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Ugh. Parenting isn't for wimps (long)


AndyJoy
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DS is having a hard day. At the tender age of 3.5, he is learning the important life lesson that he can't get away with copying the bad behavior of his 4.5-year-old playmate A without consequences, though there are none for A. He is learning that life isn't fair--that when HIS mommy says to stay in the yard, not throw toys, come here, etc., she will actually follow through. But it is painful for us both. I hope this lesson will stick, rather than the realization that A gets away with this plus shoving, hitting, screaming, kicking, temper tantrums, pouting, bragging, selfishness, etc. all without correction.

 

What do you do when another child who you spend hours with each week has a present-in-body-but-not-in-spirit-parent?

 

I'm sick of watching this kid bully DS and B, so I've started stopping/correcting him in the presence or near-presence of his mom (she's within hearing, but not in the room) when it physically affects the other kids. I generally stand back and let others parent their own kids in these situations, but this mom is not parenting, she's ignoring, and as a result my son and B are being run over literally and figuratively. My sense of justice and duty as a citizen and adult are kicked into high gear when I see this kid bullying others with no adult intervention. I'm at the point where I literally cannot hold my tongue if his mom does. Thus far, she has not shown any signs that she's uncomfortable with me doing this, but it may blow up at some point. I KNOW it won't go well if I try to broach the subject of her lack of response, so I feel like my other choices are 1) stop interacting with them (which is difficult because of a group we've formed), or 2) step over the parent-your-own-kid line and correct her kid when he's messing with mine.

 

Today the boys went to wash their hands in the bathroom. DS stepped up on the stool, and A shoved him off while screaming at him because he wanted to "win" (everything is a contest). I told him he had to wait for DS. He pouted. B came in, and A shoved him against the bathtub to keep him from "cutting." B's mom said, "Oh, please don't shove him into the tub! You might hurt him." A gave her a sour expression and she left the room. DS finished washing, B stepped up, and A screamed and shoved him. I told him sternly, "You may NOT shove B. You WILL wait." He glared at me but obeyed. I left and A came out bawling. His mom asked, "What's wrong, A?" He screamed and cried and pouted, so I said, "He's mad because I made him wait after shoving the others away from the sink."

 

If he wants a toy my son has, he wrenches it from him. If DS is blocking his view of the storybook, he hits or shoves DS out of the way. At one point, he snatched the (less desirable) truck DS had from his hands and ran off laughing as DS cried. DS came to me crying, "A took my truck, I didn't want to trade yet!" I told him, "OK, can you stop crying and tell A that?" He told A, who ran off laughing and taunting him. A's mom said nothing. I walked over to A with DS and said, "DS is trying to talk to you A, will you please listen?" DS repeated, "I wasn't done with that, may I please have my truck back?" A laughed and turned his back on us. I then told him, "If you won't share DS's trucks properly, I am going to put them away." He laughed. He threw the truck away from us. His mom said, "No, A!' and that was it. I added, "That is not a nice way to treat your friends."

 

Later, DS's sandals fell off while running. DS turned to retrieve them, but A beat him to them and threw them. A's mom yelled "No! Stop that!" A got there first and threw them again. The only consequence was A's mom carried him back to the playground and told him that wasn't nice and he had to stay by the playground. He immediately ran out of bounds and started throwing pinecones at DS (without actually hitting him because of the wind). I went to them, told them both not to throw pincecones, then removed DS from the area and made him stay closer.

 

Ugh. What would you do? I don't want DS learning this behavior. Thus far, the only things he has repeated are the generally crazy-little-boy-silliness things like chasing A in circles in the house when told to sit, following A outside the fence when told to stay in the yard, throwing a toy (not at a person) in imitation, etc. There were steep consequences for this, and he's been talking all afternoon about how he wants to obey so he won't lose X again. He doesn't hit, shove, pout, etc. DS LOVES this boy because he is a match for his exuberance/energy and general silliness. I'm now dreading the time we spend with him. I have to spend a lot of time/energy undoing/explaining our families standards. I WANT him to learn this lesson in life. I'm just not sure if this is the one that will stick. Do you think this is graspable for a 3-year-old? It's hard to know when to limit contact and when to teach through. Thus far, I've leaned towards teach through because I am physically present the whole time. There is another situation we avoid with a different kid because I can't be hands on in the moment and I can't unteach what I can't see. I feel like a control freak sometimes, but my mom always drilled it into me that if you iron out these important things at a young age, the older years are much smoother. This is what my mother-gut says as well. In the car on the way home, we have conversations about not imitating A's bad behavior, that he is responsible for himself and must obey even if A isn't. DS has even brought up out of the blue that he won't hurt my baby like A hurts his little brother. I don't want to raise a little Pharisee who thinks he is superior, but it is a real and truthful thing when my 3-year-old tells me honestly, "A is being bad. A is mean to me (or B, or his brother)." I am a Christian, as is A's mom, and I don't want to couch things in such PC terms that the weight of sin is ignored and that A is excused. Any advice?

