To think this Dad was totally out of order

(63 Posts)
minkersmum Tue 18-Mar-14 23:33:25

My 5 yo dd was playing at a friends house. She is often reluctant to go play there but will go if I stay. The friend likes things 'her' way and turns to big melodramatic howls if she doesn't get what she wants. Dd gets fed up with this.

The friend can do no wrong in the eyes of her parents who are overly strict and like to tell off everybody elses children.

So while we were there the other day my dd kept coming downstairs and sitting with me saying she didn't want to play anymore. When i asked what was going on she said friend was being mean and grumpy and not letting dd touch certain toys.
The next day dd tells me and dh she never ever wants to play there again and that the friends Dad had come into the bedroom and quietly told off my dd saying 'it's Lucy's room so it's Lucy's rules'.

I'm bloody raging and not surprised she never wants to go back.
Aibu to feel like having a word with the Dad?

Forgettable Tue 18-Mar-14 23:36:37

I would let the friendship fizzle out without approaching the parent

For all you know your dd was being a bit of a pain

fatowl Tue 18-Mar-14 23:40:48

Are the parents friends of yours (ie part of your social circle that you'd like to maintain a relationship with?)
Or is it purely a school friend relationship?

If purely a school friend, I'd just not go again.

minkersmum Tue 18-Mar-14 23:44:15

I have at times listened outside the bedroom door while they play because I wondered why the friend was always shouting/howling. I am 99% sure my dd was not being a problem. She can be a pita like most 5 yo but I know how it goes when they are together. Dd is sensitive and a people pleaser. She wasn't making a fuss.

iamsoannoyed Tue 18-Mar-14 23:51:57

I simply wouldn't be taking her round to this girls house again and would discourage the friendship. I'd reassure your daughter that she doesn't have to go and play if she doesn't want to.

I probably wouldn't say anything to the other girls parents unless one of them specifically asked though.

minkersmum Tue 18-Mar-14 23:56:43

Mmm how I wish fizzling out was an option.

Ok so if fizzling out wasnt possible would you just ignore it but not take dd to play or say something?

Hogwash Wed 19-Mar-14 00:03:06


esmeee Wed 19-Mar-14 00:04:49

I'd decline all further invites, and try to encourage your DD to form other friendships by arranging playdates with other schoolfriends.

VenusDeWillendorf Wed 19-Mar-14 00:28:13

You have choices.
Choose someone else, or better still, let your DD choose her own friends.

Leave the parents to reap what they sow! I wouldn't bother with them again.

Tell your dd she was right not to want to play if the other girl was being mean: friends are not mean to each other.

Your dd sounds very clued in as to what's right for her, by her own gut feelings; that's a very important skill.
Don't make her do things she doesn't want to do, and it will stay with her.

VenusDeWillendorf Wed 19-Mar-14 00:29:57

Minker, your dd is more important than any social obligations you have.
Just don't be available when next you are invited.

Don't drop your clever, self aware and lovely dd in the shit!

Aeroflotgirl Wed 19-Mar-14 00:38:34

Don't take your dd there to play, they are ny friends, and it's not far on your dd

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 19-Mar-14 00:40:04

I had a friend who picked her child's friends for reasons best known to herself. She made such a song and dance about it; I always assumed her self-esteem was hovering just above the floor to need to do that. She never did find the popularity she was trying to gain and I let our friendship fizzle because she was a crashing bore with her manipulating and using her children to try to elevate her own status.

Weegiemum Wed 19-Mar-14 00:41:45

Fizzling out is always an option.

My dd1 (14) has ap had a best friend since about primary 4.

Dd2 and bf little sister are in the same class.

From both sides there were efforts to encourage that friendship. (Joint sleepovers were a big deal for them as that's all their dc, we also have a ds in between the girls so weren't as invested in the "weekend off" scenario!)

