Need Advice On A Parenting/playdate Issue- Very Long!

Lounge By jenmat Updated 22 Sep 2010 , 7:09am by mistiek2006

jenmat Posted 30 Aug 2010 , 7:20pm
post #1 of 26

Hi All-
I'm kind of struggling with this one, and thought I'd ask advice.
I have a VERY sensitive 3 1/2 yr old girl, and I am friends with a lady down the street. She has 2 little boys, 6 and just 3. Her boys are fairly low maintenance, and she has NO experience with kids that are a little tougher, in fact she doesn't believe that there are different types of children, and chalks it up to parenting.

We have gone over there quite a few times, and the 2 younger ones argue the whole time. Most of the time it is because her boy won't share, and my daughter gets frustrated and goes to tears. She does not make any effort to make her boy share at all. It is getting to the point that mine doesn't want to go over there. They have many more toys than we do, so her kids complain that they are bored every time they come over here.

Fast forward to last week, and we went out to lunch for my friend's bday. My daughter wasn't feeling good, (which was my mistake in taking her in the first place), and I let her get away with sitting under the table because we were outside and it was too hot in the sun. (again, my mistake). The two boys join her, and she doesn't want them to touch her. The 6 year old does, she puts her foot near his leg, and I look down in time to see him open-hand slap her thigh hard enough it echoed. I told my friend and she LAUGHED! This is not the first time one of them has hit her.

In my opinion, a 6 year old does NOT get to slap a 3 year old, no matter what, and NEVER does a 6 yr old boy get to slap a 3 year old GIRL!

So, now what? Do I just exit the friendship, knowing that it could start an issue in the neighborhood? Do I have a chat with her about it? And if so, how do we not get in a debate about how we raise our kids? I'd hate to lose the friendship, because we get along great, but I have to protect my little one before all else!

25 replies
playingwithsugar Posted 30 Aug 2010 , 8:58pm
post #2 of 26

I wouldn't bring the subject up, because she laughed about the previous incident.

Distance yourself and your daughter, not just for your sakes, but for the sakes of the women these boys end up with. If they're allowed to hit females now, they may be apt to beating them up when they become adults. They don't need your daughter to practice on, and apparently she sees no immediate or future danger in it.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

DefyGravity Posted 30 Aug 2010 , 9:38pm
post #3 of 26

I have a boy and twin girls. My son is 5, the twins are 2. Boys are honestly just naturally rougher. I've been telling my son "All girls are princesses and need to be treated that way." The other day, our friends' 10 year old asked if he fights with his sisters and his response was "No, they're princesses."

These boys probably don't play with girls very often and might not think they're doing anything that outlandish. The mom is probably used to seeing them roughhouse with each other and also might not see it from your perspective.

I absolutely do not think that just because a 6 year old plays rough that he will automatically turn out to be an abuser. Talk to your friend, and lay all of your concerns out on the table. I think facing uncomfortable situations is turning into a lost art form. Even if she's so embarrassed that she wants to quit having playdates, you have at least made her aware of your feelings and stood up for you daughter. If you continue to have playdates, help your daughter stand up for herself by teaching her to say "Please stop it" while these boys are getting the bugs worked out of their behavior.

As a last ditch effort, you can correct the boys' behavior and tell them hitting is unacceptable. I've had to do it before when the parents were oblivious that their kid was coloring on my rug and throwing toys.

Texas_Rose Posted 30 Aug 2010 , 11:01pm
post #4 of 26

I would just be too busy to get together with that friend. Don't tell her it's because her kids can't behave...don't tell her anything at all. Just be too busy. "Oh, I really wish we could get together but I have this project I'm working on..." or "I sure do miss having a lot of free time, but now that I'm..."

I had a friend who I had to ditch before because we had different parenting styles. Her daughter bit mine on the butt. Her daughter was 2, and she bit my older one, who was 5. My daughter was wearing jeans, it wasn't that major...but the other mom grabbed her 2 year old, pulled off her diaper, and started spanking her like crazy. That was the last time I ever had them over...I just don't like scenes like that.

