Help Desperately Needed

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Moms:

Is there any way at all that I can let a friend know that if she doesn’t start reining in her children when in public (or, specifically, at my house) that she is no longer welcome?

I know it sounds horrible, but so are her children.

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About Angela

My name is Angela. I am a 28 year old psych and criminology graduate, but I'd rather not diagnose you. I am a cuddle-slut. I can recite the entire script of The Princess Bride, (including accents) and believe that the meaning of life is contained within. Polyanna, Snap.com commercials, and Oprah 'reunion shows' make me cry. I can whistle and hum at the same time, but I cannot touch my toes. I am an expert in both listening and talking. I look good in orange. I am a writer. I kick ass in Gin, Hearts, and Cribbage but I don't understand Canasta or Bridge. I can be heard singing Broadway numbers from my shower, and have dressed up as a viking princess, (complete with aluminum foil breast plate) The Phantom of the Opera, and a Ghostbuster for Hallowe'en. I have a bird named Bean. I have a brother named Adam. They are not related. I like vanilla body lotion, peanut butter, saunas, Jim Carrey, broccoli, pets, TheOnion.com, Muppets, Kevin Smith, Corelle dishes, dry erase white-boards, Barenaked Ladies, Philosophy, the letter J, Harry Potter, picture frames, swimming, quilting, Michael Moore, genealogy, Raggedy Anne, tacky 50's tchotchke, 'Idiot's Complete Guide To' books, tweezers, feather pillows, polar dips, aquariums, Martin Luther King Jr., and Dr. Pepper. I don't like meat, gossips, cooked carrots, American Idol, mosquitoes, sweating, politics, public washrooms, tardiness, tuition, hunting, pat answers, pick up lines, brown bananas, cliches, pine scented air freshener, Kevin Costner, bacon, candied apples, pro-wrestling, humidity, and hypocrisy. Books I've read recently The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Dark Tower, When Nietzsche Wept, What's So Amazing About Grace?, Catcher in the Rye, Not Wanted On the Voyage, The Red Tent, The Little Prince, The Way the Crow Flies, Slaughterhouse-Five, The Poisonwood Bible, The Fall, The Knot of Vipers, Calculating God, The Chrysalids, Sick Puppy, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Franny and Zooey, The Brothers Karamazov, and jPod. I am slightly neurotic. No I'm not. Yes I am.

45 responses »

  1. Not a parent, but….

    I’d tell her that when her children are in your home, they are expected to follow your rules (just as any adult would). If they interrupt, you are allowed to say (to the children), “I’m sorry, I was talking, you’ll have to wait until I’m finished.” If they jump on the furniture, you are allowed to say, “We don’t jump on the furniture in this house.” And so on. (Many parents have asked the same question in Annie’s Mailbox/Dear Abby over the last several decades)

    This auntie has made it crystal clear to her niece (frequent visitor) that the rules at Auntie’s house are not the same as the rules at Mommy’s house, just as the rules at Mommy’s house aren’t the same as the rules at Daddy’s or Gramma’s houses. She has learned to be flexible and respectful, no matter WHOSE house she’s in – and won’t “be horrible”, even when she’s visiting a home where temper tantrums and furniture-jumping are allowed.

    As for their behavior in public, there’s not much you can do. If they’re that horrible, decline invitations. Decline enough of them, and your friend may ask why, at which point, you can politely (but firmly) tell her that her children’s wild/disrespectful/whatever behavior makes you uncomfortable (although you value her friendship). If you’re not comfortable being so honest, white lie with a busy schedule, other commitments – but it won’t do anything to actually change the situation.

    Many parents have a horrific blind spot when it comes to their children’s behavior, or seem to think that disciplining their children in any reasonable and consistent way is harmful (how silly – the word NO is something every adult needs to know how to cope with). That’s on their heads though – you don’t have to suffer for it.

  2. Not a parent, but….

    I’d tell her that when her children are in your home, they are expected to follow your rules (just as any adult would). If they interrupt, you are allowed to say (to the children), “I’m sorry, I was talking, you’ll have to wait until I’m finished.” If they jump on the furniture, you are allowed to say, “We don’t jump on the furniture in this house.” And so on. (Many parents have asked the same question in Annie’s Mailbox/Dear Abby over the last several decades)

    This auntie has made it crystal clear to her niece (frequent visitor) that the rules at Auntie’s house are not the same as the rules at Mommy’s house, just as the rules at Mommy’s house aren’t the same as the rules at Daddy’s or Gramma’s houses. She has learned to be flexible and respectful, no matter WHOSE house she’s in – and won’t “be horrible”, even when she’s visiting a home where temper tantrums and furniture-jumping are allowed.

