. Of course she denied it and then her friends mom whose name I will protect and call Helen called me up and said you cant believe anything that comes out of the childs (who told) mouth. I said that I will talk to my daughter and get it straight. Well as I was talking to the Helen the group of kids where riding by her house, and they supposibly flicked off her son. I believe that the kids rode by and talked to him then she said well I believe my kids and I am going down there to talk to their mother who I will call Betty. What she knew at the time was that I told her that I think Betty is working. Bettys car was not in her driveway and so that usually indicates that she was not home (she had a babysitter who was doing bike rides around the block). Then Helen marched down there I was outside putting away my boys toys and she opens up the door not even knocking and she gets handed a phone. Betty told her to leave and they will deal from it tomorrow. Helen blew up and know there Girls cannot play with each other at each other houses. So I have had my daughter and there kids over at my yard playing. Then today I was cleaning up my house and all the girls were playing together and Helens girl left and then I recieved a phone call from Helen. Anyways she told me that after what Bettys girl said today to other people (which is not true) Helens daughter cannot play over here anymore I am so sick and tired of the parents fighting which Betty has dropped and Helen has not dropped. I don't know what to do, what it seems to me that Helen wants me to be on her side and I have already told her that I am not getting involved.Which HElen has said that Betty said one thing about my child (Which is not true) I am friends with Betty and not so much about the over dramatic Helen. Well if it is all confusing to all of you then you are right and I do have a headache I got one today after Helen the over dramatic mom called me up and started this up again Please advise me what to do. I am so sad that my daughter and Helens daughter cannot play over here (where I have rules)and only play over at helens house (she has no rules)

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Q

Help with Son's Classmate

Amarillo, TX

Hi moms--I just need help dealing with this situation at my son's school. He is almost 11 yrs-5th grader and attends a private Catholic school. There is a girl in his classroom that likes all the boys in the class more than they want her to. SHe bothers my son, for example telling him he can't talk to other girls, (even about schoolwork) and if he does, then she starts bothering those girls and threatening them. Another thing, for example, she sits right in front of him and has very long hair, so she puts her hair all over his papers and just pesters him in a flirty way and he hates it. My problem is that she has a hearing disability, so she gets a little extra sympathy from the teachers, which is understandable. But I have seen her at parties and stuff, and clearly she knows what she is doing. I feel like we pay too much for him to go to that school to be miserable about her. I told my son to tell her that I was going to the principal if it doesn't stop, but he says she will cry. THe principal knows there are issues with her and has told him to please tell her if the problems continue. My son is so soft hearted, he doesn't want to start any conflict. There is only one 5th grade class, so I can't switch his class. She does this to other boys in the class too. Should I contact her mom (whom I have never met) or just let my son handle the best he can? Any advise will be GREAT!!

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Q

How Do I Get My 4 Year Old to Speak up More

St. Louis, MO

i haver recently found out that my lil man is getting picked on at school. He told my mother earlier this week that boys are school (daycare) are hitting him. I called and talked to his teacher and she said that she has noticed that a few of the boys were playing rough but they keep an eye on it all. Today my mom went to pick my son up from school and when she got there she saw him layin on the floor cryin and 4 little boys were standing around him laughin. Not one of hte teachers got up to see what was going on. When I got home he told me that "Chad pushed him down". I have a feelin that if someone is pickin on him he doesn't tell on them at school but waits til he gets home to tell us what is goin on. Now dont get me wrong i like that he is tellin me but i would like him to tell the teachers os this can be taken care of. When he told me i called the school and talked to you directer and she seemed concerned and said she was goin to talk to the teachers and the boys. what can i do to tell my son that is ok to tell on these boys that are bein mean to him and not worry about gettin in trouble..

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Q

How Do I Teach My 5 Year Old Daughter to Be a Little More Assertive

Tulsa, OK

My Daughter is very shy with other children. We are trying to encourage her to meet other children in the neighborhood but she just hangs her head down and talks very quietly under her breath. We have told her to introduce herself and ask the other childs name where they go to school how old etc... but she either wont do it or asks so quitely that she they cant here her. The problem also extends in school. I found out at lunch time she is not taking her drinks at lunch or fruit because she is too timid. A few times she has even had an accident in school because she is too shy to ask the teacher to go to the bathroom. Any ideas on helping her overcome this?

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Q

How Much Freedom to Give to 13 Year Old Boy?

