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Dealing with bad behaviour in someone else's toddler

(21 Posts)
Weegle Wed 29-Oct-08 16:23:07

This could end up a rant.

Group of 6 mums and toddlers approx 2.5years. All play together fantastically apart from the usual toddler issues of sharing etc but with a little guidance from mums get along well, except one little boy. He snatches, bites, kicks, spits, slaps - adults and children. That itself is not the problem - the problem is the mum doesn't do anything. The most she says is "you can tell B off if you want to" - err no, you tell him off, you're his mum stood right next to him as he's sinking his teeth in to my child. It's got to the point we just don't want to meet up with them anymore, it's not enjoyable for anyone - whereas if we felt she was doing something to at least try to guide his behaviour then it would be different. Whoever's house we are in he literally destroys things, all the other children end up in tears, DS who is normally extrovert and happily goes off and plays spent two hours cowering on my lap today then as soon as B was taken home he got down and played happily with the others. And B is so obviously craving boundaries, he's testing and hasn't found a limit. We all try to some extent to say "no B, snatching's not nice" or what ever it is but he looks past us to his mum and continues with a great big grin on his face. surely the mum should be primarly taking that role, especially if we are busy comforting our child from the latest bite/hit/kick??? How do you deal with these situations? We're all at a loss as to how to do it without appearing judgemental/bitchy.

Weegle Wed 29-Oct-08 16:48:54

anyone? or am I horrible judgemental bitch for even thinking about it grin

lizandlulu Wed 29-Oct-08 16:55:25

its a difficult one. i thoink the most you an do is what you are already doing, just saying if something he does is not nice.
have you said anything to his mother? i personally wouldnt know what to say, but then wouldnt say anything anyway. i have enough trouble keeping my own dd under control without inviting more straingrin

Pennies Wed 29-Oct-08 16:57:48

Next time she says it's all right to tell him off ask her if she's sure about that and warn her that you can be quite scary when you put your mind to it. If she's still up for you telling him off then go for it big time.

Make sure you have witnesses to the whole event tho. wink

3littlefrogs Wed 29-Oct-08 16:59:46

Is she depressed?

Could there be another reason for his behaviour?

If you know her well enough, perhaps you could try to broach the subject tactfully - but if you are not close, you may just have to avoid.

Weegle Wed 29-Oct-08 17:08:02

We are reasonably close I guess, and in fact I'm probably the closest of the mums to her, but I really am at a loss as to how to broach it tactfully, and this is really changing my feelings towards her TBH. no one has yet said something but one of the other mums today really did try to tell B off - she got down to his level and very firmly said "no, we do NOT bite, it is NOT nice behaviour, now give the toy back to E" - but the boy refused and looked beyond her smiling at his mum and she just smiled back! The problem is that we as the other mums are too busy protecting/comforting our own children to easily be able to tell the boy off without taking the attention away from our own upset child, and he just grins!

Weegle Wed 29-Oct-08 17:09:54

I don't think she is depressed, no. And apparently he isn't like it at nursery so I really think it's a direct correlation to trying to get a reaction from his mother/pushing the boundaries and not finding any!

3littlefrogs Wed 29-Oct-08 17:21:13

In that case you will just have to avoid. Eventually the penny will drop - she will have to start parenting him at some stage or he is going to be worse as he gets older.

Sometimes people take a little while to realise the truth IYSWIM.

Weegle Wed 29-Oct-08 17:29:39

that just seems so mean sad but I fear we haven't really got a choice - I certainly don't want him in my house

3littlefrogs Wed 29-Oct-08 17:35:40

The trouble is - it is one or the other really. The alternative is that someone's child will get hurt, and there will be a row, and it is more difficult to recover from that. If I felt I knew someone well enough, I would at least try to have a gentle conversation, in private, and explain that it is important to get control of this situation earlier rather than later, as it will be much more difficult later. It is hard though.

3littlefrogs Wed 29-Oct-08 17:38:43

Could you perhaps say something like "It must be difficult dealing with .....'s behaviour. Are you getting any help or support?" But obviously not in front of anyone else.

Does she have a partner? Maybe there are issues about parenting styles?

I have to go out now, but will check back later.

mrsruffallo Wed 29-Oct-08 17:42:04

Distance yourself, for your child's sake.
If she wants to know why then explain to her. I know it sounds mean but if she knows how you feel and isn't responding to it then there is no other way forward.
Have you tried telling her what he has done, even if you are sure she has seeen it?
It may jolt her into action

Weegle Wed 29-Oct-08 17:42:18

thank you smile

yes she is married, and as I understand it B is the same around dad too but I don't see them as a family really. Yes, I think the rest of the group are looking to me to say something really as they think I am closest so I guess for all our sakes I might have to bite the bullet on this. Hmmm, was thinking of arranging to meet her and her boy at the park (can't bear to have them here again as it's not fair on DS) and see if I can have a chat there. What on earth do I say?!

CoteDAzur Wed 29-Oct-08 17:42:23

If mum has given you green light to discipline her toddler, go ahead and do it.

Yes, she should be the one doing it, but if she isn't, then you do it.

I've done it once, and it worked wonders. Little brat boy never deliberately hurt DD again.

Weegle Wed 29-Oct-08 17:47:23

what did yu actually do? because getting down to his level and speaking firmly does nothing.

Debra1981 Wed 29-Oct-08 18:23:28

Sounds to me like he could do with a bit more positive attention from his mum too- as if she doesn't really interact with him at all while they're there. But yes I would try to tactfully ask her to discipline him herself, explaining that he doesn't really listen to you, because you're not his mum. I know my dd can be more challenging for others (ie grandparents) if she knows I'm around- then I just take over- she's still my responsibility. Just because there's other parent-types about doesn't mean she can stop parenting.

MatNanPlus Wed 29-Oct-08 18:28:10

have you tried picking him up and moving hom away or putting him on her lap and saying "we don't do xyz"?

Sparkletastic Wed 29-Oct-08 18:31:49

If you aren't ready to give up on them I'd deffo be much more direct. Putting on his mum's lap is a good plan and saying to him that his mummy is going to talk to him about what he did. Give her three more chances with this approach then bin her - it is not fair if everyone else is suffering.

Weegle Wed 29-Oct-08 19:02:35

yes, that sounds a good plan. unfortunately I can't lift (even my own DS) but I could suggest this to the others.

vesela Thu 30-Oct-08 22:39:33

It's her behaviour that's wrong. She needs to learn that what she's doing isn't acceptable behaviour.

I'd suggest talking to her, and then, as sparkletastic said, giving her three chances, and then if that doesn't work, a time out.

SmugColditz Thu 30-Oct-08 22:45:15

take him over to his mum, and say "X needs you to talk to him about how it's naughty to hit, and it makes other children not want to play with him"

There are two messages here. Message to child "I will tell your mother when you hit" AND message to mother "We don't like your son's behavior and neither do our children - you need to deal with it"

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