Anyhow, your daughter isn't too sensitive...someone has been telling you that, it's not something us moms come up with on our own. She needs some little girls to play with, that's all.

jenmat Posted 30 Aug 2010 , 11:52pm
post #5 of 26

Oh, my little one IS sensitive. No one had to tell me that. She's a handful, and there are days that I want to trade her in for a puppy. I love her little quirks, though!
But when we go to playdates, she can usually get along, with occasional sharing issues. You're right, I need to find her some girls to play with! But I also can't just "be busy" all the time. This friend lives practically next door.
I definitely agree that avoiding confrontation is the new way to handle stress.
The boys aren't monsters, they probably do play rough and hitting is just a natural way to respond. But that doesn't make it right.

Luffie Posted 31 Aug 2010 , 12:24am
post #6 of 26

Looks like your daughter is a good judge of character if she was already starting to shy away from wanting to play with them. Kids normally want someone to play with, but if it's not a happy situation then they are smart and eventually decide 'no thanks, I'd rather fly solo'.

It sounds like you and your friend have very different parenting styles, which means you will probably end up with many more different opinions on kiddie situations going forward. Honestly not sharing and hitting are two major issues that need to be addressed, your friends needs to look at her kids overall - sounds like she isn't raising them appropriately. Today it is not sharing or hitting - a year from now it's swearing, breaking things or stealing.

If you feel comfortable telling her, just let her your daughter has begun to shy away because they are too rough with her, might be best to limit interaction. What can she say really? That her boys are angels? I don't think so...It might just open her eyes a bit, and if not then she deserves to be lonely.

Good luck - you are right in saying you have to protect her...she needs to know early in life that behaviour like that is not acceptable and she shouldn't have to worry about boys hitting her - that mom needs a smuck.

-Tubbs Posted 31 Aug 2010 , 12:35am
post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by DefyGravity

I've been telling my son "All girls are princesses and need to be treated that way."



Really? IMO you're not doing your son any favours there. It does not teach a healthy attitude towards women to think they are delicate flowers or princesses. I have a girl and two boys and I try to teach all of them that hitting anyone, regardless of gender or age, is not ok.

To OP, I think you're right to try to distance yourself from this friend, at least when it comes to socializing with your kids around. Maybe in a couple of years your daughter will be more up to handling these boys, but for now I think it's ok to say to your friend that your daughter finds her sons a bit rough to play with and that you're looking for girl friends for her.

cakesbycathy Posted 31 Aug 2010 , 12:57am
post #8 of 26

As a mom of twin boys who are 7 and a daughter who is 6 here are my thoughts...
First, I can see how upsetting the hitting thing would be, primarily because the other mom seems like she blew you off when you were obviously upset about it.

I have been in similar situations before where another mom and I got along great but I didn't agree with her parenting style and/or their were problems when we had playdates with the kids. I stopped the playdates but tried to arrange for Mommy only dates every so often. Parenting styles is such a touchy subject that I usually just approached it as needing some time away from the kids, which most moms can appreciate.

Second, most boys just seem to be naturally more aggressive than girls. Not all, but most. And I do know there are some fairly aggressive girls out there, too (my DD can hold her own against her brothers any day of the week). They just play rougher. I have given up trying to put a stop to it with my two. Now we just tell them they are only allowed to wrestle in the basement icon_rolleyes.gif

Finally, it's okay that your daughter is sensitive, but she's getting old enough to learn not to be a doormat. If she's going to go to preschool or any other kind of little class, she needs to learn how to stand up for herself. At this age she can be taught to hold out her hand and loudly say "STOP! I don't like that!" if someone is doing something that bothers her. It will help put an end to the situation and she will also feel empowered.

Being a mom is tough. Hugs!!!

