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to not ask my DSs (6 and 4) to change their behaviour?

25 replies

Sylviesleep · 29/07/2015 20:54

Every time I meet up with my DF and her 3 DC (7, 6 and 5) I go home feeling like I'm a bad mum.

I'm the kind of mum who has strict boundaries ( DSs know they should be polite, kind and never endanger themselves or others) but want my DSs to be allowed to be children and enjoy their childhood.

My DF is very strict with her DC and that is fine, it's what works for her and I don't want to sound judgemental. But it just doesn't 'work' when we meet up. I feel like I need to give examples

So today, we were out at a local park. My DSs were running through the long grass - her DC followed and were told off because they might get nettled. Later, we went to pick raspberries, my DSs picked them as usual her children had to watch and just hold the tub incase they got stains on their clothes or got prickled. At my house, DSs asked to play on our drive on their scooters as they usually do, I said yes, she said no, they could get knocked over or stub their toes because they had sandals on.

I feel as though I should stop my children playing/behaving as they always do when we meet up but I don't want to give them mixed messages either. Sometimes DF asks them herself e.g. "Come on everyone, out of the grass" which of course I let happen to avoid any awkwardness.

AIBU to let them continue to play as we normally would or should we apply the same rules when were together.

OP posts:

Catnuzzle · 29/07/2015 21:02

Your kids, your rules. Everywhere except in her home.


crazykat · 29/07/2015 21:02

Leave your kids be. Your friend is being way to strict with her kids.

I'd have let my kids do as yours did. Running through the grass, raspberry picking and playing is what childhood is about. I may have warned mine to look out for nettles and not go too far but that's about it.

As long as your kids aren't teasing hers for not being allowed to join in then don't stop them playing as they were in your examples.


swallowed · 29/07/2015 21:04

You are completely in the right.

Your friend will end up passing on her neuroses to risk averse wimpy kids if she's not careful.


holmessweetholmes · 29/07/2015 21:07

YANBU. Your dc are doing nothing wrong!


Lurkedforever1 · 29/07/2015 21:14

Yanbu. Your kids are behaving like kids, if she wants hers to behave like mini adults, that's her choice. And as you aren't trying to coerce her to follow your normal parenting, she shouldn't be trying to coerce you and your kids to follow her weirdo parenting choices.


Sylviesleep · 29/07/2015 23:04

Thanks for your comments - I totally agree that when we are in her house, we follow her rules.

OP posts:

TheHouseOnBellSt · 29/07/2015 23:10

I feel your pain. I have this in the playground as I wait for my older DD. I let my 7 year old run about and the other parents are all shouting "Stop! You will fall over!" at their DC like some sort of curse!


Sallyhasleftthebuilding · 29/07/2015 23:15

Those poor kids ... they will have some issues when they realise how different they are. Usually around food. (Being clean really does effect how they eat as too scared of getting messy)


Flashbangandgone · 29/07/2015 23:15

Yanbu... Your friend sounds very uptight!


tobysmum77 · 30/07/2015 06:58

Yanbu but her children must be particularly docile to behave in the way described however strict she is.


LilyMayViolet · 30/07/2015 07:05

How annoying. That's very tricky op. I'm actually not sure what I'd do about that. It reminds me of when I worked with a classroom assistant that had very different ideas about how children should express themselves and behave. Obviously it was easier because I was the supervisor but anyway I spent a lot of time saying "they're fine, I'm absolutely fine with that." What else can you do?


Inkymess · 30/07/2015 07:07

Leave your kids. She is being really limiting to her DC who will never learn to manage their own risks and gain independance. Children learn by exploration. I feel sorry for them and they must see the fun they miss


Hellion7433 · 30/07/2015 07:08

It's not normal to not let your children pick berries so they don't stain their clothes. It's not normal to stop a child running through long grass (unless they have a very bad allergy to it)

It sounds like the mother has some kind of dirt/germ obsession and is projecting it on to the children. Being unreasonably controlling with children will cause a huge back lash once they are older.

However I must point out that it's normal to let a parent decide if their child is capable of playing in a driveway/road safely.

Continue as you are. Write off her actions in your head as over controlling.


Mrsjayy · 30/07/2015 07:14

Your friend sounds like a fun sponge why does she take them outside if they cant explore your dc sound like ordinary kids can you not meet her somewhere else so the kids can play indoors. Yanbu but if she is your friend what do you want to doz?


puddymuddles · 30/07/2015 07:15

Your friend is way too strict in my opinion! Keep doing what you are doing.


MrsWembley · 30/07/2015 07:18

I was ready to come on here and say YABU, thinking of my DCs and a friend's and how I'm usually the one saying,'don't do this, don't do that!'

But actually my DCs behave like your DCs and my friend is even more relaxed than me!Grin

Everyone is correct in saying that she will have major problems when they rebel. Big! Huge! So no, YANBU.


DearHound · 30/07/2015 07:21

Is she a good enough friend that you could mention concerns about her parenting?


youarekiddingme · 30/07/2015 07:24

I usually expect to come to these threads and say that yes, you should control your child's behaviour of it upsets someone else and no they shouldn't be allowed to jump on sofa at friends house because they do it at home.

But Shock your children sound delightful little explorers with a healthy attitude to the outdoors. Polite, risk aware and fun loving.

I would not stop yours being children. I'd let your friend continue as she is and be there for her children if they end up affected by it.

Is there any activity she's relaxed about? Swimming? They'll be clean that way!


zavi00000 · 30/07/2015 07:26

I think it would help you if you were a little more tolerant towards different parenting styles and stopped sweating the small stuff. This stuff is not important!
As with so much when it comes to parenting, there are no rights and wrongs.

Try to bear in mind that your friend probably doesn't agree with the way you parent either!

Parenting is not a "who does it best" competition.

We are all just doing our best, in the way we se fit.

Stop being so judgemental and perhaps focus a bit more on what you and your friends do have, or do, in common.


Spartans · 30/07/2015 07:28

Hmmm! I don't think you are in the wrong at all and should just continue as normal, unless (as has been discussed) you are in her house.

Nothing you have mentioned makes me think you or your kids aren't acting appropriately. You sound like me tbh. If the kids clothes get stained, it's not the end of the world. If try get nettled, again it's not the end of the world. They stub their toe, they will get over it. Totally confused about how they could get run over on your drive though.

I do often wonder though (as I have friends similar to yours) as they would describe me and my kids, from their own point of view.


Duckdeamon · 30/07/2015 07:30

It sounds like she could have anxiety. Can see why it's difficult to do stuff together.

Meeting at home might be easier if you otherwise enjoy her company!


Mehitabel6 · 30/07/2015 07:33

It is her problem -just be yourself or meet without children.


nocabbageinmyeye · 30/07/2015 07:45

Yanbu, next time she says "right all out of the grass" you just casually say to your dc's "your ok you can stay there


addictedtosugar · 30/07/2015 07:47

I think your kids are being kids and enjoying and exploring, and she is being restrictive. Can you meet somewhere where all kids will be able to behave as their parents prefer? Struggling to think of somewhere that no dirt or opportunities to jump etc are available tho, as I expect that is also not approved of.


MrsWembley · 30/07/2015 11:30

Has she actually said to you that she thinks you are too relaxed with your DCs? I'm just trying to imagine a conversation where you laugh about your different parenting styles and both come to a happy compromise when you meet up. That's kind of what happened/still happens to me and my friends.Grin

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