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to be a bit fed up with ds's friend's mum who has not addressed the stealing, even if only small things?

(51 Posts)
pofacedandproud Wed 04-Nov-09 13:59:56

Am I being petty? Ds, 5, doesn't have a huge amount of toys, though probably more than this friend, though they are middle class and academic. Lately, every time the [very sweet] little girl comes over, she takes something home, hidden in her pocket. I found out when she produced a gadget ds had 'lost' a while back and said it was hers - ds was upset as it was the same as the one he had lost, but I didn't want to jump to conclusions. the next time she came when her mum came to pick her up she had her hands in her pockets and I teased her about her hands and her mum was there, and her mum looked, and she had taken two of ds's cars. I am not cross with the girl, the poor thing burst into tears and hid under the table and I felt awful, the only way I could get her to come out from the table and stop crying was to give her a kinder egg with a toy, which felt a bit weird, rewarding her for taking stuff, but the mum's behaviour annoyed me. She told her off but very quickly, and did not explain why you shouldn't take other children's things. I have asked the mum to bring back this gadget ds loved, but she has never brought it back. The same mum brings her ds, 3, over too [NT] who literally destroys ds's toys, drops them from heights and pulls them apart, and the mum says nothing.

I like the mum otherwise, should I have a straight conversation with her? Should I stop being petty? Ds has had so many toys broken by her ds, and now is getting toys [small ones] taken away, it gets a bit stressful having them over. Am I being awful?

pofacedandproud Wed 04-Nov-09 14:01:14

BTW the mum confirmed that she had not given her dd the gadget as the dd had claimed [I know I'm being petty it is just the principal iyswim]

bumpybecky Wed 04-Nov-09 14:01:49


I wouldn't invite them to the house again. If you still want the children to play together suggest their house, the park, swimming etc

TheArmadillo Wed 04-Nov-09 14:02:06

You are not being petty.

One child is stealing your ds toys and the other is breaking them. And the mum seems to be doing very little about it.

Can you meet outside the house?

pofacedandproud Wed 04-Nov-09 14:08:49

It is a shame because I really like the mum otherwise, and the children! But I am putting off having them come around because of first the carnage and now the little toys going missing. It is a shame. I wish I could be straight with her but I know she'll be offended.

pofacedandproud Wed 04-Nov-09 14:10:27

The children are always asking to come here [I suspect because there are more toys here, they are not poor but strict at home] so she always asks to come here and I don't want to seem unwelcome.

electra Wed 04-Nov-09 14:16:01

YANBU - not at all.

Stayingsunnygirl Wed 04-Nov-09 15:08:10

You are not being at all unreasonable, and I don't envy you having to deal with this situation. It would be very easy to sit here and advise you to be straight with the other mother, but I know I'd be very hesitant indeed about doing it, if I were in your situation.

I hope you can resolve it to your satisfaction. One thing - if she does storm out of your life because you ask her nicely to stop her son wrecking your dcs' toys and to stop her daughter stealing from your son, and to return what she has already stolen, then she's not a real friend and you'd be better off without her, sad to say.

chegirl Wed 04-Nov-09 16:14:19

I suspect they dont have a lot of toys because they wreck them.

Its entirely reasonable for you to be miffed at the mum's behaviour.

I would arrange play dates at neutral venues or can you go to her house?

She may be a lovely person but that does not make it ok for her kids to nick and wreck toys at your house.

Jujubean77 Wed 04-Nov-09 16:17:14

Talk to her honestly. Perhaps the poor little girl doesn't have any toys of her own? I actually feel for the girl but agree the Mum needs to put it right somehow. How odd!

Seems a shame to drop contact if you like them genuinely.

abra1d Wed 04-Nov-09 16:18:40

Sigh. We had friends like this and I found it very stressful being with them.

Eventually the petty stealing stopped but it was annoying. In the interim I really stopped having them around.

It's horrid for your children.

pofacedandproud Wed 04-Nov-09 16:22:10

They live in a flat here so not much space at theirs [they have a house back in their own country here for few years]But we aren't invited over much even though ds likes it there. She does like to give them the run of this place and knows they enjoy destroy the toys. I make her sound awful, she isn't, she is really nice and funny and intelligent, I enjoy her company, she just seems to have this TOTAL blind spot. And she is very soft on her rather badly behaved ds. It is just a shame, I get the feeling I am going to lose touch with her over this and I don't want to, but I feel slightly exploited and as she ignores me when I ask her to bring back the stolen gadget, I feel as a matter of principal that she is teaching her dd the wrong lesson.

Firawla Wed 04-Nov-09 16:22:41

I think you do need to bring it up with the mum or else meet up outside the house, you can not just let it continue or ignore it.

pofacedandproud Wed 04-Nov-09 16:34:11

What do I say? 'I don't like your ds breaking my ds's toys and now your dd has started taking them' However I sweeten it, it sounds awful.

pofacedandproud Wed 04-Nov-09 16:34:37

I have often asked to meet in playground but she says it is too cold!

colditz Wed 04-Nov-09 18:32:53

bollock the child properly.You'll be doing her a favour in the long run.

Jujubean77 Wed 04-Nov-09 18:45:26

If you get on with her well just be honest about it - say it is dds favorite Toy. Don't tackle the breaking as well just the issue of the taking and then take it from there.

Would really be a shame to fall out over it smile

Stayingsunnygirl Wed 04-Nov-09 19:45:55

You say that she likes to give them the run of your place - she shouldn't be doing that without your permission. Maybe in the past she's assumed it's ok to let her children go where they want in your house, but perhaps life would be less stressful if you limited the places they were allowed to go.

Would it be possible for the children just to play downstairs - where you are closer and might be able to step in and stop her ds being too rough with toys, or see if her dd tries to whisk something into her pocket? You could also make sure that most of your dc's toys (especially any particular favourites) were put away where the other children weren't allowed to go.

If your friend objected to this (which would be a bit rude as she's a guest in your house) you could say; "Well - a number of ds's toys have got broken recently, so I've decided that it's better if he just has a few toys out downstairs - it makes my life less stressful."

That way you might be able to keep on seeing this other mother whilst making sure that your ds's toys stay intact and at home.

If you can't limit the children to the downstairs, perhaps it would be worth removing the bulk of the toys from ds's room and putting them somewhere out of the way. Would these children go rummaging in your room if they couldn't find what they want? Or might that be somewhere you could stash ds's toys whilst these children visit?

mazzystartled Wed 04-Nov-09 19:56:24

I have a couple of friends whose kids are proper little wreckers.

I have found it's a good idea to put away most of the toys and just get out one or two things (or boxes of stuff if it's lego and the like). WOuld that work?

Doesn't address why the little girl is taking things. I think I would insist on having the little gadgetty thing returned - might get the message across.

pofacedandproud Wed 04-Nov-09 19:58:10

Yes I might have to hide some of ds's favourite toys. Am already under orders by dh to hide all playmobil. there is no way her ds would stay downstairs. If my ds threw something or yanked it apart I would replace it, and it annoys me that she hasn't even offered, she probably thinks it is always accidental, but it isn't. If I have a straight talk with her I run the risk of upsetting her, but it might get to that point. I don't know.

sdr Wed 04-Nov-09 19:58:56

What about catching up with this mum without the kids? Perhaps a movie or something so you can still enjoy her company and as others suggested meet somewhere neutral with the kids.

justaboutautumn Wed 04-Nov-09 20:01:15

Message withdrawn

Stayingsunnygirl Wed 04-Nov-09 20:01:46

Try telling her you don't want the children upstairs, and see what happens. That would be what I'd do. And make downstairs seem better than upstairs - something a bit special to do, perhaps or a dvd or nice biscuits.

pofacedandproud Wed 04-Nov-09 20:07:03

yes a movie a good idea. I think she is a bit at a loss at what to do with her children after school though and got used to this place as an entertainment slot - not quite sure how to get around it. Her ds has no interest in playing with mine, he just wrecks his toys! And it distresses ds, who gets cross, then I'm supposed to reprimand ds, it is awful. Ds plays nicely with her dd, and I feel her dd does not get enough attention from her, it all goes on her ds, which is I think why she is starting to steal - my friend said she is doing it at school as well. She doesn't address it though, and certainly did not explain why she should not steal from her friends.

Hello justa! How are you? smile Hope you are feeling ok. Ds settling better now. I still have my reservations, but as he feels ok at moment seems silly to move him when we can't afford private at present. We'll just have to see how the rest of this term goes.

pofacedandproud Wed 04-Nov-09 20:10:12

Her ds would just go straight upstairs sunnygirl, and she would shrug her shoulders and smile weakly. It has happened before. The children were eating and her ds took a sandwich upstairs. I said I'd rather no food upstairs [she would never allow them to eat in their own bedrooms] but he took it up anyway and she did nothing. That time I went up and had to actually pick him up screaming and bring him downstairs [I tried to make light of it and do it jokily but felt i had to carry it through] and then I felt bad and it was a bit awkward with her. Hasn't changed the way she responds to him though.

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