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To avoid play dates with this friend

(40 Posts)
Softfriend Fri 05-Jun-15 11:25:28

I have a friend who I really respect and like but just can't handle her when she's with her child

She is so soft with him. I am quite gentle in my parenting approach but this is another level.
Things like would you like to put your shoes on...... He says no. I've suggested she removes the choice option when there isnt one... Eg time to put your shoes on now. We are going out. This is a tiny example but there have been many many times where if he doesn't want to do anything she doesn't make him. Excuses for his behaviour all the time. Then everyone has to change their plans to accommodate him. Im a huge believer in pick your battles wisely but she puts no boundaries in place.

My child is younger by several months but is already noticing and commenting that they don't want to play with her child. He's not particularly nice to other children. Won't share or alter his way of playing in any way.

Ive avoided play dates recently but after an incident at a paid for activity, where his tantrums spoilt the activity for every child participating I'm really struggling to bite my tongue further especially as its going to be a weekly reoccurance!

Sleepybunny Fri 05-Jun-15 11:30:21

I think this is normal and nothing to get too excited about as your kids are no longer babies.

Mums can be friends and meet up, but doesn't mean the kids have to as well. I'd just avoid or reduce the play dates. Go out for wine or coffee instead.

reni1 Fri 05-Jun-15 11:48:02

Play dates should be fun, ideally for parent and child, but certainly for the child. Your child's were spoiled and you didn't enjoy them either, absolutely drop them.

Softfriend Fri 05-Jun-15 12:47:15

Thank you. The tricky bit that that she seems to what the friendship to be involving the kids. Summer hold trips out etc. My children whilst tolerate til now are becomimg more assertive in their views. Whilst they don't have choice in everything I think they've been rather patient til now.

ItsTricky Fri 05-Jun-15 13:10:29

If your own children are not enjoying the friendship then you owe it to them to scale down the meet ups. Maybe arrange to just meet for a couple of hours at a free park rather than a whole day out at a place where you've had to pay.

Plarail123 Fri 05-Jun-15 13:21:46

You sound like a really nice and supportive person.

Meemoll Fri 05-Jun-15 13:24:35

My child was the screamer that 'ruined' the playdate for everyone else. I had boundaries, he just got very angry and upset a lot. My 'friend' backed off, when actually a little bit of friendly support when trying to deal with my little screamer would have been great. So if you and your children don't like their company, I guess you better move on. For what it's worth, when he gets upset, I don't allow 5 minutes of upset to ruin the whole day for me. But that's just me. And he is just a child.

Tryharder Fri 05-Jun-15 13:26:10

YWBU to drop a friendship because your PFB doesn't - in your opinion - get on with the child.

IME, there are few kids who can't find some common ground to play together for a few hours now and then. YWBU to let your own child control your friendships.

Why not stop judging, concentrate on your own DC and accept that everyone does things differently and she might well be struggling immensely with parenting.

Aeroflotgirl Fri 05-Jun-15 13:31:47

Don't, go on play dates with her, be busy or something. Or meet up in nutural territory, like a park for a bit.

Theycallmemellowjello Fri 05-Jun-15 13:32:39

Just see her without her child if you can't hold back from judging.

Feminine Fri 05-Jun-15 13:33:29

Are some of you forgetting how difficult it is with little children, and differing parenting styles?
It sucks and makes the proactive parent worn out!
I suppose you will need to weigh up how important the friendship is for you.

If l had my time (with very small children) over again, l'd nip quite a few 'playdate' sessions in the bud.

ItsTricky Fri 05-Jun-15 13:38:21

If the children don't get on then it doesn't make a jot of difference how much you like the mum, days out will not be easy.

