7 Answers

I met a lovely woman through a mother’s group, our babies are now toddlers – her’s a son, mine a daughter. They had a play date at my house and it left me traumatised. An accident caused my daughter to fall and her lip bled. She yelled at her son and smacked him but he showed no remorse or understanding. I really get along with her but I’m hesitant to see her again as her son is rough, unruly and I fear for my daughter’s safety/well being. I don’t necessarily agree with her discipline techniques as they seemed ineffective. I’m wondering if all boys are this chaotic, all the time or if this was a one off? A similar thing happened when another friend with 2 sons visited – it left me pondering the differences in their genders and can my daughter be friends with boys at all? (Crazy I know but she is tiny for her age)

Posted by mom7108, 1st October 2015

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  • I wonder how this panned out. I’ve come across similar situations and basically I put a lot of it down to parenting skills.

  • I remember when my son was little, my friends boy would chase my boy and hit him. My boy was running away crying, while my friends boy would laugh and keep hitting him. This would happen time after time and my friends hardly disciplined her son about that. I found that really hard and would comfort my son in those situations and on a certain point started telling her boy that I didn’t want him to hit my son. Mind you, my son and this boy are still the best friends now they are 12 yrs old and in high school.

  • If you’re that worried, maybe catch up at a neutral place like a playground. Then you can watch the kids, still chat and if the boy is a bit exuberant, he can just run around and climb as much as he wants.

  • yeah that is a tough one. it sounds like a bit of an accident, that yes could have been avoided but kids will be kids. at least the mother did try to discipline her child.

  • Also, all boys are not rough in their play. Apart from my other comment and ideas below, how about gently discussing this with the other Mum. You said she is lovely and she may be open to listening to your concerns. The kids may end up being best buddies if guided in the right direction?

  • This is a tricky one as it can ruin friendships! I would not let my daughter play alone with a kid who I knew was a bit rough. Maybe invite other kids to the playdate so they don’t have to interact as much? Or just leave the future invites and find kids for your daughter to play with who have the same temperament / values.

  • Some children do engage in rough play and the rules and boundaries need to be established before the start of any play. I do not smack or yell, instead I explain the rules and if the rules are not followed then end of play time. Also, encourage and model gentle play and gentle hands and reward this behaviour and play. Ultimately if you are not comfortable then do not have play dates.

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