I have a dilemma...please help me...

United States
March 9, 2007 4:26am CST
Hope this story is not too long...please bear with me. My daughter has a best friend that she met in school. My daughter is 8. When we first heard of this best friend it was through school. We were getting bad reports that they were sitting together and chit chatting and not paying attention in class. I thought, "ok..so they need more socializing time outside of school so that they dont feel like they have to talk in class". I met her mom planned on getting the girls together more often. So we did. We arranged playgroup time together and things were fine. The mom has 6 kids and to my taste, I think that the kids overrun her. She is a very passive mom and the kids run amuck whenever they are at a library or a park, etc. She always looks overwhelmed. Anyway...that is not the problem...this is the problem. A couple of weeks ago I had the girl spend the whole weekend at our house. My daughter was thrilled and so we planned it for her to stay with us the whole weekend. Oh boy...I dont know about you, but I teach my kids to be polite and never ask for stuff at other people's house unless asked. Ill explain what Im saying. While the girl was she would come to me and say, "I'm hungry when are we eating?" I know that that doesnt sound bad, but I teach my kids to not ask such questions. I know that the parents have certain eating times, no need to be asking and pestering about meal times. So I would tell this girl, "we will eat shortly", then about 5 minutes later she would ask again, "when are we eating, Im starving." For breakfast, the kids had waffles. You know the frozen kind. So I gave her 2, per her request, my daughter only eats one and my son only eats one. After she was done with her 2 waffles within 2 minutes she goes, "Im still hungry, I want more." So I said, "Ok...I'll make you one more and see if that will fill you up." and she goes "no, I want 2 more", and I explained to her that even though she felt hungry still, if she gave it some time, she might feel full after the next waffle. So I had to stop eating and make her another waffle. She ate that like in one minute and asked for more...again in this manner "Im still hungry, I want more waffles". Again, I stopped eating to make her yet ANOTHER waffle. This kept happening until she ate SIX Waffles!!! That is HALF a box of waffles! Not only that, while I was eating a papaya, she goes "what is that? i want to have some of that". That was the only papaya I had and personally, I dont like to share my food. The same went with the yogurt I was eating, she wanted a yogurt on top of the six waffles I fed her. I had to say "no" on the yogurt. Other things she did during the weekend that bothered me was that I made them macaroni and cheese for lunch and she said "I dont like macaroni and cheese". So I had to make her something different. Again she asked for the yogurt, and this time I gave in and gave it to her. All this time, Im thinking, "this girl doesnt have any social manners". After this incident, I tried to alienate myself from the mom so that our kids wouldnt spend much time together. I really don't like the girl's manners and I dont want my daughter picking up such bad habits. BUt you have to remember that this girl is my daughter's best friend. So the mom caught me after school one day and asked us to get together again. So I said yes and we planned on getting together at a park down by my house. I dont know if I mentioned this, but she has 6 kids, ages ranging from newborn to 8 years. Not that that is bad, its just that she always looks overwhelmed and the kids just run her. Ok..so we were at the park, just yesterday...and the day turned out colder than I thought. We were out shivering and so I invited everyone to my house for some hot chocolate and a chance for the kids to play inside. My house is only a block away from the park. So all came to my house and this is what happened. Before I even got to the front door, her daughter was saying "Open the door, open the door". her mom was standing right there so I didnt really say anything, but that bothered me. As soon as I opened the door, two of her kids RAN upstairs to the bedrooms. I wasnt even inside my house and my daughter wasnt even in the house and her kids were already in my house running upstairs to the bedrooms. Again, I didnt say anything because the mom was there and she didnt say anything either. But I was furious. I told my daughter to hurry up and get upstairs and play with the two kids that went upstairs. This was like 11 am. At around 11:30 the girl comes over to me and says "Im hungry, what are we having for lunch". Now, know that this was a spontaneous get together at my house. I hadnt planned to feed 8 kids (6 of hers and 2 of mine)! So I had to scramble in my cupboards to get lunch together. So I did. We had lunch together and everything was fine. Then it was time for them to go after 3 hours! I personally think that 3 hours is a long visit especially if you have 6 kids running all over the place in somebody's house, but I didnt want to say "ok, time for you to leave!" One thing I did ask is that they cleaned up all the toys because they are rough players and they just play with something and then leave it out and play with something else, etc. So I asked that we all put the toys away together. This is when I discovered that her daughter, my daughter's best friend, had been playing with my daughter's Gameboy the