Post # 1
This morning we had a playdate with a new friend from church and her two children. It was at her house. It did not go well. Her children are not well behaved and the whole thing was very embarassing to her, so much so that she apologized several times. My children are well behaved generally, but today they were pretty darn perfect. (After a while I was hoping mine would act up in order to make her feel better) They are not perfect children, but they are really good. I reassured her several times that we have our days too and that we are all doing our best. I could tell as we were leaving that she was going to cry. It was obvious that she was on the verge of tears. I didn’t say anything about it, because I wanted her to be able to save face if she wanted to.
I already sent her a message on fb, thanking her for hosting our first playdate. Should I say anything about seeing how upset she was?
Post # 3
Yes, you should.
I have been in her shoes. My DD at age 4 was a nightmare. I would leave playdates very embarrassed and frustrated because I felt that her behavior was a reflection of me and that as a parent, I wasn’t doing a very good job. As she got older, her behavior started to improve, partially because she grew out of her rough phases and part because I adjusted the way I disciplined her.
In my opinion, I would say to her something like “Listen, I noticed you looked really frustrated and we’ve all been there. If you ever need someone to vent to, I’m here to listen.”
Post # 4
I think it would help to set her mind at ease, and if you have any tips feel free to suggest them in a friendly manner while being understanding.
We don’t always know everyone else’s battles, better to help!
Post # 5
I DEFINITELY wouldn’t give her any tips. No matter how well meaning you are, it will just come off that you’re a know-it-all who’s juding her and who thinks she knows how to parent better than everyone else. I don’t see anything good coming of that. If she asks for your advice, sure, if not, then just let her know you’re there for her and refrain from judging.
Post # 6
Hmmm, I was having an issue with my daughter (1st time parent) and I had someone tell me what worked for them. It didn’t bother me at all and I was very thankful for it! Just depends on how you go about it, you could always say if you ever need anything just let me know.
Probably depends on the person, you know her better than we do. I did just notice you said a new friend from church…didn’t notice before!
Post # 7
@MrsJuneBee: I think people should err on the side of caution with unsollicited advice. If you look at how many people on the parenting/pregnancy boards complain about other people’s well meaning advice, I think you’ll see that most people don’t appreciate it. I know that I have a very hard headed toddler, and it’s very embarassing when he has a melt down in public. Advice ALWAYS makes me feel worse about myself, even though I know I’m doing everything I can, and he’s very good a lot of the time. I suppose you’re right that it depends on your relationship with the person, but, when I’m so embarassed that I’m on the verge of tears, advice just comes across as judgmental & humiliating, not helpful. The nicest thing anyone has ever done for me when I was having one of those moments at the grocery store is approach me, put her hand on my shoulder, smile at me, and say “You’re a good mom”, then walk away. You know what? That gave me renewed patience, and made me really want to live up to that claim! If she would have tried to advise me, I would’ve just been more frustrated with myself & the situation.
Post # 8
@les105: Great post:)
I agree. Maybe email and say that you are glad that the kids were able to play together and you should give it another try. Let her know we all have those kinds of days and you are there if she ever needs to vent. I wouldn’t give advice, no matter how well intended it is more likely to hurt feelings.
Post # 9
@les105: I totally see your point! I love how that person came up to you, and I can see how that would be calming and renew your patience. You see someone who understands what you are going through, and that is the main point for the OP is to be understanding.
Post # 10
Poor thing, probably was a culmination of a bad day and her kids acting up was the icing on the freak out cake…don’t stress about it, but if you two are truly friends, maybe do her a Mommy Survival Kit, with some bubble bath, a good book, a coupone for some free sitting, and a bottle of wine, for the next time her kids go native on her..with they ALL do at one time or another!
Post # 11
I think you should just send her a message saying hey you looked really upset the other day, we have all been there, let me know if I can do anything to help.