Evansville, IN

Hi ladies. My fiance has a 13 year old son who has recently moved in with us. We're finding that he is quite the ladies man and a lot of the adolescent girls are interested in him. He wants to have girls over a lot and go over to girls houses which makes us a bit uncomfortable. I'm wondering, to those of you who have kids around this age, how much freedom do you give them? Do you let them be alone together, i.e. watch a movie in their bedroom alone? How often should you check on them to make sure there's no hanky panky going on or should we at all? Any advice is much appreciated!!

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Q

How Much Should I Intervene with My Bossy 5 Year Old Daughter?

San Francisco, CA

My kindergarten daughter can be very bossy with her playmates. Sometimes when she is playing with friends, I overhear her telling them what to do with what seems like less finesse than other girls her age. She wants to always play the games SHE thinks up, and has difficulty following the leads of her friends. She is a bit of a tomboy and tends to enjoy playing with boys more. How can I help her get along better socially without being too intrusive? I want to let her figure things out as much as she can on her own, but sometimes I feel she needs guidance. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Q

How to Handle Another Parent/friend That Frequently Curses in Front of My Child

San Francisco, CA

One of my very good friends has a child that is a few months older than my son. We hang out on a weekly (if not bi-weekly) basis. She and her husband often use swear words and I don't like my son hearing them. I am surprised she doesn't mind her son hearing them! I have tried to change my unflattering habit of swearing since giving birth to my son. I wish she would do the same. I am not sure how to approach this situation with her. Advice is appreciated!

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Q

How Young Is Too Young

Los Angeles, CA

My 5 year old was asked to sleep over @ a friend’s house. She is only in Pre-school. Her friend is turning 8. Big age difference. I like the mother, but my daughter has never been over to the house before. I think she is too young. My husband disagrees we me. Any Advice???

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Q

I Need Some Advice

Philadelphia, NJ

I have been back and forth on what to do. Hopefully someone has some input. On Monday am-I was getting my 3 yr old ready for her nursery school. I noticed something in her hair. I got it out-inspected it-I flushed it. I thought she got a bug while playing in the grass. Then started thinking-what was it, I thought of head lice-so I went on the computer and looked it up. Yup, it was lice!!! I got the cats comb and starting raking her hair-I found 9 more! I was cursing-so mad. I never had this, my 71/2 yr old never had this-why my little one. I treated her with rid, then started with the house. I had to treat my older one because I found the nits.-The things stuck to the hair. I never saw live ones on her. Also kept her home for the last 2 days. inspecting constantly, and washing. My husband immediately said she will not go back to that school. I feel bad because Friday is her last day and she is registered for next yr. Am I over reacting Or is my husband right with not letting her go back because she caught lice from there. Thank you for any input

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Q

Just When You Believe It Might Get Better!

Las Vegas, AZ

How do I start, first my little girl game home and told me that one of her classmates is moving and that his last day was yesterday. She was given his jacket from him so she would remember him. He made her laugh when others made fun of her.Now she feels all alone. I know kids this age maybe hard to understand or even know how they are feeling.But I was sad for her, due to the fact I know how these kids can be at times. So now what do I do. I've reassured her she will find other friends and that she won't feel alone for to long. I asked her will your friend get into trouble giving you his jacket and she said; she doesn't know. I told her maybe he wasn't allowed and if she knew where he lived and she said she doesn't. I was trying to give it back and that way she could say bye to him without all the kids around them. Just me and the parents. I knew what it felt like to have to say Goodbye, to a friend before we ever were able to be best friends. I also wanted to ask why? Isn't any of you responding to my request. I feel no one is responding to my asked questions. Well maybe this is just a place for me to just talk to myself. Thank you all.

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Q

Looking for a Little Advice

Washington DC, VA

Hello. I am the mother of a 12 year old girl and a 5 month old boy. My baby is cake compared to the "tweener" stuff my daughter shells out every day! My biggest concern with her is how often her "best friends" change. It seems she has very few lasting friendships and when I inquired about the previous friendship, I learn about some "drama" and of course my daughter is "never" at fault. I cannot relate to this as my high school friends went to nursery school with me and we are still great friends! Even the relationships I have now are strong and steady. So, I am confused as to why my daughter has trouble and really have no idea what I should be doing to help her through these awkward years! Several moms have told me its normal for the age and not to worry, but its hard not to worry and I want to teach my daughter how to be a good, trustworthy, and genuine person. Have any of you gone through this stage and if so how did you survive it!