    As for their behavior in public, there’s not much you can do. If they’re that horrible, decline invitations. Decline enough of them, and your friend may ask why, at which point, you can politely (but firmly) tell her that her children’s wild/disrespectful/whatever behavior makes you uncomfortable (although you value her friendship). If you’re not comfortable being so honest, white lie with a busy schedule, other commitments – but it won’t do anything to actually change the situation.

    Many parents have a horrific blind spot when it comes to their children’s behavior, or seem to think that disciplining their children in any reasonable and consistent way is harmful (how silly – the word NO is something every adult needs to know how to cope with). That’s on their heads though – you don’t have to suffer for it.

    • Re: Not a parent, but….

      I like the “different rules at different homes” bit.

      I’m not looking forward to any type of conversation, but we won’t be friends for long if this keeps up.

      ~A

  3. Not a parent, but….

    I’d tell her that when her children are in your home, they are expected to follow your rules (just as any adult would). If they interrupt, you are allowed to say (to the children), “I’m sorry, I was talking, you’ll have to wait until I’m finished.” If they jump on the furniture, you are allowed to say, “We don’t jump on the furniture in this house.” And so on. (Many parents have asked the same question in Annie’s Mailbox/Dear Abby over the last several decades)

    This auntie has made it crystal clear to her niece (frequent visitor) that the rules at Auntie’s house are not the same as the rules at Mommy’s house, just as the rules at Mommy’s house aren’t the same as the rules at Daddy’s or Gramma’s houses. She has learned to be flexible and respectful, no matter WHOSE house she’s in – and won’t “be horrible”, even when she’s visiting a home where temper tantrums and furniture-jumping are allowed.

    As for their behavior in public, there’s not much you can do. If they’re that horrible, decline invitations. Decline enough of them, and your friend may ask why, at which point, you can politely (but firmly) tell her that her children’s wild/disrespectful/whatever behavior makes you uncomfortable (although you value her friendship). If you’re not comfortable being so honest, white lie with a busy schedule, other commitments – but it won’t do anything to actually change the situation.

    Many parents have a horrific blind spot when it comes to their children’s behavior, or seem to think that disciplining their children in any reasonable and consistent way is harmful (how silly – the word NO is something every adult needs to know how to cope with). That’s on their heads though – you don’t have to suffer for it.

  4. Not a parent, but….

    I’d tell her that when her children are in your home, they are expected to follow your rules (just as any adult would). If they interrupt, you are allowed to say (to the children), “I’m sorry, I was talking, you’ll have to wait until I’m finished.” If they jump on the furniture, you are allowed to say, “We don’t jump on the furniture in this house.” And so on. (Many parents have asked the same question in Annie’s Mailbox/Dear Abby over the last several decades)

    This auntie has made it crystal clear to her niece (frequent visitor) that the rules at Auntie’s house are not the same as the rules at Mommy’s house, just as the rules at Mommy’s house aren’t the same as the rules at Daddy’s or Gramma’s houses. She has learned to be flexible and respectful, no matter WHOSE house she’s in – and won’t “be horrible”, even when she’s visiting a home where temper tantrums and furniture-jumping are allowed.

    As for their behavior in public, there’s not much you can do. If they’re that horrible, decline invitations. Decline enough of them, and your friend may ask why, at which point, you can politely (but firmly) tell her that her children’s wild/disrespectful/whatever behavior makes you uncomfortable (although you value her friendship). If you’re not comfortable being so honest, white lie with a busy schedule, other commitments – but it won’t do anything to actually change the situation.

    Many parents have a horrific blind spot when it comes to their children’s behavior, or seem to think that disciplining their children in any reasonable and consistent way is harmful (how silly – the word NO is something every adult needs to know how to cope with). That’s on their heads though – you don’t have to suffer for it.