WHOLE time she was there visiting. I found this out because when I went to tell them that it was time to go and to clean up, my daughter started crying and when I asked her why she was crying she told me that she hadnt had a chance to play with the girl because all she did was play with her Gameboy and hadnt stopped to play with her. I was very mad. This time I told her mom what happened and her mom just said "Oh, Im sorry". I then found out that my daughter had come downd to tell her mom earlier that this was happening about an hour earlier and the mom never did anything about it. I was furious but I didnt say anything. Ok...so here is the last straw. So we were all cleaning the playroom we have because it was a total disaster, the way they had left it. So we were cleaning and one of the little girls had on one of my daughter's costumes. My daughter very graciously told her that if she liked the costume, she could keep it. The girl was so excited! Now, this is one of the younger siblings, not my daughter's best friend. As soon as the other kids heard that my daughter gave the little girl a costume, they went "What are you going to let me keep?" They started grabbing stuff and asking, "Can I keep this? Can I keep that?" Some of the stuff they wanted was pretty new since my kids had just gotten it for Christmas. Once again, the mom said nothing or she would say something like "You need to ask the mommy first" HELLO!!!! What she needed to say was "Dont be asking for stuff! That is not polite!" We ended up giving each child a little something because we felt so bad. Anyway.,..my dilemma is...I really dont want these kids at my house anymore. I think that they are disrespectful, I think they take advantage of us and they are only here to play with my kids stuff and not because they really want to be with my kids. Not to mention that I dont really get along with the mom that great. We just dont click. But then there is the dilemma that my daughter loves her best friend and whenever they are not together, she is asking me when can we get together again for playtime. I know that this is a book, what I have wrote, but Im loosing sleep over this and I just dont know how to handle this situation. I hope that you didnt fall asleep during my story. Thanks for any advice.
8 people like this
22 responses
@shaz6611 (951)
• Australia
9 Mar 07
Wow, you were very tolerant of this family. I don't think I could have been as tolerant. I would try and encourage another friendship if possible, maybe talk to your daughters teacher and see who else your daughter is friendly with.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Mar 07
I know, right? I mean..come on! Have some common sense, is what I say. I am starting to worry about my daughter. This girl (the BF) is like so dominant over my daughter. I remember that when we talked to my daughter about them not sitting together in class to avoid trouble, my daughter's respoonse was "what if she gets mad at me and doesnt want to be my friend anymore?" I worry that my daughter is so worried about loosing friends that she rather hang out with the wrong type of friends instead of standing up for herself. I told my husband that I was switching schools next year so that I dont have to deal with this next year. Well, my daughter told her friend and the mother asked me about it. So I told her the truth, that I was thinking of switching schools next year but didnt tell her why. Well, now she (the mother) is thinking about switching her daughter to the school Im switching my daughter to so that they can be together....ugh!!!
1 person likes this
@Trace86 (5034)
• United States
9 Mar 07
If you pick a private school or a religious school maybe she can't afford to send her kids to it. Or a nice school where they actually meet the children and have to approve their behavior and social skills before accepting them. It is sad that it may have to come to this, hiding in another school to get away from them.
@Trace86 (5034)
• United States
9 Mar 07
Have you tried sitting down with your daughter and discussing the other child's behavior? Explaining your concerns to her. "What did you think when she and her siblings did this?" "Do you think it was ok that they did that?" Also, you could manage to be busy when the other mother wants to get together. Pretend she is a boy you don't like who is asking you to the movies and think of excuses to not go. She will get the hint and not ask again soon. If that doesn't work and the child comes over again, you must be firm to correct her behavior. "I don't know if you are allowed to act like that at home, but at my house you cannot act like that." If she continues to misbehave, send her home. If her siblings and mother are there with her, tell the mother to take her ill-behaved brood home now. You could ask the teacher to assign seats in class in a way that would keep the girl away from your daughter.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Mar 07
Thank you. After all the responses here, I think I will call the teacher and have a parent teacher conference with her. I remember that when the reports came home to me they were worded in a way that it sounded like my daughter was making a bad decision by sitting with this girl, but I never got to talk to the teacher to see if the same wording was made to the mother of the other girl. So Im starting to see that maybe even the teacher can see the ill behaviour of that other girl and was trying to give me a warning.
1 person likes this
@jolanda33 (720)
• Netherlands
9 Mar 07
firts of all, this mother doesn't change her rules so i guess it is up to you what to do! i think you must tell the mum that you allow her daughter to play with yours, but that you use your rules in your house! so when this girl plays with your daughter and she doesn't behave the way you want just tell her that! if she disagree tell her that she cannot play here anymore! and i think you must tell the mum that you don't invite her anymore because of all the kids are destroying your house and you don't like the way they behave! and tell her that you hope the girls can still be friends! i know it is gonna be difficult to do, but if you start with your rules maybe it work out fine for the two girls! remember it is your house!
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Mar 07
First of all..thank you for reading through the whole dilemma...I know it was soooo long! ugh! Thank you for your advice. It will be hard since I rather avoid a situation than to confront it. I dont think Im a strict mom but I do ask for respect in my house. I have heard stories from this mom that the kids act up in public places and such. She once told me that they once walked into a fast food place and one of her kids walked up to a table with people on it and started drinking off their drinks! She didnt notice it because she was too busy ordering food for the kids. The man who the kid drank from got really mad and yelled at the kid. The mom was horrified that this man would yell at her kid but come on! Obviously she has no control of her kids!
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Mar 07
I have noticed things like that with my nephew's friends... they will complain that they are bored, ask for food, etc. I never would have acted like that at a friend's house when I was a kid... but... what can you do? What we do in my house is just treat kids like that as if they really did live there...you don't have to treat them with "kid gloves!" They probably need someone to teach them manners. For instance, if the little girl asks when you're going to eat, just tell her whatever you'd tell your own child, and tell her to go play. If you're serving waffles, tell all of the kids how many they can eat. If they ask for a drink, we say, "There's always water! Get yourself some!" We even give some kids time-out in the corner. It never stops them from coming back, and they seem to learn the rules!
1 person likes this
@mom_of_2 (399)
• Canada
9 Mar 07
It's pretty easy to just tell someone what they need to do but unless you've been in that situation you don't realize what its like. I was in your situation about a year ago, so I'll share my experience with you and hopefully it helps..if not, at least you know you're not alone LOL. My son had a friend who had poor manners (thats one thing I stress to my kids, they're not perfect but they do have manners) Anyway, not only was he rude but he was also aggressive when he played. I should tell you I met the mom because her husband and my husband worked together and since our boys were the same age she thought we should get together for play dates. Because of the connection I found it hard to say to much...didn't want to make things complicated for my hubby either. Anyway it got to the point where when I would witness this boy playing rough so I would say things like "Oh, sweetheart, we play nice at our house...no pushing please" or another time when he was over and demanded a drink I simply said "where did you leave your manners?" Like you I was mortified that the mom didn't even flinch at her childs behavior. on one of our play dates I had enough and just nicely told the boy that my son has rules and when his friends are over I expect them to follow the same rules. What finnally got through to the mom was when she asked if I wanted to register the boys together for swimming lessons. I was just honest and said "you know what, I dont think its a good idea..when the boys are together there is way to much fooling around and I want my son to be concentrating, as swimming lessons are important".She must have got the hint because I haven't heard from her since. I think its important to have an open relationship with kids...remind them of the rules and explain the reason you aren't getting together as often is because that family has different rules and values and as a parent you disagree with them. By allowing someone elses children to come into your home and act that way is sending mixed messages to your own kids as to how to behave. I always thought giving birth was the hard part...boy was I wrong !! Good luck
1 person likes this
• Singapore
9 Mar 07
tell the mum what's going on... she needs to know that her kids have to be disciplined... from what i read, her kids are totally undisciplined... sometimes, a confrontation is needed... stop letting the girl to your house until she has learned some discipline... tell your daughter the reason... she'll understand...