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Q

My 3Rd Grader Is Failing

Seattle, WA

I have a wonderfully bright 10 year old son who is now failing. It all started after chistmas break when he became friends with the "Class Clowns"(2 boys). He has become difficult at school and acts out offten to make his friends laugh. He is dislexic, and has Velocardiofasial syndrom which requires many surguries, hearing problems and eye problems. Because of this we know his need for friendship is very important and not always easy for him being different. He has shown great talent in Drawing and Math but he is so determined to "goof off" that it is no longer his passion. We are a close knit family and are very involved with him and his schooling. He gets all the help he can ask for and we even set him up with tutors while at school. We have tried taking away everything but reading and have bent over backwards in trying to reward "ANY" effort he puts forth and still nothing. How are we supposed to counter act another kids influnce on him? What else can we do to encourage good behavior and still allow him to keep these friendships he has made? Any advice will help, we feel despret to get through to him this close to the end of the school year!

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Q

My 3Yr Old Gets Hit at School

Los Angeles, CA

My three year old son gets hit at school by his "friend" who is also our neighbor (a 4 yr old boy). I understand kids do this but the problem is the mother. She seems to think it is normal and any time the teacher talks to her about it, she blames the teacher. What should I do? My son sees him at school everyday and we see them everyday in our building. Let me add, I have spoken to the mother already last month about this same issue. I asked her how she would feel, but it did not work. She just does not seem to find a reason to stop the behavior. The teachers have been great but they can only do so much.....

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Q

My 4 Year Old Is Having Trouble Making Friends.

Jacksonville, FL

I have a 4 year old daughter who is very friendly and loves the company of other children big and small. She goes to school during the day, Dance class Monday nights and the Park on Tuesday nights. So she is around children quite a bit now. Yesterday at dance class she was playing with a little girl who she danced with last year and her mom and I take them out to dinner sometimes, they have been friends for a year or more. Well these 2 other little girls walked over and pointed at my daughter and said "we are not your friend, we don't like you" Then started playing with the other little girl. My daughter didn't know what to say or do. She just walked away with tears in her eyes and then asked me "Why don't they like me? Im a fun girl" As a mother it broke my heart. I didn't know what to say to her, luckly dance class was about to start so it took the focus off that and on to dance. She has never been mean or rude to these children, what do I do as a mom? Do I let her fight her own battles or do I step in and tell the other children to play nice? Another situation happened last week at the park, there were 3 little girls running aroung playing freeze tag, my daughter asked if she could play too and they just acted as if they didn't hear her. She kept trying to run and play along but they just ran right past her. These children were a bit older but it doesn't make rejection any easier for my child. I did the only thing I knew to do... I played freeze tag with her, we had our own little game. But she couldn't understand why the kids didn't want to play with her. Kids are so mean. I am not sure how she is doing in school with friends, but I have a meeting with her teacher next week to see how she is doing in there. Any advice??? Thanks

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My 4 Yr Old Was Told She Doesn't Belong by Other Child

Houston, TX

My 4 year old daughter just started Preschool for the 1st time this past week. She was so excited and anxious about going to "school". We helped encourage her excitement by letting her know she would meet new friends and learn so many new things. The first 2 days seemed to go great! She was so excited when I picked her up and could not stop talking about everything. Well, on the 3rd day, she came up to me almost in tears when I picked her up. The teacher let me know she started to miss me towards the end of the day. And my daughter did tell me "I missed you." Well, while we were in the car in the parking lot, she told me a girl told her she did not belong and everyone already had a best friend. :( Most of the girls in my daughters class were in the same class together last year. I know kids can be tough and I want my daughter not to let things like this bother her, but she is only 4 ( turned 4 in July) and it broke my heart to hear this. Especially since she was so excited about making new friends. I asked her how she felt about the comment and she let me know it made her sad. I did talk to her about it. Just curious how you moms would handle this. I was on the waiting list for this school b/c it was supposed to be pretty good...I had her enrolled at another place just in case. I hope things turn out fine....right now I just want to kick myself for not keeping her at our church school where she might have been in a class with kids we go to church with.

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Q

My Daughter Misses Friend from Old Daycare.

Omaha, NE

Hello, I had to take my daughter out of her daycare cause point blank they weren't taking the best care of her. Her new daycare is awesome. Except she misses her close friend from old daycare and asks about her often. I was going to send an invitation to her parents for my daughters b-day party coming up but wasn't sure since I don't know them. She's been in new daycare about a month now and has made new friends but always talks about this one little girl from old daycare. Would it be odd to send them an invite? Also, how the heck do I get it to them? Should I call the old daycare provider and ask if she could put the invite her her cubby? I don't really like the woman and she knows that. I do have a neighbor that still goes there, maybe she could slip it in for me. OR Should I just let it go and know that sometimes there are things that make my daughter sad and that's life and we move on? I'm not sure cause then I think, what harm could it be inviting her? I don't know - Your thoughts . . .

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My Daughter Would Rather Play with Me than Other kids...is That Normal?

San Antonio, TX

My almost 4 year old never asks to play with other kids in the neighborhood and seems perfectly content just playing with me and her younger sibling. I watch other children her age playing together, asking if a friend can come over and holding hands in groups....but she doesn't join in and will just stand by herself. I encourage her to join in and we're around kids all the time (playgroups in large and small sizes), but she doesn't show much interest, but chooses to do her own thing. I don't know if I'm making a big deal out of nothing, but I feel hurt inside that she is left out because she is not exerting herself. Any suggestions/input??

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Q

My Once Out Going 4 Year Old Now Has Seperation Anxiety

Birmingham, AL

I'm not sure what to do with this. My daughter has been in day care for 3 years now, and we have never had a problem with seperation anxiety. She always had a lot of friends and was happy to go see them and play with them (she is an only child). A few weeks ago she was ill and I stayed home with her for a few days, and now we can't hardly get her to go back. Her daddy takes her and says she screams and cries every day. She says no one there likes her. We asked her teacher if she was having any social problems and she was shocked. She said Ava is very active and has many friends. They have called me at work because Ava is saying she is sick, but when I get there she is fine. I cannot miss any more time at work if she isn't really sick. I really feel like we are being manipulated here, but at the same time it is heart breaking to hear her cry and beg us to keep her at home (this usually starts in the evening and she wakes up saying the same thing). I tried playing the Santa card, telling her we will go see Santa today if you are a big girl.... she said she doesn't want to see Santa, she wants to stay home. Please help!

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Q

My Son Hates School

Victoria, TX

My son is 9 years old and has had a very hard life. When he was 6 he had brain surgery be cause his veins where cloggin up.First he had the surgery on he's right side then a month later he had it done on his left side. If he wouldn't have had the surgery he would have had a stroke. He went through a long heeling process but, it finally got back to normal. He is a slow learner tho and this year thye kids started bothering and making fun of him at school. Now I have to fight with him to get him to got to school he cries and says he doesn't feel well. Please help me figure out what I should do. I feel for my son cause I love him so much and I thank God for sparing his life. If I can only make it easier for him at school then he would want to go.Please help!

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My Son Is Unhappy. Need Urgent Help

Dallas, TX

My son is almost 4 years old. He goes to a daycare. He has a best friend at school who he adores. He LOVES him. Then this kid's best friend came to join the class a week ago. Now they two refuse to play with my son and just run away when my son wants to play with them. My son is very unhappy. I feel the sadness in him. It hurt me even more. I'm so worried. I don't know what to do make them like my son again. we do playdate out of school all the time. But it's always three families together. Apparently it didn't help. I can't call and ask the other parents to let their sons to play with my son. Thanks so much for your help.

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Q

My Son Was Hurt While Sleeping at a Friends....

Chicago, WI

My son is 5 years old. He stayed the night at a friends house last night. This morning when he came home I noticed he has nail marks on his arm. When I asked him what happened he casually told me his friends mother had grabbed his arm. I had to press him for more, it was almost as if he was afraid to tell me. His side of the story is he wanted to come home and she was on the phone so she grabbed his arm and made him go back into the bedroom. He is still complaining about his arm being sore. I obviously will not continue to allow my son to have sleep-overs at this childs house anymore, but my question is 1) How do I confront the mother? We aren't really close friends, we met at my last apartment. Our children are friends so we've stayed in touch. 2) Do I continue to allow the children to play? I want them to be friends, but I will only allow them to be together under my supervision. Is that fair? Any help would be appreciated!!!

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Q

My Son's Friend.....

Dallas, TX

...apparently cuts herself. My main question is would you, as a parent, tell the girl's parents? We've only lived here for a year so I don't have a whole network of friends who know the girl or her parents that I can discuss this with. I've only met my son's friend once and talked to her Mom on the phone once. I have many concerns, the first being the girl's safety and well-being. However, it also crosses my mind that may she is just saying that to get attention. Regardless, my gut is telling me that I should call her Mom and let her know what her daughter is, at a minimum, telling my son. If it was me, I would appreciate someone telling me if my child was doing this him/herself. How would you react receiving a call like this from someone you don't know? Any advice?