  5. Not a parent, but….

    I’d tell her that when her children are in your home, they are expected to follow your rules (just as any adult would). If they interrupt, you are allowed to say (to the children), “I’m sorry, I was talking, you’ll have to wait until I’m finished.” If they jump on the furniture, you are allowed to say, “We don’t jump on the furniture in this house.” And so on. (Many parents have asked the same question in Annie’s Mailbox/Dear Abby over the last several decades)

    This auntie has made it crystal clear to her niece (frequent visitor) that the rules at Auntie’s house are not the same as the rules at Mommy’s house, just as the rules at Mommy’s house aren’t the same as the rules at Daddy’s or Gramma’s houses. She has learned to be flexible and respectful, no matter WHOSE house she’s in – and won’t “be horrible”, even when she’s visiting a home where temper tantrums and furniture-jumping are allowed.

    As for their behavior in public, there’s not much you can do. If they’re that horrible, decline invitations. Decline enough of them, and your friend may ask why, at which point, you can politely (but firmly) tell her that her children’s wild/disrespectful/whatever behavior makes you uncomfortable (although you value her friendship). If you’re not comfortable being so honest, white lie with a busy schedule, other commitments – but it won’t do anything to actually change the situation.

    Many parents have a horrific blind spot when it comes to their children’s behavior, or seem to think that disciplining their children in any reasonable and consistent way is harmful (how silly – the word NO is something every adult needs to know how to cope with). That’s on their heads though – you don’t have to suffer for it.

  6. I think it’s easier for me, since I’m a mom too. If I’m with someone whose kids are acting up around mine, I’ll just jump in and tell them to stop. I usually say something like “I’m sure your mom would say something to you if she had noticed you jumping on the couch, but I don’t allow anyone to do that here.”

    You can usually get a good feel for how people are going to react to you helping them by saying something like “Sorry to jump in there, but I guess it’s just my naturally bossy personality coming out there.” You’ll be able to tell from their response – be it “That’s fine. I really appreciate all the back up I can get.” or “Sure, that’s fine this time.” You can go on from there.

    Where you have to be careful is in the fact that many parents respond better to another parent disciplining their child than someone without children. I know that I certainly had a different idea about some of the things that a parent should be able to “make” their child do before I had my own. However, that doesn’t excuse the parents from at least making a good effort to “make” their child mind.

    Don’t know if that helped at all…

  7. I think it’s easier for me, since I’m a mom too. If I’m with someone whose kids are acting up around mine, I’ll just jump in and tell them to stop. I usually say something like “I’m sure your mom would say something to you if she had noticed you jumping on the couch, but I don’t allow anyone to do that here.”

    You can usually get a good feel for how people are going to react to you helping them by saying something like “Sorry to jump in there, but I guess it’s just my naturally bossy personality coming out there.” You’ll be able to tell from their response – be it “That’s fine. I really appreciate all the back up I can get.” or “Sure, that’s fine this time.” You can go on from there.

    Where you have to be careful is in the fact that many parents respond better to another parent disciplining their child than someone without children. I know that I certainly had a different idea about some of the things that a parent should be able to “make” their child do before I had my own. However, that doesn’t excuse the parents from at least making a good effort to “make” their child mind.

    Don’t know if that helped at all…

  8. I think it’s easier for me, since I’m a mom too. If I’m with someone whose kids are acting up around mine, I’ll just jump in and tell them to stop. I usually say something like “I’m sure your mom would say something to you if she had noticed you jumping on the couch, but I don’t allow anyone to do that here.”

    You can usually get a good feel for how people are going to react to you helping them by saying something like “Sorry to jump in there, but I guess it’s just my naturally bossy personality coming out there.” You’ll be able to tell from their response – be it “That’s fine. I really appreciate all the back up I can get.” or “Sure, that’s fine this time.” You can go on from there.

    Where you have to be careful is in the fact that many parents respond better to another parent disciplining their child than someone without children. I know that I certainly had a different idea about some of the things that a parent should be able to “make” their child do before I had my own. However, that doesn’t excuse the parents from at least making a good effort to “make” their child mind.

    Don’t know if that helped at all…

  9. I think it’s easier for me, since I’m a mom too. If I’m with someone whose kids are acting up around mine, I’ll just jump in and tell them to stop. I usually say something like “I’m sure your mom would say something to you if she had noticed you jumping on the couch, but I don’t allow anyone to do that here.”

    You can usually get a good feel for how people are going to react to you helping them by saying something like “Sorry to jump in there, but I guess it’s just my naturally bossy personality coming out there.” You’ll be able to tell from their response – be it “That’s fine. I really appreciate all the back up I can get.” or “Sure, that’s fine this time.” You can go on from there.

