Advanced search

What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbook - now under £10

Find out more

Having little friends over - disappointed with their behaviour & attitude

(14 Posts)
bacon Mon 13-Jun-11 19:57:18

DS1 is 5 and a few times he's had friends over but what a shock! The first little boy was cheeky and quite obnoxious, didnt eat properly, left the table and wondered off, making comments about things being childish, commenting on his TV which just plays DVDs, which really upset me. My MIL was there the second time he came over and was horrifid by his "up his own arse" attitude so it isnt just me. The second time another boy (another friend from school) was a little better but again had no table manners, demanded chocolate after not eating his lunch and was generally better but again quiet rude and opinionated.

I like my son to have friends over but next time I'm going for the quieter ones - is this the way forward?

Is it me or 5 year olds not have manners at other peoples homes. How do you control the atmosphere and clamp down on the over use of the gob? How do you control other peoples darling children in your care???!

It doesnt help as their behaviour just makes my son give me too much back- chat in front of them, the whole events have left me terrified of being a social family. Help!!!!

lechatnoir Mon 13-Jun-11 20:33:19

As mum of 5yr old boy I'd say totally over excited behaviour seems to be the norm and use of manners (that I'm pretty certain are the norm at home) seem to be forgotten. I'd say you have to be a bit more lenient than you would be normally but back-chat, table manners or fighting are definitely not allowed and I'd have no qualms about ticking off my own child or his friend if I thought they were pushing it to far. There will inevitably be a few little shits darlings that you won't ever want to see again however lovely the parents might be (2 & counting in my house grin) .

lechatnoir Mon 13-Jun-11 20:37:41

...too far blush

cory Mon 13-Jun-11 23:13:23

I go for a compromise: I do not accept direct rudeness or destructiveness, but do accept that other families may have different rules about things like leaving the table or how much you have to eat.

Pancakeflipper Mon 13-Jun-11 23:20:18

I don't worry much now about what they eat, they are too giddy to eat. They want to play.

I don't allow rudeness and will say so but manners do seem to disappear. I am embarrassed with my son cos when it's time to come home he throws a strop cos he wants to stay forever. Then he grunts a thank you. Arghhhh.

swash Tue 14-Jun-11 10:24:29

I think you have to be prepared to say 'in this house, we... sit at the table until everyone has finished' or similar. But it is hard! I was shocked at a playdate when the child stood on my dining table! Another girl pointed out the dust in my house and told me how to cook fish fingers. Both left the table. I had to pull myself together and remind myself I was the adult next time!

swash Tue 14-Jun-11 10:24:54

Both left the table while dd was eating.

GabbyLoggon Tue 14-Jun-11 10:37:50

The manners are different within different classes. The children can only behave the way they have been accustomed to. (its no use saying there is not a class divide)

friendcat Tue 14-Jun-11 10:48:51

I agree with Swash. Get the rules laid down at the start. Other peoples darling LO's often enjoy experiencing the different methods families have, like helping clear the table or washing hands before tea (!) or in our case, "We don't wipe snot on the sofa arm in our house, do we DS?" Its only fair, kids can't be expected to know whats ok in other peoples houses if they aren't brought up properly grin

Piccadilly Tue 14-Jun-11 10:56:04

I think the sitting at the table until everyone else has finished eating is a hard one for them. They don't really understand why they should do it - they just learn it from their parents and at this age I think it has not yet been internalised enough that they can do it reliably even when lots of new toys are beckoning AND their parents are not there saying it to them. I then do just step in and explain our rules.
As for downright rudeness etc. we have had the same. I also frequently experience children who just completely shut me out as an adult. They want to play with my dd (5) but they don't want ANY contact with me and definitely don't want me setting down rules etc.
I have a new technique which I'm trying out which is that whenever they arrive for a playdate it is now law that we start by playing a game together - I choose a very interactive game and they have to play WITH me. I try to build up a direct relationship between me and the kid. I think this is important as I've had situations where dds friend arrives seeing the situation as being that the two children are in charge. I find the game together (as well as some "explaining") helps me set the framework that I'm their care-giver for the duration of the playdate - that means I have to keep them safe and they are spending the afternoon in my family and have to behave accordingly.
I would ideally do more together than just one game, but I also accept that dd has to be able to play with her friends sometimes without me (and 2 year old ds) always joining in. I try to have playdates where we go into the woods, where it is more of a joint activity.
You can't change the manners which the children are or aren't taught at home, but you can set up the situation so that while they're at your house, they are looking to you for cues as to what you expect and as a reference point. And the others where that's never going to happen don't get invited back...

violaswamp Tue 14-Jun-11 11:12:42

If I were you I would get used to the "my house, my rules" approach. I tell children to come back to the table until they have finished and I tell them why - that's the rule in our house and I don't want them walking around eating food either as it's me who cleans up the mess. If they are supposed to be eating dinner with us and they don't eat what I make, they don't get dessert as my dcs would not get dessert in that situation. I find that 9 times out or 10 the guest eats up his dinner to get dessert once I've explained the deal. If not, they don't get. I don't cater to fussy eaters.

I think you will find that children will still want to come and play even if you're strict, so I wouldn't worry about trying to be popular. When I was a kids it was known that if you didn't behave at someone's house, you wouldn't get asked back, and they would tell you why. Something to be said for that.

lifeohlife Wed 15-Jun-11 08:22:31

yeah I have been shocked too in the past. I'm not now and do use a few strategies. I remember some years ago I had to ask one little girl (aged 7) three times to wash her hands before coming to the table. She'd ignored me and then eventually responded 'whatever'!!

Then I placed Pasta, pesto and broccoli, peppers and chicken in front of her, having asked if this was okay before I cooked it. She took one look and said 'Gross'!!! It was at that point I tertly replied 'well there's nothing else' blush

violaswamp Wed 15-Jun-11 11:11:09

I think I would have added a "don't you speak to me like that if you ever want to come to this house again". But then I'm the local witch wink

bacon Wed 15-Jun-11 13:46:46

I like your style girls!

I will set the ground rules on arrival.

Do a group activity first to build up the relationship.

However, I do think a child should be mannered to sit at the table and leave when finished. No spit drinks or poking foods seaching for chips and nuggets. Sarcasim at a young age is not acceptable and demands need shooting down.

What shocks me is these children come from nice homes, comfortable living but the parents seem to treat them like brothers and sisters not leaders and followers. What I call PC parenting.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: