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Disciplining Children

Mommy Dearest: Friends Let Their Child Bully Our Son

Mommy Dearest,

My husband and I don't consider ourselves to be too strict, but there are certain actions that are absolutely forbidden. Hitting, pushing and cursing are among those that receive prompt disciplinary action – time-outs, lectures, etc. – regardless of where we are when they occur. We recently faced a dilemma when visiting friends for the afternoon and their daughter, 3, began pushing our three-year-old son. Since her parents didn't say anything, we told her to stop. When it happened again, we asked the other parents to separate the children for a while. They said "kids will be kids" and that we overreacted. How do I handle other kids' bad behavior toward my son when their parents see nothing wrong with it?

– Miffed Mama

To see the response from Mommy Dearest,

Miffed Mama,

Even the most well behaved children have bad days and that's just par for the playdate course — young kids are often unpredictable. It's appropriate for you or your husband to step in when your child is being bullied and say something or approach the other tot's parents, but it doesn't mean they will agree with your take on the situation. At that point, it may be best to exit. You might also want to consider setting up playdates with families who share your views on child rearing since it's not your place to discipline someone else's child.

—Mommy Dearest

Submit a question for this feature at the Mommy Dearest Group on TeamSugar.

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Join The Conversation
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
If your child is being harmed you put yourself in the way and protect them and if that includes physically detaching the bully and then saying something to the parent and removing yourself and your child from harm, than you do it. In order to teach your own child that you have his/hers best interest and how you shouldnt act, you must be the example and diffuse the situation. You can later say to the person who is the parent of the bully if you see them again, that you understand kids can be kids and fight, but that you arent going to tolerate any harm happening to your child in the future and would appreciate their cooperation.
MissSushi MissSushi 8 years
oops hit post, didnt mean to, anyway, my point is that this kind of mentality where no one says or does anything ISNT working. Its time for change.
MissSushi MissSushi 8 years
I absolutely DONT agree with the whole its not your place to discipline a child. If the child is hitting yours and the parents are doing NOTHING, then you have to step in and be your childs voice. I ran into this a while back in a waiting room, my daughter was around 15 months then, and a little boy came up to her and started hitting her. The mother said in a lukewarm tone, oh no.. she isnt your brother to be hitting.. and left it at that, as he continued to hit her. I had to physcially move her away, and block her with my body as he continued to try to get at her. I told her i DIDNT want her son hitting my daughter, and she didnt answer. I told him, Hitting is NOT nice. THe front desk people just looked at us without comment. I had an urgent appointment that coudlnt be cancelled, so the leaving isnt an option. I had to just block her kid from mine, it was ridiculous.
JoneyStar JoneyStar 8 years
I have a friend where it doesn't matter if I am at her house or mine I find myself having to discipline her children and mine. When they come over my house they know the rules. And when things get out of hand she knows that its time to leave. But even when I am over her house her kids do things that any parent would agree needs to be stopped. And so while she feel like she is afraid to spank her children or just fails to discipline on any level I find myself doing her job. She wonders why my son is so well behaved and I tell her the same thing all the time, Be consistent and Mean what you say. She fails to get it and won't even attempt to try and correct her sons behavior before he's in a correctional facility. Yet, she constantly complains that her kids are bad. I agree it takes a village to raise a child. And if the parents you are friends with don't have the same values as you do when it come to raising children then just don't invite them over or go over their house for a play date. Just steer clear. Its too much trouble. While my friend is good company on occasions her and her children can be a living nightmare sometimes that I avoid her for a week or so afterward in order to bring my insanity back. Nothing urks me more than parents who don't do anything where their child behaves badly.
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
"No, I'm sorry. My kids can't play with you because you hit and throw rocks. We don't hit or hurt our friends, and we aren't friends with others who do." :rotfl: awesome.
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