My husband and I have a couple friend who has two children ages 5 (boy) and 2.5 (girl).

We have a 3.5-year-old son and a 20-month-old girl.

The two families get together quite often. The parents have similar interests etc. The mom is literally one of my best friends.

However, I am finding myself in uncomfortable situations when they are over due to how their children are. The 5-year-old son is like a tornado in my house and my son turns into a tornado around him as well. He becomes more violent, he plays more rough and it is usually extremely loud in the house when they are over. The girl is a bit easier to control but she has similar issues.

We get together with other parents as well, sometimes there is even more kids in the house but the situation is never like with this family.

I do not know what to do. I really want to have my friends over, but I am finding myself limiting the interactions when their kids are around to max once a week because of these problems.

I tried to enforce the 'house rules' (which are really really relaxed to start with... no yelling, no throwing things unless its a ball etc.) when they are over but it is very hard to entertain friends and parent at the same time. I also don't know how they would react if I started enforcing rules on their children. My husband also thinks that their son is showing autistic behaviors (obviously this is just personal opinion, he is no doctor).

The mom usually just says that this is how he is.. this is the age he is in. She even cheers when my son does something bad because her son is not the 'only bad one'. You can imagine I do not share the sentiment especially because my son never ever acts like that when he is not around her son.

So I am not sure what to do. We really want to stay friends but at this point I am stressed to the max just thinking about them coming over as a family. Please give me advice!

  • Clearly you have a conflict between yourself as yourself (wanting friends over) and as a parent (make sure your boy behaves well). You cannot change how your friend behaves, so I think you gotta sacrifice one for the other.
    – Alic
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 18:06
  • Have you talked to your friends about this? If so, what happened?
    – Becuzz
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 18:42
  • 1
    I've seen friendships break over issues like this, and it's ok. Sad, yes, but ok. Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 21:47

3 Answers 3


In my house, it does not matter who's kid you are. We have house rules that everyone must obey by, including visitors.

It's not OK for an adult to come into my house and smoke a cigar; Nor is it OK for a kid to come into my house and start running and screaming.

I think it's up to you to enforce the house rules on everyone, including visitors regardless of their age.

When we are out of the house, on a trip or somewhere with other people... things are a bit different. Then my kids know that, me as a parent have a set of rules they must obey by, and they are aware that other parents have their own set of rules their kids must obey to.

I have no problem telling my kids: "Maybe HE can but, YOU... YOU CAN'T"


I have never had this problem. I think I would either meet my friend without kids or have a talk on the phone. Be honest. You are a parent and as much as you love your friend, your children are your number one priority. Tell her that if your house rules are not enforced by her then you will have to see each other in other ways. Harsh, yes. Do not make excuses or give her a problem to solve. She either agrees or not. You are not a bad person for choosing your family as your priority.

Ask yourself how you would feel if she said this to you. Is she overwhelmed? Does she need a break? Your being caring and understanding of her problems might help, but that does not change your priority.


Well, besides enforcing your rules in your home, which is already said here, you should definitely talk to your friend and say them openly, that their kids are about to turn into assholes and your friend needs to stop that, if she cares the slightest about their children. If they don't change that, the solution is simply that your friends can only come to you without their children.

And if they are mad because you talk so open with them, and can't take it, they are not the kind of people you need as friends.

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