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Play date disaster Update Post #9 - Page 2

post #21 of 38
never mind - missed the update.
post #22 of 38
I have three kids and have spent time working in daycares and providing care in my own home and kids often act very different on different turfs. I've had conversations with parents about their child's behavior where they were angry and insisting that their child never has/would/ever will act in behaviors I was seeing first hand. Kids will also retell situations much differently than they actually occurred. I'm not saying not to listen to kids because we definitely should but it's important to understand that their retelling can be what they are "feeling" at that moment and it can change a bit with more retelling. I don't see why the parents would make a point of saying they don't spank when they really do and threaten hit other peoples children. Which is extreme even for spankers. I agree it was a poor choice for him to joke about spanking with a child that doesn't know him well enough to know he's joking but I think it's a problem that can be solved by taking dd over there and letting him explain that he was joking and he's sorry he scared her. We joke about spanking sometimes and my kids think it's hilarious.
post #23 of 38
I've joked about spanking my DD and she giggles and runs away, and knows I'd never do it. I wouldn't say that to justify what your friends husband said, but maybe he really didn't mean it as a threat and just wasn't thinking as well as he COULD?

I wouldn't consider it a threat, but I would tell my child that he was joking
post #24 of 38
Why did the parent not share the whole story with you when you picked up your DD? Even if it was a joke, I would be irritated that the other parent did not share the whole story with me from the get go. It sounds a little to me like the truth is somewhere in the middle. It may be that the father made a crazy comment, but it was truly light-hearted, and they could clearly see how much it disturbed your DD, it should have been shared because of the concern they had about upsetting your DD. It sounds a little to me like things went a little wonky and this story was made up as a kind of cover by the parents.
post #25 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landover View Post
Why did the parent not share the whole story with you when you picked up your DD? Even if it was a joke, I would be irritated that the other parent did not share the whole story with me from the get go. It sounds a little to me like the truth is somewhere in the middle. It may be that the father made a crazy comment, but it was truly light-hearted, and they could clearly see how much it disturbed your DD, it should have been shared because of the concern they had about upsetting your DD. It sounds a little to me like things went a little wonky and this story was made up as a kind of cover by the parents.
That is what I am worried about also. The mom said she thought that I looked like I just wanted to get my dd home and she had her sister over so it looked like it was a bad time, but when she called me to come get my dd she didn't go into detail either. My dd told me today that he said he was joking when she got upset but he sounded very serious when he said it. She isn't convinced that he was joking and she said he is scary. She has brought it up a few times today and is still pretty shaken up about this and not ready to be put in a situation like that again. She told me she feels stupid for going over there and she has a headache today. I have been reassuring her that it isn't she doesn't need to feel bad and that it is my job to make sure that she is in a place where things like that won't happen and hers to be a kid. I also just listen when she talks about what happen but I don't encourage her to elaborate because this is something that is really worrying her. She seems okay with my explanation right now, but she has hardly ever had headaches and I really doubt that this stress was induced by a joke.
post #26 of 38
As a parent who often jokes about spanking and I also jokingly spank my kids I can totally see this situation playing out. Yeah, Dad probably wasn't very smart to joke like that with someone elses child but sometimes you just don't think that something isn't a good idea until it's already been done. I wonder if they didn't tell you because they were embarrased. I would let it slide and not bring it up again since other mom has had conversations with you about her and her husband being anti-spanking. It was most likely a big misunderstanding and for the sake of saving their friendship I'd just say that dd's friend is welcome to come over and play anytime but it may take her a little time to warm up to the idea of having playdates over there.
post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post
I called and talked to the mom and I am glad I did. She told me a completely different story that my dd told me was true when I told her about it. Apparently they were fighting and hurt each others feelings. My dd was crying and the dad jokingly said they should spank everyone to lighten the situation and that made things worse because my dd thought he was serious and was past the point where she could listen to her friends parents try to convince her that they don't spank and never have. I am still not sure that I want my dd to play there again, but I feel much better about the situation and am glad that I called to make sure I got both sides of the story. I don't understand why my dd had an meltdown there. Neither child has ever cried at my home when they play and they have been playing together for a long time. She also doesn't have meltdowns when she plays with her other friends either.
Honestly, given what you've said about how the kids play at your house, and what your child said.....I would think this was a cover your story from the mom.
But...I am a little cynical, and I've had the past experience of agreeing to babysit for a family who claimed not to believe in spanking (this was way back in the day pre-kids for me) and then the day I went to meet them face to face, the mom slapped her child's face right in front of me! drop I *still* being young and not knowing how to say no, babysat for these people for a couple weeks. One of my first days there, the dad came home on a lunch break--as I remember it--and spanked one of the kids while he was there (in the basement, not in front of me, but I could hear it all)

