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to suggest friend supervises her own kids?

(95 Posts)
Taubenpost Mon 18-Dec-17 00:19:38

People have different parenting styles. I completely get that. However, there is "letting kids make their own mistakes" and there is being irreponsible and ruining other people's stuff.

Some months back I offered a friend fruit from our garden. She enthusiastically said yes. We were away when it was ripe, so I explained carefully which trees it was (she wouldn't necessarily have found them easily otherwise) and that other plants in the same area were delicate/ needed not to be trampled/ had poisonous fruit and leaves. She said "oh I'll send the kids in then". I referred her back to what I had said about delicate/poisonous plants, and said it would be better if she could pick the fruit herself, as I was not comfortable with unsupervised 8 & 10 year olds potentially picking the wrong things.

Got home to find delicate plants trashed, branches ripped off, fruits picked unripe & thrown on the ground, saplings pulled out of the ground. Fruit trees with ripe fruit were also pretty trashed, all the fruit taken and branches ripped off and thrown on the ground.

Saw friend, mentioned the garden was in need of a bit of TLC. She said "yeah the kids had a great time" and had apparently sent them in to play by themselves on several days. hmm Apparently it takes a village to raise a child (she loves this phrase) so sending her kids to play in our garden when we are away is appropriate...

Since then she has been making digs repeatedly about me being a helicopter parent and how her kids are independent learners, fearless, brave, inquisitive, etc while my DS is scared of other people, can't walk or talk yet because I mollycoddle him.

FFS. DS is normal, he's 1. Her kids are indeed fearless, but inappropriately so in the context of trashing our garden with zero supervision. GRRR.

Or am I uptight and denying her children their right to a childhood?

saladdays66 Mon 18-Dec-17 00:21:25

What did you say to her? Did you tell her your dc had destroyed your garden?

She sounds batshit. I’d distance myself.

ijustwannadance Mon 18-Dec-17 00:25:35

Neither she or her little darlings have any fucking respect.

Tell them from now on they are to stay out of your garden!

Loveache Mon 18-Dec-17 00:25:48

Being called uptight because you don't appreciate children destroying your property ... been there. Infuriating.
Additionally, her comments about your child sound bonkers. I'd phase her out tbh.

Butterymuffin Mon 18-Dec-17 00:27:14

Next time it gets mentioned, tell her 'Can I make something clear? Your kids did a lot of damage to my plants and garden. You seem to want to gloss over that but I find your attitude very disappointing'. She won't want to be friends anymore, but that's OK. She's not a good friend to you.

steppemum Mon 18-Dec-17 00:28:28

I would send her a bill.

replace the saplings, replace the delicate plants, and replace the unripe fruit which is trashed.

Next time she says it takes a village to raise a child, point out that in most cases the other adults in the village take the role of disciplining the children, and so from now on you will feel free to discipline hers, is that OK?

Madwoman5 Mon 18-Dec-17 00:31:26

Time to find a new friend.

Allowing children to be adventurous is one thing. Destroying someone's property without recourse is another. How exactly does she teach these kids respect? If she wants a village to raise her kids then get her to lend you them and put them to work sorting out the mess they created. A village will take care of the discipline they so sadly lack at home.

Pennywhistle Mon 18-Dec-17 00:38:45

I’d have taken photos of the damage and billed her for the damage.

I’d also be making clear that the family no longer has access to your garden due to abusing your kind offer.

I have two ten year olds. Even unsupervised they’d have done no damage.

Goddamitt Mon 18-Dec-17 00:39:48

She’s no friend! I had a ‘friend’ like that. I was a helicopter parent for using car seats for my children (aged 2 and 6) as we were living abroad at the time in a country it wasn’t law. Her children (4 and 6) wouldn’t even wear seatbelts and would hit her whilst driving and were generally unpleasant to my children. She’s not a friend anymore.

Tinselistacky Mon 18-Dec-17 00:41:48

Fearless doesn't mean ferrel.. She is a cf and not really a friend at all.

