Playdate Gone bad....again :(

Updated on October 13, 2011
3.B. asks from Tampa, FL
20 answers

I posted awhile back about needing a break from playdates w/ my friend. I distanced myself for awhile, but then decided to give it another try. So yesterday they come over, and everything's going smooth for awhile. Since the kids hadn't seen each other in a few weeks they were a little shy at first.
Well after awhile I stepped into the kitchen to make lunch. Leaving my friend w/ the four kids. All of a sudden I hear my son screaming and run in to find out my friends son had bit mine. HARD. All she did was say "NO! thats not nice. say your sorry" Grrrr. This isn't the first time. And I'm starting to think this should be our last visit. What do you ladies think?
I have tried talkiing to her before, and nothing seems to change. I know kids will be kids, but I feel guilty putting my son at the mercy of this. AT well over three they both should know that hitting and especially biting is unacceptable! It's just so irritating. I know we all parent differently, but to me just saying no thats not nice, doesn't cut it. Am I overreacting? To be clear my son now has a bruised complete imprint of this childs mouth on the back of his arm. You can count every tooth.

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

Featured Answers


answers from Detroit on

When my 3yr old bit my 8yr old, I had her bite him back. She was far too easy. Then when he bit me hard, I bit him back... Not hard, but it got the point across.

Does that make me a mean mom? Maybe, but he hasn't bit anyone since!

I don't put up with it and I wouldn't let one of my kids "friends" to get away with any such behavior in MY home either!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

I went through the same thing with a friend. I finally decided I had enough. I haven't gotten together with her for a playdate in about 8 months. I am not good at confrontation, so everytime she would try to get together with the kids I would tell her I was busy, she got the point and stopped asking. I realized through the whole situation that we were too different, especially when it came to parenting!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Kalamazoo on

Playdates are supposed to be fun. If they aren't fun with her, then end it.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Some kids are biters and the only ways to prevent are 1. Don't have them over or 2. Shadow the biter around when you have a play date. In your last question about it you said they were going to be turning 3 now suddenly they are well over 3? 3 is still young. My oldest was bit in first grade unless you plan on placing your child in a bubble things like this are going to happen use it as a learning experience. Go over your house rules at the start of every play date make sure you state that not following your house rules will end the play date if it continues stop getting together with them and try again in a few months. Yes we all parent differently but your rules should be followed and respected but if you don't go over them and stick to it things won't change.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I read many of the other posts. Judge much folks? I'm guessing you all have compliant kids with good coping skills. Good for you. I'm sure it's all about your stellar parenting skills, eh?

First, if you and the other parent aren't willing to hover over the kiddos during the playdate, then you should probably end them for a while. No problem with that.

But, some kids are biters (hitters, screamers, etc.). For some of them, it's part of their temperament (intense, spirited, slow to transition kids). It can take a long time and a lot of work to get them to figure out alternatives to those unacceptable actions. They internalize a LOT of stress just from minor changes in routine (getting the wrong-colored cup), and the stress sometimes comes out as a scream or a hit or a bite. Is it "acceptable"? No. But it takes a lot of work and time to help them figure out how to regulate their stress, remove themselves from stressful situations, and react in a more appropriate manner. 3yo is pretty young for them to have mastered these skills. 5 or 6yo is a more likely age, and I wouldn't expect them to be perfect even then.

Do I sound a bit frustrated? Yes. I have a spirited, intense, extremely averse to transition kiddo. Luckily, she doesn't bite. But she does very occasionally hit when she feels threatened. (And she often feels threatened when there is an unexpected transition, no matter how minor.) Her most common reaction is saying mean things or screaming/tantrums. Thank goodness she's extremely verbal (even disrespectfully so), because otherwise her outlet would probably be physical. Am I a bad parent because I "let" my kid do these things? Certainly on occasion I'm a bad parent, but it's not why she does these things. We're getting help on several levels. But it's slow.
So please lay off the judgement.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Same thing happened with my best friend. Her kids were terrible and her attitude was boys will be boys. My attitude was my kids were not put on the earth for your boys to bite kick and hit so when she called for play dates we were busy. We'd meet up every so often at a public park for a short visit with the kids and every so often we'd go out shopping or to coffee kid free but I never went to her home and she didn't come to mine.

You've already spoken to her about the situation. She is unwilling to work with you or unable to make it stop. Either way I'd suggest dropping the subject and just doing what's best for you and your child. Don't give her a reason just distance yourself and decide how and when you will remain friends.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I would tell her that since her child continues to attack yours, that you will have to enjoy her company without the kids and decline future playdates. Kids do bite and my DD was bitten at a baby shower in the manner you described. You bet I watched that other kid at the next family function! If they don't get along, they don't get along. If you don't think her "that's not nice" was effective then spare yourself and your kid. Sometimes friends' kids aren't friends for our kids.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I would call it quits with the playdates. Maybe just have some adult interactions with your friend. I personally wouldn't keep subjecting my kids to this just because moms are friends. No fun!!

Good luck and best wishes!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I agree with the others that say time to end the playdates.

You sound upset that your friend did not give her child a consequence for biting. I don't blame you, I would be upset too. If my kid did that, we would leave immediately. Playdate over.

By not accepting future playdate invitations, YOU are creating the natural consequences for what happened. Hurting your child the first several times = several weeks without playdates. Biting AGAIN after taking a break = you ending your child's relationship with hers. Her child loses a friend. It is a good lesson for both Mom and child. People will not have playdates when you continually hurt them.

If your friend asks again to set up a playdate, I would say, "Sorry Susie, as much as I enjoy your company, Bobby doesn't want to have anymore playdates with Johnny. I'm sure you understand after what happened last time. Maybe we can get together for coffee or lunch sometime without the kids."

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You are not overreacting at all. Just let her know that you are going to cease having play dates with her until she gets her child's biting/behavior under control. You have to look out for the safety/security of your child first.

A child that bites I see it as the same as a parent that brings a sick child to a playdate, obviously they don't care about the welfare of other children; so its up to you to shield your child. Your child needs to know that he is safe and not at risk at always being bitten by all children; because not all bite. Play dates are to be fun not fearful. Sorry that happened to your son.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

You took a break.
You tried again.
It went badly once again.
No more falling for that again.
Time to cross this friend off your list of contacts and find more civilized playmates.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

I know how hard it is to find M. friends with kids that get along.

After a 6 month break, I met a woman and her d at a park for a playdate because no one else was available and we were bored silly.
To my surprise the girl's behavior is almost normal now and the mother has accepted her child was the cause of most drama/conflicts. The new school is working on her social skills and I am amazed at her progress. I told my d before hand if there were any problems, we would leave.
Since then, they have done 3 playdates with no problems.

Another M., the world's biggest moocher, called me after the summer.
I flat out told her our calendar was booked this year and she took the hint.
I regret ever giving her a second chance and won't do it again. I don't need the grief and neither does my child.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

Actually, Kristen, parenting does influence behavior, and not eveything is random and hereditary. Of course if you enable a child to figure things out rather than enforcing, it will take much longer-which is fine-as long as hurting other kids is not involved. All the parents I know, even ones with extremely spirited kids (my third was a born rager) who discpline this behavior have kids who dont' do it. All the ones I know who tried figuring out their kids special triggers rather than being firm, have aggressive mean kids. I have 3 kids who all needed firm discipline for these behaviors, and now they don't do them.
I would not have my kids around a kid with a mom who does nothing but tell a kid not to bite.
No way.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fort Wayne on

end it. you can always find another friend that has children that arent animals and a parent that takes better responsiblity for their kids' actions.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I don't think it's worth ending a friendship over. He'll likely outgrow this soon and you will be minus one friend. Your kid will likely not even remember this in a couple weeks. Unless you want to end it for other reasons. Sometimes people find it very intimidating to discipline around others parents for fear of being too harsh or too soft. What exactly should she have done. Maybe a time out also? Ok. I'm sure she felt terrible about it. I had a couple kids be very aggressive with my kids and I made sure to watch them like a hawk whenever they played together. The kids grew out of the aggressive behavior and play together fine now. I really do think its mostly developmental at that age.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

if you question her discipline methods you mine as well end the whole friendship. J. turning 3 is young stil, and ussually kids that age bite when they feel they were hurt in some way, still wrong but next time watch and see what happens and why the child is biting. Maybe your kid pushed and he bit and thats why she J. said say sorry? Instead of confronting her either avoid it, or you play over their house and keep a closer eye on things if the mom means a lot to you. I've confronted a friend and lost one when their boy was hitting my daughter ALOT and they would J. say thats not nice, when they were 3.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I suggest that your friend needs to learn some parenting skills so that she can handle this sort of behavior better. Have you tried modeling for her how to handle this? When you entered the room could you show sympathy to your son and then look at the other child and tell him that his biting hurt (your son) and be involved in his saying he's sorry.

It sounds like your friend just doesn't know how to handle misbehavior. Perhaps you could give her a book that teaches some of these skills.

If not, I'd not do play dates anymore. I'd be honest and tell her that your parenting styles are not compatible and you just do not enjoy the time together with the kids.

Or, if you want to continue to be friends with her you can decide to stop letting her son's behavior upset you. You can handle each situation yourself in a manner that is acceptable to you. Then If she doesn't like the way you "take over" stop the play dates.

I read your previous post. I suggest that a way to handle this that has a chance of altering the dynamics is to immediately separate the children when this happens. And if the dynamics are turning negative to end the play date. No sense sticking around if you're not having fun.

Do keep in mind that at 3, kids do more parallel playing than playing together. If you're expecting the 3 yo kids to play together you may be creating some of this behavior. Have you tried setting them up to play by themselves in different parts of the room?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Naples on

I would quit the playdates since it sounds like the mom isn't going to be firm enough with her child. We have a neighbor like this. The kid is a little older and a lot bigger, and he's aggressive with my son. Now, the husband/father is AWESOME at keeping his kid in check when they play together. He is ON HIM and he is not aggressive toward my son when daddy is around. The mom on the other hand is a different story. She just kind of stands around and doesn't keep her kid under control. Sure enough he is aggressive toward my son when mommy is the one watching him. So we either don't go outside to play when it's just mommy with him; or we do and then I am hovering over them both like crazy. So I would either quit the playdates, or hover over the kids the whole time and don't be afraid to step in if needed with the other kid.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I think you did the right thing...Keep your distance for awhile. Mind you kids will never be pefect and there will be some drama from time to time. However, if episodes like this have set the precedent in the past and currently it is probably best to limit their contact. I would wait again until they are a bit older. I know it's tough when there are parents with different parenting styles. Ouch!



answers from Washington DC on

Oh my, that's awefully hard for a bite in a second.

I would end the playdates.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions