How do you handle it when you disagree with the way a friend parents her ds? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 04-30-2003, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
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A friend of mine that's in our baby group has an older son (3 and a half) who is very difficult. He explodes when things don't go his way which is about every five minutes - LITERALLY. There rest of our babies are anywhere from 6 months to a year. Everyone in our group is cool and very AP. Yesterday one of the babies who is walking went over to my friend's older son and tried to play with his tricycle and he totally freaked and swatted at the baby. He does things like this all the time. My friend did nothing except mildly called over to him to stop. I'm worried because I know if he swats at my son and she says nothing, I'm afraid I'm going to go off. How do I handle this situation if it happens to me? Can I say something to her son or is that out of line? What's wrong with some discipline?

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#2 of 5 Old 04-30-2003, 04:20 PM
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Well, I'm probably not a good person to answer this question, because if another kid swats at my dd, I will DEFINITELY say something! I don't think I do very well in playgroups for this reason. I prefer small one on one play sessions with one or two friends. I don't know what to tell you except that I wouldn't worry about the mom's feelings if her kid was hurting or threatening my kid! (My dh would disagree with me.)
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#3 of 5 Old 04-30-2003, 04:26 PM
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Well, I wouldn't discipline or yell at the other kid if happens, but I would definitely say something like "It hurts when you hit my son, and he doesn't like it. If you are frustrated with him, please tell me. But do not hit him, or we will no longer be able to play together." Or something like that.

And that's what I would tell the friend too if it becomes a real issue - that you are sorry that it's not working out, but it's not a fun time for your son if he has to be scared of getting hit, and you won't be able to have playdates anymore.
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#4 of 5 Old 05-01-2003, 06:08 PM
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I used to feel this way until I had a 3 1/2 year old. It is a whole other ball game. My ds was an angel until he hit three. Yikes. He was by no means an awful child, but he had his definite moments. There were times where he simply went through phases and they passed. Not that I think it is okay that kids hit one another, but there are different ways to handle it. If my 2 1/2 year old does it, I simply pull him aside and tell him that it isn't okay to hit and that it hurts people. If it continues, I tell him we will have to leave and I follow through.

What I wouldn't do if I were you, is try to discipline the child yourself. Anything beyond "Please don't hit X, that hurts him" likely won't get through to the child who will wonder why you are telling him this, or may become scared and that defeats the whole purpose. While I am like an aunt to my friends kids, I leave the disciplining to her. Beyond breaking up fights and directing kids to the appropriate mom, I leave the discipline to the parents.

Also, please be gentle to the moms of the toddlers and preschoolers. Your children will be there one day soon, and you just might look back at this thread and laugh at how simple things once were.
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#5 of 5 Old 05-01-2003, 06:57 PM
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I agree to tread lightly . Things look so different when it is your child.
When my child does something (she is almost three) inappropriate I often times simply don't know what to do, and this may be the case with your friend. I don't know if this is a very popular opinion, but I think your job in these situations is to protect your child. If you see that this older child is having a bad day or moment than keep your child away from him for the time. You are teaching your child to be sensitive to others.
I don't hang around with very many other moms, but when i do i do feel bad if dd swipes at someone else's child. It is a hard feeling to watch your child doing that because you know they are hurting for some reason and your biggest concern is for them, but you feel so bad for the other mama and want them to know that this behavior isn't something you teach your child.
SO I guess all I wanted to say, was tread lightly and dont assume she is doing the wrong thing. I remember when I was pregnant with my first and when she was a small baby being so judgmental of other parents..."I would never let my child get away with that" But now that she is a (sometimes) insane 3 year old(in July) I see how little control I have over what she does and doesn;t do. I will never let her hurt another child if I am close enough to block the swipe, but I not always am. And keep in mind that perhaps this mama is just confused and unsure of what to do. Not that you should tell her what to do, just give her time to figure out this stage and respond in the right way...
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