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What would you do if you knew a parent like this?

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Moms Who Don't Discipline Their Kids Make Me Crazy

My friend does not believe in disciplining her 2-year-old daughter. Yes, you read that right. My friend, let's call her Lisa, once let her daughter, let's call her Megan, flush the toilet 30 times.Just because she wanted to. When both of them were at my home for dinner, I watched her daughter deliberately pour a glass of water right over my table. I had to say, "No, Megan!" while my friend just smiled.

My friend confesses that at a recent play date, her daughter smeared a gooey snack all over the host mom's bedspread. She apologized to the mom but didn't tell her kid she'd done anything wrong. I've stopped speaking to my friend on the phone while Megan is awake, because she screams endlessly while we talk, blasting a hole in my ear. My friend never once says, "Sweetie, I'm on the phone." Why does she allow all of this? "I guess it's just easier this way," my friend admits. "The truth is, I hate to make my daughter cry."

I asked my friend if she worries that Megan will grow up to be one of those people who believes she can do whatever she wants, whenever she wants, with no repercussions. "Mmmm … yeahhhh," she reluctantly admits. "But I keep hoping one day I'll start to discipline her. Right now, she's so young. I figure she's like a dog. She's not going to understand what I say anyway." Umm, okay. 

I ask my friend if this could just be making life easier for herself, and she admits it does: "If I tell her not to do something, she pitches a fit. I'd rather just clean up whatever mess she makes than argue with her." She also admits she leaves the role of "bad cop" to her husband, who is more of a discipline type. She also reveals that this is the way she herself grew up - her parents let her do whatever she liked. And, hey, she didn't turn out psycho. 

Lisa says this laissez faire attitude doesn't apply if her kid wants to do something dangerous like, say, run into traffic. But sometimes she prefers to let her kid "learn the hard way." For instance, Megan tried to touch a burning candle and, rather than warn her about it, my friend said, "Go ahead." Megan got her fingers close enough to realize that a candle was nothing to play around with, didn't get burned, and now says, "Hot hot" when she sees a candle. Says Lisa, "She'll learn her lesson that way faster than if I tell her no. If I say no, she just wants to do it more."

My friend admits to feeling guilty in allowing this parenting style to run rampant in public places. She'll take her daughter out of a restaurant or other public place if she's acting up, but there's no lecture afterwards telling her that she didn't behave. 

I've spent a lot of time with Megan (an only child) and her mom, and I've sometimes found myself in the role of disciplinarian at their house. Once when Megan was screaming at the dog for "stealing my food" (the dog was nowhere near her food), I told her in a firm voice to "knock it off." Lisa just grinned. At least my friend doesn't seem to mind if someone else takes over disciplining, but sometimes feels like a burden I don't really want. (I draw the line at letting a kid be a brat with pets!) Interestingly, Megan is very attached to me despite my drawing boundaries. She even seems to welcome them. 

Luckily, Megan is naturally a pretty good kid -- she throws tantrums and is clearly spoiled, but she's also good-hearted, loves people and animals (even the dog she screams at), and in general doesn't act like too much of a lunatic. But I do wonder how she'll fare in the real world one day. And I do feel sorry for her future teachers! 

Does it make you crazy when moms let their kids run the house?

I would so not be able to be around this mother, if one of my friends decided to parent like this I think that would have to be the end of the friendship sadly.

by on Nov. 13, 2012 at 10:18 AM
Replies (41-50):
by on Nov. 13, 2012 at 2:04 PM

The very first time I told my son no and he looked at me and did it anyways while staring at me was when I knew that he understood me and that is when he started getting in trouble. (9 months) It started out as a pat on the bottom with the diaper on and as he has aged so have his punishments. We use a range of different ones depending on what he does from spanking, time out, to taking away toys and privileges. He is 3 now and we really don't have to get on to him much other than him not paying attention half the time and then saying things he picks up at daycare that he isn't supposed to say, but that will all change next week when I go on maternity leave :-) 

Quoting Mrs.Winchester:

I admit that when my DD was younger I was somewhat that way.  I disciplined her some but I honestly believed that she didn't understand much of what I was saying so I didn't bother.  I didn't try time-outs and etc because I knew she would just throw a tantrum and I felt like I could never win.  I'm thankful I knew about CM because what resulted was my DD being a 3 1/2 year old terror and me not having a clue what to do.

by on Nov. 13, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Because it's more concrete.  That makes perfect sense, thanks!  I'll try it!