I would not let my kid go back there. It's NOT ok for someone to even JOKE they're going to hit my kid.
post #28 of 38
i think that really crosses the line for me. i wouldnt want to explain to my child that people joke about threatening to hit people.
i would definitely want my child to take threats seriously so that she can get out of harms way before it goes too far.
i really think they are giving you a story here, your daughter sounds coherent and old enough to know the difference between a joke and a threat. i would definitely tell the parents that she will not be going over there again unsupervised and i would take the dad aside seperately and rip him a new one over that. SO not appropriate. i really hope it was just a misunderstanding, but instinct tells me that it may not have been.
post #29 of 38
I think the other mom is using the word, "joke" loosely and the truth is that her DH did threaten but of course he never planned on hitting anyone so that's why it's a joke. Not necessarily funny Haha joke.
When I first read your post I was going to say, "call the mom" b/c I was thinking maybe your Dd was embellishing a bit, since the update, however really sounds like the same story only played down by parents who made a big mistake I am inclined to say..keep the playdates at your home. At least with this family.
post #30 of 38
Perhaps the whole incident could be viewed as a "good thing" because it made you even more aware that you just don't feel good about her going over there. I'd not allow my DD over there again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post
There have been other things that led me to think I shouldn't have my dd there alone and I really think I should have listened to those feelings instead of letting her go because I was worried that I was being overprotective. I hope I don't make the mistake of second guessing myself again. Thank you for your thoughtful responses!
post #31 of 38
I think the playdates should be at your home too. Not necessarily b/c of the incident that you've described - but b/c your dd said she is afraid of her friends dad. That is enough of a reason for her not to go over there even without any other existing circumstances or problems. Her fear should be respected, and she should not have to be in his presence without you or another adult that she trusts to keep her safe (teacher at school for example - I don't know how old she is).
post #32 of 38
You know I think this whole thing is a message to the OP to get to know the parents of her child's friends better.

I could totally see my DH making a joke about spanking as he does it a fair amount at home with our girls. It's completely innocent as he would never spank and he has a pretty good read on when a kid is really upset, too, so I think he would know better than to do that if a friend kid was upset.

That said, the real problem here is the OP doesn't know the other parents well enough to know if the dad was joking or not. I think it's a plausible scenario, but if you don't know the parents well enough you can't read it.

I don't think the take home message is "only have playdates at my house", but instead is "get to know the other parents better". Maybe the OP could invite the mom to come accompany her dd on a playdate at her house and the moms could chat over coffee or tea. I love to do that with my dds' friends. My dds appreciate it, too, even my almost 9 yr old. We do a few drop off playdates, too, but only when my kids and I are ready for it. I wouldn't do it with just any family. I'd have to know them pretty well first.
post #33 of 38
Just a thought - you can know the mom extremely well through numerous shared playdates, and still have little to no read on the dad. If your child is scared of the dad, that's enough. Really. Enough. Playdates at your house only for the foreseeable future. Trust your instincts.
post #34 of 38
I really don't believe it was a joke or misunderstanding, especially with the "take deep breaths or I'll hit you harder" comment. Are they saying that your daughter completely made that up? Because it doesn't sound like something that could be taken as a joke.

Either they are the type of parents who constantly threaten to spank but rarely do it, or the dad spanks and mom doesn't know. Perhaps she was in the other room when it happened and then dad told her the joke story to cover?
post #35 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by pandora665 View Post
Just a thought - you can know the mom extremely well through numerous shared playdates, and still have little to no read on the dad. If your child is scared of the dad, that's enough. Really. Enough. Playdates at your house only for the foreseeable future. Trust your instincts.
I do sort of agree with this, but also wonder how many great friendships our kids would miss out on if we took this approach. For example, my DS has several girl friends who come over to the house a lot. They are all scared of DH, even though he rarely has contact with them and when he does, it has always seemed positive and non-threatening. He is a big guy, though, and I think as unthreatening as he acts/sounds/is, he looks a little scary to them, you know?

FWIW, I also joke about spanking my kids occasionally, and they think it is hilarious - it sends them running around the house in fits of laughter. I wouldn't ever joke like that with someone else's child, but I can see how he might have slipped and it might have seemed scarier than it was meant to be.
post #36 of 38
We don't spank, but my older son (5) is curious about it, he has heard about it in movies or at school or wherever and sometimes we have joked about it. He is always asking me to spank him so he can see what it feels like and then gets mad when I say No.
post #37 of 38
This is such wonderful advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pandora665 View Post
Just a thought - you can know the mom extremely well through numerous shared playdates, and still have little to no read on the dad. If your child is scared of the dad, that's enough. Really. Enough. Playdates at your house only for the foreseeable future. Trust your instincts.
post #38 of 38
Another vote for no playdates at their home. You said you already felt uneasy about sending her there even before this. You don't have to know WHY you feel that way, trust your instincts, they pick up on things your conscious mind overlooks! Have you read "Protecting the Gift" by Gavin De Becker? Really, really good book about listening to your instincts and why you should!
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