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Is there a reason you can't just avoid these people? We came upon those types of situations just a few times and I just quit hanging out with them.

 

:iagree:

 

Why would you knowingly continue to put your child in this kind of situation? :confused:

 

The kid sounds like a brat.

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Complete avoidance isn't possible at this point without difficulty. We formed a small group that is slated to meet until June. I have made a commitment continue until then and B's family would be affected as well. I might be able to beg off in May claiming (legitimate) pregnancy tiredness/busyness since B's family will be gone in May anyway. We attend the same small church. DS already doesn't attend Sunday School because of another situation, so their contact there is about 15 min. of me supervising play after church. We are also part of a larger moms/kids activity group.

 

We've already basically cut off one other family over similar issues, so I'm starting to have those nagging doubts like are they crazy or am I too uptight? Will I ever find someone for DS to play with who meets my standards? Am I that crazy sheltering homeschooler who doesn't want everyone corrupting her "angel"?

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I have a 4 year old and A does not sound like a kid I'd want my child to be around. I'd have a hard time around A's mom as well. There's only so much correcting you can do with another person's child.

 

Also, your DS may love kid, but why keep him in a friendship where he is not treated like a friend?

 

Finally, if you've formed a group...perhaps it is time to set up a code of conduct?

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We've already basically cut off one other family, so I'm starting to have those nagging doubts like are they crazy or am I too uptight?

 

There are a lot of crazies out there.

 

Sure sounds like them & not you.

 

:grouphug:

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Complete avoidance isn't possible at this point without difficulty. We formed a small group that is slated to meet until June. I have made a commitment continue until then and B's family would be affected as well. I might be able to beg off in May claiming (legitimate) pregnancy tiredness/busyness. We attend the same small church. DS already doesn't attend Sunday School because of another situation, so their contact there is about 15 min. of me supervising play after church. We are also part of a larger moms/kids activity group.

 

We've already basically cut off one other family, so I'm starting to have those nagging doubts like are they crazy or am I too uptight?

 

How many families are in the group? Is it just A's family, B's family, and yours?

 

Since it sounds like the kids are getting hurt on a regular basis, one way to broach the subject might be to talk to the other moms about your *safety concerns* and strongly suggest that it has become necessary to establish some safety rules (along with consequences for breaking those rules). When you bring it up as a safety issue, you'll rarely get pushback as most moms like to think of themselves as safety conscious. ;) Perhaps you could also work into that conversation that if safety continues to be an issue, you and your DS will need to leave the group as you're concerned that he's been exhibiting more unsafe behaviors. That gives you an out if the rules and consequences fail to accomplish anything.

 

I still vote for leaving the group now, but if you don't feel you can do that, it seems like you need to have a conversation with either A's mom or the group. I'm suggesting the group approach because then the other moms can back you up on the new rules (if it's as bad as you've described, you can't be the only one with these concerns).

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If there's no way to avoid the kid, I think it's time for a serious discussion with his mom.

 

I KNOW you're right.

 

I struggle with finding balance in my life on these issues.

 

I was the very black-and-white kid who was never afraid to say what I thought when it came to hard issues that had to be dealt with. I got this from my not-afraid-to-be-the-bad-guy mom. I wasn't well-accepted by my peers for this reason. They wanted to be admired, fawned over, laughed with, not told that what they were doing was wrong and I wouldn't participate. I was the teacher's pet, goody two-shoes, holier-than-thou annoyance in their opinion. I usually had one close friend with similar strongly-held beliefs. I struggled mightily in HS with loneliness when my best friend moved away and I was in a small hostile pond.

 

As an adult, I've found more acceptance because the pool of people has been larger. I learned to be a little less uptight (which was a good thing) and a bit more live-and-let-live. This was fairly easy as an adult when I could choose who to associate with. But now I have a kid, and things are complicated again. On the one hand, I don't want to alienate every mom in town or make them think I'm full of myself, but I have trouble just walking away without explaining either. DS and I are extroverts who crave interaction, but I fear I'm in too many situations where none would be better than what we're getting.

 

B's mom is troubled by this issue too, but I doubt she'd be much help in confronting the situation. She is too worried about hurting feelings. I was told for so many years that was too blunt, needed to consider feelings, etc. that I've shied away from having the hard discussions I need to have. I feel like such a fake who puts on a nice face that is not my own.

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How many families are in the group? Is it just A's family, B's family, and yours?

 

Since it sounds like the kids are getting hurt on a regular basis, one way to broach the subject might be to talk to the other moms about your *safety concerns* and strongly suggest that it has become necessary to establish some safety rules (along with consequences for breaking those rules). When you bring it up as a safety issue, you'll rarely get pushback as most moms like to think of themselves as safety conscious. ;) Perhaps you could also work into that conversation that if safety continues to be an issue, you and your DS will need to leave the group as you're concerned that he's been exhibiting more unsafe behaviors. That gives you an out if the rules and consequences fail to accomplish anything.

 

I still vote for leaving the group now, but if you don't feel you can do that, it seems like you need to have a conversation with either A's mom or the group. I'm suggesting the group approach because then the other moms can back you up on the new rules (if it's as bad as you've described, you can't be the only one with these concerns).