Quoting Rowdys.Mommy:

Reward systems. I use to work with autistic adults, specifically a man that was 28 and almost completely non verbal. We had reward systems set in place for him if he was good but if he acted out he had punishments just like a toddler would with time out, losing privladges, etc. We also verbally communicated with him and we communicated through sign language when saying yes and no. Another way is have happy faces and sad faces that you can show them for good behaivor or bad behaivor. 

Quoting ShadowLark:

Quoting Mrs.Miller11:

I generally don't discipline my oldest. She just does not need it. She respects others and their belongings. She doesn't hit, she doesn't destroy things on purpose, she doesn't sass- usually. Occasionally she will sass but that is when she is feeling undervalued and we talk through it. She is treated with respect and in turn respects others. I DO NOT allow her to run wild or get her way. But we have no use for time outs, restrictions, loss of privileges, etc. We practice gentle/peaceful parenting, we talk things through, all members of our home are treated equally- with love and respect and understanding. I am always complimented on how well behaved my daughter is.

Serious question and maybe you don't know the answer, but hopefully you can show me where to look.

How would that work if your daughter had Autism and didn't understand speech?  My six year old son has Autism and is non verbal.  HOW do I teach him to respect himself and others?  How do we communicate?  We're stuck with punitive stuff because I can't explain logic!  HELP!

by on Nov. 13, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Also make a strict schedule and keep it, going off of a schedule really helps because they know what to expect.

Quoting ShadowLark:

Because it's more concrete.  That makes perfect sense, thanks!  I'll try it!

by on Nov. 13, 2012 at 2:13 PM

I'd dump that friend right on her ass faster than you can say "you're a shitty parent"

I hate kids like that.  Teachers hate kids like that.  People are going to hate that kid and THAT will make her cry .   Your "friend" is an idiot.

by on Nov. 13, 2012 at 2:20 PM

My neighbor refuses to discipline her 1st grader. Her 1st grader is no longer welcome in my house.

by on Nov. 13, 2012 at 2:22 PM
1 mom liked this
Because after being redirected a few times she realizes she isnt supposed to do whatever she was doing. You take them out of the situation and redirect their attention to an acceptable activity.

Quoting Rowdys.Mommy:

So how does your two your old know the difference between right and wrong.

Quoting Paperfishies:

I don't discipline my 2 year old.  I redirect her.

My 9 year old gets electronics taken away and loses privileges.

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by on Nov. 13, 2012 at 2:25 PM

My son never had the run of the house and I cannot stand parents who let their kids...I say something to my friend when she lets her kids do it, but that's not often.  She generally does say something to them, but sometimes, I do when she doesn't, but I do it in front of her.

by on Nov. 13, 2012 at 2:27 PM
1 mom liked this

 i have a friend like this, i do not invite them over even for parties and i dont call unless i know the one kid is in school and the other is napping. i've known this girl since we were 11 years old (we are both 28 now) and sometimes i want to smack her for lack of brains. her excuse "you have to pick your battles" no no no, in this house there are no battles, what i say goes. im not here to be your bff, im not some random chick off the street, i am your parent...pick your battles...smh.

by on Nov. 13, 2012 at 2:29 PM

No, it drives me NUTS. I can't stand when people don't discipline their kids properly or at all!

by Tess on Nov. 13, 2012 at 2:29 PM
Idk. I think I'd want to help. But I always want to help..
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