Is This Normal Child Behavior?

posted 10 months ago in Weddingbee
Post # 2
7879 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

TinyDove22 :  that’s not normal for the 5 year olds I know. Actually my 3 year old niece is better behaved then what you describe. It sounds par for the course with my 1.5 year old though. I would try to make some child-free plans with your friend until the kid’s manners improve. If she questions you I’d say that you just don’t have the energy for the daughter and that you miss being able to have some adult conversation uninterrupted. 

Post # 3
768 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

Yeah it doesn’t sound like that child is getting any sort of boundaries and her mom is just letting her do whatever. How is your friends mood? Could she be depressed?

As far as you disciplining her, don’t. That’s her moms job but if I had a friend who wasn’t disciplining her child when she is clearly acting out then I’m not sure how much I would want to be around them. Depending on how close your relationship is, I might say something along the lines of hey I’ve noticed some things and i know kids can be kids but it seems like Abigail could use a little more intervention

Post # 4
9670 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

It’s totally normal behavior for a 5 year-old who hasn’t had boundaries set for her. That doesn’t make it acceptable. Your friend is just choosing not to teach her better. 

I would never discipline someone else’s child though or try to tell them how I think they should parent. I’d probably just stop going to dinner with her if she’s going to bring the kids.

Post # 5
663 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2007 - City, State

TinyDove22 :  

I’m literally the most laid back mom at my house, my toddler sits on the kitchen table occasionally and they climb on the couch, and there’s plenty of toys everywhere, but FUCK NO. I have a 3 year old, 6.5 year old, and a 9.5 year old. Hell to the no. I’m actually fuming from this side of the phone and if I were you, I wouldn’t go out with this friend again.

First of all the parent is not doing their job. At all. Even remotely. The child TOOK FOOD FROM YOUR PLATE AND DROPPED IT ON THE FLOOR. I would not be going out with this friend any more. The way the mother seems she would probably say “well you don’t have kids so you don’t understand”. And that is. a bullshit copout for her shitty parenting in public places.

To answer your question, no it’s not normal behavior for a 5 year old who has been taught manners and those manners are reinforced. If my kids touched someone else’s food or threw food we would be in the car and I would be apologizing profusely. I keep my kids on a pretty clean diet, and the only time they act like psychopaths like this child is when they have been eating gluten, corn syrup, and artificial colors. Fruit snacks and cheap junk food. I’m not blaming this kid’s behavior solely on a garbage diet, but given the mother’s shitty parenting that is probably what she feeds her kid. She sounds hyperactive and out of control, and most kids who act this way eat junk garbage fed to them by parents who think “this is just how children behave”.

We live in a block of 4 really nice townhomes. We are on one end unit, and there’s a family on the other end with two children 9 and 12 or 13. Their house is trashed from these 2 kids. Like just destroyed. They bring their junk ass food outside and litter everywhere. There’s broken toys….it’s like no one even gives a fuck. They feed their children hot pockets and easy mac for dinner. I found a fucking hot pocket sleeve in my bush the other day. I can’t stand it.

Anyway, I wouldn’t go out with this friend again. Her kid is acting like an asshole. And if you do put your foot down, don’t let her bully you in to thinking you just don’t get it because you don’t have kids. If my child threw food on the floor you would see the wrath of God come  out of me. This reminds me of those tables you see are restaurants where the family with small kids leave and there’s an epic disaster on the table and the floor left behind for the server, which is so rude and disrespectful.

Post # 7
2917 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

TinyDove22 :  Doesn’t sound normal to me at all, I’d be annoyed and super embarassed to be in public with a child who behaved that way. 

I’m not sure if I would say anything to your friend though, clearly she can see what her child is doing so she must not consider it a problem worth fixing, so who knows how well a talk with her would go over.

If you want to continue your friendship with her, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to avoid the child forever but at the very least you can suggest adult dinners only. 

Post # 8
2076 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

I think Abigail has had no boundaries set for her, as others have suggested, and it’s a bad situation for your friend, her daughter, and society as a whole. I think it’s absolutely fine to tell her “no” sternly. You don’t have to sit there and smile politely as this child tries to poke your eyeballs and throws your food on the floor (wth). I would also not be shy in telling your friend that you know she is exhausted with 2 children to run after and getting together with both her and Abigail seems to be too much for everyone involved at the moment.

