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Not to change my rules for the sake of my friends DS

(79 Posts)
NopeStillNothing Mon 25-Feb-13 22:41:14

Sorry this is long. Had a moment today where I felt incredibly mean and would like the MN jury to enlighten me on whether IWBU.
My friend and I both parent our Ds' very differently (18 +20 months). Although these differences are quite noticeable, I'd like to think we don't judge each other and things have run pretty smoothly as the boys are growing into 'toddlerhood' together.

Anyway, friend and her Ds came over to visit today and I brought out tea and biscuits for the adults. Her Ds immediately reached out for a biscuit and I did the whole 'ooh you'll have to ask Mummy' to which she responded with ' No Ds you know you're not allowed biscuits'. My DS then did the same and I gave him half as I have no problem with him having the occasional biscuit. Cue, hysterical crying from friends DS and me feeling like an absolute bitch for upsetting him. Because of this I put the biscuits away and say No to Ds having the other half. ( He had a bit of a whinge but not upset about it)
Later on in the afternoon, I went to go upstairs. Even though I have a stairgate DS likes to climb the stairs and if I'm not in a hurry, I tend to let him go up before me. Friends Ds followed me into the hall and began climbing ahead of me and I allowed him as I would my own Ds. Next thing I know, friend is next to me pulling her Ds back and telling him off for climbing the stairs. I tell her "It's ok I'm watching him" but she responds with " No, I'm teaching him not to climb stairs, he knows he's not supposed to!"

Then typically, My Ds comes in to the hall to see what the commotion is, ( Friends Ds crying) sees the stairgate open and starts to climb. Now I'm a little bit peeved by this point that I'm having to prohibit my Ds from doing things he would normally do to prevent upsetting friends Ds. It's fair enough if you want to be a strict parent but I didn't want to acommodate this. So I allowed Ds to climb. Again cue hysterical crying and glare from friend.

Now I do believe my friend is too strict and Ishouldn't have to change my usual rules to keep everyone happy but part of me feels that all my stubborness achieved today was upsetting a little boy sad Should I have just stopped Ds from climbing this one day so I didn't have to upset friends Ds? Im sure Ds wouldn't have even noticed tbh so it wasnt to keep Ds happy it was more me digging my heels in.

Oh god Iwbu wasn't I? sad

OHforDUCKScake Mon 25-Feb-13 22:45:17

Huge great big mountain.

Teeny tiny little mole hill.

You know what you should have done? Got some toys out, played with the kids to distract them from the stairs and not posted a thread judging your friend from about 20 different angles and hope that she doesnt use MN!

AnyaKnowIt Mon 25-Feb-13 22:46:46

Erm, its all a bit of a fuss over nothing tbh

Let them have biscuits and no climbing on stairs

HildaOgden Mon 25-Feb-13 22:49:03

It might be a good idea to meet on mutual 'territory' in the future (eg a playcentre) and abide by their rules.That way it won't turn into a battle of wills (because it looks like it's heading that way!).

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 25-Feb-13 22:49:43

Yes I would have in this one occasion asked my ds not go climb the stairs

However the biscuits thing is just :0 how cruel for two adults to eat biscuits in front of children yet tell them they couldn't have one (or a suitable alternative if for example they had nuts in or something

Of course YANBU allowing your son a biscuit.

Did your friend eat one? I assume there are no allergy issues. My ds used to have a problem with artificial sweeteners so wherever wecwentvi took juice he could have in case. (At home he was happy with just water but I felt it unfair for a 2-3 year old to understand why he couldn't have dsimething others around him were having)

exoticfruits Mon 25-Feb-13 22:50:04

If you go to her house follow her rules- if she comes to yours then just do as you normally do. When in Rome.......... The DCs are young- she will find out that you can only control the environment in your own home.

Bluelightsandsirens Mon 25-Feb-13 22:51:00

On my 13 years of parenting this has never been an issue.

I treat mine as I did/do and others around me do the Same.

It's all over thought about these days.

mynewpassion Mon 25-Feb-13 22:51:10

She doesn't want him to eat biscuits or climb stairs. I think the no biscuit was a bit mean but she didn't want him to eat it so her choice.

She didn't want him to climb stairs but you undermined her. Your rule is fine to climb stairs but she, as his mother, doesn't. Nothing is stopping your son from climbing the stairs.

bumperella Mon 25-Feb-13 22:52:03

A mate of mine has v different ideas to me (her DS gets away with blue murder, my DD is (obviously) saintly and perfect :-).).
I do think is difficult as you make it. Opt out is always "you're not allowed to climb stairs when Aunty Thingummy is here becuase she likes being downstairs" or "These are very special grown-up biscuits". But really, you surely come across this all the time - at every toddler group or freinds house or whatever there's something that comeone does differently.

Anyaknowit: stair climbing Good, biscuit eating Bad.... but am sure we'd get around it....

LynetteScavo Mon 25-Feb-13 22:54:33

I think you did the right thing...but your DS will have to learn in her house it's her rules, and he's not allowed to climb the stairs.

I had a friend like this once. I eventually decided she was a toxic loon.

Yanbu and confused at we are not teaching him to climb stairs. likely to be a problem in future I would have thought unless they live in a bungalow.

NopeStillNothing Mon 25-Feb-13 22:57:47

The " It's ok I'm watching him" comment wasn't intended to undermine, it was more to let her know that he wasn't bothering me incase that was why she stepped in iyswim.
I never intend to be judgy. Infact there are several areas where her approach is far better than mine.

But yes you are all right that its not a big deal blush

foxache Mon 25-Feb-13 23:00:45

Yanbu at all. She will have learn how to relax her rules when visiting someone else's house, or at least warn them before she arrives.

Hissy Mon 25-Feb-13 23:43:44

You undermined her at every turn.

She was a bit bonkers about the biscuit, but you have to have known there'd be tears.

I doubt she'll be back anytime soon.

pictish Mon 25-Feb-13 23:50:29

I don't think you undermined her.
I think she's a bit uptight.

MortifiedAdams Mon 25-Feb-13 23:54:24

confused I really dont understand why someone wouldnt want their child to climb stairs? The sooner they can learn a safe way uo and down them the better.

She sounds a bit in need of a grip.tbh.

inchoccyheaven Tue 26-Feb-13 00:11:42

YWNBU although I too probably would have felt a bit mean for upsetting the child, but actually it wasn't you who did that it was your friend as she is the one stopping him doing the things.

Carry on parenting how you see fit and if you are at her house I would still follow your own rules in regards to biscuits and stairs etc just as she will at yours. I can't see how she can forbid you to let your child climb her stairs if you had need to go upstairs if you are being responsible for him and not asking her to watch him while he does it. Different if she was looking after him on
her own.

EeyoresGloomyPlace Tue 26-Feb-13 00:14:20

I don't think you "undermined her at every turn" at all, unless you knew about the no stairs rule beforehand in which case yes your comment was undermining, but the impression I got from your OP is that you didn't know in which case perfectly reasonable to have said you were watching him.

In that situation I might have said something like "sorry, didn't know you we're trying to avoid stairs, I need to pop up for a moment would you mind keeping an eye on both DCs downstairs, there's x/y/z toys they might like" so as not to upset either DS.

The biscuit thing is really just her prerogative, if you were getting them out with the intention of letting everyone have one, again not realising her DS wasn't allowed, then definitely not BU to do as you did. If you knew then perhaps to save tears keeping the biscuits in the tin this time would have been easier.

aldiwhore Tue 26-Feb-13 00:19:25

This is so difficult. Go for mutual territory. It's a no win situation.

I actually don't think YABU, even though you have made 'judgements' I needed to talk this through with someone when it happened to me!

You can't be expected to know or follow ALL her rules, but I guess with the most obvious danger areas, it wouldn't hurt to ask before you create a situation (ask if her child can have a biscuit before you produce them) on the other hand, I think when you're in someone else's house you either relax your own rules a little or go prepared...

I don't think you undermined her, though neither of you handled it perfectly. Hello, you're both human!

CloudsAndTrees Tue 26-Feb-13 00:35:52

I don't think YABU. Perhaps you could have prevented your ds from climbing the stairs that one time if he wouldn't have minded either way, but tbh, teaching your child not to climb stairs is so ridiculous that I'm not sure it's worthy of any consideration. By the time the poor child is old enough to comprehend that he shouldn't climb stairs, he will probably be old enough to negotiate them safely anyway.

NopeStillNothing Tue 26-Feb-13 00:37:44

Thanks everyone. I think the blips today were just to do with the fact that I didn't know these rules beforehand resulting in me feeling guilty (and then unfortunately defensive) about my decisions to offer biscuits/ allow up the stairs etc.

I'm sure it will be fine, we are both visiting another friend tomorrow so we'll both have to follow someone elses rules grin

BinksToEnlightenment Tue 26-Feb-13 08:45:39

She doesn't want him to learn to climb the stairs? Is she completely bat shit? At least let him practice so if he ever does escape and climb them alone he's less likely to fall.

And what harm would one half of one biscuit do once??

Nope, YANBU. I would have found that all quite awkward as well.

PessaryPam Tue 26-Feb-13 08:52:15

It's really nasty to eat biscuits in front of the boys and not let them have one. It's good to teach children to climb stairs safely. I think you are quite sane but I am not sure about your friend.

Patchouli Tue 26-Feb-13 09:04:46

This tricky stuff just goes on as they get older too.
I might let my DD paddle in the sea when we've got no towel, my nephew might get told 'no' etc
I seem to often be whispering, out of the DCs earshot, with other parents about whether or not we'll be getting ice-creams or whatever.
Children are so about what's fair or not fair.

Sorry I think YABU

I think you should have asked the mum before producing any biscuits in front of the DC -- you say you didn't know about any of her rules so assume you might also not have known if her DS had allergies, etc.

On the stairs, you admit your DS would not have been bothered by not going up the stairs, you were just digging in your heels. Um, why? What's the point?

Perhaps she is teaching him not to go up the stairs for safety reasons, because they have stairs that they can't block properly (our last flat had this issue).

I think the time not to compromise is when it would actually impact on your own child. Skipping biscuits and stair climbing is hardly any kind of hardship. You seem to be thinking 'but it's the principle of the thing', which is totally overthinking it.

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