To be fed up every time "he's tired" is trotted out as an excuse?

(52 Posts)
Happyyellowcar Tue 28-Apr-15 18:51:16

Had play date with DS1's (both are 5) "friend". Friends mum said at the beginning that he's "very tired..." Which is code for: his behaviour will be appalling yet again. This friend hits, bites, pokes, pinches etc all through the time we were there, both in front of us and when they were playing by themselves. This boy has been "tired" at EVERY play date we have had for THREE years! His behaviour has not improved and I am so fed up with this excuse! I'm really good friends with the mum which makes things very tricky. AIBU to just accept this excuse every time? Should I say something?

Velociraptor Tue 28-Apr-15 18:54:21

I think you need to start seeing this friend when the DC are at school. It doesn't sound like much fun for your DS playing with him.

TwoOddSocks Tue 28-Apr-15 19:18:13

Well what do you think is really going on? Is it that the mum doesn't correct his behaviour? Or does he have poor impulse control or a harder time controlling his emotions.

My DS is almost 3 but I know that he's a lot more sensitive than plenty of other kids to being hungry, tired, having a cold etc. So if he's being grumpy I'll often mention the reason why (even though some other kids happily have a cold or new tooth or whatever and it doesn't bother them). He also tends to be fairly emotional generally.

Whatever the reason for his behaviour though he shouldn't be allowed to hurt your DS. If it's happened more than once the mum should physically make sure it doesn't happen again or take her DS home.

irretating Tue 28-Apr-15 19:20:52

What does your friend do with her DC hits, bites etc?

irretating Tue 28-Apr-15 19:21:08

*with = when

FenellaFellorick Tue 28-Apr-15 19:26:25

Perhaps you should say then let's leave it for when he isn't tired. And end the playdate.

Or say to the mum, you've been saying that for 3 years, is everything ok? Can I help?

In a genuinely nice way - not in a sarcastic way! Maybe she'll open up to you.

bakingtins Tue 28-Apr-15 19:27:59

Does your DS want to spend time with him? If not, by all means see your friend for during school coffee or a night out but don't put your son in a situation where he is being hurt and forced into a "friendship" just to keep the peace with your friend.

Tryharder Tue 28-Apr-15 19:27:59

She's clearly embarrassed and is trying to save face.

Is she trying to stop the bad behaviour and not succeeding?

She needs support and understanding.

base9 Tue 28-Apr-15 19:29:30

Someone recently described their tantrumming 9 year old - not for the first time- as ' overtired'. hmm Or perhaps underparented.

kissmethere Tue 28-Apr-15 19:30:29

Yes you should say something. That's awful behaviour and I imagine very draining.
How do you think she will react? She can see already how badly behaved he is and has a "code" as a heads up. Its not on that this had been going on for three years. She probably thinks you're tolerant of his behaviour, which you have been, and it doesn't bother you.

Givemecaffeine21 Tue 28-Apr-15 19:43:13

I have a best friend who uses 'she's tired' and 'she's not been well' every time her child cries / tantrums / misbehaves. Said child is now four and I've heard this since she was a baby. On one occasion I babysat her and she slept nearly all afternoon...when she woke up and was back with her parents a bit later on, she threw a wobbler about something and dad straight away said 'she's tired'. It's a phrase DH and I detest and often when one of ours has a tantrum he'll put his head to one side and say 'but caffeine, she's tired...'. Whilst I'm very fond of the little lady concerned, she's had her own way since the word go and it is frustrating to see a child babied and excused so much when in reality she just needs to hear the word 'no' from time to time.

I'd definitely see your friend without the DCs as your child shouldn't have to be pummelled every time, he must hate it!

Marmiteandjamislush Tue 28-Apr-15 20:00:51

Biting regularly at 5! shock His mother sounds either clueless or in denial. Stop seeing her with the DCs. Do you know how he behaves at school?! If he's not biting there, then it's context specific, don't put your DS in that context.

summerlovingliz Tue 28-Apr-15 20:04:07

Lots of smug responses here! Agree that it should not be used as an excuse and must be v frustrating to put up with regularly but don't all children act up when they are tired from time to time!?

Givemecaffeine21 Tue 28-Apr-15 20:08:59

From time to time yes summer but OP says at every play date for three years..