DefyGravity Posted 31 Aug 2010 , 1:07am
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by -Tubbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by DefyGravity

I've been telling my son "All girls are princesses and need to be treated that way."


Really? IMO you're not doing your son any favours there. It does not teach a healthy attitude towards women to think they are delicate flowers or princesses. I have a girl and two boys and I try to teach all of them that hitting anyone, regardless of gender or age, is not ok.




For now, it's working. He definitely doesn't treat them like delicate flowers, but it does make him think twice about sneak attacking them with a Nerf gun or wrestling with them. With the age gap right now, he's too rough and their first reaction is to start smacking him when he does something they don't like, so asking him to be nicer up front has stopped a lot of potential fights. It'll probably change when they get a little bit older, but for now it keeps him from getting too rough.

indydebi Posted 31 Aug 2010 , 9:13am
post #10 of 26

"Back in my day .....!" there were no such thing as "play dates" or other socially orchestrated play appointments. Kids just went outside to play, or we took them to the park and they ran and played, or we as a family visited other family members / friends and the kids played. But to make a date on a calendar just for the purpose of getting kids together to "play"? It's a foreign (and silly) concept to me. Chalk it up to my age difference if you will, but geesh, just let kids be kids!

That rant over ...... icon_biggrin.gif I would never put my children in situations where they felt bullied and afraid, which is what I'm reading about this situation. I'm also a mom who had NO PROBLEM correcting and disciplining other kids. If you (mom) aren't going to make them behave properly, then I will! If you don't like me making your child behave, then either handle it yourself or don't come around any more. I will NOT have my child being the doormat or sparring partner for your children! icon_mad.gif

Neighbors or not, I would just choose not to hang out with them anymore if this is how it's gonna work. I lived in a subdivision of over 100 houses and only knew the names of the people who lived on one side of me, so proximity isn't really an issue for me.

jenmat Posted 31 Aug 2010 , 6:01pm
post #11 of 26

Thanks everyone for the input!
Debi~ my generation never had playdates either. It is still a little weird for me, but that's how things are done now. I wouldn't want my 3 yr old running around the neighborhood knocking on doors anyway. Although I know everyone in our little subdivision of 6 houses, I wouldn't like her running down our country road where maniacs in big trucks drive 55mph in a 25 zone. But that's for another day...

I think I am going to do a combination of everything suggested. First, I'm going to eliminate the times when her oldest is there. He will be at full time school this year, so that should be easy. Next, I'm going to reduce the times when our kids play and find some other kids for her to play with. Thirdly, I WILL say something when we do get together if I see aggressive behavior.
AND, in a side, note, I am going to stop apologizing when I feel my daughter is being too sensitive about things (she's a hairline-trigger crier), and stand up for her!

dldbrou Posted 31 Aug 2010 , 8:30pm
post #12 of 26

My son was an only child and very quiet and shy. Whenever we would go to family functions or gatherings of friends he would always be the one that they would bully. I had no problem correcting other peoples children if I thought an injury would occur if they continued. There was a point that one boy in particular loved to bully my son no matter how softly his mother pleaded with him. One day I told him in front of his mother that if he continued to attack my son that my son had my permission to bite or hit the boy if he was being attacked. I told my son ahead of time what I was going to say so that he knew I would not get mad at him for defending himself. Well, that mother could not believe I was condoning hitting and biting. I told her my son was tired of her son's bulling and I was giving my permission for him to defend himself. The other boy tested my son once and after he was hit back he left my son alone. That was the only child that I ever saw my son get physical with. He did not have brothers and sisters to learn how to pick fights with, so he just played quietly with kids.

