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Behaviour of friend's toddler at my house

(131 Posts)
lilyleelee Mon 11-Mar-13 10:51:29

This weekend an old friend and her husband came to stay at my house with her 2-month old baby (an angel) and 2 and a half-year old girl (not so much of an angel).
I don't have children, so I'm not sure when children start understanding 'rules' and 'right and wrong'.
From the moment they arrived, the toddler was touching everything -- taking fridge magnets off the fridge, dropping and breaking them; picking up my mobile phone and pushing all the buttons; picking up a doorstop and pulling buttons off of it. I didn't say anything, because I was waiting for my friends to do that, but they never said a word. My husband did take an item off the toddler on the last morning, telling her she couldn't have it, which resulted in tears and whingeing.
I didn't really speak up (though I wanted to) because I felt it would be rude/unkind to tell off their daughter. I also kind of feel it should be the parents' job, not mine, to supervise her behaviour. I didn't want to cause bad feeling between me and my old and dear friend, but equally I now feel annoyed and would be reluctant to have them in my house again.
I realise that toddlers are into everything, but what about when those things aren't theirs, and they damage them?

Goldenbear Tue 12-Mar-13 14:47:50

Lotta, why is it shocking that parents of very young children especially a newborn and a toddler are shattered? Are you speaking from experience? It is not about an expectation of free childcare, it's about being a friend and being considerate. Rather than criticising their parenting technique, which is very easy to do when you only see a snapshot of the situation for a weekend, the OP could think, 'this looks hardwork, I wonder if I could occupy the toddler for a bit rather than judging the inadequacies.'

Lottapianos Tue 12-Mar-13 17:22:09

I haven't seen anyone criticising their parenting technique, just how rubbish they were at managing their toddler in a friend's house during one particular visit.

Goldenbear Tue 12-Mar-13 18:24:26

Well if you're being pedantic - how they chose to look after their toddler on this weekend, the methods they used or lack of them- their parenting style are being criticised, you have just said yourself that they sound 'rubbish' at handling their toddler.

Lotta Why do you think being shattered with 2 very young children has no bearing on their behaviour at the OP's house. You're quick to dismiss what is probably the major factor contributing to their approach?

Lottapianos Tue 12-Mar-13 18:52:34

I can see that lack of sleep may be a factor, but I don't think that it's an excuse for not managing their toddler's behaviour. I think OP has a right to feel narked at how her friends responded. I don't know if OP likes children - not everyone does - and she is friends with the adults, not necessarily the children. She may not feel comfortable spending time 1 on 1 with the 2 year old. I accept that the parents have their hands more than full but then what were they thinking of asking to come and stay with a 2 year old and a 2 month old? confused

I would feel very peed off in OP's position and I absolutely love little children and have worked with 100s so would be more than happy to pitch in with entertaining the toddler, but would still be annoyed at the parents not saying anything to her if she was touching/breaking my things.

Goldenbear Tue 12-Mar-13 19:07:02

Well sometimes lack of sleep- sleep deprivation is a very good excuse for being slack as a parent. IMO having a newborn is quite a valid reason behind being a less than ideal parent to the other child.

GiraffesEatPineapples Wed 13-Mar-13 00:09:05

Possibly they thought you would be uncomfortable with them discipining their child constantly during the visit, esp as you didnt say anything. Sometimes the parent's attempts at discipline are harder to watch than the childs innocent explorations! maybe they made comments when you were out of the room but the child ignored/ forgot because of their age. A parent whose eldest child is 2 and youngest is a newborn are at one of the most difficult stages i think. Having said all that i would have been saying no to my child!

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