Wedding Woes

I think you and your friends don't have appropriate expectations of each other.

Dear Prudence,

My husband and I recently had friends round for dinner, along with their 3-year-old son. Frequently, they told him not to do things (like hitting our wall, running around the house, and walking around with his food) but he still did these things. We felt so awkward because if we had been looking after him without his parents being around, we would have sat him down, explained our house rules, and outlined the consequences (like no dessert). But because his parents were in front of us, it felt out of place for us to essentially discipline him. How do we deal with this awkward situation without simply not inviting them back inside the house?

—Please Don’t Break Our Home

Re: I think you and your friends don't have appropriate expectations of each other.

  • mrsconn23 said:

    Dear Prudence,

    My husband and I recently had friends round for dinner, along with their 3-year-old son. Frequently, they told him not to do things (like hitting our wall, running around the house, and walking around with his food) but he still did these things. We felt so awkward because if we had been looking after him without his parents being around, we would have sat him down, explained our house rules, and outlined the consequences (like no dessert). But because his parents were in front of us, it felt out of place for us to essentially discipline him. How do we deal with this awkward situation without simply not inviting them back inside the house?

    —Please Don’t Break Our Home

    You think it's acceptable to discipline a 3 yo?? 

    LW, do you have young kids and a house that says "kids live here"? 

    Without knowing anything else in this story, you and your H are young and child free and this couple is one of the first in the friend group to have a child who is now a 3 yo.

    So naturally this makes you a child-rearing expert.  

    Let's be clear here: the kid is acting like a normal 3 yo and a 3 yo won't sit still unless there's entertainment.  If the parents didn't bring books and activities for the kid then shame on him but in the future that's what you can do.  Buy some Crayola items that only draw on the paper.  Get the Disney + subscription to look at Frozen and let it go.  But no, you shouldn't presume to discipline the child of someone else when the parents are present and you also need to adjust your expectations on how a 3 yo should behave.
    STARMOON44mrsconn23charlotte989875
  • Have you ever met a child before. 
    banana468mrsconn23charlotte989875levioosa
  • ei34ei34 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    LW can you and your H please come to my house, sit my kids down and explain house rules and consequences?  One of my 7-yr-olds went "uugghh nooo!" yesterday afternoon when I announced it was homework time, and the other expressed annoyance in having to shower.  You know, acting their age.  But if your brand of discipline will remove acting-their-age tendencies I'd love to see that in action!
    banana468STARMOON44Casadena
  • Lol at think you can just sit a 3 year old down and outline rules. And consequences. And that they understand things like rulers. And consequences. 
  • VarunaTTVarunaTT member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its First Answer
    edited March 2023
    Don't invite them back.  That's your answer.  It's okay that you don't want to chill with 3 years olds, but the rest of this is just rudeness on your part.  Hey, you can even invite them and request no kids....this will also probably be awkward, rude, and lead to a declined invite, but still better than anything else you are proposing.
    STARMOON44CharmedPamcharlotte989875short+sassy
  • I was honestly cracking up at the image of these two chucklers trying to get a 3yo to sit for long enough to be lectured and be told 'no dessert' at, like, 3pm.  3yo's are goldfish, you tell them no dessert as a consequence before dinner and by the end of the dinner when you tell them again, they'll act like it's the first time you said anything.  

    But I also know parents like this and it can be frustrating to be around their children.  Toddlers are exhausting because if you're doing it right, you should be following them, at least with your eyes, and redirecting them.  Not just letting them go HAM in any setting. 

    "NO" is not a 4-letter word, but also YOU ARE THE EXPERT on your kid.  If you know handing them a tablet for an hour will allow you to drink your wine with both hands, freaking do it.  

    But LW, you invited these people over.  Unless the 3yo was a surprise guest, you knew they were coming.  If your house/things are that precious, you should have moved things/put them up if you didn't want them to be in the kid's path. 

    Again, there is plenty of blame to go around.  Next time you want to see them, make restaurant reservations. 
    VarunaTTcharlotte989875short+sassy
  • mrsconn23 said:
    I was honestly cracking up at the image of these two chucklers trying to get a 3yo to sit for long enough to be lectured and be told 'no dessert' at, like, 3pm.  3yo's are goldfish, you tell them no dessert as a consequence before dinner and by the end of the dinner when you tell them again, they'll act like it's the first time you said anything.  

    But I also know parents like this and it can be frustrating to be around their children.  Toddlers are exhausting because if you're doing it right, you should be following them, at least with your eyes, and redirecting them.  Not just letting them go HAM in any setting. 

