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Monday question: What child is this?

Posted by Robin Abrahams  December 3, 2012 07:11 AM

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Happy December, everyone! I hope the month is busily social, or peacefully reflective, or whatever you most need this year.

Last week's question reminded a reader of her own problem:

Here is another holiday party guest list etiquette question. Every year we host a holiday gathering for the families of our children's friends, inviting those with whom we are socially friendly year-round. The grown-ups all get along, and the kids all get along, with 1 notable exception. There is one girl that my daughter (age 8) has had many problems with at school, some of which I have witnessed. This girl, and her little brother, caused several problems at our party last year. She is rude and bossy, and does NOT play well with others. My daughter begged us not to invite her family this year. We agreed, mainly because of the problems at the party last year. The problem is, I am very friendly with this girl's Mom, and we have many mutual friends, all of whom are invited to the party. Do I say something to my friend when I see her socially? Or do I hope that she won't find out about the party by talking to others who are invited? I would hate to have this come between our friendship, but her kids really are a problem. What to do?
What do you think? I find it odd that the mothers could be "very friendly" all this time without Mrs. Rudekid's children's behavior becoming an issue before. Has the LW always just let things slide? I think she needs to talk to her friend -- but about more than just this holiday party. What do you say -- especially you, parents?
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About Miss Conduct
Welcome to Miss Conduct’s blog, a place where the popular Boston Globe Magazine columnist Robin Abrahams and her readers share etiquette tips, unravel social conundrums, and gossip about social behavior in pop culture and the news. Have a question of your own? Ask Robin using this form or by emailing her at missconduct@globe.com.
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Who is Miss Conduct?

Robin Abrahamswrites the weekly "Miss Conduct" column for The Boston Globe Magazine and is the author of Miss Conduct's Mind over Manners. Robin has a PhD in psychology from Boston University and also works as a research associate at Harvard Business School. Her column is informed by her experience as a theater publicist, organizational-change communications manager, editor, stand-up comedian, and professor of psychology and English. She lives in Cambridge with her husband Marc Abrahams, the founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, and their socially challenged but charismatic dog, Milo.

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