But though dd1 was BFF (and still is) with friend1, dd2 has developed lots of friendships away from friend1's sister. Mainly because, though friend1 is a lovely girl, her sister is petty, accusatory and has to have it all her own way (and yes I've pulled dd2 up on being nippy with the sister).

Sometimes you just cant engineer friendships. Or in your case, you shouldn't!

And I'm a good friend of the mum in this situation. Our dd2's issues don't stop us being friends!!

AskBasil Wed 19-Mar-14 00:49:52

Even if your DD was being a PITA, the dad's response was out of order. "It's Lucy's room so Lucy's rules" is the utterance of an arsehole and I don't think you want to cultivate relationships with arseholes do you?

ADishBestEatenCold Wed 19-Mar-14 00:50:53

I'm a bit lost, Hogwash. What was the biscuit for? Are you the other little girl's parent?

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Wed 19-Mar-14 00:53:21

Why isn't fizzling out an option?

K8Middleton Wed 19-Mar-14 00:54:44

Oh leave them to it. When Lucy is about 14, Lucy's dad is going to wish he'd been less of a twat. Assuming he has an ounce of sense which he possibly does not based on the available evidence...

ArtexMonkey Wed 19-Mar-14 00:56:30

I wouldn't make my dc go on play dates if they were 'reluctant'. I think this friendship has run it's course. You can't have children coming home upset.

Coming at it from the other side, my dd had a friend who was an absolute fucking nightmare: rude, bossy, mean with our younger dc etc, and last time she was here, I'd had jsut about enough, and i pulled her up on every. Single. Thing that I would pull my own dc up on, iyswim? She wasn't happy, and her mum hasn't suggested a reciprocal play date, and they seem more distant now, which is all totally FINE BY ME.

Groovee Wed 19-Mar-14 07:08:08

I'd just refuse all future invites. Your daughter comes first!

saintmerryweather Wed 19-Mar-14 07:10:41

And yet 'your house your rules' is normally such a popular line to trot out on MN

Aeroflotgirl Wed 19-Mar-14 07:58:00

If your friends with her mother, it's not just te kids, just meet when teir in school/bed etc. they do not have to see each other

maddening Wed 19-Mar-14 08:00:02

Sorry but why can't the friendship end - your dd has made it clear

Only1scoop Wed 19-Mar-14 08:05:59

Just never go around there with her to play again. Is that not an option. Why would you want to go again. I don't think I'd personally say anything but just wouldn't go again.

MothershipG Wed 19-Mar-14 08:08:02

Saint are you being deliberately disingenuous? 'Your house, your rules' is for grown ups, not for the rules a 5 year old might want to set! grin

OP have the child over to yours and see if she's happy with the same rule in your house in your DD's room, I bet she won't be!

Why can't you let things fizzle? Are you related?

Shamoy Wed 19-Mar-14 08:21:21

I've got friends that bring their kids round and one kid always tries to touch and play with things that are too delicate for his boisterous nature. My son is a similar age but takes great care of art sets, model building sets and delicate books etc. this other child is a bit rougher. I put those toys up higher and say they can play with anything else when friends are round. When child climbs up to get these things I do tend to say that the rules are we don't play with those things when friends are round. Our house our rules on that one!
If you're sure your child is not being a pain though then it is pretty rude!!

Shamoy Wed 19-Mar-14 08:22:16

And that rule is my child's not mine as he doesn't want his things ruined!!

minkersmum Wed 19-Mar-14 08:40:46

My child isn't likely to break these things. It's random things and they are ''special'. One day it got so bad I had to say infront of the Dad 'right if dd isn't allowed to touch ANYTHING she isn't going to want to play, you really need to share'.

Can't fizzle out. Only other girl in her year group.

pizzachickenhotforyou Wed 19-Mar-14 09:22:54

The only girl in her year? Can't she be friends with boys at school and have girl friends outside of school? Get her to dance classes etc to make more friends. You wouldn't be friends with the only other woman at work if she was a total arsehole would you?

