After a busy weekend of spending quality time with my family I can’t help but feel like most of my time was spent being a “Referee.” My girls love each other and play well together but they do have their moments of fighting like all kids. They bicker over their toys, headbands, TV shows plus an endless list of other items.
This weekend we had friends over for the day. They all have kids similar ages to our kids. When they come in I do the introductions of the kids, show them the layout of where the toys are, the playroom and we throw them all together and hope for the best!! Most of the time it ends in a great time for everyone. The kids play til they tucker themselves out, the parents get to catch up on old times and we wrap up the day in hugs and kisses….. typically.
On Sunday we had more guests over, they have 3 kids but only 2 came over. The 2 boys came over. As a reminder I have 2 girls, not that it makes a difference. Kids should be able to play together whether boy or girl, however my girls are not used to the way boys play. They don’t rough house, they play Barbies and kitchen set and dress up. They color and paint. So we started with riding their bikes and scooters, that all went well. When they went into the playroom it was a disaster. The older boy was throwing the toys around, breaking things and ripped the stairs off the Barbie Dreamhouse. He was also wasting food by taking it to build who knows what out of sticks and dirt and caterpillar carcusses. My husband and I urged him to correct his actions. His parents were there so we felt they should step in to be the disciplinarians. They made a weak attempt at correcting his behavior.
Walked in the playroom a bit later to find my 4 year old crying on the stairs because the boys ” weren’t cleaning up or playing right with the Barbie house” They had taken all the furniture and dolls and jammed them into 1 room, which made her very upset. While I consoled my baby, the mother began to yell at the older brother and make him clean up the mess. Luckily for all the kids it was time for the family to leave.
But when do you step in to yell at another child? Definitely when that kid is hurting or upsetting your kids. I am typically the first mom to yell at kids during parties or playdates when they are “acting out” especially if it impacts my kids. With my closest friends we have an unspoken agreement to discipline each others kids and no one gets angry about it. It is those kids where the parents are only acquaintances or whom you only see once or twice a year that is the gray area. Those parents that you know their parenting style is a bit different from your own, or where you know their is no structure in the home and they have never heard the word NO. What to do?? Do you only see the parents socially and not let the kids engage? Do you use it as a time to teach your kids about proper behavior? There is no right or wrong solution. But my thoughts are that I don’t mind being referee to my own kids but my time is too precious to ref for other peoples kids too……
I would love to hear your comments and your thoughts on this topic…