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Moderator
ModChristine
Posts: 1,241
Registered: ‎05-24-2013

Breaking up with a friend

My oldest is in 5th grade.  There is a boy he's been friends with since last year when my son started this new school.  I had some reservations about this boy we will call "John" beginning last year.  However, in January he moved away and I was somewhat relieved even though my son was upset.  John moved back at the beginning of this school year.  As this year has progressed, John has been failing his classes, getting into big trouble and just overall not a good influence.  I got a call today from my son's teacher who is also a friend of mine.  She was calling as a friend.  She said this boy is trying to bring my son down...he's distracting him in class and trying to get my son to do things he knows he shouldnt.  I have talked with my son several times this year about distancing himself from John and he has a little but John is a bit obsessed with having my son as his friend.  This teacher friend said that she knows what our home life is like and she knows what John's is like and while she feels for his situation, we should be very cautious about our son spending any time with him.  I do feel for this boy as I knows he's been bounced around between family members homes.  I feel it's time for my son to somehow cut ties with John before things get out of hand.  John calls our house sometimes 8 times in an hour wanting to talk to my son.  My son has a soft heart and he does not like to hurt others' feelings but I can tell he also knows that John is doing things that aren't right.  We are going to have a talk with him over Spring Break which is this coming week for us.  Any advice on how to handle this.  The teacher says that we should really have our son cut ties completely with John and honestly I agree but am not sure how to tell this to my son and how to suggest he handle it at school.

~ Christine ~
Mom to a sweet little girl and 2 busy boys
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New Contributor
Dschulte455
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎03-18-2014

Re: Breaking up with a friend

It sounds like you're dealing with a little boy who has a lot of hurt in his life, and who could probably benefit greatly from your family. Instead of making your son abandon him, why don't you embrace him. Talk to your son about making good choices and being a positive role model. If they spend time together outside of school, have him over to your house. You can supervise their activities and be a loving adult in his life. You would be amazed at how much little actions of love can impact students with behavior problems.
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New Contributor
malkilue1
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎03-18-2014

Re: Breaking up with a friend

Life is hard.  It's even harder if we travel down the wrong path.

There were people my mom didn't like, but nothing like this.  I was distanced from them but at school I could be social with them.  I'd suggest the oposite from you - Let the boy hang out with your son but only at your house.  Seems this child needs some support and guidence.  If this is not an option for you or even if it is, you still need to sit your son down and explain that some things need to stay with just you and him (discussion of the friends choices and your opinion of the choices), and that while it is good to be friends with people that live like him, it's not always the best thing.   Your son needs to know your boundaries and expectations.  He needs to make some for the friends he wants in his life.  Come to an agreement on what expectations you each have from "john".
Your son needs to be honest, to a point "I want to be friends but I don't like some of the things you do or want me to do.  I don't want you calling me more than once a day unless it's an emergency.   We can hang out for (set time) while at school but that is it as I need to be more social with others."
It's a hard lesson for your son but it's better to get it done now than later in life.  I hope the school is watching this boy closely.

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Visitor
zsuter
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎03-18-2014

Re: Breaking up with a friend

This is a tough one. I'm a mom of 2 and would like to think I encourage my children to make their own dicisions with guidance from me and my husband. So here is my 2 cents and I would completely understand if you disagree with my points...

  1. Have your child confirm that he also does not agree with John’s actions/behavior and that he deems them unacceptable.

  2. If he would like to continue his friendship with John, it would be his responsibility to ensure acceptable behavior from his new friend while in your son’s presence.

  3. If John refuses to comply with the new boundaries/rules your son is demanding then all ties must be cut. But if John complies, your son will become an influencer and a positive one at that. J

My suspicion is that your son would get so frustrated by John’s blatant disobedience towards him that he would want to dissolve his friendship. OR John may actually listen. Regardless, I would set the rule that they can only spend time with each other while under supervision. I.e. you or the teacher. Perhaps team up with your friend to see how things are going in class once this arrangement has been made with your son.  

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Frequent Visitor
superjosh83
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎03-18-2014

Re: Breaking up with a friend

Hmmm...  It sounds like your son might be, being bullied into friendship by this John kid.  If their home lives are that drastic, I imagine your son hasn't had a strong desire to hang out with John, however I am willing to bet that John has probably forced his friendship on to your son.  The only way I see this going well is if you tell your son that he is not to be friends with him anymore.  I would tell your son to "break it off" with this John kid and tell your son to blame you.  Let him blame his parents and use you as the skapegoat.  I'm sure your son is secretly looking for a way out of the realtionship too and blaming someone else and making it seem like it is out of his control might help.  The John kid will surely leave quickly and latch on to another kid for friendship.  

As for commentors before...  Bad company corrupts good morals.  I would stop this behaviour ASAP before he corrupts your child.  

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New Member
LindsayAO
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎03-18-2014

Re: Breaking up with a friend

I think a couple of the biggest factors to consider here would be how emotionally and mentally mature your son is, how well he understands right from wrong, how well he understands the consequences of his actions and decisions, and how strong willed he is to be who he is and wants to be.

My family and I moved into a neighborhood when I was younger, though a few grades older than your son (15/16 yrs old), and I started hanging out with the girl that lived across the street from me. We were complete opposites. My parents sat me down and discussed how uncomfortable they were with our friendship be they saw her as a bad example for me to be around. Their concerns were legitimate concerns. She hung out with the wrong crowd, was drinking and doing drugs, having sex, would run away, etc. My response to them was "But what if I can be a positive example for her? "

We set rules and boundaries together and I made sure she knew and respected my morals.

To this day (I'm now 29) her mother will introduce me to people as "the girl that saved my daughter's life."
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New Contributor
kendycorrea
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎03-18-2014

Re: Breaking up with a friend

My* computer* is* not* good *but* here* goes.* As* a* kid* I* was* in* the* same* situation* as* your* son.* My* brother* as* well.*This* is* going *to* sound* mean* but* your *son's* life* obviously* means* more *to *you* than* John's*.* You* cannot* intend *to* safe* others,* at* the *end* of* the* day* they* go* home* and* whatever* they* learned* from *your* household* goes* out* the* window.* It* is *not* YOUR *job *to* fix* someone* else's* kid.* It* is* YOUR* job* to* help* your* child.* My *brother* barely* graduated* High* School *because* he *was* hanging *out* with* some* really* lazy* kids.* They* weren't* "bad"* just* lazy* and* didn't* care* about* school.* My* brother *failed* most* of* his* classes* his* Senior* year* until* my* mother* intervened* and* got* harder* on* him.* Even *after *graduating* High *School *none *of* his* friends *graduated* but* he* continued* to* hang* out* with* them.* he* got* kicked* out* of* college...eventually* he* went* back* and *did* better,* these* losers* have* even* influenced* his* taste* in *women.* Now* he* is* struggling *in* a* bad* relationship,* with* now* two* kids.* why* i* tell* you* this?* because* these* kids* can* change* your* child's* life* forever.* change* his* taste* in* music,* girls,* and* lifestyle.* Basically* change* his* morals* and* values* like* they* did* my* brother.* today* he*regrets* these* things.* My* mom* told* me* to* distance* myself,* say* hi,* but* say* no* to* hanging* out* afterschool*or* go* home* together.* trust* me* your* son* wants* out* of* that* friendship,* but* he* is* a* child* and* does* not* know* how.* you* are* his* parent* and* only* you* have* the* power.* if* he* wants* he* can* say* you* dont* want* him* to* hang* out* anymore where he *doesnt* feel* pressured.

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