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Q

Need Help Dealing with Neighborhood Friends

Chicago, IL

My 7 year old is one of 3 boys on the street all 7 years old. They all play together at times but the other 2 boys are not supervised by their parents and tend to end up bullying my child often. (My husband and I are out there a lot because we also have a 3 year old and I don't think they are old enough to be unsupervised.) I know that boys are boys and that some of this is normal figuring out life stuff. The other day my son and one of the boys had a couple hours playing just fine and when the 3rd boy came home and joined back in the playing the dynamics changed immediately to 2 against one and my son was the one being chased and teased. They where chasing him around the house with a rake until we finally called our son in. My son then reported one of the boys had a "time line" that went like this 1-We chase you with the rake, 2-We hit you in the face and you bleed, 3-You go to the hospital in an ambulance, 4-We laugh. I'm pretty unsettled by this but am not sure how to handle this situation as this is only the beginning of the summer season and they are always outside. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Need Help on How Do Deal withRUDE kids...that Arent Yours!

Austin, TX

today as i was walking my kids home from school, my daughter tripped and fell, skinning up her hands and arm. There was a group of girls walking behind us and a few of them started laughing very loudly and rudely over and over again. My daughter was fighting back tears, and i was just trying to keep her attention off of them, but they kept on. I finally snapped, yelling "you need to mind your own business and find something better to do than laugh at a little girl who fell down." keep in mind my daughter is in kinder and they were 4th and 5th graders. I know that i should not have done that. Well, the entire way home-they live in the same complex as i do-they were yelling "my daughters name", Youre Ugly! they kept this up the whole way, i didnt turn around and my daughter didnt hear it because i kept talking to her loudly when they would yell it. Two of the girls live in my building, and the rest of them go to the YMCA which is right next to my building, so we will see these kids around. There is one in particular (the one that lives in my building) who is always in trouble, or trying to fight or just being rude. Unfortunatly her mother is the same way, so i dont think talking to her would help. I just dont know what i should do. i dont want my daughter being picked on, but i dont want to be as ignorant as them either. ....one more thing, when we got home we went inside before they got in the gate. i had my window open and i heard/saw them looking at my parking spot saying "its gone" I had loaned my car out today. so now im worried they will they do something to my car.

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Q

Neighbor Boy and My Son

Tulsa, OK

We moved here about 2 years ago and I really wanted my son to find someone to play with. About 3 months ago this little boy moved in next door and him and my son hit it off. The problem is that this little boy is 8 and my son is 5 and this little boy does and says some things that aren't very appropriate. My son keeps coming home and telling me the new words that this little boy taught him or the games they've been playing. I've tried talking to the little boy and his grandma, but it's not really working. Also, he get very mean to my son, telling him that they can only play the games he wants to play and do the things he wants. I don't want to have them stop playing with each other, but I don't know what to do. I am an extremely shy person and I have a hard time meeting people, so it is hard for me to find play dates for him. Any advise? Thanks

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Q

Neighborhood Friends

Charlotte, SC

My two sons ages 7 and 10 have friends that leave down the road from us who they love to play with. I have heard through my other neighbors that their fiends have been saying bad stuff about my husband and m, but I wasnt going to let that effect my kids relationship with the friends. Then last Saturday all 4 boys got into a fight and I know my kids should not have gotten involved, but in a way they were trying to do a good deed cause my youngest was taking up for his friend and my oldest was taking up for his brother. Yesterday my kids go to their friends house and the mother tells them she isnt keeping up with kids today and tells them to go home, then the father tells my oldest to get his brother and leave now. My kids came home so upset and their feelings were hurt. I am not a confrontational person, but I kind of feel like if they have a problem with my kids then give me a call. My husband says that the other kids arent allowed at our house anymore, but that still only punishes the kids who have done nothing wrong.

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Q

New Friend Dilema

Chicago, IL

Hi there, I need some advice! I met a woman who has a son the same age as mine (3). The boys do not go to the same preschool, but they will be going to the same elementary school. Even though my son has 2 more years left at preschool, it is still nice to meet other people. Anyways, I have made plans with this girl 3 times and had to cancel 3 times. Once because I messed up my schedule, 2 date because my son was sick, and 3rd date because my son had a complete melt down in the walgreens parking lot (which, in turn, gave me a melt down). I feel awful that I have had to cancel, and now I am afraid she won't want to make plans with me again. I know it's no big deal, but I feel badly about it. I know it's 2 years away, but I worry that she thinks I am a complete ditz and can't keep a date. I know I shouldn't care about it, but unfortunatly, my crazy mind ruminates about this stuff. It's also hard because she has a little one that naps and I have a big one at school. Our schedules are different, too. Help..What do you think? Thanks. JD

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Q

Normal Pre-school (3-4 Yr Old) Behavior?