    "NO" is not a 4-letter word, but also YOU ARE THE EXPERT on your kid.  If you know handing them a tablet for an hour will allow you to drink your wine with both hands, freaking do it.  

    But LW, you invited these people over.  Unless the 3yo was a surprise guest, you knew they were coming.  If your house/things are that precious, you should have moved things/put them up if you didn't want them to be in the kid's path. 

    Again, there is plenty of blame to go around.  Next time you want to see them, make restaurant reservations. 
    This is what I do. A+ parenting. 
    banana468short+sassymrsconn23
  • Have them play pretend jail in a large dog crate?  A harness with a leash attached to a large piece of furniture?  No?

    Unfortunately, anything I can think to stop a toddler from running through the house is frowned upon by society, lol.  (I am kidding)
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    VarunaTTmrsconn23
  • Not inviting the kid back seems like a really good solution to me. Not every house is kid friendly. Maybe it means they won't come as often (or maybe not at all), but a lot of parents understand how 3-y/os are and understand that not everyone wants that in their house. 
    charlotte989875VarunaTTmrsconn23ei34
  • You can't discipline someone else's kid, but you are allowed to set boundaries about what happens in your own home. Don't invite them back and find other ways to spend time with them if you still want to see them. You can go to a restaurant or you can all get together at a park on the weekend so the kid can run around without wrecking anyone's house.  
    image
  • mrsconn23 said:
    I was honestly cracking up at the image of these two chucklers trying to get a 3yo to sit for long enough to be lectured and be told 'no dessert' at, like, 3pm.  3yo's are goldfish, you tell them no dessert as a consequence before dinner and by the end of the dinner when you tell them again, they'll act like it's the first time you said anything.  

    But I also know parents like this and it can be frustrating to be around their children.  Toddlers are exhausting because if you're doing it right, you should be following them, at least with your eyes, and redirecting them.  Not just letting them go HAM in any setting. 

    "NO" is not a 4-letter word, but also YOU ARE THE EXPERT on your kid.  If you know handing them a tablet for an hour will allow you to drink your wine with both hands, freaking do it.  

    But LW, you invited these people over.  Unless the 3yo was a surprise guest, you knew they were coming.  If your house/things are that precious, you should have moved things/put them up if you didn't want them to be in the kid's path. 

    Again, there is plenty of blame to go around.  Next time you want to see them, make restaurant reservations. 
    This is what I do. A+ parenting. 
    Lol, yup. 

    Also, what tablet do you have for M? We usually just put videos or shows on the TV but it'd be nice to not have to listen to Cocomelon for one million hours a week. I haven't taken the dive into toddler appropriate tablets yet but i think G in particular would benefit from one during all his hospital waiting room/inpatient time!
    charlotte989875
  • Casadena said:
    mrsconn23 said:
    I was honestly cracking up at the image of these two chucklers trying to get a 3yo to sit for long enough to be lectured and be told 'no dessert' at, like, 3pm.  3yo's are goldfish, you tell them no dessert as a consequence before dinner and by the end of the dinner when you tell them again, they'll act like it's the first time you said anything.  

    But I also know parents like this and it can be frustrating to be around their children.  Toddlers are exhausting because if you're doing it right, you should be following them, at least with your eyes, and redirecting them.  Not just letting them go HAM in any setting. 

    "NO" is not a 4-letter word, but also YOU ARE THE EXPERT on your kid.  If you know handing them a tablet for an hour will allow you to drink your wine with both hands, freaking do it.  

    But LW, you invited these people over.  Unless the 3yo was a surprise guest, you knew they were coming.  If your house/things are that precious, you should have moved things/put them up if you didn't want them to be in the kid's path. 

    Again, there is plenty of blame to go around.  Next time you want to see them, make restaurant reservations. 
    This is what I do. A+ parenting. 
    Lol, yup. 

    Also, what tablet do you have for M? We usually just put videos or shows on the TV but it'd be nice to not have to listen to Cocomelon for one million hours a week. I haven't taken the dive into toddler appropriate tablets yet but i think G in particular would benefit from one during all his hospital waiting room/inpatient time!
    We have a super old iPad we use. We pay for PBS kids on AmazonPrime (Daniel Tiger and Dinosaur Train are the favorites) and have a kids profile for him. We also do Disney+. We taught him that only grownups can touch the controls so he doesn’t try and change the show or anything. It’s worked for us but we probably (definitely) wouldn’t buy him a brand new iPad just for this but it is pretty useful that we had one we don’t really use. 
    Casadena
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