Your little one has finally made their first best friend. They love having play dates together and you the new friend is so well behaved you don’t even mind hosting them. The only problem: you hate the parents. If the friend’s mom is not someone you particularly care for, but your children enjoy spending time together, it can be a stressful relationship, which could affect your children. If you want to salvage the friendship between the two kids and keep your sanity, here are a few things you can do:
Often the biggest source of contention is miscommunication. Perhaps the other mom is too brash or blunt. It is easy to dwell on an offensive message another parent may have inadvertently sent. The best way to solve this problem is to address it as soon as possible. Approach the issue tactfully, such as, “The other day, when you said ‘parents who let their kids watch TV all day long are lazy, ‘after you saw our extensive DVD collection, I got the impression you don’t approve of my parenting methods. Is that what you meant?”
In most cases, the other mom is not going to outright insult you to your face, so even if that is what she meant, you will have the opportunity to have an open discussion without a full-on wrestling match in the foyer.
Set ground rules
Personally, I have noticed my biggest problems arise when I do not set ground rules for my home. Set boundaries for both the parents and the kids. If you don’t want them showing up at your home unannounced, simply ask the mom to give you a call before they head over. If that fails, you could hide in your bathroom and wait for them to go away when they show up on a bad day.
Be sure to be respectful of rules they have for their kids, especially if you will be having the friend over without the parent’s supervision. You can avoid many tiffs with the parents by talking about rules and guidelines you both have for your kids. After all, is occasionally feeding your child a gluten-free, organic lunch really going to kill you?
Host solo play dates
When the kids want to get together, offer to give the annoying mama some free time. There is no need for her to stay at your home while the kids get together. The kids can be friends without the parents getting along. Swapping turns could also give you a much-needed break to relax and read a book or finish a few errands.
Host group dates
If you enjoy spending time with other adults while the kids play, consider hosting group dates. You can still invite the annoying mom, but with other women as buffers, you two may not have to communicate enough to drive each other crazy. For an extra buffer, hold play dates at a park or local church and feel free to bring a book so you don’t have to talk to anyone you don’t want to talk to.
If a mom is consistently inconsiderate of your rules or time, make sure she understands that you will not be a doormat for the sake of the friendship. If nothing changes, you may have to cut ties. While this can be heartbreaking for your child, planning a play date with another child can help.
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