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Friends who parent differently

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
We have just moved to a new area and are making new friends! There are some nice families here but it's been hard because we parent so differently.. They don't seem to be able to speak to their kids without yelling.. It's sad and their kids model it and do it to my daughter (get in her face and yell at her for no reason).. My daughter is starting to yell at me and her toys.. What would you do?
post #2 of 6

This is us...and pretty much all of our friends so I totally get it.  One set of friends in particular are super harsh physically and verbally with their 4 kids (she spanked and verbally humiliated the 3yo while potty training because she had an accident).  My 26mo DD is a bit uneasy around 3 of the 4 - only one she gravitates towards is the 2nd youngest, a boy, who's 8, because he is very reserved and super gentle and attentive to her.  I basically limit interactions with them because of how violent things can get and the confusion on DD's face when it happens is enough for me to call it a day. If you can limit interactions to one on one with them at your home when it's less chaotic it might help.  I notice these 4 in particular are night and day from my house to theirs.  In my home they fight much less and often look to me more for direction.  I will say they seem to appreciate my kind approach much more and that is why they gravitate towards me vs their own parents, pretty sad when you think about it.  But even if that's the only real positive exposure they get, it's certainly better than nothing.  You may find the other parents commenting on how calm your LO is, which is a great way to bring up the topic in conversation.  I have had people point out how well DD listens and they might go on about how they yell and get no response and I have found  great response to be "Yah, I've tried that a bit, but you know what, it never felt right for me and it didn't work well either.  It seemed to escalate things more.  I find if I listen to her and we go about it calmly, she responds quicker.  And hey, I can remember being a kid getting yelled at, then sneaking behind my parent's backs to hide and trying to avoid the consequences...I dunno, I guess I just want to avoid that with my kid, we'll see if it works!"  It keeps it casual, doesn't make it seem like you are condemning them for their behavior, but at the same time lets them know that maybe they could change what they are doing and get a better outcome.


Oh and as for your LO, I have his same problem after we've played with the "wild ones" - she gets a bit pushy (because that's how they are) and so we talk about why it's not nice to push and how in our family we treat people politely even if they re not polite to us. She's 2 so I keep it simple and really try to intervene when it happens.  As she gets older I'll be able to have more in depth conversations but for now the avoidance is unfortunately our best option with some.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your response! My daughter is still in the early stages of talking so I can't really explain it to her which is frustrating.. And it's hard to see her so nervous around other kids I mean I know not every interaction will be perfect (and she's not perfect) but these kids will purposely do things to upset her like put a toy in front of her and then yell at her for touching it.. And my daughter gets nervous when the mom yells.. I think i need to limit interaction to no more than once a week.. It's hard because we don't have many other friends yet.. I also agree with you that play dates would be better at our house.. The moms seem very overwhelmed but not open to discussing it or learning any new techniques even though what they are doing is not working at all... It's just frustrating I wish I could meet someone with a similar style to me or at least someone who doesn't yell quite so much..
post #4 of 6

I'm usually pretty lax about different parenting styles but I couldn't hang out with someone who was constantly yelling at their kids. I mean, I'm pretty "authentic"  ;) in that I don't mind being pretty direct and I also don't sweat it if I get frustrated and show it. I don't mind if my friends are the same...but constant, mean yelling isn't something I could be around.  I vote to work on meeting some new friends. Have you tried local groups and stuff? 

post #5 of 6

It might take time to find them, but worth the wait.  We're on 2 years of searching and finally I'm getting some playdates set up with some like minded moms - not gonna be incredibly frequent because no one lives near us, but it's better than nothing!  She's also going to be starting pre-k in the fall and I want her to get out more now in preparation for that so I can supervise and guide her, and I do plan once we know she's accepted to the school to talk with them about how these situations are handled so I can be proactive on that front.  So keep looking!

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
That's encouraging! Glad you found some nice friends smile.gif we may have some new leads too I'm excited!
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