My 2.5yo's friend is ruining him


Guest - posted on 06/04/2014




We all end up with at least one of "those friends." In the past, these are the ways I've dealt with them.

My first response (after talking to the mom, which you've already done) is to move the play dates to a neutral location like a park or play place. I like these places for 2 reasons. One, there are less ways for them to get in trouble in the first place--there is no furniture they are not allowed to climb or jump on, no delicate items for them to break, etc. Basically, the only way they can get in trouble is to actually hurt another kid or run off--and MOST parents will actually discipline their kids for those infractions. Second, because it is a physically different environment, you can easily explain to your child that the rules in this place are different from the rules at home. He is allowed to do a lot of fun things he cannot do at home, like climbing and jumping, but the discipline might be different as well. Instead of giving him repeated time outs, give him 3 time outs, then on the fourth infraction, take him home. Chances are that if your friend sees you are not going to cut the play date short if she can't keep her kid from getting your kid into trouble she might start to discipline her child more effectively.

The second option, unfortunately, is to discontinue play dates with that particular friend and focus on other friends. Kids do not need a ton of friends, one or two great friends is wonderful. You can probably just stop calling her and she'll get the point, but if not just explain to your friend that the play dates are not fun for either of you or beneficial to your son socially because he is spending nearly half the play date in time out.

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