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What would you do if you knew a parent like this?
November 13, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Moms Who Don't Discipline Their Kids Make Me Crazy

My friend does not believe in disciplining her 2-year-old daughter. Yes, you read that right. My friend, let's call her Lisa, once let her daughter, let's call her Megan, flush the toilet 30 times.Just because she wanted to. When both of them were at my home for dinner, I watched her daughter deliberately pour a glass of water right over my table. I had to say, "No, Megan!" while my friend just smiled.

My friend confesses that at a recent play date, her daughter smeared a gooey snack all over the host mom's bedspread. She apologized to the mom but didn't tell her kid she'd done anything wrong. I've stopped speaking to my friend on the phone while Megan is awake, because she screams endlessly while we talk, blasting a hole in my ear. My friend never once says, "Sweetie, I'm on the phone." Why does she allow all of this? "I guess it's just easier this way," my friend admits. "The truth is, I hate to make my daughter cry."

I asked my friend if she worries that Megan will grow up to be one of those people who believes she can do whatever she wants, whenever she wants, with no repercussions. "Mmmm … yeahhhh," she reluctantly admits. "But I keep hoping one day I'll start to discipline her. Right now, she's so young. I figure she's like a dog. She's not going to understand what I say anyway." Umm, okay. 

I ask my friend if this could just be making life easier for herself, and she admits it does: "If I tell her not to do something, she pitches a fit. I'd rather just clean up whatever mess she makes than argue with her." She also admits she leaves the role of "bad cop" to her husband, who is more of a discipline type. She also reveals that this is the way she herself grew up - her parents let her do whatever she liked. And, hey, she didn't turn out psycho. 

Lisa says this laissez faire attitude doesn't apply if her kid wants to do something dangerous like, say, run into traffic. But sometimes she prefers to let her kid "learn the hard way." For instance, Megan tried to touch a burning candle and, rather than warn her about it, my friend said, "Go ahead." Megan got her fingers close enough to realize that a candle was nothing to play around with, didn't get burned, and now says, "Hot hot" when she sees a candle. Says Lisa, "She'll learn her lesson that way faster than if I tell her no. If I say no, she just wants to do it more."

My friend admits to feeling guilty in allowing this parenting style to run rampant in public places. She'll take her daughter out of a restaurant or other public place if she's acting up, but there's no lecture afterwards telling her that she didn't behave. 

I've spent a lot of time with Megan (an only child) and her mom, and I've sometimes found myself in the role of disciplinarian at their house. Once when Megan was screaming at the dog for "stealing my food" (the dog was nowhere near her food), I told her in a firm voice to "knock it off." Lisa just grinned. At least my friend doesn't seem to mind if someone else takes over disciplining, but sometimes feels like a burden I don't really want. (I draw the line at letting a kid be a brat with pets!) Interestingly, Megan is very attached to me despite my drawing boundaries. She even seems to welcome them. 

Luckily, Megan is naturally a pretty good kid -- she throws tantrums and is clearly spoiled, but she's also good-hearted, loves people and animals (even the dog she screams at), and in general doesn't act like too much of a lunatic. But I do wonder how she'll fare in the real world one day. And I do feel sorry for her future teachers! 

Does it make you crazy when moms let their kids run the house?

I would so not be able to be around this mother, if one of my friends decided to parent like this I think that would have to be the end of the friendship sadly.


  • TCain0001
    November 14, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Oh, she's nuts!  At 2 years old, that child is old enough to know better.  So what if you tell her no?  What's gonna happen.....her little heart gets broken?  Big deal......she'll get over it.  Kids are very resiliant that way.  Also, she needs to learn what's good behavior and what's not.  If one of my kids had behaved in like that in any way, shape or form, they wouldn't sit for a week, because I'd bust their behinds but good (major spanking, not serious beatins here)!  When my kids were that little, if they tried to do anything like what was described, they either got their hand tapped or a swat on the butt.......they got the message loud and clear.  If my friend refused to discipline their kids, I would also gently but firmly tell her that she would be allowed to visit, but not to bring the child back until she could behave with some decorum.

  • ninipanini
    November 17, 2012 at 7:11 PM

     I would never ever get close enough to someone making decision like this to find out how their kid acted...

    And if by chance I ran into someone and got to talking to them, I would never ever make plans to see them again...

    And if I had a friend who had a kid that acted like that I would just stop hanging around with that person

  • waffa
    by waffa
    November 17, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    Even though I have 2 kids of my own, I generally don't like kids, especially when they aren't mine so feel like I have no say in their rotten behavior(s).

    I'm something between a tiger mom and friend of the kids; I pick and choose my battles, but when I stand my ground it can get realllllllllyyyyyy ugly here.

  • Kris_PBG
    November 17, 2012 at 7:37 PM
    That would not be a friend I would keep...

    Thankfully, I don't have any friends like that!
  • sweet.daydream
    November 17, 2012 at 8:19 PM
    Oh man...i have a friend like that, only her daugher isnt 2 she's 16 smh.
  • Oceana09
    November 17, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    And that my friends, is how Lindsay Lohan was born.

  • Treymama
    November 17, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    My niece dh sisters daughter is 2 and is not disciplined at all. She cusses worse then a truck driver she hits kicks bites pulls hair does not share and all my sil does is laughs and says she's so mean and naughty. And when my mil says something to her she says well I don't teach her to say and do that stuff. Well no but you don't stop her from doing it either. She has done this since she could walk and talk. I'm so tired of it. I will yell at her myself when she des it to my kids. And then they all think I'm a psycho bitch. Um no my children are not going to behave like that and I will not allow her to cuss at my or my children or lay a hand on them or jack their toys like she does. I am going to say something when it involves my children 

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