Friends Kid Mistreating Kid

Updated on June 26, 2013
N.S. asks from Ortonville, MI
13 answers

Here's another question for someone else. My friend's kid is getting hit or hurt in some way at their friends house. The mom of the hitter doesn't do anything because the kid is only 2-3yrs old. My friend feels that the mom should be doing more, but doesn't know what to do. She enjoys the moms company, but doesn't want her kids constantly hurt while visiting. She's tried saying, If Johnny isn't playing nicely, then don't play with him right now. When her kid hits the hitter back, she sits her kid in time out because she doesn't want her kid to think it's right to hit.

I've been in this situation and know that eventually the kid usually grows out of these things. But it's a long road sometimes. It's also hard to subject your kids to this treatment. Any suggestions. Sorry I don't have much more info.

Thanks for your helpful suggestions on how you've handled these situations in the past.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thanks everyone.

Featured Answers



answers from Houston on

If both mothers are right there when the kids are playing and witness the hitting, then how the hell does she continue to "enjoy the mom's company" knowing that the mom dismisses her concerns for her child???

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Detroit on

She should stop bringing her kid over to the other kids house and stop doing get-togethers until the other parent can more effectively discipline and control her kid. It shouldn't be "hard" to keep subjecting your kid to this kind of treatment - you just stop doing it!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

In front of the other parent, model exactly how such behavior should be handled. For starters, it should be prevented. So when it looks like Johnny is going to hit, you are close enough to grab the arm, talk to Johnny about his feelings, and then suggest a more appropriate behavior. If an interception doesn't happen, then Johnny needs to be immediately removed. Repeat offense leads to removal from premise (or the guest has to leave).

I have actual discussions with my friends about how we should handle aggressive, anti-social behavior. If I see a kid hitting my kid, I say something to that kid, and then we go find their mom. it does take a village to raise children, so I'd suggest you have your friend discuss the issue with her friend. Straight up just say, " i have concerns about the hitting, how can we handle this so we can still hang out?"

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

As you are finding out, 2-3 yr olds do not play well together.
It'll be a few years before they cooperatively play and so play dates before they are 4 or 5 yrs old is really more about the parents socializing than it is about the kids socializing.
So - stop the play dates for now and get together with your friend without the kids.
Meet her for lunch or coffee and leave the kids with a baby sitter.
If you're still going to have them play, then don't let them leave your sight during your visit.
When the hitting/fighting starts up, scoop up your child, sit her on your lap and separate the kids.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

If your friend is present when the hitting incidents occur and her child is the one being hit, then she has every right to tell the other child not to hit again or else they'll be going home. No time outs needed. And there's a clear and immediate consequence. If you hit, you lose your playmate. It also sends a clear message to her own child that his mother will defend him so that he won't have to tolerate being hit nor will he have to be put in a position of having to hit back.

If your friend can't be present for the play date then there is no play date.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

The next time it happens, instead of telling her kid to not not play if Johnny isn't playing nicely, she should say "Suzy, we're going to go now. I know Johnny is young and will grow out it but in the meantime, I can't have Joey being hit all the time". Consitently do this and make the get togethers fewer and fewer with the kids present and she will either do something about her kid hitting or the kid will hopefully grow out of it.

You don't say how old your son's friend is. If he is 3-4, maybe telling Johnny that if he continues to hit that Joey will be allowed to hit him back might work. I finally had to do that with my son and an a neighbor (they were older like 1st & 2nd grade). My son didn't actually hit the other boy but told the boy (after a long period of me not letting them play together) that my mom said if you hit me I can hit you back. Eddie never hit Michael again!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

You've gotten lots of good responses. Both B's and Julie G's stand out for me, depending on if your friend is comfortable asserting herself (which she doesn't sound like she is) or if your friend feels like she just doesn't want to make an issue of things and is 'done'.

"I see the boys are really not getting along on playdates. Let's meet up for coffee instead." This is a very politic way to open the conversation. Then, the mom of Little Hitter can either dig in and ask "what do you mean" and a progressive discussion can go forward, or she'll just go along with it and an uncomfortable conversation is avoided.

I'm more of the 'see you out for drinks' variety. I don't really want to be the assertive, instructive parent on a playdate. If you can't bother to support your child and they're hitting mine, we're kinda done with playdates. Although I must admit, I do lose a bit of respect for the passive, permissive parent who doesn't address the misbehavior.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Correct the child in front of his mother. I have no problem correcting some other kid.

Punishing a child for defending themself simply doesn't pass the common sense test. If anything, I'd tell my kid to hit back with more force and accuracy, and while they're crying/tattling about it, I'd tell them: If you keep your hands to yourself, you won't have anyone hitting you back!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

My only advice is for her to take the lead in telling the other child not to hit, but with the mom sitting right there not saying anything, I doubt the other child will listen.

IMHO, her only REAL solution is to stop visiting for a while.

BTW, also IMHO, I don't think her child should be punished for hitting back. He should be defending himself. What he's learning is that he is a whipping post - it's okay for others to hit him, but not okay for him to defend himself or hit back. That would not be a lesson I would want my child to learn.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Either get together without kids, or correct the child in front of the mother. A simple, brisk "we don't hit". If the mother "doesn't do anything because the kid is only 2-3yrs old" she's going to have a whole lot of fun when the kid is older and hitting harder and has been getting away with it.

She may need to let her know nicely if she starts saying no to the "playdates" that she's not comfortable with letting her child be hit during visits, so it'll only be a "girls" visit if the woman isn't willing to parent her child.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

With all the kids your friend's kid can play with in the whole world, she choses for her child to play with one that hits? Because she likes the mother?

Maybe you should get your friend's kid body armor for his next birthday.

It it were me, I'd find someone else to hang out with until he hitter outgrows this. There are plenty other friend-fish in the sea.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

We had this problem with some sisters my dd played with in preschool. We finally took a break and didn't get together with them. Fast forward to 4th grade, they're all more mature and get along great. It's amazing what a few years can do! It sounds like your friend should only socialize with the mother, not the kids.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

is your friend close enough with this other mom to TEACH her how to discipline her child?

Sorry - but if a 2 or 3 year old is hitting my child and the other parent is NOT doing anything about it? I will tell the other child "WE DO NOT HIT". If the other parent doesn't like it? Then they need to step up and PARENT THEIR CHILD.

If the other mom gets mad? I would simply say - someone needs to teach the child. Just excusing it stating it's age related is NOT acceptable.

Yep. I can be forward. Yep. I can be assertive. And I WILL be when it comes to my kids.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions