21 Apr
Playdate Politics: Did You Just Reprimand MY Kid?!

It’s guest post Thursday around these parts! And we are delighted to have Tonya of ad hoc Mom. Tonya is a super funny fabulous gal who I would definitely invite to a dinner party if you know, I threw dinner parties. Take it away Tonya!

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

Let’s say you’re at a friend’s house and your kid does something irritating, annoying, or just wrong. You correct/reprimand your child, because that’s part of a parent’s job. But then your friend chimes in and reprimands your child right after you. What the?? I know it’s their house and all, but it was handled! How do you work up the guts to turn to your friend and say, “I just handled it, thank you.” Or do you even do that?

Signed,

Not a Slacker Mom

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Dear Not a Slacker Mom,

First off, kudos to you for actually parenting and reining in what some shrug off as simply “child creative expression” but is in reality the child deleting all the damn files off my computer and then letting the dog run loose (and we don’t even have a dog) and then…oh wait…sorry, that was my kid, back to yours…

Let me state that this situation has happened to me so I can definitely tell you what NOT to do:

Do not say “Does mommy have to cut a bitch?” in response to your friend’s admonishments.

Do not decide that your friend’s desire to reprimand your child is an implied wish to take care of him/her for the weekend and hightail it to Vegas ASAP.

Do not sit quietly allowing your friend to infringe on your responsibilities, as this will simply manifest itself as latent anger that will wake you up at 4 a.m. and force you to register said friend for Bedwetters Monthly, The Mel Gibson Fan Club and Charlie Sheen’s Winners Circle Book Club.

Instead, explain to your friend that her friendship means a lot to you, that you really value her opinions and you really appreciate how much she cares for your child.   However, you are trying really hard to make sure your child sees you as the authority figure in this parent-child tête-à-tête so it’s important that you are the one to reprimand him/her.

Make sure that if your child does something you aren’t aware of (mine usually likes to grab a sharpie and draw on the cat when my gaze is elsewhere) that she is free and encouraged, even, to bring this situation to your attention and you will handle it.

Signed Tonya, ad hoc MOM

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25 Responses to “Playdate Politics: Did You Just Reprimand MY Kid?!”

04.21.11#1

Comment by Plano Mom.

I do this. Without even thinking about it. It’s almost conversational, like “Yeah, what she said!” I usually catch myself and apologize, but when I don’t, I do appreciate someone saying something. It is rude and undermines parenting, but for me I have some brain glitch that makes me think I’m a village (idiot).

04.21.11#2

Comment by Mousegate 2011: Run For Your Lives…Over to The Mouthy Housewives! « ad hoc MOM.

[…] guest posting at The Mouthy Housewives today (check it out here) so I should be over the moon! I can’t tell you how excited I was when Kelcey from The Mama Bird […]

04.21.11#3

Comment by Lynn MacDonald (All Fooked Up).

I hate when this happens. My kids still hate my cousin to this day because she constantly reprimanded my kids when it was none of her business.

I’d speak up..not that my kids ever did anything wrong.

04.21.11#4

Comment by hokgardner.

There was one woman in our playgroup who did this ALL the time, and it drove us all insane. Finally we started speaking up, not in the gentle manner you described, but a flat out, “Thank you for your help, but I’ve got this already.”

She soon left our playgroup, and we all breathed a sigh of relief.

04.21.11#5

Comment by carrie.

FABULOUS ADVICE!!! Am overly concerned that I am said friend, although I can’t remember an incident. I mean, I don’t even know what my own kids are doing half the time so I can’t imagine I was observant enough to see another child in the room! There is nothing more horrible than seeing or hearing another parent scold your child. Even if they’re right. That’s mama bear territory!!!

04.21.11#6

Comment by Paula/adhocmom.

OMG. Tonya. Is this why P is sitting on my front porch with a $20 pinned to his chest and a note saying “please take care of me my parents are going back to Vegas?” Or did you just really have that good of a time. . cause that would be cool with me and I’ll totally take good care of him while you guys are gone! Pierce! Bring me another bloody mary!!!!

04.21.11#7

Comment by OldLadyInaShoe.

I have a spoken agreement with about 5 other moms in my moms group that are like minded that they can discipline my children without asking me first and I can do the same with theirs. I personally feel reassured that there are other mothers there to help hold my kids to their good behavior when things get chaotic and I can’t watch as well as I would wish to.

On the other hand, if a mother other than these 5 were to discipline my children without my permission, it would be on like Donkey Kong!

04.21.11#8

Comment by Suniverse.

Ah, so I probably also shouldn’t actually go ahead and punch that bitch trying to usurp my AH-THOR-I-TA?

Huh. Live and learn.

PS GREAT POST!

04.21.11#9

Comment by N and Em's mom.

Try ending your discipline with an apology from your child. “Apologize to Suzy for running through her house and screaming like a banshee.” If you are somewhere neutral or at home, they should apologize for interrupting the adults with their behavior. It’s a moment to teach kids that their behavior affects others, lets you keep control of the situation, and should give your friend the last word by accepting the apology.

04.21.11#10

Comment by Alexandra.

Comments here cracking me UP.

Yeah, no, just not into those beyotches at all.

Just.no.

04.21.11#11

Comment by KG.

If you’re there, and you’ve dealt with whatever the misdemeanor was, then your friend needs to sit back and zip it. I agree with the earlier commenter who suggested saying, “I’ve got this covered,” if a friend tries to piggy-back on your disciplinary action. My mom is the worst offender. I’ve explained to her that if one person disciplines a kid, the kid hears it, if more than one person chimes in, it just becomes noise.

04.21.11#12

Comment by Sue @ Laundry for Six.

I think I’d have to cut a bitch!

04.21.11#13

Comment by Abbey.

I personally don’t care if another mom politely tells my child not to do something. and in my circle of friends we have a camaraderie like that. We all look out for others kids. HOWEVER, if i just corrected my child and one of them said it again, that is UNDERMINING me as their mother. I would end up turning to her and saying (in a tone she would get) “I think he got what i said, thank you!” I would and do make my children apologize for their bad/rude behavior when they need correcting, but i don’t need to be dissed by another mom, my kids are good enough at that! geez.

I am not sure where exactly i am supposed to put a comment mentioning The Silver Diva to enter said contest, but I LOVE THEIR STUFF!! so if this is not where to leave a comment, please enlighten me! 🙂

04.21.11#14

Comment by Wendi.

A nice “Did I stutter, motherfucker?” always works wonders.

mobriley Reply:

I wish I had the guts to say this to someone

N and Em's mom Reply:

If the apology isn’t necessary/doesn’t work and I can’t use “cut a bitch,” I’ll keep this in my back pocket. Ad hoc mom and the Mouthy Housewives are hilarious as always.

04.21.11#15

Comment by Christina Simon.

Ok, your piece is hilarious and so are some of the comments!

04.21.11#16

Comment by Regina.

cut a bitch – definitely. but in a polite tone of voice, of course.

04.21.11#17

Comment by Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him.

I like to turn slowly and lift my hand into a pistol formation and fire off a few ‘air shots’, like Clint Eastwood in Grand Torino.

This shuts everyone up. Until they stop inviting me.

04.22.11#18

Comment by Jennifer.

As someone mentioned above, I am not sure if this is the right place to leave a comment regarding the Silver Diva, so if it’s not, there are now at least two of us needing enlightenment! Anhow, she’s the one who brought me here…thanks!

04.22.11#19

Comment by I'm a big ol' b with a captial B!.

I have absolutely corrected other people’s kids when they’ve been hitting or fighting (physically) with one another and the other parent just happens to be in a different room. I will continue to do so, as well, because it’s a matter of safety.

However, that’s as far as I go. Anything else and it’s a matter up to the mom. Although, I have brought up things to the mom’s attention before, “Suzy continues to grab things out of Andrew’s hands. It seems to really be making him upset. What do you think?” To Suzy’s mom who doesn’t seem to get a clue.

04.25.11#20

Comment by Steph.

I Like The Silver Diva on Facebook!

Your blog is great!

04.25.11#21

Comment by Steph.

The Silver Diva is an amazing artist! I love her jewelry!

04.25.11#22

Comment by Steph.

I “Like” The Mouthy Housewives on Facebook!

04.25.11#23

Comment by Lisa.

What exactly is the problem here? Can someone explain how this undermines a parent’s authority by AGREEING WITH YOU? I don’t get it. From the responses, it sounds like the original letter was complaining about being contradicted in front of her child, not supported.

Sheesh, people, lighten up. Children need all the guidelines they can get nowadays.

Or am I the only one who noticed kids behave way better for other adults than they do their own parents?

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