Should i have said something? Friend's child repeatedly telling me to shut up

(26 Posts)
maggiethemagpie Tue 30-Aug-16 09:08:01

Went to stay with some friends. They have a very - ahem - liberal approach to parenting. As in, no boundaries, no rules, no 'no's. They have a 9 year old daughter. We were all staying in their house (bungalow) and chatting in the kitchen /dining room in the evening (as my kids were sleeping in the living room).

Their daughter refuses to shut her bedroom door, but would repeatedly come into the kitchen area yelling 'shut up shut up shut up' as she couldn't sleep. At which point we'd all have to whisper/be quiet until she fell asleep, or if this did not work and she awoke again and came in yelling shut up, the parents said to just ignore her.

I felt really uncomfortable with having a nine year old telling me to shut up, so much so that at one point I said I'd go into the garden to be able to chat with DH, and did in fact end up in the garden to get away from the situation as it was really bothering me.

I know everyone has the right to bring up their child however they wish but when this involves said child being rude to guests, are you allowed to say something?

For me, it is the height of rudeness for a child to speak to a guest like this and I'd be mortified beyond belief if my children ever did this. Also, i feel sorry for the child. She's being taught that the way to get things resolved is to throw your weight around, rather than say 'excuse me, I'm finding it difficult to sleep would you mind being quieter' or whatever.

I didn't say anything at the time but have resolved never to stay with said friend again. But would you have said something to the child, or the parents, in this situation?

Soubriquet Tue 30-Aug-16 09:09:28

I would have collected my children and left tbh

If they allow her to act like that, I wouldn't have stuck around

golfmonkey Tue 30-Aug-16 09:29:42

I think it's really hard as you don't ever know what another family's home life is like, but I'd have hated that situation. I'm really bothered by manners and even insist my 1 year old is polite all the time! I have friends with less boundaries and I do end up avoiding spending time with them, but when they are part of a group I sort of just accept that things are going to be uncomfortable. However I'd probably have made a passive aggressive comment to the girl or parents in all honesty. And made an even bigger deal of disciplining my own kids. I don't really think that's a good way to deal with it but I know what I'm like.
I would do the same as you and just remember not to ever stay with them again.

freshstart22 Tue 30-Aug-16 09:32:27

That would have pissed me off too. No child should be talking like that to adults. I hate this relaxed parenting approach bullshit.

TheGruffaloMother Tue 30-Aug-16 09:37:12

I'd definitely make a point of not staying with them again but would probably leave it at that. If that's the approach, you won't change their minds. And coming from a kid who's grew up in a bungalow with her bedroom right off the main socialising space, it really does affect your sleep. If they ever bring it up with you, I'd probably come at it from that angle and say you won't be staying again because having company kept her awake long enough that she got very overtired and rude and you delta bad for her.

alphabook Tue 30-Aug-16 09:37:35

I don't think I would have said anything as criticising someone's parenting is always going to open a can of worms, but I would have felt very uncomfortable and definitely wouldn't be staying there again. I would be horrified if my child behaved like that to guests.

TheGruffaloMother Tue 30-Aug-16 09:38:00

Delta? hmm *felt

TheGruffaloMother Tue 30-Aug-16 09:38:57

And my grammar is embarrassing blush I'll get some more coffee and rejoin the world after grin

maggiethemagpie Tue 30-Aug-16 09:43:19

I think my saying I'd go into the garden was a bit of a statement, I genuinely did want to get away from the shouting but was really hoping they'd say 'no you stay put, we'll deal with (madam)'. But they didn't. They were joking the next day about how she rules the roost, wears the trousers etc. It just goes against every parenting bone in my body. I am quite firm with my kids, set boundaries eg if they ask for something without saying please they don't get it - I pretend I haven't heard them until they ask nicely!

Also I work in people management for a behaviours based organisation, and we end up dismissing or putting on capability a lot of people who basically haven't learned how to behave in the workplace. Eg, If someone is in probation and starts being disrespectful to colleagues, they get a four week warning and then dismissed.

So I know how vitally important it is to learn these social rules early on, and I do feel sorry for this child as she's being taught the opposite of good behaviour, and will have to learn it all for herself when she's grown or else struggle in work/social situations.

leccybill Tue 30-Aug-16 09:43:35

Oh gosh- I wouldn't have been able to stop myself. I'd have told her that saying shut up to an adult (or anyone) is very rude.
Then I'd have gone home.

