M.M. asks from Mission Hills, CA on March 16, 2011
Neighbor Mom Always Reprimanding the Other Kids. Are We Out of Line?
We have new neighbors. The family moved next door to us about 3 months ago. All the neighbors in my neighborhood are friends, all have kids the same age, get together often etc. We’ve been living here for 10 years. When the family moved in we all became friends. They are really nice and have a 2 y/o daughter.
Their daughter is the youngest and there are all boys in our neighborhood ranging from 6 – 9 yrs old. This little girl LOVES to play with the boys because they are so kind to her and they always share their toys with her, but the Mom is constantly on edge when her daughter is around them when playing afraid she is going to get hurt.
I can completely understand that but anytime the boys are doing something wherein her daughter may get hurt, for example, running in front of the boys riding the scooter (she does this a lot), the Mom will get stern with the boys to watch out. If the boys are playing softball and the little girl runs in the middle right when the ball was thrown, she will reprimand the boys and not move her daughter out of the way of the game because she throws a tantrum. Those are just a couple of examples. Us Moms are always getting involved by saying “Boys just keep a close eye in case she runs in the middle of your game again ok?” or “When she is running around the street, just don’t ride your scooter. Wait until she is on the sidewalk”. Believe it or not our boys will comply because they know this little girl just doesn’t know any better so the boys don’t get upset. They are pretty good kids overall. Especially my friend’s 9 y/o. He’s just totally cool with it and always says to his Mom “O.K.”
So yesterday the boys are playing with their squirt guns. The boys were aiming their water at my tree in the front of my house. Well the little girl stood right next to the boys, the water was ricocheting back into her eyes and the Mom flipped out. The other Moms and I were standing on my driveway and we heard her start yelling at one of the boys to not squirt the water at the tree as it’s getting in her eyes.
At this point my Mom friend went over there and said to the little girl “Sweetie, the boys are squirting the water so can you watch from back here so you don’t get water in your eyes?” instead of saying something directly to her Mom so as not to go off on her.
The Mom got MAD, said they should just stop squirting the tree, picked up her daughter and went into the house. Up until this point we have all bitten our tongues.
I had to completely take my friend’s side on this but the other Moms felt she shouldn’t have done that. What do you think? If something like that happens again what would be the best way to handle? We’re kind of over her constantly reprimanding our kids when they have done nothing wrong.
By the way, my Mom friend has now given the Mom the name “helicopter mom”.
S.S. answers from Cincinnati on March 16, 2011
She might be more concerned that her daughter is a lot younger insteead of being concerned about her gender (6yr olds can play a lot rougher then 2yr old) but I do think she is getting a little out of hand. younger or not the whole neighborhood should not revolve around her daughter. I wouldnt mention it though intill she reprimands the other children again, then maybe mention. that you appreciate her concern for her daughter but maybe if she is so worried for her safety maybe she should remove her from the situation
5 moms found this helpful
M.K. answers from Los Angeles on March 17, 2011
I completely agree with other parents disciplining a group if they were doing something wrong (fighting, swearing, etc.), but it sounds like they were playing like normal 6-9 yo boys. They should not have to stop playing just because a 2 yo is in proximity. The mom should keep her daughter out of a dangerous situation for a 2 yo rather than stopping the boys. I don't understand why the mother had such a problem with another mother talking to her daughter when she tell the boys what to do all of the time. Someone should very nicely suggest to the mother that she needs to keep her daughter away from the boys if she does not like how they play rather than stopping the boys.
4 moms found this helpful
L.S. answers from Spokane on March 16, 2011
I think your friend did the absolutely right thing. That's what I would have said to that little girl too.
If new-to-the-area mom tries to reprimand the boys again (which, honestly they all sound like wonderful kids!), just politely tell her that maybe her daughter shouldn't be playing with them when they're doing something and her daughter could get hurt (so basically, anything they play). Say it out of genuine concern for her daughter. These boys cannot be expected to cater to a little toddler ALL the time.
12 moms found this helpful
M.L. answers from Houston on March 16, 2011
That is ridiculous. She thinks it's fine to police everyone elses children, but she can't even guide her own daughter. Your mom friend was absolutely correct to do nicely guide the little girl, her own mother isn't even doing it. I'm frankly surprised the other friends think that was wrong what she said.
Next time the little girl runs in the middle of the boys game, tell her mom kindly, "Please watch your daughter so she doesn't ruin the boys game again today."
12 moms found this helpful
D.B. answers from Charlotte on March 16, 2011
Enough is enough, to be really honest. This was your yard, your tree, and the boys were playing a game with each other. That mother needs to get an attitude adjustment and stop acting like she has a right to make other kids change everything they are doing to accommodate her little one.
Let her get mad. That will mean she will stop bringing her daughter out to play with the boys. When she says something about this, and she will, you all need to just tell her that her little child "can't hang with the big boys" and needs to be removed from the situation, whether she has a tantrum or not.
If she wants to have friends in the neighborhood, she needs to learn her place. You all have been far too accommodating and you need to stop now. Not just because it's not fair to the boys, MM. But also because it is not safe for that little girl to be so close to these boys' games. (I'd say this if her child was a little boy too.)
You ladies need to talk this over and be on the same page about it.
11 moms found this helpful
M.C. answers from Washington DC on March 16, 2011
I think your friend handled it just right. Having the little girl move back is exactly what I would've done.
The new mom is in the wrong for not putting safety limits on her daughter just because she doesn't want a tantrum. Take your pick: a tantrum or a wet face. Can't have both! If the little girl isn't going to watch out, then the Mom should have her wear a bike helmet as protection!! =)
8 moms found this helpful
S.R. answers from Los Angeles on March 17, 2011
it sounds more like shes trying to parent the other kids and not so much her own kid.
I think your friend was not in the wrong in any way when telling the little girl to stand back. that is the smart thing to do!
if that little girl doesn't learn to protect herself she will end up getting hurt really bad when her helicopter mom happens to not be around.
If all you moms on that street start telling the little girl to stop running in the midst of trouble she will listen and chances are the mom will think about it more and may realize you're right. She might not, it depends on how stubborn or prideful she is.
To each her own.
Stick up for your friend if you think shes right! i do and i would!
7 moms found this helpful
T.W. answers from Boston on March 16, 2011
Sounds like everyone has been really tolerant of this little girl and her mother. I think it's really nice that the boys allow the little girl to play around them and hopefully it can continue BUT they shouldn't be getting reprimanded by this other mother or always having to stop their games to keep her from getting hurt. It's the other mother's job to keep her daughter from getting into trouble. Especially considering the age difference! I have a 2 year old and wouldn't ever let him just run through an older group of boys that were playing softball. Your friend did the right thing. It sounds like this other mom hasn't had a lot of experience around other kids and could use some parenting advice along with common sense. Goodluck!
6 moms found this helpful
J.W. answers from Grand Rapids on March 16, 2011
Definitely a "helicopter mom". She is teaching her daughter how to be a victim and not to watch out for herself. The other mom did a great thing! It was the perfect intervention. The child needs to learn to watch what she is doing so that she doesn't get hurt. I suppose if she walks in front of a swing and gets a foot to the skull, it would be the person on the swing's fault?! How about, well, sweetie, if you stand where the kids are squirting water, you might get wet! Live and learn, reality discipline. Perhaps someone with a good personal relationship could share how she has handled similar situations with their child? A mom's night out with a couple moms and having a nice discussion with her might work. She is obviously just a really nervous mom and might benefit from a little mentoring from a more experienced mom. Good luck!
6 moms found this helpful
A.J. answers from Williamsport on March 16, 2011
hmmmm, this mom has gotten away with this for too long. I thought it was universal knowledge that one needs to keep their toddler away from the older kid's line of fire, not try to control all the older kids who aren't theirs. What??!
So how are you guys going to handle this now that little miss 2 year old runs the block? Several of you may need to show up at the Mom's door, with a gift, brownies, cupcakes, bottle of wine, anything, and have a "chat" about, how since everyone loves her and her daughter so much since they moved in (mention their moving in as a reminder that she's NEWER than all of you), a sort of habit has gotten started about her not removing her daughter when the older kids are doing things that may be unsafe for her. As much as you don't want to make waves, from now on, you're going to give your kids free reign again, and you're just letting her know, that they no longer have to curb their playing, so she'll need to watch her daughter accordingly.
Then just tell your sons to ignore her (the mom not the girl).
Tough one! Weird!
6 moms found this helpful