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Friend staying over with badly behaved DSs

(18 Posts)
Scootergrrrl Tue 02-Aug-11 20:00:14

What do you do? My friend is visiting with her two boys (7 and 3) and they are playing her up something rotten. Tantrums, biting each other, dreadful whining and so on. Earlier, the younger one was behaving so badly in the soft play centre we were in that his mum nearly burst into tears. I want to do something to help - it's not in my nature to sit by and watch - and she's obviously stressed to the max but why should I do for the best? They really are a pair of little horrors at times.

AmberLeaf Tue 02-Aug-11 20:01:52

Week 2 of the summer hols and 2 little boys are playing up?


<not meaning to sound sarky-but its not surprising>

AmberLeaf Tue 02-Aug-11 20:02:55

Re your question, help put them to bed and then crack open the wine!

Scootergrrrl Tue 02-Aug-11 20:04:05

Yes, thanks for that constructive advice.

To phrase my question more clearly, if you were obviously at the very end of your rope with your children, would you want a friend to step in and help or not?

LemonDifficult Tue 02-Aug-11 20:06:21

Yes, I would but not in anyway that criticised my parenting (or might seem to). Just loads of 'they'll grow out of it', 'it happens to everyone' and 'just get through it' and make supper and pour the wine.

Is your friend having a tough time generally? Or is it just visiting upsetting the boys?

Scootergrrrl Tue 02-Aug-11 20:09:50

They're quite highly strung children who know exactly how to push her buttons. They are obviously a bit unsettled because they're away from home but tbh they've always been quite hard to handle. I did say at one point, when the little one was gearing up for another screeching tantrum "oh shush, nobody wants to hear that noise and you're upsetting your mummy" and he did stop. I just don't want to upset my friend. sad

thisisyesterday Tue 02-Aug-11 20:13:48

it's hard to say anything isn't it, for fear it is not what she wants... but then if you ask her she'll probably say she's fine.

I guess that yes, I would pitch in and do lots of cajoling and getting them ready for bed and like amberleaf says... crack open the wine! sounds like you could both do with some

she may appreciate when you're at home if you take a bit more charge of them and do a "not in my house young man" type approach to give her a breather and hopefully they'll listen to you?

QueenOfFeckingEverything Tue 02-Aug-11 20:15:17

If I have a friend staying whose DC are driving them to tears, I step in.

I will tell them its not on - I don't actually tell them off, but say in no uncertain terms that in my house that will not be accepted and they are to go and play upstairs/outside/watch tv/whatever whilst the grown ups have a drink and calm down. And I'd get wine in for later smile

DD can behave dreadfully at times and I am always grateful when friends step in calmy-but-firmly.

lisad123 Tue 02-Aug-11 20:15:47

If they are staying at yours tell them at yir house you have rules and these are a, b and c. grin

LemonDifficult Tue 02-Aug-11 20:16:03

Try not to tell her children off. She'll know they're hard work. You can help in other ways.

activate Tue 02-Aug-11 20:19:39

lay down the rules of your house and enforce them

tell them off when they behave unacceptably - and send them out of the room until they behave

just take over if she's cracking up

phrases like "poor mummy she needs a rest", "poor mummy she doesn't want to hear you whining like that out you go until you can behave yourself"

lisad123 Tue 02-Aug-11 20:19:42

Why not tell them off? If a child's in my house then they can accept that I will tell them off, same is with my kids in their house.

ThatllDoPig Tue 02-Aug-11 20:20:18

watching with interest as I'm in same boat.
lemon I understand what you mean about no-one likes to have even a hint that their parenting is being criticised, but what if the person really is desperate and obviously at end of tether, and them, and the kids really are in need of constructive support rather than lies of the 'happens to us all' type ? is it always the best plan to sit back and let it all happen and get worse and worse, when everyone is unhappy? just wondering.

activate Tue 02-Aug-11 20:20:28

"highly strung" = badly behaved

badly behaved = confused at lack of boundaries

triskaidekaphile Tue 02-Aug-11 20:23:16

I think queenoffe's approach sounds very reassuring and helpful. In fact I want to go round to her house next time my children behave appallingly!

Tiggles Tue 02-Aug-11 20:39:52

I am quite happy for people to lay down the law around my children (who can all be baddly behaved), but do get put out if it is phrased "Don't jump on the sofa, I don't care what you do in your house, but you don't do it here", errr, actually they are trying it on and they don't do it at home either. Just a straight forward "Please don't jump on the sofa" is fine!

Teachermumof3 Tue 02-Aug-11 21:20:25

It's hard being on your own with children-as when your kids' dad is there, he will (well, hopefully!) back you up on decisions, so if she's staying with you, it's just her.

I'd step in, trying to be helpful, with things like-'ahem, that's not a nice way to speak to mummy!' as often when children are being stroppy, a word from someone that isn't the usual face, is more effective. Have you also got small children who need you 100% or could you scoop the stropping one away and distract them with a 'come with me and buy the drinks/look at the cars/get some fresh air?'

MonicaFree Wed 03-Aug-11 13:33:17

The reason I suggested not telling them off is that they're only there for a short stay and whatever the OP does it's not actually going to have any depth of effect on them. So the nicest thing for the mum would probably be not to be in anyway shown up, just to have the most peaceful visit possible in the circumstances. If it's possible (within reason, obviously) to leave the discipline to her then I think that's preferable.

It's different when the parent isn't there and you're the sole adult in charge, of course. But if the parents are there then is best to let them deal with bad behaviour.

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