I have a friendship the other way round, I have nothing in common with mum but the kids get on like a house on fire.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Fri 05-Jun-15 13:47:51

I'd say YANBU. I wouldn't say anything to her though unless she forces the issue, but I'd stop having playdates between your children and just meet up with her on your own, if she'll agree to that, or in places where the differences in your parenting styles are less bothersome to you.

bittapitta Fri 05-Jun-15 13:55:59

How old are the children? If a few months makes the difference between say 18mo and 2yo then maybe you're just misreading how stubborn toddlers get as they get older.

reni1 Fri 05-Jun-15 14:13:45

Good point, bitta, I think many of us have done this thing- watching a friend's dc and feeling she's not doing enough or feeling slightly smug our little cherubs are not like that. 6 months later the revelation- cherub's no angel, he just hadn't reached that lovely milestone yet and now we can see the same behaviour in our own. I know I have blush.

UglyJellyShoes90 Fri 05-Jun-15 14:36:36

Here we go again. Op you must not post anything on mumsnet that has anything to do with being a parent these days. You will basically get called a despicable human being for not putting every child in the world before your own hmm.

CrapBag Fri 05-Jun-15 14:40:40

YANBU. Days out with them will just be unpleasant so don't do them.

I love days out with my family. I would not go with people who would ruin our day. My children's happiness and my sanity is more important.

Plus what uglyjellyshoes said.

tinkytot Fri 05-Jun-15 14:47:49

I would suggest you make y our own mind up about whether you go on play dates with this family, remember you do have a choice over this your child does not!

It is ok to not 'approve' of another's parenting style we all make judgements and decisions every day about what we do or do not like.

If it is not an enjoyable experience for you/your child then don't do it. You can still be friend with this mum if you like her company but as someone has already suggested meet up without kids.

It is lovely when you can get to the stage that you invite a child over to play that your child has chosen and you meet up another time with your friends. This is obviously much easier when the kids are older!

reni1 Fri 05-Jun-15 14:56:14

Not sure which thread you are reading, UglyJellyShoes90, everybody said don't go to the play dates. OP was not asking "her child or mine", her dilemma is she likes the mum, her children don't like the friend's children...

UglyJellyShoes90 Fri 05-Jun-15 15:33:13

Fwiw I no longer speak to a friend due to her parenting style. She thinks it's hilarious when her dc spit and swear at others. Not her dc fault she's a shit parent but not mines either. Disgusting to watch so I got out the friendship.

And yes I judged the crap out of her.

Softfriend Fri 05-Jun-15 15:55:35

For context we are talking about nearly school age although my child is next year. My older child is nearly juniors.

Its not a 5 minute tantrum. That's normal development - airing frustrations or lack of vocab. That certainly wouldn't ruin a day out or play date. In fact with odd surroundings or tired children that's expected. Its the ongoing continuation of tantrums due to friends reluctance to say no or hold firm if she does. Literally from one upsert to another. He's loud. So loud! I really don't expect that from a child who is very nearly at school! We come home upset with headaches.

We can't do evenings at moment (baby) which highlights the fact I haven't seen her so its the pressing for play dates. I'm going to just have to say something. How do I word it?

reni1 Fri 05-Jun-15 15:59:31

"The children don't get on so well at the moment, let's meet without them. I'm sure it will change again, you know how friendships come and go at that age."

Not hurtful, yet true without having to talk about her parenting.

Justusemyname Fri 05-Jun-15 16:00:36

You really can't say you don't want to see her as her child's behaviour annoys you unless you never want to see her again and have years of awkwardness at the school gate.

Softfriend Fri 05-Jun-15 16:03:27

Thank you Reni. That's very diplomatic.
I really don't want to offend her. Our children will be at same school and very close knit community.

i won't offer advice unless asked- I do hope this can be overcome eventually- they really are a lovely family. Just a little too wishy washy and frustrating for me right now.

ItsTricky Fri 05-Jun-15 16:08:54

I wouldn't say anything, op.

In time the children might start to enjoy each others company again, so I'd just wing it for now, limit the playdates and hope for the best.

Meet outdoors if possible, it's easier to wander off for a while with your dc if you're finding it hard. Only commit to meeting for a couple of hours at a time and go from there.

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