Only1scoop Wed 19-Mar-14 09:23:49

Blimey only other girl must be a tiny school....
Well next time they suggest playing....say "ah thanks but shall we leave it a while....dd not keen something to do with being told 'Lucy's room Lucy's Rules'....not really sure what was said but she's been a bit upset. Shall we meet at park next week?"

Only1scoop Wed 19-Mar-14 09:24:21

Great point Pizza grin

QueenofallIsee Wed 19-Mar-14 09:36:30

Sorry but I don't think that you have to socialize with people just because they are the same gender. Lucys family have very very different values to you and that is not the basis of a good friendship.

Get DD into Rainbows, swimming, dance class and encourage her to play with kids who are, I dunno, NICE?

minkersmum Wed 19-Mar-14 09:59:37

She goes to lots of things outside school. However where we live is so remote that this friend is at all these things too.

It is a tiny school. Dd does play with some of the boys but this girl has been her friend since pre school.

I'm glad she has her sister dd1 as at least they have each other.

Dd2 keeps mentioning it however so us clearly uoset about it. She said this morning 'i don't like Lucy's Dad anymore when we saw him at school'.

I feel like I want to have a word with him. Bloody raging.

ArtexMonkey Wed 19-Mar-14 10:09:56

I think it's too late to say anything to the dad now. It was an arsehole thing for him to say and do, but if you say something now, he's not going to apologise, or back down or change or whatever. I think if, at the time you had marched into the room and said "I think it's time we got going" that would have been fine, and made your point.

I still think you should let this friendship fizzle, at least stop having play dates. Your dd doesn't even want to go! I think letting children know they can set their own boundaries wrt friendships and say no when they don't want to do something is a really important lesson, especially for girls.

DraggingDownDownDown Wed 19-Mar-14 10:15:09

Still don't have to go round to play though even if she is the only other girl. What about girls from other years?

SavoyCabbage Wed 19-Mar-14 10:17:57

I've got two dds and both of them have best friends who are boys. The oldest is 10 and I have to say we've avoided all of the friendship struggles that some of my friends dds seem to go through. Boys don't seem to go in for this manipulation/bitchiness that some pre teen girls seem to go through.

ArtexMonkey Wed 19-Mar-14 10:22:12

Please, can we give it a bloody rest with the 'girls are bitchy and manipulative' generalisations ffs? It's 2014. I am really glad that your dd's friendships have worked out well, she sounds fab. But 'bitchiness' is not an inevitable trait of female friendships, it is time we got away from this attitude, and boys can be plenty mean to one another too - we just call it a different name.

Goblinchild Wed 19-Mar-14 10:30:32

Did you miss the use of 'some' in that sentence, Artex?
Some girls are manipulative and bitchy. Some aren't.

OP, have a discussion with the father if you like, but he is unlikely to change his parenting strategies and his view of his DD because you are annoyed.
Let them socialise in school and stop with the homevisits, or have the other girl over to yours, or take them out together somewhere else, or drop the friendship outside school.
It's the downside of living somewhere rural or isolated, limited friendship opportunities. One other girl, how many boys?

anklebitersmum Wed 19-Mar-14 10:32:51

She doesn't want to go but you make her.
While you're there she comes downstairs being sad, says she wants to go home and you stay regardless, insisting she goes back upstairs to play.

And now it's the Dad's fault that she doesn't want to go to their house and you 'don't know what to do'?

Just don't go back. She didn't want to go in the first place, you insisted.

of course having a toe to toe with the Dad would make it easier for you to bow out hmm

ArtexMonkey Wed 19-Mar-14 10:40:03

"Chinese people don't seem to go in for this bitchiness/manipulation that SOME black people do"

Yeah, you're right, that sounds great, no probs whatsoever with that sentence hmm

DidIMissSomething Wed 19-Mar-14 10:41:16

I really would let it fizzle out - there must be girls in the year groups either side - I'd assume that there may even be other girls in her class as I'd expect mixed year group classes in such a small school.
That aside surely they don't need to be the same sex to be friends? My DD had a male best friend for years and many, probably about half, of her best school friends are boys.

DidIMissSomething Wed 19-Mar-14 10:42:55

Well put Artex.

ArtexMonkey Wed 19-Mar-14 10:44:50

Thanks DidI, and thank you also for demonstrating that it's perfectly possible to post supportively about friendships between boys and girls without putting girls down or generalising.

minkersmum Wed 19-Mar-14 11:18:38

anklebitersmum not sure which thread you read. Not mine. Unless you skimmed it and then made the rest up hmm

Thanks for all the helpful replies.

anklebitersmum Wed 19-Mar-14 11:52:55

I clearly imagined

"She is often reluctant to go play there but will go if I stay."
So don't go.

"So while we were there the other day my dd kept coming downstairs and sitting with me saying she didn't want to play anymore."
I admit I assumed you insisted she played for longer because you didn't say "well we'll be off then" and go home the first time she complained because if you'd gone home she wouldn't have kept coming downstairs confused

Doesn't make the Dad right.

Does mean I just wouldn't go again unless my daughter asked to.

AskBasil Wed 19-Mar-14 11:55:16

"And yet 'your house your rules' is normally such a popular line to trot out on MN"

Yes, it's the blight of English life, that saying.

Other cultures say "my home is your home".

The English are just dreadful at hospitality. It's the name of an industry here, not a normal behaviour.

MerryMarigold Wed 19-Mar-14 12:01:35

If fizzling out isn't an option, then I think you need to say something. I think you need to approach the Dad and say, "Dd was a bit upset by the other night. I've only heard her side of it. What was going on?" Let him tell you, and then you can tell him he is being out of order. If he says, for eg, Lucy didn't want her to touch things, you can ask if she was allowed to play with ANYTHING at all. I fear you will have to spell it out to them even if it is just so they know why it's fizzling. It's not fair on your dd to keep going through this, so if you are not going to let it fizzle you need to address it.

It's that or move.

Only1scoop Wed 19-Mar-14 12:02:11

'The' English are just dreadful at hospitality'

What an awful sweeping generalisation.

Also Op could live in rural Wales or Scotland or rural anywhere else for that matter.

Floggingmolly Wed 19-Mar-14 12:10:24

Of course you don't have to insist on playdates your child doesn't want; just because there are no other local girls hmm
Why would you push your child into continuing a friendship she'd rather not? What's that going to do to her self esteem and what's in it for you? confused

CerealMom Wed 19-Mar-14 12:34:28

Just be very busy and let the friendship fizzle out. No big drama. Shared school/club stuff won't be too bad because there will be other kids there to diffuse/play with. Just be too busy with the 1:1 stuff.

DS has/had a friend like this. We only see them very rarely now and only when it's a structured activity. DS (and I) got very fed up with the word 'mine' and putting stuff in bedroom so DS couldn't play with it - amongst other things.
The mum couldn't understand why the child never got reciprocal play dates from the other class kids and blamed it on the child's dyslexia rather than having an overindulged child with spineless parents.
We stuck it out for a few years. I felt bad for the mum and the child, but when does the lesson about inclusiveness become punishment for your own child?

dustarr73 Wed 19-Mar-14 12:34:36

Just stop going around there your daughter told you she doesnt want to go.How much more plainer can she make it.She be better off playing on her own than with someone that doesnt like her.

minkersmum Wed 19-Mar-14 12:48:10

anklebitersmum i can see what you read between the lines. My dd does want to play. She is keen to go but likes me to stay. She is generally a worrier and will only stay with others that she is comfortable with and trusts. I never force her or insist as I know the situation.

She came and sat on my knee twice. First time I suggested they play something else as I suspected ftiend was wanting 'her' game. This happens a lot. Next time Dd stayed downstairs and we left soon after.