Dallas, TX

Since starting pre-school last fall, my daughter has been pre-occupied with who will and won't be her friend each day. The kids tell each other things like "I will be your friend today" or "I will not be your friend today!" I figured the children are young and are learning what "friend" means and how to socialize with each other so I haven't worried about it. But after school yesterday, my daughter got in the car and started crying. She said one of the other girls in her class called her stupid and a baby. We never use the word "stupid" in our home, so I was surprised to hear her say it. I am a room parent and have attended some of her classmates' birthday parties. I've noticed this particular girl and two others are very standoffish with my daughter both at school and outside of it. For example, at a recent birthday party, my daughter went up to each of her classmates to say hello and one of the female classmates turned her back on my daughter. My daughter came back to our table very upset and confused. Pre-school seems a little young to start this type of behavior, but maybe I am just unaware of how children act at this age. If you have experience with something similar, I'd love to hear how you've dealt with it. I am trying to figure out the best way to explain differences in people that will make sense to a 3 1/2 year old. Thanks, S.

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Q

Other Mom Disorganized

Barnstable, MA

My daughter is friends with a girl at school who always calls last minute for playdates and when she comes over here is always late getting picked up (early arriving!). The girls had a tentative plan to go to a movie last night, but they never called to tell u a time, so we went about our business. Then 15 minutes before the movie starts, our phone rings, asking if we can get her to their house now (they only live 5 minutes from us). The girl even said, "make sure you eat dinner before you come." I was stunned they would wait till the last minute. I had assumed either they weren't going at all or were going to a later show. I had my daughter hang up and tell her we'd call back because I couldn't fathom how I would get her there, then decided, no we weren't going to drop everything and rush out the door. Plus, I had planned to visit the ATM prior to going, so I needed a few extra minutes for that. My daughter was only mildly upset (we had rented a movie, so she was looking forward to that anyway), but when she called back the other girl was devastated and crying on the phone. She didn't understant why she suddenly couldn't go. I am going to see the mom today and am not sure how to address it. I was thinking I'd just say sorry we were in the middle of three things and couldn't get her there in time (but think she'll be upset that we "changed" our mind), but at the same time I would like to address the last minute issue with her because I don't think she gets it that it's a problem. Everyone else we are friends with makes plans with us a day or two in advance, not 15 minutes before. Anyone else had to deal with this?

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Q

Playdates Turn into Boys Versus Girl

Austin, TX

I have regular playdates with several neighbors - they have boys who are 3, 4, and 6, and I have a 5 year old daughter. We enjoy having time to hang out and spend mom time together, but the playdates invariably turn into the boys trying to exclude my daughter - "no girls allowed in here!" My daughter comes and tells us what they said, and then we go and tell the boys that they have to include my daughter. I would love to hear solutions on how to discourage my daughter from tattling, how to teach her how to play with the boys, and how to encourage the boys to include her in their games. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

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Q

Playground Race Discrimination with Daughter

San Francisco, CA

My daughter, who just turned 5 years old, was at the playground in our apartment community Monday morning and saw another young girl she wanted to play with. She walked up to her, asked her name, and asked if she could play with her. Soon after, the young girl told my daughter that she couldn't play with her because her "skin is too dark." Yes, she said that, and yes, I heard her say it. My daughter tried to apologize to the girl, which I stopped immediately. I explained to my daughter that she has no reason to apologize for her appearance. My daughter was really upset, and cried for quite a while, then asked to go home. Needless to say, this hurt me as much as it hurt my daughter. When I told my husband, a friend, and my mother what happened, they told me that I should've spoken to the mom about her daughter's behavior. I thought that it wasn't appropriate to do so, and that instead of talking to the mother, I needed to reassure my daughter that regardless of what color her skin is, she is beautiful. The girl's mother was very close by, but didn't hear what happened because she was talking to another mom. The girl went to hide behind her mom, who didn't acknowledge what was going on. That was when my daughter tried to apologize to her. What would you have done in this situation? What else should I do?

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Q

Problem Child in My Son's Kindergarden Class

Savannah, SC

I have a 5 year old that started kindergarden this year. I found out about a week ago, from observing at soccer, that there is somewhat disturbed child in his class. This child has has a rough life to say the least and I feel that the system has failed him. However, he hits, kicks, slaps and tackles other children and is extremely disruptive. My sons teacher said they are working on this, but she seems as if it is no big deal. I have observed first hand at soccer what he is like and my son said he is also like this at school. My husband doesn't want to cause any rifts, but I don't think this child belongs in a main stream kindergarden class, for his sake or anyone elses. My son's teacher and I don't seem to see eye to eye on much as of now and acts as if I am over reacting. Any advice on what to do, or what not to do?

