to stop these playdates?

(112 Posts)

I have a local friend/acquaintance (we'll call her Helen) who has a DD the same age as mine (3). She invites my kids and myself over to hers every Tuesday for an hour or so. A few months back we had a brief falling out because her daughter was constantly snatching toys off my daughter and Helen would do nothing to address this. Every week my daughter would be in tears and not understand why the other girl wasn't being told off for being 'naughty'. A few weeks later, Helen assured me that her DD had improved her behaviour and asked if I would resume the Tuesday 'playdates'. I gave her the benefit of the doubt and agreed.

A few weeks passed with the kids playing nicely. Then today, the following happened:

When I arrived with my kids at the usual time, Helen's DD was playing with her friend (also 3) in the bedroom. My kids went upstairs to join them. The two girls let my DD into the bedroom but would not let my DS (2) because "no boys allowed". This is normal preschooler behaviour, of course.

DS started to cry. Helen said that DS could stay downstairs with us. So I took him downstairs. Lunch was served (chicken nuggets and chips). DS was given his to eat on a plate on the floor in the livingroom. Helen took the other 3 girls' lunch up to the bedroom. DS sat and ate his dinner, whilst asking where his sister was (they are very close being close in age). I admit, I felt so sad for him.

At this point, DS found a toy truck (the only toy of interest in a sea of pink tat - sorry, but we're talking Disney princess overload in that house). He becomes very engrossed in running the truck around the floor. Then we hear a scream from upstairs. I run upstairs to see. My DD is locked out of the bedroom and the other 2 girls won't let her in. Helen makes a half-hearted attempt at reasoning with the girls but her daughter slams the door on her face (!) My DD is very upset at this point and throws up. I clear up the vomit and bring DD downstairs to join DS, followed by Helen.

The 2 girls come down a few minutes afterwards. Helen's DD spies my DS playing with the truck and pushes him in the face and snatches it off him. He starts crying and trying to get the truck back. Helen makes a half hearted "DS was playing with that. It's a boys toy." Her DD continues to push him in the face as he tries to get it back.

I decide it is time to call game over on this visit and start putting DS' coat on as by this point, he is on the floor flaying around. Helen sits and watches and looks sheepish. As I bundle a flaying DS into his buggy, and then get DD's coat on, Helen says "I hope this won't stop you coming back next week. We'll see you next Tuesday yeah?" I nodded and quickly left.

AIBU to stop the playdates? No one is getting anything out of these visits. I refuse to let my kids be bullied, but I am not prepared to discipline someone else's kid.

horsetowater Wed 29-Jan-14 16:33:27

Wombles, having children, watching them develop and grow up is a learning process for all adults. I think you are looking for a reason to break acquaintance with someone not because they are a bad person but because you don't like her very much. She's said sorry and hopefully she has learned.

I would focus on the children's wishes/needs, not hers or yours.

DuskAndShiver maybe a bit of both, with emphasis on the latter.

Just seen Only1scoops reply. Perhaps more tactful so I'll use that one.

If she realised there was a problem with her dd behaviour she should have acted though shouldn't she? That's the whole problem. Her attitude, not her dd behaviour.

My thoughts exactly.

I will send your reply. I think its a good un.

DuskAndShiver Wed 29-Jan-14 16:25:56

wombles, do you think she is apologising and wants to carry on because she wants to be friends with you; or because she wants the children to play together?

amidaiwish Wed 29-Jan-14 16:18:04

I'd go with Only1scoop's suggestion

Floggingmolly Wed 29-Jan-14 16:16:57

She hasn't seen that behaviour for a "long, long time"? But you have, evidently, haven't you? So the next playdate will be exactly the same as the last ones. Don't go.

horsetowater Wed 29-Jan-14 16:14:15

Ooo er...

invicta Wed 29-Jan-14 16:09:18

Maybe she has read this thread...

