How do you go about helping a friend whom you don't know a) if they actually want or need your help and b)how they will take you offering said help?
I'm in a pickle. I have a friend who is clearly struggling with the behaviour of her four year old. It is true, all kids have melt downs from time to time, but this little girl goes out of her way to make her mother's life difficult. She doesn't listen, and she doesn't comply. She lacks courtesy and has trouble with authority. She wants to do it her way and only her way and she has no qualms about making her mother feel about 1cm tall in front of a crowd of people.
To start, I thought the usual 'it's just a phase'. Pocket has been known to throw major wobblies much like this other four year old, and being that they're the same age, I guess I compare their behaviour a little. Now, as the months have rolled by, I am quite sure that my friend is in over her head.
I think when naughtiness goes on for months on end, any parent would be forced to the point of giving up. Without my friend having said in so many words, I pretty sure she is at breaking point. She needs to be consistent with the girl, but she has nothing left to give. She has two other children to parent also, and sometimes I see their behaviour lagging due to their Mum's time being spent sorting out four year old tanties.
So what can I do? I don't want to offend her, I don't want her thinking I think she's a cruddy parent, she is the complete opposite of that. As a friend how do I tell her that she clearly needs to set some boundaries, get tough with the girl before it gets even worse? How do I start that conversation? Or do I just mind my own business and watch as the train veers further off the tracks?
Maybe my friend will read this blog. (I can't remember who spies on my blog anymore apart from my Ma - "hi Ma".) I hope that if this was the case, she'd understand I have been waiting for the right time, the right words to show my support, but to date, I just can't seem to figure out what those right words will be.