 

Yes, just the 3 families unfortunately so it will be pretty obvious what the issue is. There was a 4th, but she dropped out and was certifiably messed up. It's a preschool co-op that I started, then asked the others to join. We meet twice a week for 2-2.5 hours. Technically B's mom and I are the leaders, but the structure has been loose up until now. We wrote out a philosophy of childhood education that we all agreed to, but not any specific behavior standards. We were planning to continue it next year as A makes the K cut-off by 1 mo. his mom doesn't think he'll be ready at that point. I definitely won't continue after June if things don't change. I might just have to buck up and sit down with A's mom for a heart-to-heart. I don't want to gossip with B's mom, but I do know she has concerns. Her son is more verbal and less rambunctious, so he is not in the thick of things with A as much because he is better at avoiding him. DS is physically tough and isn't really in pain in these situations because he has a high tolerance. He is also drawn to the most wild, physical kid in any group and doesn't really understand he's being mistreated on a regular basis. When it actually hurts or his emotions are really raw he understands a bit, but most of the time he's bounces back from everything so easily that he forgets how rotten the kid is to him and chooses to be with him. I wouldn't let him sit by A at a larger group function last week because I didn't want to have to deal with more of this outside of the group I'm committed to!

 

Really, what I want to say honestly is, "You seem overwhelmed with A's behavior. You seem paralyzed and unable to respond when he does X. It's gotten so severe that I don't think I can let DS spend time with him until something changes in your response to A." I might have to just do it.

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Really, what I want to say honestly is, "You seem overwhelmed with A's behavior. You seem paralyzed and unable to respond when he does X. It's gotten so severe that I don't think I can let DS spend time with him until something changes in your response to A." I might have to just do it.

 

You should say exactly that then. Best case scenario is that she says "you're right" and does something about it. Worst case is that she gets upset and leaves the group. Both of those scenarios sound like a win in this case. :grouphug:

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Also, your DS may love kid, but why keep him in a friendship where he is not treated like a friend?

 

You're right. I think about this a lot. I don't want DS having a bad sense of what a true friend is. I don't want his adoration to be misplaced. He is a socially outgoing, fun-loving, rambunctious follower. I didn't even think it was possible to produce one of these given the genetics of my husband and me. But we have him. And figuring out how to parent a kid who is so different from DH and I in this way is hard right now. I'm just glad I've figured this out about DS at 3 instead of 13.

 

A is very selfish with toys, giving DS the broken one and refusing to trade for the good one until forced. Later DS gave A his favorite, newest truck of 5 (which he's never offered to anyone before) and then was repaid with having his lesser truck stolen and then was taunted. This is not a friend, and our common preschooler-mom language of referring to every other kid as "your friend" falls flat with this kid right now.

 

I think part of the reason why I feel so odd in these group situations is that my kid is attracted to the kid with the least-desirable behavior. He is drawn to the kid who is the oldest, loudest, roughest in most situations. Others in the group may not be as bother by that kid, because their kid knows to steer clear or is doing their own thing. My kid is seeking out that kid.

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You should say exactly that then. Best case scenario is that she says "you're right" and does something about it. Worst case is that she gets upset and leaves the group. Both of those scenarios sound like a win in this case. :grouphug:

 

My active imagination makes my worst-case get a lot more complicated than that. :laugh: I had a similar conversation with another mom a while back and while she basically took in what I said OK, we don't really have a relationship now and we avoid one another. I have had to avoid certain desirable gatherings/events to keep this up. This would be fine in and of itself, but you know how people talk. If I cut off TWO moms in the same two circles, I worry word will get out about me in the groups and I'll be left with just B's mom (and my other close friend.) Ah, back to high school. Maybe that IS the best outcome I can expect based on what I'm willing to tolerate. It's bearable if I have my close friends. I'm already thinking I might never be able to join the local homeschool co-op with all the issues I'm having in groups! I always did hate group projects. :tongue_smilie:

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You are your child's advocate. If he's being harmed, you protect him. In the situation you described, I would remove my family from the group. I don't mind refereeing while another parent goes to the restroom or whatnot, but I'm not going to be the sole disciplinarian or spend my time worrying what another parent will think if..., especially not at the expense of my child. Sounds exhausting for you and awful for your kiddo!

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I get it. I went through a situation a few years ago where there was a similar "worst case" outcome (the ending of a few relationships, having to actively avoid certain people and events, and ultimately no longer participating in the homeschool group that I founded). It did feel like high school all over again, and there were several months that were quite awful. But in the end, I culled my life of some very toxic people and I'm happier for it. I hope you can find a solution that allows you to meet your DS's (and your) needs without having it come to that. But if it does, and you've got a good group of close friends, you'll get through it. :grouphug:

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Thanks, all. I think I'm resolved to say something. Now I just need to decide when and how. It may seem chicken, but I'm leaning towards an email. She is an introvert and I tend to over-talk when I'm worked up, so I think it might be easier for both of us if I start it this way.

