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Is it Wrong to Attempt to "Parent" a Friend's Child?

My best friend has a toddler that is just in to EVERYTHING. When he comes over here, she doesn't bring enough to keep him occupied (or try to keep him occupied) which results in him bulldozing my house. He purposely disobeys his mother for attention and she doesn't do anything to punish him or correct him when he does the opposite of what she says. He also does things that are dangerous and there isn't so much as a scolding.

Just one instance I can share is when I caught him banging the crap out of my computer. I started putting things out of his reach (the keyboard, the mouse) and he'd just go and grab another thing and start abusing it. I then gently took his hands and said "no more, let's go out of this room" he told me no. I asked him again. he said "no" and went back to abusing my things. I then said "you can walk, or I'll carry you out." He then left the room. I feel bad for "parenting" her kid. Should I?


Asked by Anonymous at 1:30 AM on Mar. 23, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • You have to protect your things or they will be destroyed. I personally don't believe there is a certain way 2.5 yr olds act, I think they are allowed to act certain ways "because they are just babies." My kids and kids in general starting learning the rules quick and when my kids got popped for something they went to their beds until they stopped crying, my nephew does the same thing at 16 months old. Any kid that is with me either in public or in my house will listen or they will get disciplined by me and if their parent doesn't like they can leave, because I don't "babyproof" my house and if my kids can leave things alone then guests can too. I have 4 kids and a 6 weeks old, glass tables and leather couches in the living room.

    Answer by matthewscandi at 8:56 AM on Mar. 23, 2009

  • OP HERE. I forgot to add that she IS my best friend and of course I can talk to her about my concerns. The problem is, when I've told her in the past "put your foot down or you'll be running yourself ragged with this kid forever" she's made it very clear that I am only the mother of a 4 month old and therefore have no idea what I'm talking about......then she proceeds to allow him to continue in his poor behavior despite what I just said. She honestly thinks that ALL 2.5 year olds are supposed to act this way and there isn't anything anyone can do about it :-(

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:32 AM on Mar. 23, 2009

  • Honestly, I wouldn't have them over anymore. My friend has been dealing with that lately. The kids like playing together but the boy is just so out of control that she has said no more meeting at my house.

    Answer by toriandgrace at 1:33 AM on Mar. 23, 2009

  • I think you're right Tori, that's what it is coming down to. I enjoy hanging out with her, she's my best friend. I feel like if I want to see her, she either has to invite me over, I invite myself over...or I have to invite them over and have my house destroyed. It's very clear that this kid WANTS discepline and guidelines and pushes until he gets them. She just doesn't see it or want to hear it from me.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:35 AM on Mar. 23, 2009

  • I am not one that likes to parent other people's children as a matter of fact, it's one of my biggest pet peeves. However, in this situation she leaves you no choice. It's your house and your property that will be left destroyed if you didn't say/do anything. I would first try and put the ball in Mommy's court by telling the child something like, " Your mommy's going to get you if you don't stop". Then wait and see if she gets the message and intervenes. If she doesn't, You should take actions into your own hands. If this is a problem then you really should not have her visit your home. Instead, meet at her house or a neutral location where he can tear up what he wants....What a headache!

    Answer by actress at 1:47 AM on Mar. 23, 2009

  • Don't forget, you still have the option of going to other places. Meet at the park as it starts to warm up, go to the mall, etc. Hopefully she'll realize that she needs to discipline him as he starts to get older.

    Answer by toriandgrace at 1:56 AM on Mar. 23, 2009

  • You're not parenting her kid, you're protecting your property which you have every right to do. It's when you start telling her what to do to parent her child better that it gets hairy. But if your just saving your computer, you can tell the little booger "No" and if they have a problem with it tough cookies.

    Answer by anna_ny at 2:11 AM on Mar. 23, 2009

  • not all kids act that way. she's allowing it to happen.

    maybe buy her a pareting book on toddlers? its kinda like a little hint....make a basket with that book and a few other toys for it doesn tlook like your trying it slap her parenting skills in the face..throw in some soaps or something heh

    Answer by moki1984 at 8:50 AM on Mar. 23, 2009

  • I would not invite them over and go visit her at her house. In your house he has to live by your rules and if she won't enforce them then by all means go ahead and do it yourself. At her house or a playground or something then as long as he isn't hurting himself or your child then leave it up to her.

    Answer by aeneva at 12:33 PM on Mar. 23, 2009

  • actress, good advice. I have done that and she usually just whines his name which he promptly ignores *sigh*

    matthews, you hit the nail on the head. She talks about how he's "still a baby" ALL the time.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:34 PM on Mar. 23, 2009