There will be another girl joining school after summer. My dd gets on well with her. It is just hard with it being so rural. There is no getting away from things.

Aeroflotgirl Wed 19-Mar-14 13:03:49

I would just give it a break, it is no good if your dd is worrying about it. Play dates should be enjoyable, not a source of stress.

Aeroflotgirl Wed 19-Mar-14 13:08:14

Just because she is the only other girl in her year does not mean they have to be friends, it does not sound as though your dd enjoys going there, and finds it stressful so stop going. They can play at school? Have you thought of having the girl round to yours to play.

anklebitersmum Wed 19-Mar-14 13:12:51

fair one minkersmum

It is more difficult when you are in a rural goldfish bowl type situation-especially when a child is sensitive.

softlysoftly Wed 19-Mar-14 13:21:08

askbasil a ha ahahahaha You haven't met our Turkish friends then, I agree other cultures have a more embracing heart to visitors but my good god the ructions after these instant friendships, and the destruction of peoples reputation afterwards and the drama the constant drama.

But then I also wouldn't assume all Turkish people are the same as the ones I know hmm

MajorGrinch Wed 19-Mar-14 13:27:02

I've said that to kids in the past, sometimes it's the only way to stop your kids things getting messed around with and/or broken.

I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be raging because an adult (who was there) had had a quiet word with my kid. If he'd shouted or threatened it'd be fair enough....

AskBasil Wed 19-Mar-14 14:22:06


I don't think everyone is like the people I know.

I think it's legitimate to talk about group behaviour Everyone intelligent knows you don't mean every single person in that group.

minkersmum Wed 19-Mar-14 16:44:10

majorgrinch i've already said my dd wouldn't be breaking things etc, it's not about that. I wouldn't be raging if it was any other responsible parent but there is a history there as I explained.

I would never tell a visiting child it was my dds rolm therefore my dds rules. What sort of message is that giving a 5 year old. hmm

Joysmum Wed 19-Mar-14 16:52:43

They are perfectly at liberty to say 'their house their rules'. They can't then be surprised if a need to dictate and an inability to socialise leaves them with lack of friends.

So when either of them (dad or daughter) questions why your daughter no longer goes, you can explain it as a matter of fact and state that until she feels happy to go, there will be no more visits.

ElkTheory Wed 19-Mar-14 17:04:58

I would also let things fizzle out. There's no real reason to foster a friendship with this child, though I can certainly understand the difficulty of finding playmates in a rural setting. The girls don't seem to enjoy playing together and at that age I really don't think "playdates" are necessary. I wouldn't have words with the dad, and I can't quite understand the intense emotional response to him. I don't agree with what he said, but it seems more worthy of eye rolling than rage, IMO.

MajorGrinch Wed 19-Mar-14 17:08:47

I would never tell a visiting child it was my dds room therefore my dds rules. What sort of message is that giving a 5 year old

That's where we differ then, I have and would again. It's not the end of the world & certainly not "Rage Worthy".

Given the situation you're in location wise you don't seem to have many choices though - either they don't socialise round the other girls house, or they do.....

hackmum Wed 19-Mar-14 17:08:56

AskBasil: "Even if your DD was being a PITA, the dad's response was out of order. "It's Lucy's room so Lucy's rules" is the utterance of an arsehole and I don't think you want to cultivate relationships with arseholes do you?"

So, so true. When my DD was little, I always used to take the opposite view, which is that you should accommodate the guest's needs as much as possible. I think that's what most normal parents do.

maddening Thu 20-Mar-14 18:41:51

If you didn't want to confront i would just say to the dad that next time there is an incident where he feels yout dd requires discipline that he ask you to do it as dd is anxious (may as well play on it as they are aware that she is as you have to stay) and it would be better coming from you - then you will be witness to what is going on giving you an opportunity to discuss it in full knowledge of the situation so any confrontation you will have the upper hand.

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