1 person likes this
@bobbyjoe143 (1287)
19 Nov 07
hi knowitallgurl, this is a pickle... basically this mum is probably never going to change the fact that she lets her little ones run all over her, so i don't think that asking her to do something about the way they behave will help any... it would be unfair of you to stop your daughter seeing her best friend purely because her mum doesn't tech her manners, obviously she has some good qualities, otherwise your daughter wouldn't want to play with her so much. you can however set ground rules with your daughter regarding this friend. you can make specific play dates, where you are the one in total control, a bit like when she stayed for the whole weekend. basically have her over, but when you feel she is being impolite, you correct her as if she were your own child, it may semm as though that's not your place, but take into consideration that as you are the one in charge of her for the time she is in your house, she goes by your rules. if she bugs you for food, tell her it will be ready when it's ready and to go and play, if she comes again asking the same thing, reprimand her, tell her it's rude to keep asking the same thing over and over. this girls' mother may well be very overwhelmed by 6 children, and may have lost the will to try and dicepline them all, or even teach them basic manners, however, this may be the way she was brought up, you just never know, she isn't your sort of person, so inviting her to your house isn't a great idea (no matter how cold it is out), if you ever find yourself in that situation again, i would seriously re-think going back to yours for coffee (and a major clean up after!), i would either try to avoid meeting up altogether or suggest a walk to the nearest coffee house, that way you could avoid the 3 hour "invaison". if all else fails, you could try writing down all your concerns in a leeter to the girs' mother, and hope that she doesn't take it the wrong way and perhaps try and teach her daughter to be more polite at your house. as for the gameboy incident, if she comes over again, put solitary toys away in a cupboard so that she can only play with things that need 2 or more players. my son has similar problems with certain 1 player playstation games, i just put them away when friends are here, that way they have to play together. i hope i have been of some help, love bobby xx
@jcj_111776 (3221)
• Philippines
1 Sep 07
Hi there!Whew!You really got a dilemma going on. If I were in your shoes, I will say something. Not harshly but to a point that I know I'll hit the spot. From what you've said about the mother, having six kids that are rowdy, is like being in the Mission Impossible. Maybe the reason she's not saying anything at all, because she's too weary to scold her kids. And because she knows they won't listen to her after all. So, it's up to you to say something. You can tell your loaded message by way of saying it through a nice voice and behind a friendly smile. But you will point out that you mean business. As for your child's friend, if I were in your shoes, as early as possible, I'll find a way to separate their bond. It's pretty obvious that your child's bestfriend has some other motive. And she's way too demanding for such a young age. If I were you, I'd separate your daughter from her friend as soon as possible. Kids mimic their friends and from what you've said, your daughter is somehow starting to put so much of her in that friendship. You understand more how your child thinks so I know you can find the right words to tell her and explain to her why she can find another friend, besides her "bestfriend". You don't have to allow the brewing trouble inside your house. You can find ways to distract your daughter from always asking for her friend.
@lvmybz (125)
• United States
10 Mar 07
Hello I haven't read all of the responses to your post, so this one might have been mentioned. Get a colorful poster board and write in BIG letters "HOUSE RULES." And list all the rules you want your kids and their friend to follow. Such as "we clean up the toys before we leave" and "we respect other peoples property, "Ask to play with a toy, don't just take" and " You can ask only one time when lunch/ dinner will be ready" These are just some suggestions, of course it is your house and you can make up the rules as you see fit. You could show the list to the child's mother and tell her and the kids if they do not follow the rules they can not come over until they do. Be firm and consistant and they should get the point. Let me know.
@liranlgo (5748)
• Israel
10 Mar 07
i did not fall asleep during your story but i got mad. i understand you dilemma and i know the girl is your daughter's best friend..and you don't want to end up beeing the bad mommy..but enough is enough. i don't think things are going to change. this is what the kids see at home and it would be very hard to change those kids habits. and i am sure it is not going to be long before your kids would be effected by those children's behaviour. i would try registrating your daughter to an interesting course after school so she will associte with different kids i am sure he will find another best friend. and slowly leave the other one. i would not have wanted if i had kids that that girl would be with my daughter. i recommand doing this as soon as possible so it won't effect your daughter in the future.
@harwoodkp (285)
• United States
10 Mar 07
I dont recommend turning the child away, she may really need help. I do need to say that your home is yours and not hers. She needs to know the boundries in the house, and if she passes them then the little girl controls the house. I am not sure how you need to do that. Maybe somebody from mylots can answer that.
