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Have any of you ever had a friend that was a great friend, but once you realized how they parent, you dont really want to be their friend anymore?
Over the weekend we went to the beach with a couple who has a 3 year old boy. The parents sat on the beach under the canopy for 4 hours, never once getting up to play with the boy, letting him go chest deep into the ocean, and not really paying attention to him.
Me and DH ended up playing and watching both kids while they sat up on the beach drinking.....
I just dont know if I can continue the same type of relationship with her now that I have seen that...
Not with friends. My neighbors are like that though. It's really sad actually. They have 2 kids who are always outside. DH plays with them. In the 3 years that we've lived here, the ONLY interaction I have ever seen the Dad have w/them is him yelling at them.
I would be terrified for a 3 year old in the ocean chest deep! Have you thought about saying something to them? Not only is it neglectful, it is very dangerous!
It's tough. It's super easy to judge but we sometimes aren't fully aware of all the circumstances. I bet on Saturdays. when all the working parents are at the playgroud enthusiastically playing with their kids they must think I'm a lazy, selfish mom for sitting on the bench chatting or reading. But I'm a sahm and am with my kids 24/7, I go to the park to give myself a little break from playing with the little monsters!
I'm sure my ds would play by himself for a good chunk of time at the beach but if there were other grown ups there engaging him he would for sure latch on to that. Then I'd feel guilty that other people are playing with my kids and feel obliged to take over when he would have been fine playing by himself to begin with!
I also have friends who "help" or "supervise" my kids doing things I KNOW they are perfectly capable of. I'm sure they feel like super heros for saving my kids from imminent doom, but I know my kids' abilities and limits. Now, chest deep in the ocean is a whole other story. Were you in with him?
We certainly have friends who parent differently than us and who I find difficult to be around but I'm sure there are things about the way I parent that bother them too. I have 1 friend in particular who I hate being around with my kids because there is zero discipline and it's hard for my kids to behave when her kid doesn't have to. BUT, she's a single, working mom and I can't imagine how hard that has to be. I would probably be a terrible single mom, there are only so many battles I could fight by myself.
Anyhow, I digress, but what t I'm saying is it's easy to judge someone as a bad or lax parents but that isn't always the case. If you don't enjoy being around them than obviously don't be around them. If you're seriously concerned about a safety issue, maybe bring it up "hey, is so and so ok alone in chest deep water in the ocean?" If you enjoy their company but not how they parent maybe try and work around your feelings (or just hang out without kids!).
I'm not saying you're being unfair or judgmental but I do know that when I had a little toddler I had friends with older kids who I thought were doing a terrible job with their three year olds. And then I had a 3 year old and learned that I don't know anything about anything
Thank you for all your advise. I do feel kinda judgmental...
I did ask her how she felt about the boy going too deep, she said it scares the crap out of her, yet did nothing about it. After that my DH went out there with him and I stayed on the shore playing with Jax.
I dont know. I guess I am just a little disappointed because I thought that we were they same type of parent and apparently we are not.
I have a few friends that I have had to distance myself from since they've had children. One of them has 4 kids from 3 different men and her last husband (she is divorced now and engaged to someone else) let her husband grow and sell drugs out of their home while she was running a 'daycare' for her friends who couldn't afford to pay for a regular daycare. She would let the kids play out in the front of the house all alone. Now that she's not married to that idiot, she's a much better mother, but she had ZERO cares about what her children did when she was with him.
I also have a few friends who basically let their kids do whatever they want, no matter where they are. I have no problem letting your children run a muck in your own home, but when you're in someone else's home, they should be respectful of the people and things around them, not getting into things and running around the house like crazed animals.
Obviously just my opinion, but I would definitely have an issue with a friend letting their child in chest deep water in the ocean. I'm all for picking your battles or not worrying about things when you don't know another person's circumstances, but in this case it sounds like your friends were just being neglectful and irresponsible. Leaving your child in ocean water, alone, while you sit up on shore and drink is grossly irresponsible.
Kelly, you are amazing and I love you! Thank you for the awesomely cute siggy!
I too will ditto Michelle. I've been the single parent with the kids that seem to get to run a muck. There were times that after working a full day, I just didn't have the energy or patience to enforce all of the rules that I knew I should. I am sure people judged me. I also know the married parent with a child with some special needs... again, I am sure people judge me. At the end of the day, if it's not comfortable for you to be my friend because of the parenting choices I make, then so be it. I know that I have lost at least one friend because of the choices I make for/with my kids - but this person was someone with only adult aged step children who really had no basis for comparison on what it is like dealing with younger children. She didn't like that I couldn't drop things at a dime to spend time with her, and that for months on end I was "too busy" with the kids and their activities/needs to spend adult only time with her. This came at a time with Stephen where is really did require two adults home with him at all times to help manage his behaviors/tantrums. She didn't see the need, and didn't understand my putting him first.
Again, pretty sure there isn't a right or wrong to this one. Just what feels best for you.
To the Amazing Kelly: Thank you once again!! Amazing only begins to cover it.