When Your BFF’s Kids Are Rude
September 1, 2016
Most parents have found themselves in an embarrassing moment with misbehaving children at one point or another, but what do you do when your kids are behaving and it’s your best friend’s youngster raising Cain? It’s easy to dole out discipline to your own kids when they’re behaving badly, but the situation becomes stickier when someone else’s kid is the one acting up, and even stiffer when that someone else is your BFF.
How could it be that someone as awesome as your primary pal could have a mutinous munchkin? The truth is: we’ve all been there and it’s normal for young kids to test the waters by challenging the rules and what they know with mischief and misdoing. Still, interacting with your BFF’s impolite little one can be awkward and uncomfortable for you and them. If your BFF is on the scene, they might step in, correct and redirect their tot towards a more positive performance, but here are some of our tips for walking away from a playdate unscathed with your friendship intact, regardless of how the progenies play.
Don’t jump in right away.
If your child is involved in a playdate with a rambunctious or rude kiddo, take a step back before you intervene in the exchange. You will always feel an urge to jump in and protect your child, but it’s important to also observe and give your child a chance to form her own reaction. How did she handle it when her toy was stolen? What did she do when she was pushed or insulted? Use this opportunity as a teaching moment and let your little one learn who she wants to play with or doesn’t want to play with on her own. Practice a wait-and-watch approach when your helicopter parent instinct tries to kick in. As long as no one is being physically harmed, it’s safe to see what happens and give your child a chance to cope.
Don’t take it personal and don’t judge your BFF.
When your BFF’s kiddo is on a rampage, it’s not because she’s mad at you. Actually, it probably has nothing to do with you at all. Put yourself in your BFF’s shoes and try to be supportive by not passing judgment, because it could just as easily be your child finding fun with bad manners on the next playdate. Not every BFF meetup with kids in tow will be a pretty one, but you can try to make the times you find together as positive as possible by staying objective.
On your turf, enforce your rules.
Not all playdates happen in an ideal arena where every kid’s parent is present, engaged and proactively moderating. If you happen to be hosting an unruly kid on your turf, you should enforce your rules. At the end of the day, there is only so much you can do to combat insolence, and reprimanding your BFF’s little one might be difficult, so exercise your mom voice when necessary and reign supreme on matters of priority like safety, for example.
Set some expectations.
Before your BFF’s kids come over, if you’re going to be the boss, you should set the expectation for your rules and schedule so all are on the same page. Discuss with your BFF what their little one’s naptime is, daily schedule is like, food they’ll eat and of course, what both of you completely prohibit. Hopefully there will be some agreements on expectations and how you should handle it if their child doesn’t comply.
Kids can’t be the perfect little angels we hope for all the time. Their patience, like ours, is not limitless. Try to be sensitive to the fact that, as the old adage goes, kids will be kids.
Have you ever been on a play date with a friend who has a rude kid? What did you do? What do you think you would do if you had a run-in with a rude little rascal? Tell us in our one-question emoji poll!