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if a mum asked "were they good?" and they weren't?

22 replies

brenda21 · 25/10/2009 17:01

You know the thing, when you've had a child over, or helped at a party, and the mum asks if they've been good, and to be honest they've been a complete PITA, rude, disobedient...
What do you say?
Likewise, do you expect to be told if your child has been like that?

My problem is I work in a nursery so we do tell parents if behaviour has been less than desirable.

Just interested as I always squirm if asked and don't want to answer!

OP posts:
NotQuiteCockney · 25/10/2009 17:03

I tend to tell people, but politely. I say 'oh, he was a bit of a handfull', which sensible parents mentally translate, rightly, to 'he was a total PITA'.

You can also politely ask if maybe he's ill, or tired or something?

And yes, I would want to be told - I want to be able to talk to my kid, and have they 'hey, if you act like that, they won't want you back' conversation.

ShinyAndNew · 25/10/2009 17:06

I'd like the truth. I don't believe them anyway when they tell me that dd2 was good.

I always tell the truth too, but otoh I only look after children of close friends and my sisters dc. So they don't take offence when I say "No actually she has been nasty/bullying/rude/wouldn't eat my food because it was the wrong colour etc"

TrickOrTrefusis · 25/10/2009 17:07

Playing and parties are more informal than the nursery setting, so I'd be less inclined to mention it, tbh. But it depends on what the child was doing, and his/her age.

With rudeness or general "silliness", I would generally use a euphemism - "he's certainly very lively!" - "my goodness, she knows what she wants and how to get it!", knowing that the mother would read between the lines.

If the incident was more serious, like hitting other children, I'd say: "I had to have a word with him a few times, as he was doing X - thought it best to let you know, in case he mentions it."

TheInvisibleManDidIt · 25/10/2009 17:13

I'd want to be told, but when asked I tend to just always say 'yeah they had a great time' if the child was being a pita.

On the other hand, both my boys were at a sleepover a few weeks ago for their friends birthday, and after telling me that she'd let them stay up until midnight drinking coke and filling themselves with sweets, the mum turned round and said 'they were a bit of a nightmare..they just wouldn't go to bed'.

If my boys are a handful because you've fed them with junk, then don't tell me, as the response may offend..

MmeGoblindt · 25/10/2009 17:15

I would want to know if it had been something serious. If it were the normal things that DC get up to when they are at a party, being silly then I would not say anything.

MrsBadger · 25/10/2009 17:18

NQC is spot on, esp re the 'they won;t ask you back' convo

nice to see you btw

brenda21 · 25/10/2009 17:32

Thanks all. As I guessed you pretty much backed up what I generally thought and do, while also giving me some good tips on how to phrase things
I was a bit thrown I think because I recently told a mum that I'd had to have words with her daughter for running off (we were out) and then she continued to do it again and laughed when she was called to stop. She's 8. Mum appeared a bit off with me for mentioning it ("she doesn't normally, with me she's very good") but she could have just been embarrassed.

OP posts:
NotQuiteCockney · 25/10/2009 17:46

How are you?

I do use stronger words with closer friends, or for worse behaviour.

I've also told parents 'actually, DS1 doesn't want your DS1 over again. Ever'. (I neglected to say that I felt pretty much the same.)

MrsBadger · 25/10/2009 17:59

pg again

sassy · 25/10/2009 18:02

MrsB - again again? Is that no 4?


Candlewax · 25/10/2009 18:05

I always say yes. No point in making the mother feel bad. Only the mother's that lack self confidence seem to ask that question. It was only for a few hours, give her a break otherwise she will end up fretting the whole time.

DemonBradleySlaysPippi · 25/10/2009 18:05

I'd say it and I def would want to be told so that I can have discussion with DDs and make sure they understand and that it doesn't happen again. Better this than not be invited again.

NotQuiteCockney · 25/10/2009 18:09

Um ... no. You were just pregnant. Are you sure you're not still waiting for DD?

Spidermama · 25/10/2009 18:13

I would at least hint at it but would take care to explain the positive behaviour too. There's nearly always some redeeming behaviour IME.

Would any of you tell a parent her DS behaved badly at a party if that parent hadn't asked?
This happened to me once.

MrsBadger · 25/10/2009 21:07

time moves differently on MN...

ProfessorLaytonIsMyZombieSlave · 25/10/2009 21:18

I'd probably say "(S)he seemed a bit over-excited" or "I think (s)he may have been quite tired" or "(S)he had some problems with [pick the one thing that most made me want to lock them in a rat-infested cellar]" but would try to think of something good they'd done so that I could try to say "but (s)he [insert positive comment here]". I can think of a couple of people I know well enough to be more frank with (but then if their DCs were complete pains it probably would quite generally be because they were tired or sickening for something).

I'm not sure about after a party, if a parent hadn't asked. Just being a general PITA, probably not, but if it were something extreme, perhaps. But I can't think of any examples right now.

pipWereRabbit · 25/10/2009 21:26

Slightly off topic, but this thread made me think of one of my favourite poems by AA Milne and it made me so I thought I would share it...

It'?s funny how often they say to me, ?Jane?
?Have you been a good girl?"
?Have you been a good girl?"
And when they have said it, they say it again,
?Have you been a good girl?"
?Have you been a good girl?"

I go to a party, I go out to tea
I go to an aunt for a week at the sea
I come back from school or from playing a game;
Wherever I come from, it'?s always the same:
Have you been a good girl, Jane?"

It'?s always the end of the loveliest day:
?Have you been a good girl?"
?Have you been a good girl?"
I went to the Zoo, and they waited to say:
?Have you been a good girl?"
?Have you been a good girl?"

Well, what did they think that I went there to do?
And why should I want to be bad at the Zoo?
And should I be likely to say if I had?
So that'?s why it'?s funny of Mummy and Dad,
This asking and asking, in case I was bad,
Have you been a good girl, Jane?"

Ivykaty44 · 25/10/2009 21:28

No comment

literally just say that - we all know then and can ask if we want further info

LissyGlitter · 25/10/2009 21:38

lol, a couple of hours back I rang my mum, who is watching my 2.5yo DD for a couple of days, and asked if she was being good. The answer was yes, but then it became apparent that she has been a little madam all day when I spoke to my 16 year old sister

southeastastra · 25/10/2009 21:41

i'm always asking my son if he's been 'good' bad mummy

MrsGuyofGisbourne · 18/11/2009 19:02

I would say no. And then it wouldn't be a big suprise when their kid is not invited again.

RubysReturn · 18/11/2009 19:17

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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