@SpitFire179 (2536)
• Canada
10 Mar 07
Hey hun, I know you've probably gotten quite enough responses, but i wanted to tell you that i think that if this woman doesn't have the parenting skills or understanding to teach her kids right from wrong, and they are over at your house, weather she's there or not, you need to say what's on your mind. I'm a firm believer in saying what's on your mind, just because a lot of times, when you don't, you wish you had, and i don't regret anything personally, ever. Most parents, as you said before, you do as well, don't mind other parents disciplining their children, it's kind of a relief for them, and it teaches the kids better, because of the level of embarrassment that the kids feel being disciplined by someone else. I don't personally have any kids yet, but i have spent my whole life raising kids, and babysitting, discipline works better when it's someone other than the parent, as I've seen. Don't let the kids run you down like their mother is, she just doesn't know how to cope. I grew up in a family of 10 - raised my brothers and sisters from small because my parents were a lot like this woman, though they never left their bedroom unless it was to tell us to do something. If you don't say anything, your going to go nutz, and i can understand you not wanting to say anything, because you don't want it to cause a rift between your daughter and her friend, but if you don't try and help curb her attitude, your daughter will pick up her issues, as per your worry. If the mother decides not to like it, sit her down, tell her what's going on, what you think of it, and how you think the situation should be treated. In my years of babysitting, several times i had to sit the parents down and explain my discipline to them, and why i had to do this. Eventually they either understood or sent me to one of their friends who had a problem child. I was fired once, and the kids were 5 and 6, and believe it or not, the mother was a social worker who allowed the kids to watch pirates of the Caribbean every day since they were 3 and 4! It sickened me, the parents didn't like what i had to say about it and they asked me to leave, end of story, if the poor things are going to grow up like that, then it's the parents fault, not mine. But i think you need to do something, if your going to keep allowing your daughter to hang out with her friend, and the family come over to keep everyone happy (But yourself!) I would try talking to the mother, and then disciplining the kids when their in your home or care. As another person said here, Your Home, Your rules. And the mother should understand that and respect it. Sorry for the length of this as well, i hope it helps, though I'm not sure it makes a whole lot of sense, it's my opinion on a problematic situation.
@banta78 (4335)
• India
10 Mar 07
Well i feel You have been far too lenient than you ever should have been with your daughter's friend & her family. And they are exploiting the situation. If her mom has spoilt her children that's her problem. I feel you shouldn't encourage such bad behaviour even passively. B'coz you kids will think if they can do it and get away, why can't them? So set you rules and be firm about it. And ensure your kids are not influenced by such bad behaviour by explaining to them about it and hopefully over period of time they will also understand it. Talk to the teacher & in your neighbourhood so your daughter gets to be friends with well behaved kids at school & in your area.
@NatureBoy (493)
• Singapore
10 Mar 07
Well, then stop asking them over. But as social as you would be, I think you would give them good enough reasons, and not reasons that would create conflicts. Relate to your daughter your concerns and let her learn the ground rules as to what has to happen when she and her friends are in the house. So, anything that happens will some how be in control. As for the asking for more food, I think its perfectly ok for growing kids to have more food. Sorry if anything I said was offensive. No harm meant.
• Philippines
10 Mar 07
Yes i agree you are such in a terrible situation. But you have to tell your daughter and set your rules. And when her best friend comes to your house , you should also tell her in a nice way.
@Foxxee (3653)
• United States
10 Mar 07
Kids will be kids. When kids are in a new enviroment they act different then how they would act at home. My neighbor has 8 kids and I had to watch them only for an hour and it was really stressful, but they are kids and that is what kids do, especially when there is that many kids. They get overwhelmed. I would just not set up anymore playdates in your house. Maybe set them up for at the park only and do it once a month or twice a month, something like that. Your not a bad person by not wanting to deal with rowdy kids. And if your daughter wants to see her friend, then they can hang at the park on a playdate, spread the days out so they don't see eachother all the time. Maybe even let the one child that your daughter likes, spend the night once in a blue moon. Other then that, all I can say now, is they do have recess at school and they can play together during that time. Good luck.
