Ask your mom if I can come. (The sibling dilemma.)

Reply Fri 18 Jan, 2008 07:47 pm
So Mo has this friend who comes over to play most Fridays.

Friend has a younger brother.

Younger Brother (YB) yells off the school bus - "Ask your mom if I can come too!". And when the answer is "Not this time" YB cries.

When YB cries, my hear breaks. I was the youngest of four kids and I remember this kind of thing.

Older brother, Mo's friend, says "No. He's annoying."

Mo says "Okay by me. He can come. He's cool."

How do you deal with the friend's sibling?
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Reply Fri 18 Jan, 2008 07:53 pm
Oh yeah.

We've had a bunch of issues with that.

A few meltdowns early on -- in fact I think that was the reason for my "Girls gone wild" thread, that sozlet's BF was annoyed that sozlet gave something to her little brother.

Generally, sozlet's friends don't want to have to deal with siblings, while sozlet likes the siblings, older or younger. (In fact, sozlet is starting to be better friends with one friend's older sister than the original friend -- its own issue, that hasn't come to a head yet. The three of them seem to play together pretty happily so far.)

I usually just try to respect the older sibling's feelings and don't force the issue.

In general, I've found that neutral ground gatherings work better with a YS around than in-home playdates. The pool, the playground.
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Reply Fri 18 Jan, 2008 09:03 pm
Kids need time off from all members of their families.
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Reply Fri 18 Jan, 2008 09:06 pm
It hasn't worked for us, and in one incident the mother had to come
and pick up the younger sibling after an hour, as she felt left out. Her
older sister made sure she felt uncomfortable and didn't want her there
in the first place.

My daughter didn't mind having her there, but I have learned that
the older siblings are usually glad to get away from the younger ones
and the last thing they want is a play date with their friends AND having
their siblings around too. It mostly creates tension.

So, if Mo's friend doesn't want his younger sibling around, trust me,
he'll make sure that his brother isn't having a good time.
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Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2008 07:41 am
Yep, I agree with CJ's last line.

One thing I'm getting stuck on -- where's the mom/dad when YS is yelling off the bus about joining OS and Mo? Would it be OK with the mom/dad if you said "yes"? You'd call, or something? Or is the mom/dad there, and what does he/she say?

I realized that usually in these situations I leave it up to the parents of the siblings in question. They usually know best if it's a bad idea or not.
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Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2008 07:59 am
sozobe wrote:
I realized that usually in these situations I leave it up to the parents of the siblings in question. They usually know best if it's a bad idea or not.

Probably a conversation without the kids, because when the kids are there and it's distracting it can be hard to figure out if a "no" is a polite demurral ("we don't want to be a bother") or an actual stand ("bad idea to have YS join, the sibs will just make each other miserable and nobody will have fun.")

Just some kind of chat, maybe when you're waiting for the kids to get off the bus (I have many good chats while waiting with other parents to pick up our kids from school but not sure how it works with buses/ your area). Like, "YB keeps asking to join us -- that's totally fine with me and Mo, but OB doesn't seem to want that so I've been saying no so far..." and get some feedback.
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Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2008 08:57 am
I tended to be a hands off Mom with this kind of stuff unless it got ugly. The kids have to learn how to have friendships and sibling relationships. They use this time to learn their own limits. (If it bothers Mo enough, he'll be at least thinking about what kind of friend he has when he treats his little brother that way.)

You can talk to the Mom, get a feel for the sibling relationship and how she handles such conflicts. But, for me, I tended to have conversations with my own kids to sort it out.

"Hey, what was all the fuss at the bus stop today?"

"Oh, Catherine wanted to come with Lizzie and me to play but she got into Lizzies room yesterday and broke all of her markers so Lizzie is still mad at her."

"My gosh. What did their parents do about that?"

"Nothing. That's why Lizzie is so mad and doesn't want to be around her."

In that case I would not get involved. She'd be supporting her friend.

Had she said "I wouldn't have minded if Catherine came over, too." I'd have explored how it was handled by daughter, what was said, how she felt about the way Lizzie treated her sister.

Basically, let the kids decide. You can talk to Mo to guide his thoughts on the subject. I think parents get involved too often in the little things. We don't want them telling us who we can play/ be friends with, right? This is another learning experience for them.
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Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2008 09:31 am
Yesterday was the first time that "Alex" turned and asked if "Matt" could come too saying it would be fine with him. In the past Alex has not wanted Matt to come.

The school would never ever just let him off the bus. The kids have to bring a note or the parents have to call to release the kid to anyone but the designated person - for Alex and Matt that is the bus.

I have talked to the boys parents and we have all been leaving it up to Alex at this point.

Sometimes Mo's friend from down the street "Joe", comes over for the Friday rumpus and he is the same age as Matt.

And I confess - both Alex and Matt tug at my heart a bit anyway because their lives have been a little.... er.... bouncy.... but stable now, thank goodness.
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Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2008 09:49 am
"Alex" is the older brother, "Matt" the younger?

If Alex is fine with Matt coming too and the parents are fine with it, I don't see a problem.

(Sorry to be dense, I still can't quite envision the bus situation -- if Alex asked for Matt to come too, and you say "yes," then what? Does Alex have a note already, and Matt doesn't...?)
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Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2008 10:26 am
Yes, Alex is the friend and Matt is the younger brother.

And yes, Alex's dad calls the school and lets them know that Alex is coming home with us. They would have to also receive a call about Matt for him to be able to go home with us.

We only live a block from school so we walk, which, strangly enough, is one of the big attractions to coming over because "walking home from school is totally cool".

The boy's mom works and their dad is disabled. She gets off work about 4:30 and picks Alex up here after work so he's usually here for a couple of hours.
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Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2008 12:03 pm
OK, thanks! That makes more sense now.

So it sounds like if there is a last-minute, from-the-bus request from Matt to join Mo and Alex, you can't really say "yes," anyway...?
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Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2008 02:49 pm
Squinney makes excellent sense.

Question: Would Younger Brother Alex go home to one-on-one private parent time?
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