Friend's children causing damage.?

l have a friend with three young (uncontrolled) kids. They regularly visit me, and their mom does nothing to stop them breaking things in my house, ruining furniture, spilling stuff on rugs, etc. l do have a childproof house (for my own kids), but these children are something else. l've tried talking to her, but she laughs it off saying that's just kids, l've also tried stepping in to tell them off, but she just undermines me, and tells the kids not to worry. l'm at my wits end, we can't get together without the kids, neither of us can afford a sitter. Do you think it's innappropriate to start asking her to pay for the damage caused. Just the major stuff, which is costing into the hundreds now. What else could l do?


I should just add that l have suggested getting together at her place, but she calls in unannounced.

16 Answers

  • Sonja
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Best answer

    All the answers here already have great suggestions, and l totally agree. Just one extra thought, what about saying to her "now that the kids are getting older, l want to start teaching them about minding their manners outside of the home". Ask her for advice on setting certain groundrules for your kids, and manage to slip in quite a few comments about not allowing your children to run around unchecked, destroy property, etc etc. Basically let her know in a roundabout way all the things that she is doing that you find wrong. lf she doesn't get the message after that, then l think you definately need to start withdrawing from the friendship somewhat. Aside from damage to property, what happens when your kids start picking up bad habits! Good Luck!

  • Annie
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Have a phone chat with your friend. Point out that you understand she has her own parenting style, but that her kids have caused multiple, serious amounts of damage at your home. List a few and how much it cost you to repair/replace the damaged items. Let her know you enjoy her friendship, but that you need to come to some sort of understanding because you simply can not continue to pay for all of this. Suggest that if damage is caused by any of the kids to something at the other person's house, that parent will be responsible for paying for the repairs/replacements. Be specific as to what damage qualifies...stains from accidental spills are one thing, a child painting on the rug is another! If she balks then sugges that all get togethers happen at neutal locations like the park. As for the drop bys, once she is there, immediately state how long the visit can last..."Oh, nice to see you. But I want to let you know that the kids and I have to leave in an hour." or "Billy has a lot of homework this week, so I hope you won't mind but I need you to leave as soon as he gets off the bus so we can get it finished before dinner."

  • 1 decade ago

    Make a clear point: Send the children outside. If the mother complains, tell her you can't have them breaking things and she is not willing to stop them.

    Don't talk about her inability to control them; call it a choice that she makes, and a choice you make as a result of her choice.

    Be resolute. Don't argue about How To Raise Your Kids. Don't give her a I Don't Want Your Kids.

    No argument. No anger. Just send them outside.

    You are not angry at all. It is just damage control.

    If you refrain from getting angry and keep from telling her to handle her kids differently, but you do simply send them outside, she will

    a) not be offended

    b) get the point.

    Offense is very important. Don't ever suggest that her method of raising children is wrong. No parent can take that.

    But simply make it a 1+1=2.

    Kids break things inside = kids go outside.

    This goes in winter too. This goes also when the children can't be left unsupervised. That is not your problem.

    Look at it like this:

    1. She has bad kids.

    2. When she comes to you, the bad kids become your problem.

    3. The owner of the kids does not care that you have a problem.

    4. You don't assign blame. You simply deal with the problem.

    If you do that, you turn it around and make it her problem again.

    If she complains you can't send her kids outside: Reply that that's not your problem.

    Behave just like her: She doesn't see a problem with her kids breaking things in your house.

    Then you don't see a problem with her kids being outside.

    The kids inside: That's a problem for you. You simply deal with your problem. Kids outside is a problem? Her problem; she can deal with it.

  • 1 decade ago

    Absolutely tell her she needs to pay for it. ALL of it.

    I assume you're good friends, since you talk about wanting to get together without the kids, but the way this woman is acting is NOT the way you treat a friend. True friends would be respectful enough to stop their children from tearing apart their friend's house and belongings. They also would OFFER to replace items destroyed by their children.

    The next time she steps in to laugh it off and say it's okay, I would turn to her, look her in the eyes, and say "Do you realize YOU'RE forgiving them for damaging MY home?" That's not her place. The only property she gets to say is "okay" to break is her own property.

    This woman either isn't your friend, or she simply has no clue how to be a good friend. Tell her that you have to insist that she do something about her child's behavior, or you will have to find other ways to keep in contact without her coming over to your home. Get together at her house, the park, McDonalds, wherever, so you and she can chat and the kids can play.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Oh, thats tough! I have a friend who's kids are the same way...When they got out of hand, I made them all (6of them) sit on the couch for a while to "find some self control"...Even the 2yo, and it worked.. But, she did not undermine me.. You cant even turn the tables on her either, without messing up your own kids...hhmmmmm... I guess instead of sitting visiting with her, you just keep after her kids, and when she tells you to come sit down, tell her you are too busy watching her kids to talk??? That's just nuts!! I cant believe people would let their kids act like that! I have five, and if mine acted that way at someone's house, they would be taking care of quickly! I am really big into teaching the kids self control!

  • 1 decade ago

    I am dealing with a real similar situation right now and as I see it you only have a few options. 1. You do what I did the last time and finally lose it and yell at her kids like they where your own and put the fear of god in them, even though it will cause issues between you and their mom. 2. you start giving her a bill for the damage and tell her if she is not going to train her kids to behave then she can pay for their actions since she does not make them pay for them. 3. you do nothing and live with being frustrated while watching your property be destroyed. In my case we are not spending nearly as much time together as we were because I would rather not have them in my house if it is going to cause me to be constantly pissed at seeing my things broken and then told not to worry about it. Good Luck

  • 1 decade ago

    Speak with her adult to adult and tell her that her children are causing damage to your home and if this continues then she will be responsible for the damage. If she continues to "step in and tell the kids not to worry" turn to her and tell her "your children are damaging my home, I would appreciate if you would tell them to stop"

    If she continues to drop by unannounced then - tell her that you are busy and cannot stop to chat. Then close the door.

    Do not let this continue - you need to be assertive and face this situation head on. No one likes confrontation, but in your case - her children are damaging your home and causing you to pay hundreds of $$ that you didn't count on...

    She laughs it off and says "kids will be kids" Well the next time they cause damage present her with a bill for the damage. She doesn't sound much like a "friend" if she's this uncaring towards your home and you.

  • 1 decade ago

    I agree with granny. I would tell her her she needs to control her kids or leave them at home. Kids will have an accident and break something, but if they are breaking things every time they come over that's ridiculous. I would make her pay for the things her kids damaged and not let the kids come over if she's not gonna control them. One thing that helped me with my sister in law kids is baby sitting them. Let them know you mean business. Mom wont be there for them to run to. After watching them a couple times then let the mom come back. They will remember that you mean business and won't be as bad. It worked for me.

  • gogirl
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    There are a lot of good suggestions already posted on this, but I would like to add that the home they are destroying is YOUR home. It has been my experience that if you do not stand up for yourself in situations like this, no one else will. If the kids cannot be controlled, then meet on neutral territory, or not meet at all. I would think if she was really your friend, she would respect you and your home.

  • 1 decade ago

    You're not doing her any favors by keeping quiet about how you feel.

    The sooner she realizes that you don't want her children around the sooner she's going to start to learn that she needs to start doing some parenting.

    You may lose a friend but who cares.

    She doesn't have enough respect for you, your time, your posessions or your sense of well being to control her children in your home. Why would you want her as a friend?

    Find someone who respect you to hang out with.

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