Weezol Mon 18-Dec-17 00:48:02

CF! I would distance myself from her sharpish. She's going to have such a nice life with them in a couple of years and I'd want to be well out of her orbit by then.

Cantuccit Mon 18-Dec-17 01:03:50

I hope she's not welcome in your house and garden again.

She doesn't sound like a good friend.

PumpkinSquash Mon 18-Dec-17 01:16:50

What? If your description is an accurate one and we're not getting a skewed one sided version here, she sounds very unreasonable indeed!
I have two very boisterous boys of my own and you just wouldn't do that.

Taubenpost Mon 18-Dec-17 03:41:10

Well it's one sided in that I don't really understand her motivation or mindset so can only go on what I said, what I saw happen, and what she has said.

She and husband have made many digs over the years about education, age, etc. We are old with a 1yo; they are relatively young with somewhat older kids. They give us lots of advice that indicates that they think we are clueless, overeducated/underresourceful, too old and stuffed-shirt to be worthwhile parents. Until this recent incident we thought they were totally fine but a bit lacking in life experience and self-awareness. Now we think they're dicks. So that's our side. Would love to know theirs...

B0033 Mon 18-Dec-17 04:02:58

I don't think you'll get very far trying to suss out a reasonable, er, reason for their behaviour. They sound like they don't even like you? Why are you still friends with these people?

NovemberWitch Mon 18-Dec-17 04:30:29

Yet somehow you count them as friends? Why?

Charolais Mon 18-Dec-17 05:13:58

I’m a keen gardener and tree lover and so these kids .......

I would have told her that her children are the reason we need prisons.

FrancisCrawford Mon 18-Dec-17 05:29:45

I would have marched her round to show how her children had vandalised the garden. And asked how she was going to deal with damage.

Dump her. The children’s behaviour will get worse bcos they are out of control due to lack of adequate parenting.

echt Mon 18-Dec-17 05:49:56

Another passionate gardener here, and parent. She's attacking your parenting because she knows she's in the wrong, but then she does it anyway...oh, fuckit, bin her off, life's too short.

I bet she tells her children's teachers that her DC are "spirited". hmm

mathanxiety Mon 18-Dec-17 05:51:13

Butterymuffin Mon 18-Dec-17 00:27:14

Next time it gets mentioned, tell her 'Can I make something clear? Your kids did a lot of damage to my plants and garden. You seem to want to gloss over that but I find your attitude very disappointing'. She won't want to be friends anymore, but that's OK. She's not a good friend to you.

LOVE IT

Make sure when you go out in future you have a nice big set of headphones on and look right past her if she hails you.

But you really have to speak up about the garden, so please say what Butterymuffin has suggested first.

(She will be smiling out the other side of her face when her terrors are teens).

saoirse31 Mon 18-Dec-17 05:54:10

So have you actually told her that her kids did such damage?

Taubenpost Mon 18-Dec-17 05:59:49

I said the garden was a bit wrecked and that it was a bit disappointing that branches had been oulled off, unripe fruit picked & thrown on the ground, and the other plants trampled. I also said that it was good the kids hadn't decided to pick the poisonous things since it could've easily happened. That was when she had a go at me about not letting DS grow up to be er, spirited...

InionEile Mon 18-Dec-17 06:03:39

Why did you just hint at the garden needing some TLC? Say it directly to her that her kids damaged a lot of your plants / saplings and you need them to come back some day with supervision and repair the damage and help you replant and fix things. They are old enough to understand that they have to fix things they break.

Be assertive and direct about it instead of vaguely mentioning stuff and then getting into some passive- aggressive, resentful situation. Parenting philosophy doesn't really come into it. Her kids damaged your garden and they need to fix it, that's all you need to say.

Pengggwn Mon 18-Dec-17 06:06:12

This isn't how a friend behaves. You need to be more angry about her letting her unsupervised children loose in your garden after you had asked her not to, but moreover you needed to be explicit to begin with: if she wanted the fruit she had to pick it.

HoppingPavlova Mon 18-Dec-17 06:12:49

Ditch the friendship, it will only get worse. Save your sanity now. If she asks why she has been cut don’t hold back.

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