• United States
10 Mar 07
Okay. I thought u had a very interesting story. I believe that you and your daughter have the same problem. You are too nice. You should have told them that they should not have ran up in your house like that. As far as I see it its your house! They should respect that and your rules. If they don't like it they can leave. They don't have any manners. I know if i asked for things like that as a child it wouldn't even get out of my mouth the wholer way because my momma would have popped me in the mouth. You shouldn't feel bad for people disrespecting you and your household. As for your daughter, you should talk to her about how people will try to use her for her toys, friends or not and that should be something she should look out for. Let her know that how those children behaved was wrong. if your daughter wants to have fun with the little girl than you should set some ground rules with the little girl. Put away the gameboy when she comes over, limit her meals, and only let her play with the toys your daughter lets her play with. Just try and be a little more assertive.
• Pakistan
10 Mar 07
no ,no !! i didnt fell a sleep reading ur story i should say it wa$$ quite interesting!! u should tell ur daughter about ur best freind amd how u were used to have fun......... but u shouyld be really very careful in not telling her that u didnot like her best freind because it can SOMETIMES or in case of girls MOST OF THE TIME bring some horrific results well i would share my own Xpereince when i was 14 my mum told me that i should desert my best freind cause she didnt like her !! this angered me so much ................. that i refused to speak to her and didnt talked to her for a whole year but soon i realised that my mum was right she was a big CHEATER!!she was caught cheating in a test!!!! so i had to leave her no matter how much liked her... so u should most politely tell her what she thinks of the incident of the park,or the game boY incident?? if her answer comes negative then u should tell her what u think ..................but in case it is positive then........... well............. u should not say anything to her but try doing something yourself like cutting of ur relation ship with ur daughter S best freind S mum!! I HOPE MY ADVICE HELPS U!!
• Canada
10 Mar 07
Maybe a discussion to find out a little more about the family would be good - before you decide to either issue ultimatums to mother and children - or before you use 'avoidance tactics' to avoid this family and mother. Perhaps the mother would like to swap 'methods' with you and see if some of your parenting tactics work in her home. If you ditch this mother and her family, you might dismiss someone who is a really good person who, perhaps, is just a little overwhelmed with children at the moment. In any case, your daughter will only learn 'passive solutions' to future communication challenges by watching you 'ditch' and 'avoid' this mother and her family. The little girl whom you perceive as a glutton....she might just be hungry and used to different foods at home. My son, during growth spurts, would eat an AMAZING amount of food. At age 3, at a restaurant after a long road trip - he ate a HUGE regular adult-sized meal (brunch-3pancakes, 3-egg omelette, sausages AND bacon, hashbrowns, 2slices of thick texas toast - with a fruit-cup side.....and he still ate my toast once he was finished). The cook at the restaurant thought he was a cute kid ordering a 'big man meal' so he heaped the food extra high.....telling me it would make good leftovers if necessary but he wanted the li'l guy to be impressed with his big brunch because he was so cute and polite, acting like a 'big boy'...but everyone was really freaked out when my son finished EVERYTHING and still said "If you are too full for your toast, can I please have your toast, Mom?" My son was always a non-finicky eater, but was and IS also very fit. He also only ever ate like that - in very surprising amounts - a few times per year - seemingly when he was in a growth-spurt. He's almost 18 now and has a pretty regular diet. He's a normal weight - plays sports, likes a little junk food now and then and......from time to time he still EATS A LOT of food - more than usual! Also - the mention of 'waffles' - of the frozen variety - strikes me at the moment. My son, as well, could never fill up on those. I never bought them very often and I mean - VERY RARELY.....'cos - by the time he was 10 he asked me not to bother with them. That - or he would eat half a box at a time (about 6 or 8 individual waffles of the kind I used to buy) before he felt like he'd eaten enough. Wouldn't you like to know a bit more about your daughter's friend and her family - before you either get your daughter to start avoiding people - or advise her about how to deal with her friend? I am sounding kinda bossy - so I'm going to go now
• Philippines
10 Mar 07
You're very patient with this young girl and her mom. I agree with what the others have posted. It's your home, your rules. It sounds like she's just in it for your daughter's stuff. My daughter had a couple of friends like that and i actually had to tell them straight. One good thing that came about that is whenever they come over, they don't make a mess of our place. Have a nice chit chat with the girl's mom too. Your daughter's bound to make other friends. Best wishes!