    Where you have to be careful is in the fact that many parents respond better to another parent disciplining their child than someone without children. I know that I certainly had a different idea about some of the things that a parent should be able to “make” their child do before I had my own. However, that doesn’t excuse the parents from at least making a good effort to “make” their child mind.

    Don’t know if that helped at all…

  10. I think it’s easier for me, since I’m a mom too. If I’m with someone whose kids are acting up around mine, I’ll just jump in and tell them to stop. I usually say something like “I’m sure your mom would say something to you if she had noticed you jumping on the couch, but I don’t allow anyone to do that here.”

    You can usually get a good feel for how people are going to react to you helping them by saying something like “Sorry to jump in there, but I guess it’s just my naturally bossy personality coming out there.” You’ll be able to tell from their response – be it “That’s fine. I really appreciate all the back up I can get.” or “Sure, that’s fine this time.” You can go on from there.

    Where you have to be careful is in the fact that many parents respond better to another parent disciplining their child than someone without children. I know that I certainly had a different idea about some of the things that a parent should be able to “make” their child do before I had my own. However, that doesn’t excuse the parents from at least making a good effort to “make” their child mind.

    Don’t know if that helped at all…

      • Re: =)

        I love people who speak their minds…as long as stuff is said With Love, you know?

        As for my friend, I haven’t had her over to the house for a while, but she’s coming over to a mutual friend’s place while I’ve been there.

        The Mutual Friend and I are trying to decide how to handle the whole thing.

        ~A

      • Re: =)

        LOL – I’ve gotten more than a little grief over the last 25 years (give or take) for having the same “problem”. Since when is Brutal Honesty the same as Attitude Problem? 😛 *friends back*

  11. Re: =)

    I love people who speak their minds…as long as stuff is said With Love, you know?

    As for my friend, I haven’t had her over to the house for a while, but she’s coming over to a mutual friend’s place while I’ve been there.

    The Mutual Friend and I are trying to decide how to handle the whole thing.

    ~A

  12. Re: =)

    I love people who speak their minds…as long as stuff is said With Love, you know?

    As for my friend, I haven’t had her over to the house for a while, but she’s coming over to a mutual friend’s place while I’ve been there.

    The Mutual Friend and I are trying to decide how to handle the whole thing.

    ~A

  13. Re: =)

    I love people who speak their minds…as long as stuff is said With Love, you know?

    As for my friend, I haven’t had her over to the house for a while, but she’s coming over to a mutual friend’s place while I’ve been there.

    The Mutual Friend and I are trying to decide how to handle the whole thing.

    ~A

  14. Re: =)

    I love people who speak their minds…as long as stuff is said With Love, you know?

    As for my friend, I haven’t had her over to the house for a while, but she’s coming over to a mutual friend’s place while I’ve been there.

    The Mutual Friend and I are trying to decide how to handle the whole thing.

    ~A

  15. Re: Not a parent, but….

    I like the “different rules at different homes” bit.

    I’m not looking forward to any type of conversation, but we won’t be friends for long if this keeps up.

    ~A

  16. Re: Not a parent, but….

    I like the “different rules at different homes” bit.

    I’m not looking forward to any type of conversation, but we won’t be friends for long if this keeps up.

    ~A

  17. Re: Not a parent, but….

    I like the “different rules at different homes” bit.

    I’m not looking forward to any type of conversation, but we won’t be friends for long if this keeps up.

    ~A

  18. Re: Not a parent, but….

    I like the “different rules at different homes” bit.

    I’m not looking forward to any type of conversation, but we won’t be friends for long if this keeps up.

    ~A

  19. Re: =)

    LOL – I’ve gotten more than a little grief over the last 25 years (give or take) for having the same “problem”. Since when is Brutal Honesty the same as Attitude Problem? 😛 *friends back*

  20. Re: =)

    LOL – I’ve gotten more than a little grief over the last 25 years (give or take) for having the same “problem”. Since when is Brutal Honesty the same as Attitude Problem? 😛 *friends back*

  21. Re: =)

    LOL – I’ve gotten more than a little grief over the last 25 years (give or take) for having the same “problem”. Since when is Brutal Honesty the same as Attitude Problem? 😛 *friends back*

  22. Re: =)

    LOL – I’ve gotten more than a little grief over the last 25 years (give or take) for having the same “problem”. Since when is Brutal Honesty the same as Attitude Problem? 😛 *friends back*

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