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:grouphug: :grouphug:

 

Ugh. Tough situation. There are definitely times when I wonder "is socializing really worth it?" when it comes to other parents and their kids, and I am very much an extrovert who requires interaction almost as much as I require air and water.

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You are your child's advocate. If he's being harmed, you protect him. In the situation you described, I would remove my family from the group. I don't mind refereeing while another parent goes to the restroom or whatnot, but I'm not going to be the sole disciplinarian or spend my time worrying what another parent will think if..., especially not at the expense of my child. Sounds exhausting for you and awful for your kiddo!

 

This. Bottom line is protecting your kids trumps other adults feelings every time.

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Thanks, all. I think I'm resolved to say something. Now I just need to decide when and how. It may seem chicken, but I'm leaning towards an email. She is an introvert and I tend to over-talk when I'm worked up, so I think it might be easier for both of us if I start it this way.

 

 

 

I tend to avoid confrontation and for me, I tend to express myself better in email. Email may be best in this situation. I hope it works out.

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I strongly suggest that before going to the 'heart to heart' stage, you spend a few meetings trying to do this less cinfrintationally. That would mean 3 strong messages to 3 different people:

 

Your son: 3yo is old enough to grasp concretely 'different families have different rules' // 'I am your mom, not everybody's mom -- you are my child, I make rules for you' -- stick there, and try not to be too punitive. It is a challenging situation for his little brain and small-but-growing impulse control.

 

The other boy: exactly as you have been.

 

The other mom: say what you mean. "I don't like it when A does xyz. I would prefer it if you tried to stop him." Say exactly what you mean, and say it over and over -- using the same wording so it sounds a broken-record as possible. (Although do just try to hit the high points, like physical aggression -- not every little thing.) Dont make it a conversation. Say it as a passing remark, with a pleasant voice and expression, then immediately change the subject.

 

Honestly, 3 weeks of that should make a huge difference. 1 week probably will. A confrontation will only create animosity. This tactic creates tension, but in a way that can pass quickly and I think it's more likely to help her and also maintain the group.

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:grouphug: I'll encourage you, but let you know that these types of parenting child issues won't go away on their own; and will be something you will have to deal with or accept for many years to come.

 

Young children have a very difficult understanding differences in families and unlearning behaviors.

 

I'm not a lover of confrontation, but stating your concern and having an announced plan in place can be an easy solution.

Ex. I'm concerned that hitting, throwing toys etc. is dangerous. When B does this, he needs to be redirected & stopped immediately or we will leave. Then follow through.

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I strongly suggest that before going to the 'heart to heart' stage, you spend a few meetings trying to do this less cinfrintationally. That would mean 3 strong messages to 3 different people:

 

Your son: 3yo is old enough to grasp concretely 'different families have different rules' // 'I am your mom, not everybody's mom -- you are my child, I make rules for you' -- stick there, and try not to be too punitive. It is a challenging situation for his little brain and small-but-growing impulse control.

 

The other boy: exactly as you have been.

 

The other mom: say what you mean. "I don't like it when A does xyz. I would prefer it if you tried to stop him." Say exactly what you mean, and say it over and over -- using the same wording so it sounds a broken-record as possible. (Although do just try to hit the high points, like physical aggression -- not every little thing.) Dont make it a conversation. Say it as a passing remark, with a pleasant voice and expression, then immediately change the subject.

 

Honestly, 3 weeks of that should make a huge difference. 1 week probably will. A confrontation will only create animosity. This tactic creates tension, but in a way that can pass quickly and I think it's more likely to help her and also maintain the group.

 

 

Ooh, thank you for the phrasing for the mom! This makes sense. I know that big confrontations don't go well. I've had trouble trying to figure out what to say in the moment that doesn't come off like "reign in your brat." My only issue with "try to stop him" is that the amount effort she expends "trying" to stop him is very minimal. The few times she's tried to remove him from the situation or thrown an epic tantrum with lots of kicking and flailing she has given up almost immediately. This is "trying" in some sense, but lacks the follow-through that is necessary. I will definitely try it, though! We are meeting again today.

 

DS and I have that talk every time we see A, and on plenty of other occasions. It doesn't often involve major punishment. Mostly I just physically stop the behavior that he is doing with A (running away, throwing) and have have him sit with me and talk while A's mom is chasing him. This works pretty well for him, but I can sometimes see his eyes following A with longing while we're chatting. Yesterday he was over-the-top after multiple warnings, so he lost his TV time, which was huge for him. Since he is young and time is hard, he was able to earn more time after his nap and demonstrating that he could obey for 2 hours. He didn't forget though--he was still telling Daddy about how he was going to obey hours later.

 

I will keep intervening with A as necessary.

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Ooh, thank you for the phrasing for the mom! This makes sense. I know that big confrontations don't go well. I've had trouble trying to figure out what to say in the moment that doesn't come off like "reign in your brat." My only issue with "try to stop him" is that the amount effort she expends "trying" to stop him is very minimal. The few times she's tried to remove him from the situation or thrown an epic tantrum with lots of kicking and flailing she has given up almost immediately. This is "trying" in some sense, but lacks the follow-through that is necessary. I will definitely try it, though! We are meeting again today.

