Initially my question was, how do I discipline other people's children but I am not sure that is the right question, nor is it something I actually want to do. More over, I need to understand better how to deal with other people's kids when the children lack any discipline.
My 2 friend's children like me because I give them a lot of attention when I am around. My friend tells me they see me as a big kid. I'm 30 & these kids are 7/8. I usually don't have too much problem talking to their mothers and playing with them at the same time and often I'll be in a situation where their mothers are talking in their native language at which point I just switch off from them.
I believe both kids are quite poorly behaved - they are not terrible but just some situations they don't have down. They do not listen very easily to their mothers. I don't think the mothers see how bad their children can be but I am comparing to the kids in my family who's parent disciplined them well from a young age and knew very well the consequences of misbehaving - One of them hit me several times today which would have been surprising if I hadn't seen her hit her mother before. These kids habitually get away with behaviour that is completely unheard of in my very large family.
Today I was invited to an event. Adults downstairs and these 2 kids were playing upstairs. Once they realised I was there, I made the mistake of interacting with them for a bit but from that point onwards the kids would not leave me alone. They were physically trying to stop me from going downstairs, pulling me, holding onto my legs etc. Which I didn't mind at first. In my family, this wouldn't have been a problem:- The problem I have with these children is that they don't know the meaning of stop - and there is nothing I can say to them that says, I am not playing anymore. There was a point where I tried to do this and one of them said to me - or what. How do I answer that? I have no power over these children and in a situation where they won't leave me alone the easiest thing for me to do is leave (which would be ridiculous). I considered that when I was a child - someone saying they would inform my parents would have been enough to make me rethink my actions but for these children it wouldn't matter (mother hasn't implemented good techniques for discipline, she now sees them as ineffective which leads me to believe she did something incorrect or age inappropriate).
I know with me, the one thing these children care about is whether or not I like them but I don't think it would be reasonable/good their psychological health to tell them that their behaviour is making me dislike them. Its obvious that they crave attention but I cannot ignore children who are physically holding on to me when I have no way of getting them to stop.
I feel like the thing I must do is withdraw completely, reset and rebuild my relationship with the children with clear boundaries but it isn't clear to me how to make that work