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Q

Raising Teens'

Dallas, TX

Hello to ever one would just like to say I have three wonderful teens. I have heard that it gets easier when they began to grow up and you no what that seems not to be true. My oldest is seventeen and going through lots of heartache. He is struggling with girls and friends. He was always raised not to lie are cheat and most of all not to still. He is really finding it very hard to find trust in people. He fills he is in this big o world all by himself.He is very out going a bull rider and loves animals.It is really hard for me as his mom becouse I hert when he hurts and all he is wanting is to fitt in and to be loved.I need advice.

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Seeking Advice About Building a Child's Confidence.

Boston, MA

My eldest daughter is 7 years old. She is a sweet, sensitive child who seems to be having more of her fair share of friend issues. She has problems with kids who 'gatekeep' her, keeping other friends away & demanding absolute attention, they then turn on her & she cannot understand why they are being mean. She takes this all very much to heart & is unable to shrug it off. She is suffering with nightmares & looks drawn & pale with lack of sleep. Unfortunately, she seems particularly drawn to this type of manipulative kid,their outgoing confidence is obviously, initially, very attractive. We have been trying to build her confidence out of school with sport & dance clubs, but I'm worried sick about her, & the idea that this bullying will continue throughout her school years. Any advice about building her confidence & giving her the tools to deal with these 'friends' would be gratefuly received. I know I'm her mom, but she's a lovely kid, with a good sense of humour & a quiet strength,& I hate to see her school days dogged by this stress. My younger daughter is a little firecracker who takes no nonsense from anybody!!

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Q

Seeking Advice on Friendship

Orlando, FL

I'm having this on going issue with a long time friend. Our friendship is important to me and we've know each other for about 12 yrs now. I've stopped talking to her for a few months and we've even talked very open about it. It's her drinking! She is a fun person to be around when she's not hammered. I've always been the one to drive the 30 min. it takes to see her. Of course because she usually already had one or two beers.. So I go to her and hangout. Everythings fine until out of now where "DRAMA" starts. Never fails everytime I go there latley something always seems to happen. I know it's from her drinking so much she's out of it. The next day she don't remember and I'm guess I'm just sopose to forget about about it. She asked me to come over and when I get there shes drunk,the point where she's not even fun to be around. She blairs music goes in her own little world and acts like she's the most miserible person in the world. Early in the day she is not like this. She get mean and says nasty things, just out of control. So my point is I guess, Sat. night this happened again and I have not talked to her since. She probley has an idea that I'm upset with her. I want to talk to her about this "again" in hopes one day she'll change and get help or do I wash my hands....??

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Q

Seeking Advise on How to Rid Namecalling

Sacramento, CA

So my son who is 5 1/2 was called a loser by one of his t-ball teammates last night. And nothing was mentioned until I noticed him sitting in the field not wanting to play. After I asked him what was wrong he told me that other kid in outfield called him a loser. As much as I think that I resolved the issue by talking to both my son and the other boy explaining how everyone was part of the team and that name calling is not appropriate or allowed. The coach pretty much stated the same to both - name calling is not allowed and they would get batting practice taken away for doing it- But last night and today he has been sulky. When the two of us talked last night before dinner we talked about how name calling makes you feel bad and that it is ok to feel bad. But he did not stand up for himself and tell the other kid that he was not a loser or even tell anyone until I asked. I feel like he lets kids bully him. My question is how do I teach him the appropriate response to name calling and really what would that be? How do I teach him to stick up for himself? This is the first time I have run into something like this as he is my oldest and would love any advise that you could offer- Thanks

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Q

Sensitive Daughter

Los Angeles, CA

My daughter (5 years old) resently started summer school and are coming home every other day telling us that she does not like the school and the other kids don't want to "be her friend". We don't know whether to take her out of the school or not, we are trying to tell her that you can't expect that kids want to play all the time and maybe she could play by herself if nobody wants to play. We have noticed before that she is very sensitive and sometimes misunderstand the situation. For instance once we had a friend over at our house and she was playing with my daughter but suddenly the friend wanted to see our son play baseball my daughter started to cry and told me that her friend did not want to play. I want to help my daughter not be so sensitive does anyone have a good advise?

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Q

Suspect That Daughter's Acquaintance Is Using Drugs

Dallas, TX

My daughter recently had her sweet 15 party where one of the boys on her court was extremely sick during the event. I asked him at the beginning of the church service if he was okay and he said he was just hot. I figured that was understandable because it was hot at the church service. Then during the service he fell asleep. Immediately after the service he ran outside and got sick. My sister-in-law asked him if he was okay and he said that he was, but he spent most of the party either passed out on the couch or in the restroom getting sick. She also asked him if we should call his parents or take him to the doctor, and he kept insisting that he was fine. One of the other boys told my daughter that this boy told him that he had taken some pills. I called his mother the following day to ask how he was doing and she said he was still sick. I said that I was worried about him because he seemed very "out of it" during the party. She said "yes, I hope he can get it together soon since he'll be taking final exams." This is pretty much where we left it. I don't know if I should say something more or not. My husband said to leave it alone that it sounds as if she is aware of the problem based on her comment to me, but I am not all that convinced. This boy is a friend of a friend and not someone that my daughter is close to. I don't know anything about his home life. Any advice would be much appreciated.