 

DS and I have that talk every time we see A, and on plenty of other occasions. It doesn't often involve major punishment. Mostly I just physically stop the behavior that he is doing with A (running away, throwing) and have have him sit with me and talk while A's mom is chasing him. This works pretty well for him, but I can sometimes see his eyes following A with longing while we're chatting. Yesterday he was over-the-top after multiple warnings, so he lost his TV time, which was huge for him. Since he is young and time is hard, he was able to earn more time after his nap and demonstrating that he could obey for 2 hours. He didn't forget though--he was still telling Daddy about how he was going to obey hours later.

 

I will keep intervening with A as necessary.

 

 

I think you need to be very direct and firm. I don't think the sweetness and light approach will work with the mom you're describing. She is intentionally oblivious. Don't kid yourself. She knows exactly what's going on, but she has been getting away with letting other people deal with her child. That has to stop. No more enabling!!!

 

Here's the thing -- even if you don't like confrontation, you have to protect your kid. And in this case, it's going to take some level of confrontation. The things you have done so far would work with most normal moms, but this mom may need the verbal equivalent of a kick in the head to realize that the status quo just isn't cutting it any more.

 

I'm not saying you should be rude or mean, but if the kid pitches a fit when she corrects him, she can't be permitted to just give up. If the kid throws a tantrum and she can't handle it, she needs to know that it's time to pack up and take him home. Ditto for when the kid gets wild or mean.

 

You are being WAY too nice.

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It definitely sounds like A is a brat but I wonder if that is the only problem. If he has an issue that would benefit from professional intervention of some sort his mother is probably perpetually exhausted. He might just benefit from strict consequences.

 

Dd was very high enegy at that age and I was exhausted. After I stopped working and care-giving was almost exclusively my responsibilty rather than being split with a very permissive dh I was able to rein in her behavior somewhat by being very strict. That helped alot but I still had to be very alert.

 

Shortly before Thanksgiving as an 8 year old she began to show physical symptoms which sent us to an allergist. As soon as the offending food was removed from her diet her behavior changed dramatically for the better and the physical symptoms went away as well.

 

All that to get to my suggestion, is there any way you can point out that she seems overwhelmed and recommend one of the books about strong-willed behavior that has been mentioned in other threads here. You could also mention the possibility of some sort of physical problem such as allergies(I use that as the example because of dd).

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I would proceed with caution. It is possible that Mom just doesn't care. I have found that to be rarely the case. Usually there is more to the story. Yes you need to talk to her about your concern. But please please be gentle about it in case there is more.

 

I'm kind of touchy on this subject. My son was the child who acted out and was "difficult" in social situations at this age. I was unwelcome and alienated many times because of lack of understanding. I withdrew from everything for quite a long time.

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My only issue with "try to stop him" is that the amount effort she expends "trying" to stop him is very minimal. The few times she's tried to remove him from the situation or thrown an epic tantrum with lots of kicking and flailing she has given up almost immediately. This is "trying" in some sense, but lacks the follow-through that is necessary.

As you keep verbally saying, "I don't like it / I want you to try" -- that will usually make someone uncomfortable enough to up their efforts, just to avoid hearing you say that again. It is hard to say, but it is a statement about what "I" don't like, what "I" would prefer... it's less attacking, but it's still uncomfortable. Imagine hearing it yourself. If someone you often went swimming with continually said something as simple as, "I don't like that you put your face in the water without goggles." You wouldn't agree with her, but it would make you second guess enough to change your behavior, just because you don't want to hear it. It's that effect you are looking for... not enough to make her feel like an idiot, but enough for her to know that you have preferences that you are willing to mention.

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The words, "In my house we...." were often employed when I had children over who did not follow my rules. It doesn't matter to me if the parent is present or not. In my house certain rules are followed no matter who you are. And if you can't obey the house rules I've no qualms about asking your mommy to take you home or if she isn't there to come get you.

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My only issue with "try to stop him" is that the amount effort she expends "trying" to stop him is very minimal. The few times she's tried to remove him from the situation or thrown an epic tantrum with lots of kicking and flailing she has given up almost immediately. This is "trying" in some sense, but lacks the follow-through that is necessary.

 

Practice saying, "Oh, I'm sorry you'll have to leave so soon. I know you'll want to tend to Junior in your own way in your home. I'll get your coats. Can I help you get him to the car?"

 

Then when the mom is gone pray for her because you know what it will be like for her when Junior is 15.

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The words, "In my house we...." were often employed when I had children over who did not follow my rules. It doesn't matter to me if the parent is present or not. In my house certain rules are followed no matter who you are. And if you can't obey the house rules I've no qualms about asking your mommy to take you home or if she isn't there to come get you.

