There's a family two doors down, single parent with two kids the same age as my older two. Her son was actually the first one to initiate a friendship with my son. That first summer they played together quite a bit, but then fall came and he's so busy in so many activities that he's pretty much never outside to play.
Last summer between all his activities and all of the days that he couldn't play because he wasn't listening to his mom or other similar infractions there were literally only a handful of days that the kids could play together. Then this last fall he almost never wanted to play outside or only wanted to watch tv which doesn't really interest my kids.
I had given up on suggesting that my son could see if the kid was available because my son was so upset when it would turn out that he couldn't. They've played together once since the beginning of the year (last week) and it seemed like they all had a lot of fun. My husband suggested that they could see if the kids wanted to play today before he left for work. I helped them finish up lunch and head over...only to have tearful children because he can't play for all the same reasons as last year.
I'm perplexed. The kids seem to have fun, their mom has mentioned how well behaved our kids are when they play at their house(which is all her boy is interested in doing as he doesn't seem to like to play here), etc.
Do parents generally discipline like this in the mainstream? It's beginning to feel to me like the mother just doesn't want her kids to play with mine. My husband is more familiar with her as they belong to the same union and while they chat on occasion she's never given any indication that there might be a problem.
What I'd like to do is casually mention that it seems like her kid is grounded a lot, but I have no idea how to phrase it nor do I want it to come off as I'm somehow judging her parenting style. I'd just like to know if it's an issue with my kids. I respect that she may not want her kids to play with ours as that's her prerogative, but I'd kind of like to know as I'd discourage my kids from seeking hers out if that were the case.