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DEARSUGAR Needs Your Help: Control Your Kid

DEARSUGAR and Playgroup Patrol Patty need your help. How do you approach a mother who won't take responsibility for controlling her kid?

Dear Sugar
I am involved in a play group where there are five different Mom's and eight kids. We meet once a week for four hours and my child always comes home hurt/crying from one specific boy who bullies the other children. He bosses them around, plays rough, hits them and steals their toys while they are playing with them.

The play group would be wonderful and harmonious if it weren't for this kid. The mother just sits by and says that "boys will be boys," and does nothing about it. I am trying to teach my son to be well mannered and this kind of behavior isn't acceptable. What should I do? Play Group Patrol Patty

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TrippleC TrippleC 10 years
I just went through a situation like this. This mom's son would always... and I mean ALWAYS get in my 4-month-old's face, make ugly faces at her, and nasty noises and touch her. He'd also try to play with her things when he's clearly too old for them. I asked her over and over to keep him away, but she didn't do anything. She never diciplined him, as well. Once, he almost kicked my daughter in her head. He's almost a year and a half old!!! I would sternly ask the parent for her child to not bully anymore, "boys will be boys" is just a scape-goat for her obviously not wanting to teach him manners and proper social behavior. I completely agree with sweet c. My parents put me in my place, and it seems nobody puts their kids in their place anymore.
yiddidea yiddidea 10 years
If this is an organized play group then I would approach the entire group about setting some ground rules for the group. This way all of the parents could say what they need to say and when you are done you have set rules that the kids and parents need to follow. However, if the child is actually hitting the other kids, it is in your right to ask the parent to remove their child from the group.
flutterpie flutterpie 10 years
its okay nica, im the same way with my godson!
Nicadema Nicadema 10 years
Sweet C--that is the way to do it. That way children understand consequence without having to get physical. I would remove my child from a situation in which he's getting hurt. As for that mother? Oh's a good thing I'm not in this group. I would have pulled her aside to have a little talk the second I realised her son was bullying mine. It would have been a TALK. Sorry--pregnant...rampant hormones. Ooo it would be a TALK!
SWEET-C9363 SWEET-C9363 10 years
i think alot of parents today make alot of threats but dont follow thru.. and the kids know it.. my bff friend has 3 little boys unde 5 and she runs a tite ship if i ever saw one.. one time her oldest got out of bed 2 times and she said if u get out of bed again im throwing all of your halloween candy and out lol and he did and she made HIM come and throw all the candy in the trash... i have never seen such sweet well behaved nice kids....
flutterpie flutterpie 10 years
ohhhh whew sweet c, you scared me for a second. ya thats true my parents put the fear of god into us and my sister will put the fear of god into her kids, she already does it with her husband
SWEET-C9363 SWEET-C9363 10 years
"i dont mean pysical beatdowns. i mean being put in your place. if i was a child and acted up i would not be allowed to go back to the play date for a while or some kind of punishment.
flutterpie flutterpie 10 years
"beatdowns" my godson is very well behaved (except right now because he is overtired) and i have swatted him on the butt once in six years. i doubt that is the solution, but i think parents need to assert themselves right off the bat, its possible to do that without "beat downs"
SWEET-C9363 SWEET-C9363 10 years
why dont kids get beatdowns any more.. i was always put in my place my mother. no questions asked
BeachBarbie BeachBarbie 10 years
The other moms probably feel the same way. Since you only meet once a week, maybe you could start a play group date with the other moms/children on a different day. Regardless, I would remove my child and myself from the current play date situation.
jiffenir jiffenir 10 years
Im new here so I hope that its okay that I interject my thoughts on the matter. First some questions for you... ** Have you brought up your opinion to the mother of the bully boy? I mean after she has her "Boys will be boys" comment. ** Do the other parents feel the same way you do? If this is a play group that you and your son enjoy (other than bully boy) I don't think you would want to be so quick to end the get togethers. First I would take the opportunity to speak with the mother about her sons bullying and her blase attitude about it all. Perhaps other parents have allowed her "boys will be boys" approach and not pointed out that it goes beyond that. Its always worth a shot. On that note (and if you've done the above) if other parents feel that way you do then perhaps an "intervention" of sorts is in order. If the feelings run rampant through the other mothers/fathers of the group then maybe a group discussion about the matter is in order. Perhaps the intervention would help the mother see the error of her ways or even leave the group herself. If none of that works then I agree that its time to find a new group. I just dont think you should get up and leave immediately if you and your son enjoy the group (other than bully boy)!
findblancomeow findblancomeow 10 years
wow, 4 hours is a LONG time to have to put up with a kid who is not being taught how to behave. that must be exhausting for your little one to have to deal with! poor kid. if you would like to continue to get together with the other moms and thier kids, i would suggest talking to a few of the other moms about maybe getting together somewhere else another day during the week for a smaller group thing because your child is a little overwhelmed by so much activity at once. unfortunately if this particular woman is not your friend outside of this playgroup, there is really nothing you can (appropriately) say to her about the situation. she will just get offended and make you out to be a nosy intrusive b**** to the other moms... there's just no good reason to go down that road. good luck!
My-Opinion My-Opinion 10 years
wow! I can't stand the kind of moms who refuse to teach their kids, boys or girls, good manners. I understand that boys will play rough sometimes but geez!! I wouldn't go back to that particular group, maybe you can talk to the other moms who's boys actually are pleasant to play with and ask them if they are involved in other play groups somewhere! Are you talking about a daycare center? If you are, then bring it to the attention of the owner (and they are usually ALWAYS there), they will give the parents notice and a actually does work because most of the time the parents don't want the frustration of going and finding a whole new daycare.
t0xxic t0xxic 10 years
Totally with Val here.
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
stop going to the play group. you can get together with the moms who share parenting styles with you individually. if the other moms ask why you have decided to opt out i'd avoid naming names, hopefully the boy will move through this phase and you can include that family in your social calendar again down the road. you might say something like "joey is ready for 1:1 play and i want to give him that opportunity" or "my son seems so much happier with the 1:1 play dates and i really enjoy that time with the other mom too." i personally hate play groups, someone is always bringing a mean kid or a sick kid.
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