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Q

Tactful Suggestions for an Unwanted Neighbor

Chicago, IL

It seems whenever my family is in our backyard, our neighbor behind us often comes over with her 2 young kids to play. I'm OK with neighbors popping in unannounced to play but this particular neighbor always stays well past her welcome. She does not leave when we have expected visitors, her kids have eaten off my son's lunch plate or have helped themselves to his snacks. The typical playing nice issues comes up often with 3 yr olds, but she never does anything about it. I am usually the one to say something... I have never come across someone who is like this......I do not know what else to do or say without being outright rude. Nor do I want to completly 'banish' her from coming over to play, as my husband wants. I am not one for conflict and do not want to start something out of nothing. She is still a neighbor who we will see everyday. BUT, I do want to be able to enjoy our backyard this summer without feeling she will be over within minutes. Please respond! I need suggestios on how to handle this situation tactfully! Thanks!

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Q

Trying to End a Friendship Between 8 Year Olds?

Dallas, TX

Hello all~ My 8 year old daughter has become friends with a new neighbor, who also happens to be a classmate. We have been carpooling together to/from school. Since meeting this child in February, we have strongly realized this is not someone we want her to be friends with for various reasons(attitudes, values, etc). We strongly feel that this child's family doesn't share the kind of values we want our daughter to be around and influenced by. She is a nice girl, but has very naive parents who are very permissive and we are much more conservative with our child. Anyhow, this girl also shows up at our house a lot and calls my phone to inquire about playdates....she lives right across the street, so it is hard to avoid them. I've been planning a lot of playdates for my daughter with other friends to try to discourage the friendship from blossoming. Do any of you have advice on how to sort of put this friendship on "ice"? And how should I approach the mother about not wanting to carpool in the fall? My daughter's teacher NEVER offers personal opinions and is somewhat stand-off-ish in her demeanor, and even she recommended that the friendship be discouraged. She sounded like she knew something about the family that would be bad influence on my daughter! Thanks for letting me ramble.........thanks in advance for your advice! You Mamas are great.

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Q

What Should I Do with a Lax Discipline Style of Mom Friend

Denver, CO

I am needing some advice on how to handle a friend of mine, and her "relaxed" or virtually no disciple of her kids. She is a SAHM, as am I, and she has invited me over for lunch on occasion. Her daughter is 3 and her son will be 2 soon. My daughter will also be 2 soon and she enjoys playing with them, until she starts getting bullied. The last time we were over there, my daughter was sitting on a ride on toy, and my friends son came over and pushed her off, got on it and rode away. My friend and I were sitting on the floor right there when it happened, and my friend held her hand out, said "nah uh" and let him ride off. That was it. Prior to this incident, the same day, they pushed my daughter down, took toys out of her hands and were just plain rude. After she was pushed, I grabbed my daughter, told my friend thank you for lunch and said it was time for us to leave. She never apoligized or anything. I guess what irked me and that her son got away with it with nothing even said to him. I am wondering if I just shouldn't hang out with them in their home anymore. I really don't want my daughter picking up those bad habits. She is pretty good at sharing and plays pretty nice....what would you moms do?!?!?

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Q

What to Do When You Know Your Child's Friend Is Nothing but Trouble???

Columbus, OH

OK, so this may seem a little mean, but I can't stand my 10 yr old son's friend. He does nothing but whine and complain when he is in our home. He pretends to be this perfect angel in front of my husband and I, telling me how pretty I am and how smart my husband is. We ignore it because it's obviously an act. We assumed he just wanted to be liked. We have come to the realization that everytime he comes around we know trouble is sure to follow. Now it has come to a breaking point. Tonight my son came home with a huge swollen bruised goose egg on his forehead. This boy had been throwing rocks and whacked my son in the head with one of them. My son tried to cover up for his friend by lying to me. He tried to say he fell off his bike. When I told him I didn't believe him he changed it to he tripped and fell. I finally had to tell him I would just go ask the boy what happened just to get him to tell me the truth. As you can imagine, I was very upset! I want to go talk to his Mom, but my son is very upset about the thought of being called a "cry baby" or a "rat". What do I do?

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