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Being angry with other people's children and letting them know it - is this unreasonable or not?

(53 Posts)
eekamoose Thu 18-Sep-08 19:25:27

I have been pondering this all day.

I picked up DD from a friend's house, there were several other children there. There was a bit of horseplay and something belonging to host's mum got broken. The two girls who did it didn't own up but ran out to play in the garden. When host mum saw what had happened she was very upset (it was something precious to her that had got broken). She asked DD what had happened, DD told her, she went out and had a word with the other two girls along the lines of "I'm upset you didn't tell me you'd broken this".

Then today she phoned the mums at work and let them know what had happened. One of the mums was very apologetic, the other one got upset!

I can't work out whether this is OTT or not? I kind of think it isn't and feel very sad for my friend, as now she thinks she has made enemies of these other two mums.

WWYD in this situation? The children concerned are all 7 btw.

norksinmywaistband Thu 18-Sep-08 19:27:04

I think I would have spoken to the children, but not bothered the mothers the next day

reikizen Thu 18-Sep-08 19:28:46

I think phoning them at work is a bit ott. I would have moved said object if it was so precious, but said something to the girls that broke it if needed and then got over it. wink

traceybath Thu 18-Sep-08 19:29:52

yes - i'd have spoken to the children but not the mums.

Its not like they deliberately broke it - it was an accident caused by carelessness.

I'd have been a bit surprised if she'd phoned me the next day - she should have just mentioned it when they were collected.

nickytwotimes Thu 18-Sep-08 19:30:06

Hmm. I agree about the contact with the mothers. I think that was ott, tbh.

blueskythinker Thu 18-Sep-08 19:32:09

Difficult one, but if I was going to speak to the Mums, I definitely wouldn't phone them, and especially not at work. I would mention it in person, if possible.

mazzystar Thu 18-Sep-08 19:32:37

fair enough to tell children off
prob wouldn't have brought the parents into it
disagree re moving the object. they are 7 not 2, and old enough to know that there are places where they need to be careful.

Countingthegreyhairs Thu 18-Sep-08 19:34:49

same here norksinmywaistband

also .. it depends a bit on the broken item ... if it was something that's part of the furnishings such as a lamp, then fair enough, but if it's an expensive ornament which should have been kept out of the way of visiting children ... then I think your friend's reaction was a bit OTT

also depends on whether it was an accident or plain naughtiness

I had some curtains damaged by a visiting child and although I (gently but firmly) reprimanded my dd and her guest at the time (and asked them to help me clean up a bit) I didn't tell the visiting child's parents ... and probably wouldn't do so if something similar happened again, unless it was something REALLY outrageous .... it's up to me to monitor behaviour in my own house ...

eekamoose Thu 18-Sep-08 19:35:16

Other carers came to collect.

Mostly I admire her for being forthright. I don't think you should have to move precious out of reach where 7 year olds are concerned.

I feel for her. She is under a lot of pressure. It was a wedding present. She was more upset by the girls not owning up than by the fact it got broken and I guess she feels the mums might have wanted to have a word about how its wrong to break something in someone else's house and not admit it?

jenkel Thu 18-Sep-08 19:49:38

If it was my daughter that broke something without owning up to it and without apologising I would certainly want to know. I try to teach my dd's that they have to respect other peoples houses and property and to behave well, if they havent I would want to know.

OrmIrian Thu 18-Sep-08 19:55:30

They should have apologised. That is what would have upset me. Not sure i'd have contacted the mums but someone needs to speak those girls out! You don't do that in someone else's house.

Neighbour's child did this once - broke a cristmas tree ornament that was old and precious. He didn't apologise, just looked at me with the bits in his hand, burst into tears and ran home sad. Which showed how upset he was. I think the disinterest that the girls showed was horrible.

WideWebWitch Thu 18-Sep-08 19:56:38

I agree with norks, I would have mentioned it to the children at the time but not bothered the parents with it. It's not a big deal, they're only 7.

StellaDallas Thu 18-Sep-08 19:58:35

I think it is rather unfair to assume that the children ran away because they didn't care about what they had done. They are far more likely to have run off because they were frightened and embarrassed and didn't know what to do. They are only 7 fgs.

eekamoose Thu 18-Sep-08 20:06:20

Hmmmmmm, I am friends with all the mums. I think 7 (year 3) is old enough to be asked to be a little bit responsible in someone else's house. Maybe she is being unreasonable (and me too for broadly thinking she did the right thing). Aren't mums allowed to be upset when something dear to them gets broken? Where is the harm in letting all concerned know what happened? Unless the other mums take umbrage, of course.

OrmIrian Thu 18-Sep-08 20:08:18

i agree eekamoose. 7 is old enough to show a little empathy and understanding. I certainly expect it of my children.

beforesunrise Thu 18-Sep-08 20:12:36

personally i think she did the right thing. i would have done the same, both wrt the girls and the mums.

thisisyesterday Thu 18-Sep-08 20:19:21

agree with jenkel and eekamoose.

how many of you broke things as a 7 yr old? I certainly didn't and I often played (fairly boisterously) at friends' houses and had friends at mine.

I don't think you should have to move things out of the way of children that age. I don't move things out of the way when we have friends over and my eldest is only 3.5.

as a mum I would have liked to be told, but agree it makes more sense for the friend to have mentioned it as the kids were collected

LavenderTea Thu 18-Sep-08 20:27:26

Not sure if I would want them ringing me at work, but when I went to collect her or at another time. I would like to know how my daughter took responsibility for something like this in a friends homes. If she had own up, apologised and it was dealt with by my friend ok, then nothing much more needed to be said, but if she did't then it's something I as her mother would need to address. I think it's important part of parenting to teach your children yourself how to behave at home or elsewhere.

VictorianSqualor Thu 18-Sep-08 20:28:39

DD and her friends are 7 and I too wouldn't expect things to need to be moved for them, if she broke something I would expect her to tell the host and then later, at collection, to eb told by the parent.

However, the parents didn't collect so not sure what I'd have done, probably not mentioned it until I saw them in passing.

eekamoose Thu 18-Sep-08 20:42:36

Would you be cross with the mum for phoning you about it? And carry a grudge?

thisisyesterday Thu 18-Sep-08 20:45:48

ahh sorry I misread. I thought you had said they had picked kids up, but now see that other carers did.
in which case I agree with phoning them, unless she would have seen them soon anyway.

I mean, if she wasn't likely to see them for another week or so it would hav ebeen odd to bring it up when so muich time had gone by.

I wouldn't be at all annoyed if a mum called me to say that ds had broken something

ShyBaby Thu 18-Sep-08 20:47:16

I wouldnt be cross no.

I dont expect my children to break things in someone else's house and I would want to know if they did.

At age 7 I dont think there's any good excuse.

cornsilk Thu 18-Sep-08 20:51:32

If it was broken by accident what would she want to achieve by telling parents? If broken on purpose it is different,

ShyBaby Thu 18-Sep-08 20:56:06

Can only speak for myself cornsilk. But accident or not, I would hope my kids would own up to it and apologise. If they didn't, i'd want to know.

eekamoose Thu 18-Sep-08 20:59:15

Cornsilk - it wasn't broken on purpose. It was an accident, but nevertheless something special was broken.

Friend would have been ok about it if the girls had fessed up. I think she thinks (as do I) that the parents need to know that the girls did not apologise for it. The girls may well have been embarrassed and not known quite what to do, so the parents having a quiet word might be the best way of teaching an important lesson in life.

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