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To expect DD's BF's parents not to shout when DD is with them

(47 Posts)
RitaSnorer Sat 21-Jan-17 02:39:22

Episode 1: DD (age 8) has gone for a playdate which is extended into a sleepover so I go to drop some stuff off and when I get there she is crying and wants to come home. BFMum is a bit baffled and says DD and BF just had a bit of a tiff but I can hear BFDad shouting at BF whilst I am talking to BFMum. I leave with DD. BFDad starts shouting even louder once we have left, so loud that we can still hear him inside the car 20ft from the house. DD maintains that she just wanted to come home because she missed us.

Episode 2 (about a week later): DD gets dropped off after an outing with BF & parents. She comes in saying "that was a bit traumatic". BFDad had pulled over and parked blocking someone's drive in order to shout at BF, had called her a spoilt brat, said he was going to delete her favourite new app and had thrown/dropped her phone (though DD thinks this might have been accidental). BFMum had noticed DD's face and asked him to stop because he was frightening DD but he'd said he didn't care. DD referred to this incident for several days afterwards saying she was 'still thinking about it' or 'still traumatised'.

BFMum did not dispute DD's version of events and said she had taken issue with BFDad's shouting herself but said you were allowed to tell your own children off in front of other children. I said that it sounded more like verbal abuse than a telling off and I did not want BFDad to shout in front of my DD. BFDad said that DD is too sensitive and that he will tell his own child off whenever he wants to. Both maintain it was just a normal telling off. The implication is that we are overreacting and that by asking for assurances (that BFDad will not shout) that cannot be given, we are ending DD and BF's friendship.

Very grateful for opinions. Thank you

Rainbunny Sat 21-Jan-17 03:00:25

Well I don't think you can control how the bf's dad behaves so I think the only way forward is to welcome the bf in your home and not to allow your dd to go to their home. Poor bf!

user1477282676 Sat 21-Jan-17 03:01:26

Oh YANBU! They sound awful...well he does and she sounds enabling. Don't let her go again.

sailorcherries Sat 21-Jan-17 03:03:03

Yes you can discipline your own child in front of their friends.
No you cannot scare another child.
No you cannot ask people to parent in a certain way because you/your child doesn't like it.

The dad's response sounds dickish but you never should have asked the question.
Terminating the friendship sounds so cold and clinical, just have the BF over here (if she will be allowed, after the discussion) or stop home visits.

BillSykesDog Sat 21-Jan-17 03:05:34

I think YABVU to end a friendship. It's not your friendship to end, it's DDs. It does sound like your DD is being somewhat over sensitive, but if she finds it distressing she shouldn't need to witness it. But there are ways around that like having the little girl to yours or perhaps arranging play dates somewhere public and you and the mother going along too.

Stopping the friendship is throwing the baby out with the bath water and very unkind to the little girl who has done nothing wrong. If it distressed your daughter it must be even more distressing for this little girl who it's aimed at and if she has an unhappy home life she will desperately need her friends. And you're setting a bad example to your daughter by giving her the impression that when friends have problems you drop them rather than support them.

It seems like because you are angry with the parents you are punishing their DD which is really unfair, if anything she deserves sympathy. Not being cut out of a friend's life.

Allow the friendship to continue but avoid situations where your DD will be supervised by her parents. If they ask why invitations aren't accepted be honest and say that your daughter was upset by the shouting so you want to avoid situations where it could be repeated.

TheresABluebirdOnMyShoulder Sat 21-Jan-17 03:06:18

They sound absolutely awful and, as someone who's parents behaved similarly and probably cost us lots of friendships as children, I feel extremely sorry for their DD. Your DD will likely be just one of a string of friends who dump her because of her parents' behaviour.

For that reason, is there any way that you can try and keep the friendship going by having BF over at your house instead of sending DD to them? I agree that I wouldn't want my DD spending time there and I don't think you or your DD are being unreasonable or over sensitive. Parents like hers tend to believe that their behaviour is normal and minimise it.

Mombino Sat 21-Jan-17 03:33:18

It's verbal abuse. My dad treated me like that. Still does, given the opportunity. Please please please don't let your DD be around him again. He clearly doesn't care what others think so what's to stop him turning his rage on your DD if he's in the wrong mood? Even witnessing it can do some serious harm. She's still worrying about it days later - because it's shocking, abusive and wrong.

PLEASE keep her away from him.

TheMysteriousJackelope Sat 21-Jan-17 03:41:04

Terminating the friendship sounds so cold and clinical

But the OP isn't terminating the friendship. She just asked the man not to scream at his daughter in front of hers. They are the ones wittering on about ending friendships in an effort to get her to back down.

YANBU OP. In your shoes I would ask the best friend to come over to your house and not let your DD go over to hers. I imagine you or her father must have yelled at your DD occasionally in the past so it isn't as if she is upset due to never having heard a parent yell before. If she is still upset days later then that isn't good. Even if she is 'over sensitive' to people yelling it still wouldn't be good to send her over there, how is traumatizing and upsetting her going to help?

Liiinoo Sat 21-Jan-17 04:22:32

Speaking from experience (DD is in her twenties now), nothing was said outside our home but she stopped visiting her friend whose family behaved in a similar way. THe friend still visited us but the one sided nature of the relationship meant that eventually the friendship fizzled out. That was sad but actually I think it was a relief to DD. Visiting a family whose dynamic was so different to ours was deeply unsettling for her. THe Mum (who was normally quite outspoken) never questioned why DD stopped accepting invitations -I think she knew what the reason was.

