Do we all have to be friends? Why?
Late last school year, my girl developed a new friendship at her school. My girl came home talking and talking about "Penny". We'd seen Penny at school before, and she seemed like a sweet and spunky little gal, a perfect compliment to our girl. Our girl was beside herself when Penny invited her over to her birthday party. Our whole family went to the birthday party, to get to know our girl's new friend & her family a little better.
We were a bit taken aback how unwelcome and uncomfortable we felt with Penny's mom. As we got settled with the other families, Penny's mom hardly said two sentences to us. As she prepared candles on the cake, Penny's mom was muttering under her breath. As she took pictures of the group of kids, Penny's mom scolded her husband for not being helpful. As she saw her in-laws (Penny's grandparents) approaching, Penny's mom rolled her eyes and audibly said, "Good grief, I can't believe they're here." There was so much negativity and judgment coming from Penny's mom that we felt really, really awkward.
Recently, our girl has resurfaced the request to have a play date with Penny. Likewise, Penny has asked me directly if she and our girl could plan a play date. I keep deflecting the requests. I'm not keen on Penny's mama, and I would hate for things to get negative while my girl was I her house, even if the negativity was not necessarily directed at my girl. I suppose I could suggest that Penny come to our house, but I somehow can't even stomach that idea. The whole thought leaves a bad taste in my mouth; we just weren't too fond of the idea of nurturing a relationship with Penny's family.
If you encountered a family that rubbed you the wrong way, what would you do if the kids still wanted to play? Do we ALL have to be friends? Awww, do we HAVE TO?