I have a friend of mine who I love dearly, but when her and her daughter come over to play with my kids, I always end up in a bad mood and hate every minute of it. My children have been brought up with discipline and therefore know how to behave and how to respect others and other peoples things. My friend’s daughter is a firecracker of a child. My friend has been told numerous times that her daughter is naughty but she gets offended and defends her. But her daughter is. Every time see comes over, she breaks something of my daughters. She runs around and makes a mess. My friend never tells her off. I feel that because she is in my house and playing with my daughter’s toys that I have a right to tell her daughter off, but then my friend becomes mad at me. Then when they leave, my daughter is sad because something of hers is broken and she asks me why the other girl is so naughty. I find myself making excuses to my friend and our catch ups are becoming less and less.
Should I say something to my friend? Do I have the right to discipline the little girl and risk upsetting my friend? Or do I just accept that some people parent differently to the way I do, and accept that our friendship is going to suffer?

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  • Since you love your friend dearly I would talk openly with her, otherwise it will harm your friendship !

  • I’d make arrangements to meet up at a local park or playground. If the other child gets rough with your child, then I’d say something to the other parent.

  • Tough situation. I guess it depends on how good a friend she is. If she’s one of your best friends, I’d be honest with her and tell her what’s going on. If not a great friend, then maybe just catch up at playgrounds or at her house – this way your daughter’s things don’t get ruined and you don’t have to be worried about disciplining them.

  • i have been through this exact situation. i never wanted her to cover the cost of the toy broken or anything like that but just to explain to her kid to be more gentle because it is not my place to discipline someone else child.

  • I can understand accidents happen but if it happens every single time , I am pretty certain it’s another issue . Would it be ok if I come over and break something everytime ? If your friend acts like she doesn’t care , and at least if it is an expensive item to try and offer something for it , then really is she consider a friend . Sometimes it not about money , but the fact your daughter is upset when she comes over. That is enough to say something about it over a cup of coffee. True friends know each other’s feelings and don’t have to spell it out for them. That is my expectations of friendship .

  • Honestly, I would be straight out-right with your friend on how you are feeling. That is your house and your daughters stuff and it should not be ok at all to have her things broken, or your house a mess. As far as I see it, it is quite disrespectful!

  • I’ve always been vocal about ‘my house, my rules’. I don’t like to enforce the rules but the friends kids just knew to behave at my house & even ate tofu at my house, when they wouldn’t eat most veggies at their own house.

    I believe you have the right to say ‘last time there was a problem with a broken…… so we are going to play in this area or only with these things or outside …. Until I know rules can be followed’

    Explain to your child that your not blaming them but it is often easier to refer to them jointly even tho you know it is not your child who is causing the problems

  • You do need to put you and your daughter first, you need to stand up for your daughter because its unfair for her to have things broken for a play date, might need to some how talk with your friend.

  • My closest friends and I discipline each other’s children all the time. If she sees something I don’t she is very welcome to have a stern word with my kids and vice versa. But we are both happy with that arrangement and expect it from each other.

  • Does your friend know her kid breaks things that belong to your child or do you hide it from her?. If not i would make a point of telling her as it happens everytime. I also make a effort to put away all my kids prized toys everytime we have our mothers group over 20+ kids so no fav toys get damaged. some damage gets done but that is expected with such a large group not just one child visiting. Or just make a effort to try and work it so you visit your friend at her house more often so less damage gets done to your kids toys.

  • I had a friend go through this recently where the kids would wreck her daughters toys and hide things that they wanted to play with next time, but they weren’t their toys to hide (hello missing ipod!)
    She was really reluctant to take toys they were trashing off them, or say anything to them, but when I was there I did it, lol!
    If I saw them treating a toy roughly I would just say to them, can you please play with that nicely, *childs name* will be very sad if her toy is broken. These kids used to fight over toys quite a lot, so I used to take them off them too, telling them if they can’t share and play nicely then they can’t have the toy.
    Everyone else has the great idea of meeting up somewhere neutral instead of in your home- take away coffee at the park sounds like a good idea :)

  • The consensus seems to be meeting elsewhere. Give it a go and see what happens. Definitely stand up for your daughter and yourself. :)

  • I agree with other mums about meeting elsewhere. But if it happened like that at my house I would be telling the child off if the mother didnt

  • I would meet out in a cafe or park or play area so it is not your toys and you are on neutral ground and you will be more relaxed as it is not your property she is destroying so you will not be on edge. Some where to run around and out in the open so you can’t really ruin anything!

  • I would be meeting at a playground/park and not at home. This limits damage to your children’s things and might make your friend see how unreasonable her child is.
    I think your friendship is doomed unless something happens to make her see that your complaints are valid. Meeting elsewhere might just keep your friendship going a little longer.

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