 

Unfortunately, we aren't at my house anymore. I have no problems being firm in my house or when I am "in charge." We alternate between the houses of A and B. The worst days are at A's house as he's on his own turf, so to speak. Today at B's house was amazingly good. I was kind of in shock thinking I was hallucinating, because today was the best day ever. I didn't have to say a word. Sadly, I don't expect that there was some kind of magic change last night, but at least I have more time to practice what to say now.

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I would proceed with caution. It is possible that Mom just doesn't care. I have found that to be rarely the case. Usually there is more to the story. Yes you need to talk to her about your concern. But please please be gentle about it in case there is more.

 

I'm kind of touchy on this subject. My son was the child who acted out and was "difficult" in social situations at this age. I was unwelcome and alienated many times because of lack of understanding. I withdrew from everything for quite a long time.

'

Don't worry, I know it isn't that she doesn't care. I've known her for almost 2 years and and I know what some of the underlying issues are. She's in some frustrating situations that would definitely overwhelm/wear on me. I'm sure she cares, but she seems to shut down rather than dealing with it. I think she needs someone to help her understand that being permissive with her son is not going to fix the other issues or make his childhood happier. I don't want to drive her away because she could definitely use the support of others, which is part of the reason I've tolerated so much more from her son than I have from others.

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'

Don't worry, I know it isn't that she doesn't care. I've known her for almost 2 years and and I know what some of the underlying issues are. She's in some frustrating situations that would definitely overwhelm/wear on me. I'm sure she cares, but she seems to shut down rather than dealing with it. I don't want to drive her away because she could definitely use the support of others, which is part of the reason I've tolerated so much more from her son than I have from others.

 

That is very kind of you. Seriously. Kinder than I would be in the situation. But it sounds like it is hurting your own son. :( And having an ill-behaved, bratty child isn't going to help her own stress levels at all. If she can't get him under control at 4 (seriously, he sounds like a terror), imagine her life in 10 years?

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So, not to freak you out but we had a kid like A in a coop years ago that I was involved in. A's mom was a clone of this kids (we'll say X) mom. Except X's mom would make him sit by her while she got a candy bar from the snack bar the coop had to raise money. As soon as he ate it he would run off again.

Can you say "lame"?

Everyone knew this kid was a jerk and his younger sibs were following the same way...mom thought he was just "a boy".

I was pregnant with #3 - about 7 months along.

I told X to "stop swinging that jump rope around, you'll hit someone"

He turned and punched me in my heavily pregnant belly with all of his might and then ran away saying, "No!!!!! You can't make me!!!"

I went into the building crying and told everyone what happened - nothing draws attention like a frantically crying pregnant mom. X's mom was there and did nothing.

 

I went into labor 5 minutes later. I was on bedrest and eventually had a healthy baby.

 

X's mom never called to check on me and he was never disciplined that day as per accounts from other parents who were at the co op.

 

Unbelievable and if I ever thought it would work, I should have sued.

 

I think A'smom won't change. She's get offended and bad mouth you.

 

Be safe.

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I hope you praised the son in front of his mom for his good behavior. So glad the playdate went well.

 

Yep. I praised both him and DS. They were sharing a super-awesome toy without any adult direction by each taking a turn and then handing it to the other and saying, "Your turn now!" It was like I was in an alternate universe.

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So, not to freak you out but we had a kid like A in a coop years ago that I was involved in. A's mom was a clone of this kids (we'll say X) mom. Except X's mom would make him sit by her while she got a candy bar from the snack bar the coop had to raise money. As soon as he ate it he would run off again.

Can you say "lame"?

Everyone knew this kid was a jerk and his younger sibs were following the same way...mom thought he was just "a boy".

I was pregnant with #3 - about 7 months along.

I told X to "stop swinging that jump rope around, you'll hit someone"

He turned and punched me in my heavily pregnant belly with all of his might and then ran away saying, "No!!!!! You can't make me!!!"

I went into the building crying and told everyone what happened - nothing draws attention like a frantically crying pregnant mom. X's mom was there and did nothing.

 

I went into labor 5 minutes later. I was on bedrest and eventually had a healthy baby.

 

X's mom never called to check on me and he was never disciplined that day as per accounts from other parents who were at the co op.

 

Unbelievable and if I ever thought it would work, I should have sued.

 

I think A'smom won't change. She's get offended and bad mouth you.

 

Be safe.

 

Scary! I'm so glad your baby was ok!

 

I do make sure I'm out of his path when he's rampaging. He doesn't intentionally hurt people when he's having a fit, but he is out of control and somewhat unpredictable. He kicked me in the leg while flailing excitedly one day then decided to jump over my legs while I was seated on the floor even after being told not to and kicked me again. He threw a toy that hit B's mom in the head the other day. I saw him holding a large hard plastic bucket lid over his head preparing to throw it. I asked him not to throw it, but he did anyway, fortunately not at me. When I type this all out I look crazy for putting up with this for so long! He wasn't this bad 6 mo. ago--it's been getting progressively worse and has creeped up on me.

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Has A's mom ever expressed concern over his behavior and said that she feels overwhelmed or doesn't know how to handle him? If she has never acknowledged the issue and sought out helpful advice from the other moms before, I would assume that bringing the issue up to her would not go well.