Incidentally, the friend in question moved to a different continent as soon as she turned 18 and hasn't been back here since. That dad reaped what he sowed.

confuddledDOTcom Sat 21-Jan-17 04:27:54

If your child is feeling traumatised by being around the family then it's best she's not left there much in future. It might be worth mentioning your concerns to the class teacher. They won't be able to feedback to you but they may have their own concerns it will add to or they can keep an eye for things.

I don't think you're unreasonable to ask that your child is not coming home traumatised!

confuddledDOTcom Sat 21-Jan-17 04:28:29

Oh and people are normally on their best behaviour in front of others, so what is their not best behaviour?

Mummyoflittledragon Sat 21-Jan-17 04:49:40

i wouldn't end the relationship with the little girl unless your dd wants to. Your home may be a safe place she needs. I would definitely not leave your dd with the parents again. And I do think speaking to the teacher as suggested by confuddled is a good idea.

swimmerforlife Sat 21-Jan-17 05:23:57

So your DD BF is already living in what could be, at best an unhappy household and at worst an abusive house. Yet you're going take away a friend of hers to add to her probably what was already a miserable home life and make BF even more isolated from her hmm These friends are probably her only escape. If your DD is upset with what she witnesses, imagine how her BF is having to live with it 24/7.

I grew up with a father like that, constant verbal abuse when he was in a shitty mood (which was often) and sometimes he behaved liked that in front of my friends, hence I rarely had friends over. As a result, I became isolated from a lot of my peers at school, I had a miserable childhood and no friends. Please don't do that to your DD's BF, you don't need to terminate the friendship, the girl has done nothing wrong, it's her dad that is at fault. Just invite her over to your house when possible.

TheStoic Sat 21-Jan-17 05:24:48

I would have been very upset to witness that as a child, and I certainly would not want my kids to see it.

Welcome the friend into your home, and don't let your daughter go to theirs.

KERALA1 Sat 21-Jan-17 07:28:36

Agree with stoic keep inviting child to yours but no play dates there.

Thinnestofthinice Sat 21-Jan-17 07:35:09

Strange is this but it's brought back memories I haven't thought about in years. First bf, I remember going for a sleepover and her parents having a huge row down stairs. I remember bf and her sister crying and being upset saying they thought they were going to divorce. Second one, I remember another bf (secondary school) being grabbed from the dinner table and blatantly being slapped by her dad in the kitchen next door. Much to my shame I didn't think much of either and hardly mentioned either when I got home. No mobiles back then to communicate home so I guess I was stuck there.

Frazzled2207 Sat 21-Jan-17 07:48:04

What a sad situation.
Of course it's ok to discipline your child in front of others.
Think it's mean to stop the friendship though, poor children! But definitely don't let your child near this man again.

Stormwhale Sat 21-Jan-17 07:53:18

I agree with the general consensus that you shouldn't be ending the friendship. Just stop dd going there. In your shoes I would be wanting to keep an eye on the bf, and give her a safe place to come to. Poor little thing.

ConvincingLiar Sat 21-Jan-17 07:57:31

I agree with the suggestion of making it one sided and if mentioning it to the teacher. The teacher may have a better handle on whether your dd is particularly sensitive and prone to overreact to others being disciplined.

Cel982 Sat 21-Jan-17 08:13:15

Some of the responses here are bizarre hmm. The OP has never once suggested she wants to end her daughter's friendship. She's asking if she's unreasonable to expect the father not to shout in front of her daughter in a way that is obviously distressing for her.

Of course YANBU, OP. Pulling over while driving to scream at a small child in the confines of a car is not normal behaviour - it's a parent out of control, and I'm surprised that people here are excusing it as 'discipline'. In your situation I wouldn't let my daughter be in the father's presence again, but would make every effort to facilitate the friendship by having the girl over to your house as often as possible. And trying to maintain a good relationship with the mum in case she needs some support.

sailorcherries Sat 21-Jan-17 08:18:08

The OP said

The implication is that we are overreacting and that by asking for assurances (that BFDad will not shout) that cannot be given, we are ending DD and BF's friendship.

Which to some, including myself, reads that the OP will be ending the friendship because the father won't guarantee to not shout at his daughter.

sailorcherries Sat 21-Jan-17 08:21:21

I'd also be one to question the severness of the telling of as a lot of children can over exaggerate when they don't like something. Particularly wording like "traumatic" and knowing that someone's drive had been blocked etc.

insan1tyscartching Sat 21-Jan-17 08:24:16

I would continue to invite the dc over but I wouldn't allow my daughter to go over to theirs.

Niskayuna Sat 21-Jan-17 08:25:51

"Over-sensitive"? Or posters claiming your daughter has to be some sort of pacifier, her role in life to insert herself into other childrens' abusive situations to make them feel better?

I agree you should keep inviting the girl to your house, but there is now no mystery why you won't be allowing yours to hers.

I had to attend a childminder with an abusive man. He'd storm in after work, roar "get these fucking kids out of my way" and we'd be hustled into a back room to await our parents. He'd roar at his own kids, at his wife, bellow "Stop fucking touching that" no matter what we touched (the sofa, a children's book) and sure, we were just 'over-sensitive' and we should have been forced to endure it for everyone else's sakes.

FloweryTwat Sat 21-Jan-17 08:26:56

I was yelling at one of my DC once and noticed their friend looking terrified with their hands over their ears blush

We were in the car, DD1 was mucking about with a balloon which was obstructing my rear view and as I had then 3 under 6 it was often necessary to raise the volume to get anyone to listen due to general bickering. Poor friend was an only one, and was a lovely quiet child. I hope she's not traumatised!

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