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My Married Life: My Friend's Kids Are Out of Control

Is it ever okay to say something?

This is one of those topics that peaks for me and then dies back down for awhile. I'll forget about it for a good six months … until something happens. Something being code for I try to hang out with K, one of my oldest, dearest friends and her very young, very loud, very badly behaved children. Let me first qualify this rant by saying that I am a child lover. Okay, child freak. I am the one who babysits everyone's kid for the first time -- like, they weren't comfortable leaving the kid with their mom, but I passed muster. So I have some kid skills, and I am not completely unrealistic about what to expect in terms of occasional tantrums and bad behavior. But, oh, my God y'all. K’s kids are so bad! When I get home from hanging with her, I obsess about whether or not I should talk to her about it for days. Days! And I know I'm not alone -- they were just talking about this on Twitter Moms. See, the issue is really not the kids, it's K’s parenting style. Rather than enforcing consequences, she pleads and bargains with her brood when they misbehave. But even pathetic pleading (we are talking offering ice cream at 9:00 a.m., folks) doesn't work on these children. They really need some boundaries and discipline. Of course, that's just my opinion, and honestly, I don't think it's safe to discuss it with her, because she's so sensitive about it. But boy, do I want to have a heart-to-heart with her. What do you guys think? Is it ever okay to talk to a mother about how she handles her kids?

-- Holly