HELP PLS: "I don't like my friend's kid. Am I being petty?"


I cannot stand my best friend’s 12-year-old son, Jake, and don’t know what to do about it.

Over Christmas and New Year, a bunch of us went away together, and he single-handedly ruined the entire experience.

Jake has no respect at all for adults and behaves as though he is one of us. He sat every night at the dinner table, hands behind his head like he was in charge, and interjected into conversations he knew nothing about. 

One night, after I made dinner, he said I’d “overdone the chicken” and that the sauce looked like something his “dog had thrown up”. 

I tried to laugh it off, but was most furious because neither of his parents reprimanded him.

Later in the night he asked his mum, loudly so everyone could hear, “Why are her teeth that colour?” while looking at me. She was clearly mortified.

The problem is, I don’t think this is a phase. His father is much the same in terms of his supreme arrogance and dominance over social situations. 

Am I being petty? Or should I say something?


Let us start by saying you are not at all being petty. This child sounds like a d*ck.

If there’s one thing we know it’s that: Children. Don’t. Change.

They stay the same. Always. Specifically in terms of their behaviour.

But we’re not here to bitch about little Jake, as much as we’d love to. We’re here to solve problems, so here are your options:

Start a passive aggressive Whatsapp group

Start a Whatsapp group with a few (petty) friends and use it exclusively to bitch about Jake. Include identifying details (full name, physical features), as well as photographs, so there’s no mistaking who you’re talking about. Then ‘accidentally’ add your friend.


When they confront you, simply apologise, saying she wasn’t meant to see it. But imply, with your face, that you stand by everything you said.

Confront the child

He’s 12 now, which means he’s fair game and also capable of dealing with being confronted by an angry, resentful adult. Approach him maturely and calmly, by saying things like, “just so you know, no one likes you…” or “maybe you’d had more friends if you weren’t so annoying…”.


Don’t let yourself forget. Whenever you feel yourself moving on, write down seven reasons this child annoys you. Go and buy one of those little books from Typo. You know, the sparkly ones. If you run out of things to note down, then just imagine hypothetical situations and how the child would react. They’d be annoying, that’s for sure. Read your notes before bed and after exercise, to ensure he’s always front of mind.

Spread the word

Is there anyone who doesn’t know about your hostility towards Jake? Tell them. Ask if they, too, think he sounds annoying.

Be petty

Throughout the year wish every other one of your friend’s kids happy birthday. Buy cakes, make phone calls, put it on Facebook, etc. On Jake’s birthday, be silent. Then message his mum asking if she’s free. When she says that it’s her son’s birthday, simply respond: ‘oh.’

Post a Facebook status

Post a cryptic Facebook status about your best friend’s annoying 12-year-old, with specific examples so people can get across the whole story. When other people comment asking who it’s about, respond with “I’ll DM you.” When your friend enquires just reply, “dw”, followed by, “hope you’re well xxx”.

As an additional tip, if your friend starts to suspect your resentment towards her child, deny it at all costs. Make her feel crazy.

With a distressed mum, who’s deeply confused about her friend’s behaviour, Jake might finally change his tact – rebelling in a way that ultimately hurts others and himself.

Good luck!