Post # 9
9806 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

Not normal. And I see nothing wrong with direct eye contact and a firm “Uh Uh, no ma’am.” when she does something over the top like throwing food on the floor. 

There is a difference between disciplining someone else’s kid and letting a child know what they’re doing is inappropriate. 

Post # 10
5564 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2017

Sounds normal to me, for a child who walks all over her mother and who could possibly be desperate for attention.

It’s normal for a child who lacks good parenting. Mom could also be distracted and any attention is good attention.

No one wants to be around bratty kids, not even people with their own kids.

I wouldn’t want to be around her. Try to spend time with your friend without the kids.

eta, absolutely talk to the child. You’re being rude, you’re being disrespectful, you’re hurting me, stop what you’re doing.

Post # 11
3443 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - City, State

I would absolutely stop going out with that friend if her child will be coming along. She may very well be overwhelmed, but that doesn’t mean you need to get poked in the eye and sneezed on because she can’t or won’t parent her child. She needs to invest in a babysitter if she wants to continue going out with adults. I would have no patience for that kind of behavior from a child. 

Post # 12
7879 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

TinyDove22 :  I just want to add that telling someone (even a child) to stop sticking their fingers in your face isn’t really disciplining them in my book. Inappopriate disciplining of other people’s kids would be for things that don’t involve you directly (even if they are embarassing or annoying you) like throwing their own food or screaming their heads off. When it comes to your body and your things/food you have a right to tell the kid to cut it out. Any parent who would get upset with you for telling their kid to stop poking your face is a shitty parent. 


Post # 13
3387 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

Ew. No.. that’s not normal. At all. Your friend needs to do her fuckin job and teach her kid how to behave in public. 

Post # 14
2216 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise

TinyDove22 :  Regardless of what may or may not be “normal” you are under no obligation to let ANYONE invade your personal space, attack you physicially, or interfere with your belongings. 

It isn’t “discipline” to say to a child “You behavior is upsetting to me. I like it when people are polite and ask before touching me or my things. If you can’t keep your hands to yourself, I am going to move somewhere away from you.” It is setting a boundary for yourself that she is not free to voilate without consequence.

Discipline is her mother’s responsibility, at which she clearly seems to be failing. You shouldn’t try to dictate what penalty she receives for bad behavior. However, you have every right to refuse to tolerate behavior that impacts you directly. Communicating that you don’t like what she is doing is a result; it is the natural outcome of her inappopriate actions. That is entirely different than disciplining her. It’s also a real-world consequence of voilating social norms; something that will continue to happen throughout her life. 

Personally, I find it hard to respect someone who isn’t an attentive and responsible parent. Certainly, I won’t subject myself to spending time with badly behaved children. You aren’t obligated to tolerate this treatment from her child, so feel free to refuse to schedule activities where they will be present.    


Post # 15
448 posts
Helper bee

I think I would take the approach of turning down going out the next time the child is involved.  If she asks be honest and say you do not want to be in public with her child acting the way she is. 

Post # 16
1043 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

No, this is not normal. I volunteer as a Girl Scout leader and we have half a dozen five-year-olds in our troop, and none of them behave like this. Do they sometimes get distracted or wild and run around a bit? Sure. Do they put their fingers in random adults’ mouths, choke people, intentionally take or ruin other people’s food? Nope.

I would personally have told Abigail that her behaviour was unacceptable whenever she did something to you. Crawling under the table? Not your problem. Fingers in your mouth, choking you, throwing your food on the ground? Absolutely your problem, and I wouldn’t be nice about it. “Abigail, you’re being mean and rude. I’m not going to visit with you again if you can’t be nice. And Mommy will be sad if you make all her friends go away.”

While it may not be your place to discipline Abigail in general, it’s certainly your place to decide on your own future actions—i.e., that you don’t want to be around her because of her bad behaviour. I’d communicate that to both her and her mother.

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