I hope she doesn't tell her teachers to shut up (or is she home schooled?)

golfmonkey Tue 30-Aug-16 09:56:24

I know you feel sorry for the child and in a way I would too. But, I think you have to just do your best at bringing up your own kids. My parents were super strict and I remember always saying 'but everybody else is allowed x/y/z'. My parents always just said 'well we aren't their parents and we are your parents so that's just how it is'. I have a fantastic relationship with them now and have only really had a slight wobble in my mid teens (who didn't?!). So I think strict parenting is fine as it makes a child feel secure. I always felt loved, but I never thought of my parents as my friends, they were my parents. I hope my kids feel the same (though I suspect I will be slightly less strict with them!). Yes, parents should teach good manners I think, but unless they are asking for your advice I don't think you can really say much without ruining your friendship.

NicknameUsed Tue 30-Aug-16 09:59:59

Is this spoilt brat child being home educated? I can't see her getting away with this kind of behaviour at school.

maggiethemagpie Tue 30-Aug-16 11:13:06

No, she is school educated. But at home she gets to do whatever she likes. Fine, except for when it affects how I am treated. Eg, whenever we went anywhere with our hosts, we had to do what 'madam' wanted to do, or else go our own way. Eg we went to a little fair (at the mum's suggestion). Then madam wanted to go on the beach, so off they went and left us, we barely saw them. By the time they came back it was time to go home.

And on the last day, we went to the pier. But rather than all hang out together, because madam wanted to go on the arcades, which I hate and was not right for our very young kids, we were told to go and explore and come back to find them when we were done!

I just think they could have made more effort to put what we wanted above what their daughter wanted. It made me feel pretty unimportant. I mean, they can go the arcade with her any day but we live far away and were staying with them as their guests (but won't be again).

I'm not saying they should never have done anything that madam wanted, but there could have / should have been a bit of balance surely! I don't like continually feeling second fiddle to a nine year old! So don't think I will be maintaining the friendship to be honest.

Floggingmolly Tue 30-Aug-16 11:17:42

They were joking about how she rules the roost? shock
I don't envy them the teenage years... The first refusal of the latest iPhone will probably see madam doing a Lizzie Borden on them.

BeMorePanda Tue 30-Aug-16 11:19:16

They were joking the next day about how she rules the roost, wears the trousers etc.

Poor kid!

maggiethemagpie Tue 30-Aug-16 11:20:39

Floggingmolley - I don't think there will be any refusal of the latest iphone.. they can't say no to her, that's the point!

MoonfaceAndSilky Tue 30-Aug-16 11:22:01

I would've said to veruca salt the girl - "that's a bit rude" but in a jokey voice so the parents didn't get too offended but got the point that she was being rude.

BeMorePanda Tue 30-Aug-16 11:22:51

I don't think it would have made a difference if you have said anything.
And she could have started with closing her door.
They sound like a (bigger) nightmare waiting to happen - best to swerve them during the teenage years.

UmbongoUnchained Tue 30-Aug-16 11:24:38

I would've told her to shut up back.

NoFuchsGiven Tue 30-Aug-16 11:26:31

I certainly would not be visiting again and as I wouldnt be visiting again I would not think twice about telling them why.

GobblersKnob Tue 30-Aug-16 11:27:36

I think tha would have irritated me too tbh, but you constantly referring to a 9 year old as a 'madam' is irritating me more, she is just a child.

BakewellTartAgain Tue 30-Aug-16 11:29:17

I don't imagine I would have said anything but like you then decide never to go back.

It's trickier when it is family..

user7755 Tue 30-Aug-16 11:32:37

I work in people management for a behaviours based organisation

What does this mean?

maggiethemagpie Tue 30-Aug-16 11:44:20

User7775 - it means that it's not just what you do at work, but how you do it and how you get along with colleagues/managers/customers/other people. That is given very high priority in the place I work, and those with poor behaviours are initially given coaching to improve but if they can't improve they generally don't stay around forever.

Basic things like being aware of your personal impact/honesty/respect... as I said upthread the basic social rules we all must learn. So I feel sorry for this child if she doesn't learn them now, she may well struggle later in life.

user7755 Tue 30-Aug-16 11:48:44

So it's a bit like when they tried to introduce values based recruitment and appraisals in the NHS?

Shame we need a buzz phrase for it isn't it? That we can't just have a core expectation that you should treat people they way you want to be treated and respond accordingly if people don't.

Mind you, given the subject of your thread - I guess it's not as easy as all that! sad

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