Avatar universal

struggling with play dates..

I have a friend I've been hanging out with for a while that within the past several months and her just turned 2 year old son has started some really bad habits. He never gets disciplined for anything he does and it's making it really hard for me to enjoy hanging out with her because my daughter 19 months is picking up on the things he does which she has never done before. So like throwing fits over nothing... He was at my house a few weeks ago and started screaming because the grapes were gone. And just stood in the kitchen screaming and stomping his feet. She just walks in and grabs him and does nothing. Also he will throw toys at other kids and his mom and hit other kids and his mom and never get any discipline for it. And his new thing is reaching his hands down his pants playing with his boy parts and she won't do anything about it. I have 6 nephews and none of them have ever done that out at least gotten away with it. She says that the way he acts is normal 2 year old behavior but I find that really hard to believe. With all my nephews they have never acted like this and my daughter doesn't act like this with throwing toys and screaming for no reason. I'm not sure what to do or say or if I just need to cut ties and move on and not hang out with them anymore. My daughter isn't old enough to explain to her why he is getting away with things that she can't and when he isn't around she is a totally different child. He just brings out the worst in kids and it's not just mine but another friend of ours her son started screaming because of this boy and he had never done that before either. Anyone gone thru this or have a suggestion on what to do?? I know I can't keep my child sheltered but also don't feel it's any fun for her to get in trouble four things she sees another kid getting away with all the time. Thankfully the only thing she has picked up on is the screaming so far... and when we are not around the 2 year old she never screams at home or anywhere else we go.  
5 Responses
973741 tn?1342342773
Hi there.  I do my very best not to judge other parenting styles and realize that I don't always know all that is going on.  I would take this approach with your friend.  Try to back off from being judgmental.  I did a lot of my disciplining in a quiet way.  Many two year olds struggle with behavior and that is part of the age.  They do indeed throw fits, scream, do obnoxious things.  They test boundaries at that age.  Parents are best to lovingly set the boundary but they do keep pushing.  I found my kids were notorious for picking the most inopportune times to test me . . .   often in front of a friend that I suspected might be judgmental.  

If you feel your child is picking up bad habits and you can not stop them with your own parenting style, then perhaps have fewer get togethers with them.  

I also have two sons.  One actually had some sensory issues that began to surface in the toddler years.  We worked so hard on them but they were rough years.  I shunned friends that appeared to think somehow their child was better than mine or that they were better parents.  I could pick them out a mile away.  What I needed was a real friend at the time that would have empathy for me and my child and consider the fact that we were working on it,  I'd kind of expect them to cut me some slack that in other areas of my life I wasn't some slacker who always blew off my responsibility so that when it came to parenting, I'd also be working on things.  It was a confusing time for me trying to figure out the best approach.

So, don't assume she isn't working on things with her son.  She may have considered mistakenly that your house was a safe place to go.  Or she may still be trying to understand what is and isn't appropriate behavior because some of what you mention is what a lot of two year olds will try to do and this child may surprise her by doing it in public when he doesn't do it at home.  (that was my son).  Try to cut someone you call a friend some slack and be an open ear if she needs to talk and encouraging if she does rather than looking down on her and her kid.  

I am happy to say that my son, because he received loving care and we worked on his sensory issues is now 10, a straight A student in advanced academic classes, an athlete, has friends, and has never gotten in trouble in school.  

We don't have control over our friends and how they parent.  We only have control over ourselves.  good luck
973741 tn?1342342773
I just wanted to add that I have a friend who has three kids and parents by screaming at them which is embarrassing when we are out in public.  Her kids are ill behaved.  I try to look at it like she is really trying her best.  Some are more adaptive at parenting than others and naturally know how to handle things.  Others are learning.  I really stay quiet with her and do my best to not judge.  Then as we have conversations, she may mention a hard time she is having with one of her kids.  She'll ask my thoughts on things and THEN I try to help her.  

As to feeling uncomfortable with her yelling, I do limit the outings we have in public.

So, if the chaos is too much, just limit the play dates and be a friend to her and wait until she talks about things going on with her son.  She never will if she suspects you are judging her.  Does that make sense?
Avatar universal
Ya it does make sense and brings another outside view. It's just very stressful to me to be around it I think. I'm almost 27 weeks pregnant and that adds on extra hormones on my part. We were actually at another friend house when all this happened yesterday. He does act the same at home with throwing food on the floor and running around screaming. Im sure he does have some sensory issues as he gets frustrated really really easily with toys and then just throws them and screams for an hour or will repeatedly ram it into the wall. But at the same time being outside at the park he will run around screaming out of frustration for no reason. She has told me people look at her wondering what's wrong with him because there is nothing for him to be mad at. I just don't see that disciplining after the fact would do anything at that age. I have a feeling tho that we will just start spreading out our get togethers.
973741 tn?1342342773
Well, what you describe most likely indicates the boy has more going on.  That is stressful for a parent to figure out and in truth, disciplining when a child is in a tantrum is hard to do if it is neurological in nature.  my own son had frequent meltdowns and a hard time calming down when he was tiny like that and it took occupational therapy and strategies to help him.  Once he was old enough to begin implementing the tools he was given, things were much better but it's a hard time on a mom.  Especially if she is unfamiliar with childhood neurological issues or is in a state of disbelief that her child may need some help in that area.  But what will happen is that she will enroll him in some type of preschool and the school will begin talking to her about it.  

In all honesty, I had friends that made me feel bad for my son's troubles.  It hurt deeply because I felt very alone.  As I sorted things out, I remember all the friends who stuck by me and am forever grateful and really don't associate with the ones that made me feel bad.  

I'm sure you don't make your friend feel bad but it would be kind of you to try to understand that parenting some kids is not a piece of cake.  She may need a good friend.  And as she opens up to you, you can try to help her.  

I get being pregnant and the issue of less patience though and sometimes if it isn't a really close friend, it isn't worth it and then just moving on is best.  good luck
Avatar universal
Thank you. Ya its only someone I've hung or with for less that a year and honestly only known since then. I'm normally very understanding of other kids and parenting and know that different parents feel differently on discipline and raising their children but this just seems extreme because he can lay on the floor throwing a tantrum and as soon as someone picks him up he is fine.
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