Home > Ask Our Experts > How do I approach my Friend About Her Children?

How do I approach my Friend About Her Children?

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 1 Apr 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
How Do I Approach My Friend About Her Children?

Q.

I am living in my friends' house due to financial problems, and their children won't listen to me at all. They get into my stuff they run off with my stuff and they take stuff from my kids, they are all together disobedient. Their parents sit on the computer all day. How do I handle this?

(Mr Jesse burbank, 7 October 2008)

A.

This must be a frustrating situation, so take a deep breath. Count to ten. Then, remind yourself that you are living in your friends’ house.

The bad news is that when you live in someone else’s house you really do live under their rules – just like Mum used to tell you. But the good news is that if your friends really are on their computers all day they may not realise what is happening with their children.

Suggest to your friends that you’d like to take them out for a cup of tea or a drink and have a chat about your living arrangements. When you are in neutral territory, employ the “sandwich method” of discussing the problem by sandwiching your complaints in between two compliments. For example, thank them for allowing you to stay with them but then mention that there are some concerns you’ve had in the past couple of days/weeks/months. Discuss your concerns fully, but avoid simply listing your complaints. Offer solutions that you think might work for the current situation. Then finish your discussion with another compliment. Something along the lines of “I just wanted to discuss this with you early so that I know where you stand and we can move forward in a way that you are happy with.”

Be warned, however, that the way forward really will have to be whichever way your friends decide. Of course it would be nice if your friends take into account your feelings as their houseguest, but at the end of the day it is their house and their family.

Hopefully you and your friends will be able to reach an agreement about how all of the children in the house should act towards each other, and how you will each engage in disciplining the children. It may well be that your friends don’t feel it is your place to discipline their children, or their place to discipline yours. If you don’t have general household rules in place already, use your chat as a chance to hammer them out so that every adult and child will be on the same page about what is appropriate and what is not.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Deeg0303
    Re: Handling Friendship Problems at Primary School
    My 9 year old son has a 'girlfriend's at school which I fully support to gain that emotional experience but…
    11 February 2019
  • Smarie
    Re: Questionnaire: Does Your Child Have ADHD?
    Please help I have a boy who is 5 he constantly is winging always screams loses his temper a lot and lately is…
    9 February 2019
  • Nelly
    Re: Attachment Disorders in Children
    Attachment Disorder deserves more recognition here in the UK, I have found a number of sites in the US on RAD yet hardly any…
    3 February 2019
  • Rock
    Re: Children and Body Rocking
    My twin brother and I, we rocked all our life to sleep. My brother died 2 years ago. I am 65 years old and still rocking. We also bit…
    27 January 2019
  • Nikki
    Re: Questionnaire: Does Your Child Have ADHD?
    My 9 year old son has no sense of danger or awareness of dangerous situations. He walked straight out onto a main…
    19 January 2019
  • lovemyson
    Re: Children and Body Rocking
    Well this was very interesting too read. I am 36 years old and never looked it up until now. I still roll going to sleep every night.…
    7 January 2019
  • Nate
    Re: Grounding Children
    Well today my girlfriend was over at are house and we have both been grounded a lot before and we wanted to do something fun so this morning my…
    5 January 2019
  • Nat
    Re: Child Anxiety Disorders
    Hi, my (only just) 7 year old has always had some anxiety and difficulties in crowds and noisy places. He has recently started being…
    3 January 2019
  • Shortboss
    Re: Children and Body Rocking
    My son is two yrs and 3 months he rocks a lot and I'm really scared of the what ifs
    1 January 2019
  • rocker101
    Re: Children and Body Rocking
    the way i rock is setting up a pile of pillows behind me, so i dont hirt myself. two big ones behind my back, and two smaller ones on…
    30 December 2018