 

Instead, I would tell A and B's moms that although we had originally planned for the group to continue until June, I'm really sorry but the timing just isn't working for me any more and unfortunately I need to stop coming to the group.

 

Then I'd privately call Bs mom and set up some playdates with B on a different day and place.

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So, not to freak you out but we had a kid like A in a coop years ago that I was involved in. A's mom was a clone of this kids (we'll say X) mom. Except X's mom would make him sit by her while she got a candy bar from the snack bar the coop had to raise money. As soon as he ate it he would run off again.

Can you say "lame"?

Everyone knew this kid was a jerk and his younger sibs were following the same way...mom thought he was just "a boy".

I was pregnant with #3 - about 7 months along.

I told X to "stop swinging that jump rope around, you'll hit someone"

He turned and punched me in my heavily pregnant belly with all of his might and then ran away saying, "No!!!!! You can't make me!!!"

I went into the building crying and told everyone what happened - nothing draws attention like a frantically crying pregnant mom. X's mom was there and did nothing.

 

I went into labor 5 minutes later. I was on bedrest and eventually had a healthy baby.

 

X's mom never called to check on me and he was never disciplined that day as per accounts from other parents who were at the co op.

 

Unbelievable and if I ever thought it would work, I should have sued.

 

I think A'smom won't change. She's get offended and bad mouth you.

 

Be safe.

 

:eek: :eek: :eek:

 

Wow!!! That was HORRIBLE!!! Thank goodness you and the baby were OK!

 

Apparently, after that happened, you knew why the mom didn't think anything her kid did was a big deal -- she was even meaner and less compassionate than he was!

 

What an awful woman!!! :angry:

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Scary! I'm so glad your baby was ok!

 

I do make sure I'm out of his path when he's rampaging. He doesn't intentionally hurt people when he's having a fit, but he is out of control and somewhat unpredictable. He kicked me in the leg while flailing excitedly one day then decided to jump over my legs while I was seated on the floor even after being told not to and kicked me again. He threw a toy that hit B's mom in the head the other day. I saw him holding a large hard plastic bucket lid over his head preparing to throw it. I asked him not to throw it, but he did anyway, fortunately not at me. When I type this all out I look crazy for putting up with this for so long! He wasn't this bad 6 mo. ago--it's been getting progressively worse and has creeped up on me.

 

 

OK, the more you tell us, the more confused I get.

 

This child is HORRIBLE. He is MEAN. He has NO SENSE OF REGRET for the terrible things he does.

 

And yet you are still looking for ways for it to be OK to let your child be around him.

 

What am I missing here???

 

Are you sure you're not remaining in this group because you want to be friends with the moms? Because I can't think of any reason why it would be a good thing for your child, so all I can think is that you don't want to give up the social aspect for yourself .

 

Otherwise, what in the world is possessing you to continue this relationship?

 

Why are you being so nice about it?

 

I feel like there must be more to this story, because I can't think of a single reason why I would ever allow that kid around my child, and for the life of me, I can't imagine why you keep looking for ways to allow your child to keep meeting up with him.

 

I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but I really just do not get this at all. :confused:

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Scary! I'm so glad your baby was ok!

 

I do make sure I'm out of his path when he's rampaging. He doesn't intentionally hurt people when he's having a fit, but he is out of control and somewhat unpredictable. He kicked me in the leg while flailing excitedly one day then decided to jump over my legs while I was seated on the floor even after being told not to and kicked me again. He threw a toy that hit B's mom in the head the other day. I saw him holding a large hard plastic bucket lid over his head preparing to throw it. I asked him not to throw it, but he did anyway, fortunately not at me. When I type this all out I look crazy for putting up with this for so long! He wasn't this bad 6 mo. ago--it's been getting progressively worse and has creeped up on me.

 

 

((hugs))

 

This sounds really awful and I would not want my son to be around it at all. I wouldn't want to be around that either.

 

You don't have to solve A's mom's problems or be a shoulder, can you just tell her that A's behavior is causing your son to be hurt and, unless she can reign it in/follow through on discipline, you have to drop the group.

 

I get wanting to be compassionate and I'm sure there's more to his behavior then you can get into on the internet, but yeesh! He threw a bucket, kicked you twice, throws toys at adults, pinecones at playmates after being asked to stop, tries to push kids off of step stools, tries to throw other kids into the bathtub, and steals toys from your son....really, whatever the issues are-they aren't yours and you can't solve them by being firm if his parents aren't parenting. I can't imagine that his behavior is going to get better if his parents don't take an active role.

 

Again, it doesn't have to be about the mom at all. Just, "A is acting like he's not ready for a group learning situation. He needs to not attempt to hurt others or we can't be in the group."

 

More ((hugs)). I'm sure it's stressful to deal with this, it sounds like you like A's mom as a person.

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How about this...

A's mom, after a lot of wrestling with it, I've come to the conclusion that my son is not quite ready for this type of playgroup. Thanks so much for joining in when I asked. I do feel D's has learned a lot this past year, but I think he'd benefit from a different social dynamic at this point. All the best to you and A!