I am not saying you need to do the same thing, but this mother sees nothing wrong with the way her children treat others and you need to step in when your child is in danger.

cheatize Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 4:59am
post #13 of 26

I've raised two girls and one boy. Hitting is NEVER okay. That's the rule. Argue all you want, but argue enough and you'll find yourself doing it outside of the house because the rule is, "You have the right to disagree. You do NOT have the right to bug the crap out of everyone else with it." ( A little future tip for you, LOL)

Hitting/bulying/being mean/whatever is not okay. Ever. Take your child out of the situation. If you want to keep the friendship, meet with her without the kids. I'm sure it won't be the first time this has happened to your friend. The last time one particular kid played with mine was the day the kid was ticked because he thought my son erased a video game. The kid threw a screwdriver at mine and my son had to go to the hospital to get stitches. He will never grow hair in that spot.

By allowing your daughter to interact with those kids you are teaching her that their behavior is okay and to be tolerated.

Nip it! Nip it now!

Shelle_75 Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 6:02pm
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

That rant over ...... icon_biggrin.gif I would never put my children in situations where they felt bullied and afraid, which is what I'm reading about this situation. I'm also a mom who had NO PROBLEM correcting and disciplining other kids. If you (mom) aren't going to make them behave properly, then I will! If you don't like me making your child behave, then either handle it yourself or don't come around any more. I will NOT have my child being the doormat or sparring partner for your children! icon_mad.gif




AMEN! Parents of the children that my children are playing with get ONE chance to make their kids be nice. If they are incapable or just plain too frickin' lazy, I'll be happy to do it for them.

adonisthegreek1 Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 9:11pm
post #15 of 26

There is no point talking to your friend. She knows her kids are trouble, but is in denial. She thinks it's "cute." Time to just distance yourself from her. You don't get to keep a friendship that harms your daughter in any way.

costumeczar Posted 2 Sep 2010 , 1:50am
post #16 of 26

If you have to get together with that kid again, tell him right in front of his mother that the rule is that he's not allowed to hit your daughter, not because she's a girl but becasue he shouldn't be hitting anybody. If his mother gets huffy then tell her that if she won't stop him then you need to say something because he hurt your daughter the last time you got together. The worst that could happen is that she storms out in a huff, draging her darling boxer with her. Big loss.

Better yet, just smile and wave but keep walking when you see her.

margaretb Posted 3 Sep 2010 , 6:24am
post #17 of 26

I absolutely would tell that older kid that he is not allowed to hit my child. The way I see it is that people can have their own rules as to what they do and do not allow their children to do, but I can also make my own rules about what I do and do not allow to happen to my child, and my rule about NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO HIT MY CHILD trumps anybody else's rule that their child is allowed to hit anyone they want. And I'll admit, my kids are much more likely to be the hitters in any story than the hittees, and I don't usually get too worked up about it unless it is (as in your case) an older child hitting a significantly younger child. I've even explained this to my single childless brother when he had some questions about how much kids can get away with (e.g. going beyond friendly wresling to leaping on his back when he was not ready for it and injuring him). You are allowed to have rules about yourself!

I wouldn't, in that situation, punish the older child or send him to a time out or anything if the other parent was present -- that's their business -- but I definitely would say something to him about the hitting -- that becomes your business when he is hitting your kid. Well, I'd probably say no hitting no matter who was being hit, but I would be meaner if it was my kid.

stacey71 Posted 7 Sep 2010 , 4:25am
post #18 of 26

I would not continue with the playdates. I would be VERY upset if a boy hit my daugher (age wouldnt matter to me). Also, the fact that she discounted your concern when the incident took place is upsetting I'm sure.

PianoDiva Posted 7 Sep 2010 , 6:05am
post #19 of 26

You've gotten lots of good advice here, and I just have one thing to add. When you talk with your friend about this incident, what if she responds with something like, "Ha-ha! Well, you know boys will be boys!" That one sentence would tell you that no matter what you say, it's going to fall on deaf ears.

Good luck with this one, and let us know how it turns out.

BTW, I too am from a generation for whom playdates didn't exist, but circumstances now prohibit my kids from just walking over to their friends' houses (well, except one friend because she lives right across the street) and asking them to come out and play.

