So, you invite your bestie over for lunch and her son, Hester, acts like a Cretan who has been given his first taste of table sugar. He slams doors, runs into every room of the house, rifles through your underwear drawer, grabs your iPad and runs toward the stairs.
You, of course, are appalled and look pleadingly to your friend who, yes, laughs.
“Isn’t he cute?” she says.
“Boy, he’s curious today!” she says.
“Give me a paddle,” you want to say.
This is an issue I have long pondered. Not that my kids aren’t ever bratty; being sinners, they can be and ARE. But if they act up, I don’t just SIT THERE, laugh, and do nothing.
I’m not talking about isolated incidents, which are easy enough to overlook, unless that isolated incident involves shattering the urn holding your grandmother’s cremains. I’m talking about repeated, every-time-we-get-together-I-need-a-Valium brattiness. Broken mirrors, stomping on your toes, running wild, wrecking your furnishings, that sort of stuff.
For years I dealt with this by not dealing with it and would simply stew over the items ruined or broken by bratty kids until I hit upon something brilliant: If their parent won’t step in when the child is acting up at my house, I will discipline him myself. No, I don’t pull out the paddle (although it is most tempting at times), but I will tell him to get off the window ledge or to get out of my baking cabinet. It’s not a perfect solution because the root of the problem (lack of discipline) isn’t addressed and I’m always afraid the adult involved will be offended, but what other options do I have?
So, I’m interested fellow mamas. How do you deal with it when bratty kids come to your house? Do you confront your friend/acquaintance about his/her child? Have you ever ended a friendship because of bratty kids? What do you do if something is broken and there is no offer to replace the item?
Like the famous hooligan, George, I, too, am curious…to hear your thoughts on this topic. I’m all riled up.
Oh, p.s., I’m not talking about MY BFF here, just using ‘bestie’ as an example;)