Lioninthesun Wed 29-Jan-14 15:57:43

I think you just meet up less often and on neutral ground - soft play or park or something. That way you can keep them aware of each other in case they end up in the same class, not feel like a cow to the other mother (even though I agree with you she needs to learn to discipline her or she will be in for a very tough few years ahead!) and I think perhaps the other child being there may have been a mistake (not your DS the other girl playing when you arrived I mean). I do think is she felt she was on her turf, with another friend there already 'on-side' or whatever, your poor DD may have been on the back-foot. They are only kids though and if they usually get on well and you feel there would be a benefit, perhaps stopping them altogether is not quite right? If you could do it on a day when DS wasn't there it might help too? Just ideas. I have a friend a bit similar - don't agree on parenting ishoos etc - but the kids love playing so I grin and bear it, for now.

MrsKent Wed 29-Jan-14 15:48:43

I'd say I can see you struggle to take a more disciplinarian role I am sure you love your dd very much but don't you think at times you need to be more firm?

Only1scoop Wed 29-Jan-14 15:48:19

"Don't worry....lets get them together at the park when the weather warms up a little and wear them out. See you soon"
And then just leave it.
It seems more trouble than it's worth at moment so I wouldn't make further plans yet.

If she realised there was a problem with her dd behaviour she should have acted though shouldn't she? That's the whole problem. Her attitude, not her dd behaviour.

I'd respond with 'thanks I appreciate that. However the children clearly aren't enjoying each others company at the moment so let's leave it for now. Maybe we can try again in a few months'

birdybear Wed 29-Jan-14 15:32:39

Just say, thanks for that. I appreciate it and next time yet see her tell her you are going to the library on Tuesday!

Ouch. Just received a text that has left me feeling sad:

"Hi wombles. Just to apologise for yesterday. I was distraught as I haven't seen that behaviour for a long, long time. I'm really sorry xxx"

sad Bless her.

How do you guys think I should reply to this with tact?

horsetowater Wed 29-Jan-14 15:23:13

You can still ask a 2 or 3 year old if they want to play with x. See what they say.

The children are 2 and 3 years old. I'm not sure what asking them will do? They like the toys but they don't like being bullied.

horsetowater Wed 29-Jan-14 15:08:16

As I said if the children don't want to play with these other children then by all means don't take them there. I don't think you should force this either, just saying don't burn bridges. Have you asked the chlldren?

horsetowater but if the adult isn't willing to step in, what can be done? Asking the children won't make the adult step in - rather, it will just prolong the misery.

And re: emergency, I'm not devoid of local friends you know?

Floggingmolly As I said up thread, I had already decided to cease the playdates, I just wanted a second opinion and reassurance.

horsetowater Wed 29-Jan-14 15:02:58

It turns out they live very close together. OP just added that information. I think she feels bad because she will have to face this family on a regular basis in the neighbourhood.

The children will 'find' each other when they are older anyway I guess.

3littlefrogs Wed 29-Jan-14 14:59:45

I have only read the op, but that was enough.
Why would you even consider going there again?
They sound dreadful.

Floggingmolly Wed 29-Jan-14 14:56:47

What answers were you hoping for, op? confused
Your children are being actively bullied and excluded whilst there, your dd is clearly terrified of the other children and when you dared to remonstrate when one of the children was snatching toys you were given your marching orders!
Why are you confused as to whether to go back or not??

horsetowater Wed 29-Jan-14 14:51:36

And you might regret it one day when there is an emergency and you need someone to take the dcs off you hands.

starlight1234 Wed 29-Jan-14 14:49:17

I would just step back be bust on Tuesdays..Just say it isn't working really...Living so close you never know how their friendship Daughters when they get older and go out to play..

I would just say doesn't seem to be working maybe we could just meet up at soft play or go to park...

I stopped visiting someone whose DD was really mean to my son taking toys off him not to play with but would put them behind stairgate and out of his reach...not the I want to play with that because you are...There were other reasons too but this is one of them

My DS also went all through nursery and has been in another boys class for three years , lived two mins away..Never really been interested in each other ..Easter became best friends... you never know

Joysmum Wed 29-Jan-14 14:37:50

horsetowater I concur.

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