 

What you are not saying is that he's not ready to interact with a kid hers. Make it about your own child instead and you will not hurt feelings while disengaging. It is the truth, too, since I am guessing you be fine with him playing with this child if he wasn't picking up behaviors or needing reteaching.

 

Eta ugh, forgive the errors. Typing on tablet.

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Okay. I have to say something. Yes, this kid looks like a spoiled brat. He seems like that under-disciplined kid. BUT. I have a nephew who looks like that kid. He thinks only for himself. He cries and makes everything look like it's about him. He is sometimes hard to be around. He was just diagnosed with high-functioning autism. My sister is exhausted with him. She is tired. She finally has a diagnosis. My nephew is nearly 7.

 

There may very well be a not-yet-determined diagnosis here. This child may have something else going on. Yes. You need to protect your son. I don't know what to tell you about that. But, his mom may very well be overwhelmed with him. She may not know what to do.

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If you don't leave the group, I'd just plan on super-close-proximity supervision when your son is with A. No sitting and chatting or even watching from a distance.

 

Stay really physically close to the boys in a supervisory but friendly way. Sometimes a child's behavior will change for the better when he can see a caring/supervising adult nearby. It sounds like he needs a lot of help to behave well and he's not getting it. Maybe some proximity will help him. Maybe not.

 

If not, just calmly remove your child to another activity as soon as things begin to deteriorate. Over and over. If A's mom wonders what the heck you're doing, you can tell the mom you've noticed some trouble with the boys and you're hoping they can learn to get along better with some adult help.

 

Kids this age are little, little kids. I think it's normal for some of them to still be very babyish in their behavior -- little or no impulse control, no ability to think about consequences, minimal verbal skills, no sense of respecting authority. This doesn't mean they should be allowed to hurt anyone, but some kids are very, very late bloomers. And those kids need a lot of supervision and help -- especially in group play situations.

 

You just might set a nice example for the mom of how to help her son play in a group.

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Okay. I have to say something. Yes, this kid looks like a spoiled brat. He seems like that under-disciplined kid. BUT. I have a nephew who looks like that kid. He thinks only for himself. He cries and makes everything look like it's about him. He is sometimes hard to be around. He was just diagnosed with high-functioning autism. My sister is exhausted with him. She is tired. She finally has a diagnosis. My nephew is nearly 7.

 

There may very well be a not-yet-determined diagnosis here. This child may have something else going on. Yes. You need to protect your son. I don't know what to tell you about that. But, his mom may very well be overwhelmed with him. She may not know what to do.

 

Well, the first thing she should do is keep him at home if she's not going to supervise him in group play situations. If the kid has issues and the mom is exhausted, of course I sympathize with her. But... that doesn't give her a free pass to ignore his terrible behavior and act like nothing is happening.

 

Whatever the story is with the kid, the mom simply can not allow him to intentionally hurt other children. And if she is truly overwhelmed and doesn't know what to do, perhaps her time would be better spent finding professional help for the child (and for herself, if she needs it,) rather than letting him run wild at a playgroup.

 

I know I sound really mean, but I have heard so many moms play the "I'm so tired" or the "Tra-la-la, I'm totally oblivious to everything that's happening around me" cards as excuses for not watching and/or disciplining their own children in group situations, and I have no patience for that kind of behavior when it's a regular occurrence.

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Okay. I have to say something. Yes, this kid looks like a spoiled brat. He seems like that under-disciplined kid. BUT. I have a nephew who looks like that kid. He thinks only for himself. He cries and makes everything look like it's about him. He is sometimes hard to be around. He was just diagnosed with high-functioning autism. My sister is exhausted with him. She is tired. She finally has a diagnosis. My nephew is nearly 7.

 

There may very well be a not-yet-determined diagnosis here. This child may have something else going on. Yes. You need to protect your son. I don't know what to tell you about that. But, his mom may very well be overwhelmed with him. She may not know what to do.

 

That could very well be.

 

My 9 year old son has Asperger's Syndrome (high-functioning autism). He struggled mightily at playdates when he was younger (and displayed some of the behaviors of "A" as described in the OP). Based solely on his behavior, I'm sure many people thought he was just a spoiled, out-of-control brat (in fact, I know some people did). He was also not diagnosed until he was 7.5 years old. He's doing much, much better now.

 

That said, I never ignored his behavior. No matter how overwhelmed I was. I always addressed it, and I always removed him from a situation when he was a danger to himself or others. I can't tell you how many playdates, events, etc. we left early over the years because of a behavior issue. Sometimes we left after 5 minutes, because it was clear that he wasn't going to be able to manage things that day. I totally understand how draining, frustrating, and overwhelming it is to have a child like "A". What I don't understand is the lack of follow-through on the mom's part as described in the OP. No matter what is going on with the child, there is no excuse for that. If the child truly has special needs, his behavior is not the mom's fault and she should not be held responsible for the way he is acting out. But she is responsible for what she does - or does not - do in response to that behavior.

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