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My friend's kids are out of control and ruining our mixed age playgroup.

She's a nice lady, but her kids are sorta monsterish. They hit, scream, jump on my 9 yr old and pull his hair. They steal toys, food, books and break anything within their reach. She smiles uneasily and says things like, 'no, no' and 'don't do that or you'll be in trouble.' I'm about to blow up and say something nasty to her about it. Any suggestions would be great.

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Asked by samitestar at 12:20 AM on Feb. 16, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 3 (27 Credits)
Answers (11)

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:23 AM on Feb. 16, 2010

  • is there a group leader or administrator. Ask them to call a meeting and set down general rules for responses to poor behaviour. There should be a policy on how poor behaviour is handled from any child. Then it is clear to your friend what is expected, and to all other parents what is reasonable as well . A nine yr old at playgroup seems kind of old though? I would think it would be a matter of time before a group of nine year olds become too boisterous around toddlers, Maybe the "mixed age" needs to be reassessed

    Answer by myheartx4 at 12:33 AM on Feb. 16, 2010

  • Getting "nasty" with her probably won't get any results that you'd want! Maybe try opening a line of dialogue with her? Ask her, in a calm moment, I've noticed X and Z have some trouble with sharing (or whatever), see how she responds. Then maybe you could say.. what worked with my Y (or my sister's S or whomever) was blah blah.

    Answer by Bellarose0212 at 12:36 AM on Feb. 16, 2010

  • This is a homeschooling playgroup, hence the mixed ages and if it weren't for these kids, I think this would be a normal playgroup, you know, a few tantrums and episodes of not sharing toys, etc. Instead it is a constant battle.

    There is no administrator of the group, if there was, I would totally ask them for help.

    I'll try opening a line of dialogue, that might help, but this mother is so oblivious to the problem. When her kids misbehave she sometimes says thinks like, 'by this time next year, they'll have grown out of this.'

    Answer by samitestar at 12:45 AM on Feb. 16, 2010

  • oh okay, what do the other Moms think? Are they as frustrated.?- you might want to check first, sometimes what is a glaring problem to you isn't an issue at all to anyone else- I've made that mistake
    A calm open discussion is needed. At the end of the day, not only is it interrupting the group play, it is not good for your kids education, if they see that everyone else has one standard of behaviour, and X and Y do whatever they please.
    I used to attend a playgroup which was great to begin with, then two families started attending and it was awful, screaming, fighting, cussing, just awful. We stopped going cos my kids would just stand behind me a bawl.
    Happy days!

    Answer by myheartx4 at 12:56 AM on Feb. 16, 2010

  • myheartx4 I did, obliquely ask one of the other mother's about the monsterish kids and she seemed uncomfortable and said, "_____ has a lot on her plate and those kids are a real handful. I don't want to upset her."

    I almost felt guilty for saying anything (am I being a meanie?), but I just found out she left another play group because her little darlings had frightened and bullied the other kids and she had fights with the other moms.

    But, you are right, I should ask everyone in the group and try an intervention with her, a nonjudgmental one. If I come out the bad guy, it might not really matter, because as it stands, my kid doesn't want to go to the playgroup anymore if her kids are there.

    Answer by samitestar at 1:03 AM on Feb. 16, 2010

  • yeah, that answer would make me wary of speaking on behalf of the group. If your 9 yr old is over it, maybe the playgroup has served its purpose for your family and it is time for you to move to a new point of contact. I realise with homeschooled kids it is really important to have group socialisation etc, but maybe it is time for him to have a more age focused group, it is hard for a 9 yr old to play with 3 yr olds etc.
    Music programs, art, even scouts or cubs, would maybe be a good next step

    Answer by myheartx4 at 2:10 AM on Feb. 16, 2010

  • myheartx4

    I really want this playgroup to work for him. There are two seven year olds, one ten yr old, an eleven year old and a six year old, it's truly a mixed age group, so for him, there's great kids to hang with. He likes all of the other children, but these two crazy kids are such a trial. I find myself getting annoyed and frustrated with them and completely irritated with their impotent, lazy mom.

    My son has swimming, chess club and his church class, but this group was really great, at first, and I just want to fix it for him.

    I don't know, I guess I'll try one more time before throwing in the towel.

    Answer by samitestar at 2:18 AM on Feb. 16, 2010

  • That's a great mix. I just had a thought, can you suggest some focused activities for the kids, change the environment a bit - go to a different park, or take them skating, or go to a museum, or to the beach,,,, maybe the change will break some habits or expose some behaviour to the rest of the group.

    Answer by myheartx4 at 2:29 AM on Feb. 16, 2010

  • Maybe you could just casually mention to one or two of the moms that you are looking for another play group because your son is unhappy. My guess is they will ask why and then you should be honest and tell them it is because of the one family's children. The other moms may be more willing to "stage an intervention" if they know your son, and not just you, is upset by the children's behavior.

    Answer by Dyndudes at 2:07 PM on Feb. 16, 2010

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