Mamatoboys Posted 7 Sep 2010 , 12:06pm
post #20 of 26

I agree with what many of the others have said about dropping the playdates. But, if you want them to continue, I would step in and tell the boys to stop when their behavior gets out of hand.

I was involved in a play group (6 little boys plus younger siblings) when my son was 2yrs - 4yrs, and if a mother saw a child mis-behaving, they told that child to stop. You know what? We figured out that the children listened to other mothers better than their own! It became a game to us moms. When my child was acting up, I would ask one of the other mothers to say something to him and he stopped instantly. I don't know why this worked, the other mothers and myself were never "mean" to each others children. We just calmly said "Joey, stop hitting" or "Joey, you need to share that toy". HTH!

indydebi Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 1:46am
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamatoboys

We figured out that the children listened to other mothers better than their own! It became a game to us moms.


In my daughtr's neighborhood circle of friends, SHE is the mom that the other moms threaten their kids with!

"Joey, if you don't behave, I'm going to call Christine and tell her you're not cleaning your room!"

My daughter is just fine with that. She tells me with a gleam in eye, "Yep! I WANT them to fear me!" icon_lol.gif

I was there one day when she told a neighbor kid, "You're starting to piss me off, so calm it down or I'm shipping your butt outside!" His mom said, "See? Told you that you better calm it down before Chris noticed you acting up!" icon_lol.gif

michellenj Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 3:24am
post #22 of 26

I would have yelled under the table "HEY- no hitting!" and if the other mom got upset, so be it. Nobody should be hitting anyone. My rule is Hands to Yourselves. If something is happening that should not be happening and the other mom won't deal with it, then I just open up my mouth.

michellenj Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 3:26am
post #23 of 26

And let me add that I think that in some instances, the children should just work it out amongst themselves, but I don't think 3 years old is old enough to compromise and work things out alone. Especially if you are somewhere like a restaurant where you are stuck.

Zamode Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 3:53am
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by michellenj

I would have yelled under the table "HEY- no hitting!" and if the other mom got upset, so be it. Nobody should be hitting anyone. My rule is Hands to Yourselves. If something is happening that should not be happening and the other mom won't deal with it, then I just open up my mouth.




My thinking exactly. I don't care whose kid it is, I can't tolerate that stuff.

Tiffany29 Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 12:03pm
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by michellenj

I would have yelled under the table "HEY- no hitting!" and if the other mom got upset, so be it. Nobody should be hitting anyone. My rule is Hands to Yourselves. If something is happening that should not be happening and the other mom won't deal with it, then I just open up my mouth.




Exactly! My friend and I get together about once a week, she brings her 3 kids. She lives about 25-30 min away so we make a day of it. They get along great, there are occasional fights, but not many. She is good about dealing with her kids. Neither one of us minds the other one saying something to the kids about their behavior. Our eyes can't be every where at all times.

I have another friend who is like the op's friend. She thinks that everything her kid does is funny or cute and thinks everyone else should think so too.
He's really kinda mean. I have no problems saying anything to him when he's out of line. One time he was being mean to my son, so I picked him up and scooted him away from my son and told him he needed to be nice, he wasn't going to act that way in my house. He said "my dad will kick your A$$!" I told him it didn't matter what his dad said he still had to behave at my house.

They live in W.V. When they got home she called to tell me she wanted to thank me for my parenting, she said she learned alot in the 2weeks she was here and was going to make some changes around their house.

mistiek2006 Posted 22 Sep 2010 , 7:09am
post #26 of 26

I have a sensitive little girl too. She's 11 now, but here is what we did in a similar situation. We only met up at a busy park so that our kids could play with other kids instead of each other. We explained to the othe parents that we were teaching our little girl to be a lady and not hit. We don't allow hosreplay because someone could get hurt. We knew boys play rougher than girls and we respect that, so can they respect our views on the rough play? It was amazing how after a few park visits, the boys started playing nicer because no one wanted to play with "hitters". Hope this helps and good luck. Go with your instincts, you have them for a reason.

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