How do I tell another parent to discipline their child?

Kelli - posted on 05/10/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My husband's friend's daughter is 6 years old, and she's an absolute terror when she's at my house. When I babysit for her on rare occasions, she's an angel but when her dad is there she's acting out the whole time. On Saturday night my husband and I both had to get onto her for throwing balls and blocks around the room, I have a one year old, I don't need him learning habits like that. We just got brand new furniture on tuesday, in the doorway of our living room we rig a baby gate so that its pretty much stuck between 2 tables so my son can't get to the bathroom and bedroom. Well Saturday, the little girl, acting like a lunatic (which I expect all 6 yr olds to do occasionally) was shaking the baby gate and banging it on my BRAND NEW $150 table, today, I found nicks in it where she was banging the gate against the table. First, obviously, I'm super angry about my table having nicks after less than a week, however I can go to the hobby store and buy something to fix it.... the thing is, how do I get her father to discipline her when they are here? He usually just lets his girlfriend handle, which would be fine, except she's 20 years old, and not the girl's mother. It's so frustrating b/c I don't want to tell him he can't bring her here when he has her, but I can't have her trashing the house and teaching my son bad habits, UGH! So frustrated! What do you think?

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Melly - posted on 05/13/2010

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Everyone has offered pretty good advice. You cant tell someone how to raise their children, but you can tell them how you want them behaving in your house.
Oh, just one thing.... You said he usually just lets his girlfriend handle it, which would be fine, except she's 20 years old, and not the girl's mother.
Is she handling it or not? Her age and wether she is the mother or not shouldnt have anything to do with it, she is in this childs life as a parent figure. Maybe you could talk with her or offer her some help if you think she isnt handling the situation?

Micaela - posted on 05/10/2010

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You can't make other people discipline their children but when they are in your house there is nothing wrong with telling the child to be careful or things like 'We don't do that in this house.' You always have to be careful not to overstep bounds with other peoples children but that's no reason to put up with that kind of behaviour.

Carolee - posted on 05/10/2010

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At my house, we have a rule. Either you make sure your kid follows the 'house rules', or we need to get together somewhere else. We have a set of rules for the house that EVERYBODY who enters has to follow. A lot of it is just basic 'respect' things. One of the rules for adults is: if you don't parent your own children, you will not be invited over again... I am not your babysitter!



Other rules (for the kids) are things like: if you break something, you (with your parent's help) need to replace it or fix it, no matter what it costs. Nobody is allowed upstairs without a parent. Things like that. Just basic rules.

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Jennifer - posted on 05/24/2012

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I like Carolee Yorks ..."I am not your child's babysitter!" I have had parents sit down and watch an entire game while their toddler and preschooler ran crazy. I have a new baby, and I am so not going to chase after their kids, plus I am exhausted. I was so disgusted when this couple left that I don't plan on seeing them for a few years, until the schools have fixed their lack of parenting. And this couple, very educated, will be the first to cry that the teachers are not doing a good job. Sickening and they ruined my peace of mind -- usually when I am in the store and I see bad behavior I write it off as the child maybe ill, or the parents divorcing etc... now, I am left thinking these creeps just aren't parenting!

Christine - posted on 05/13/2010

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my mum had this problem when her friend bought their kids over there was this 1 boy that would go through the draws and brake ornaments.even though there was a box of toys for him to play with.mum just said look in this house we dont go round and touch things that dont belong to you.she told his mum and she didnt even do anything.it happened again like 2min later mum said to her friend im sorry but if your son continues to break my things he wont be allowed here anymore.he did it again so they meet at mums friends house from then on.another friend got together with mum and her friend at this ladies house and her daughter behaved exactly as mums friend son had.needless to say the lady started telling her son off from then on in.i think its just plan rude to let your kid behave like that in someone elses home and disrespect their things.after all you wouldnt want your ids acting like that in other peoples houses.

Betty - posted on 05/10/2010

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I don't think you will be able to teach this guy how to disipline his daughter. Since it happened in your house you should talk to her about it next time she comes over. Let her know what your rules are and if she breaks any of them make her sit in time out for a few minutes. You should also make sure she isn't bored when they visit. Get her settled in with a coloring book or movie so she isn't finding distructive ways to entertain herself. Good luck.

Caitlin - posted on 05/10/2010

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I can tell you one of our friends kids are never coming back to our house! The 2 boys are terrors and don't listen. They were over for my daughters first birthday and they destroyed her leap frog play table by bashing it as hard as they could with whatever they could find. There were no offers to replace the table, so they are never coming back over. I don't have the heart to tell my friend that is why, but I know that even when she does try the discipline thing, it never works, they don't listen to her, so it would be pretty pointless..

Ashley - posted on 05/10/2010

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There's no harm in talking to the father about the way you feel. Just let him know that you want his daughter to be able to come over and play, but sometimes she does things that you don't agree with and just don't feel comfortable or feel as though it's your job to say anything while he is there. Some people are just embarrassed to punish their kids in front of other people because now-a-days people start yelling "abuse" Just talk to him and see how he reacts. You never know until you try :D

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