AuntyMag10 Tue 28-Apr-15 20:13:09

Your response should be 'that's a shame, let's leave it when he's not tired as the biting and hitting is just too much'

nickelbarapasaurus Tue 28-Apr-15 20:45:26

do you think perhaps that she shouldn't be having playdates if he's tired?
it's actually fine for a 5 year old to need a nap.

Maybe she should try to work out what his pattern is and make her apologies when he's tired and get him to npa instead?

I can't say put him to bed earlier, because i've got a child who won't sleep at night, but i do let her nap when she needs it

soapboxqueen Tue 28-Apr-15 21:00:28

There could be a million and one things going on here. Some more readily solved than others. If your ds isn't bothered then the next time just say "oh dear. Never mind. We can do this another day. I know xxxx can be a bit grumpy when he's tired." and leave. Make another date or meet up with just the mum.

summerlovingliz Tue 28-Apr-15 21:06:49

Caffeine I wasn't referring to the child in the op but children in children, mine was a response to some of the other posts smile

summerlovingliz Tue 28-Apr-15 21:07:25

*children in general I meant

Happyyellowcar Tue 28-Apr-15 21:12:46

Thanks for the responses - yes DS isn't very keen on this friend really, but still enjoys playing with his toys so seems to look forward to the play dates although very quickly he is in tears due to some bit of violence.
As to working out his tired times as a poster suggested, well we have had play dates at all hours of the day, since they were 2 years old and I am really not kidding that the mum says he is tired pretty much every time for one reason or another e.g. He's been swimming / to the park / up early etc so he must be permanently tired!
When he was younger she seemed to react more to this behaviour but this time he was just sent to calm down a few times. DS1 ended up with a mark in his head and bite marks on his fingers. DS1 is no angel by the way - he can be silly and do naughty things like pulling loo paper off the rolls etc when he is "tired" but luckily he doesn't usually resort to violence. If he does push DS2, he loses a sticker from his chart and it goes onto DS2's chart and he has to go to time out and loses a privilege like not getting to choose a bedtime story (DS2 gets to choose 2 instead ) so I come down hard on him and make a big deal out of it. Yes maybe I will have to try and see friend without DS1 but it's tricky when we have been having fairly regular play dates - I can't suddenly be busy every night after school as she knows we're actually not at all busy!

FenellaFellorick Wed 29-Apr-15 07:26:38

It's ok to say you want to knock it on the head for a while because of the behaviour. If the child is tired, then the last thing he needs is a playdate.

goodnessgraciousgouda Wed 29-Apr-15 09:45:46

To be honest, I am very surprised you have put up with it for so long when you DS is being physically harmed during the play dates.

I think you need to start putting your own boundaries down. Personally I think it would be better to deal with this outside a scheduled playdate. It would be confusing for the children for you to turn up, and then leave immediately after.

Meet her separately from any playdate and tell her

"I'm sorry, but I am going to have to stop the playdates between our children. My DS ends up regularly bitten, kicked, pinched and all sorts else. I can't in good faith put him in that situation any more". Don't get sucked into an argument. Just say "I don't know the reasons behind it, and they aren't my concern."

Alternatively you could say nothing, go to a playdate, and say to her "I'm not going to tolerate any harm towards DS - if there is any biting or hitting, then we will be leaving". Then follow up on it.

Basically the key is to have some self confidence in what you are saying and doing.

InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream Wed 29-Apr-15 09:51:30

What goodness said. Your boy should not have to put up with that.

Dieu Wed 29-Apr-15 09:57:18

YANBU. Such excuses for bad behaviour would get on my nerves too. It's an abdication of responsibility.

soapboxqueen Wed 29-Apr-15 10:13:56

I have to disagree there Dieu. If this is something that has been going on for some time, there is a very real chance that this child has sen and the other mother doesn't know what to do anymore. She may have tried things to no avail and just is totally stuck. It really might not be an abdication of responsibility.

She may not even realise there is a real problem as I know from personal experience, other parents tend to normalise behaviour eg "don't worry they all do that" . To the point you think it is all your own fault but you've tried everything you've been told and it's still not working. Even professionals can be highly dismissive.

While the op doesn't have to put up with it, the situation may not be so clear cut.

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