Girl's New Friend Tries To Take Her Things During Playdates & Mom Has Had It


Two girls playing dollhouse

Encouraging your kids to be friendly and kind to everyone they meet is an unspoken part of this whole parenting gig. But here's what the parenting books won't tell you: Sometimes, the friends they'll bring home won't exactly be your cup of tea. In fact, sometimes they'll downright bug you. One mom on Reddit is venting this week about her 8-year-old daughter's friend who's developed an uncomfortable and persistent problem: Every time she comes over for a playdate, she asks if she can have something and tries to take it home.

  • The 8-year-old, who the poster refers to as "Sierra," comes over from time to time either before or after school.

    It usually has to do with Sierra's parents needing someone to watch her, because of their conflicting schedules, and the Reddit poster says she's "glad to help."

    But here's the thing: Sierra has begun to wear out her welcome. 

    The poster says her kid is "getting soured" on the playdate because of Sierra's pushy and rude behavior. 

    "She sorta 'shops' in our house," the poster explained, before describing how little by little, the 8-year-old has asked to take things from their home for herself.

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  • "By this I mean she asks for things," the poster explains. "Random things she likes." 

    And she's pretty pushy about it. 

    "Once it was a button box that belonged to my great aunt," the poster continued. "She said she really liked it and asked, 'Do you use this??' I said it's a decoration and usually has buttons on it but my toddler dumped them. She said, 'I would play with it all the time. Do you need it?' I said it was my aunt's and I'm not giving it away."

    YIKES. Talk about a real ballbuster.

  • That first incident wasn't the only one of its kind. Soon, the poster's kid started complaining about other things Sierra asked for.

    "My kid is pretty generous, though, and she made it worse I think by offering her a few toys," the mom explained. 

    The situation was growing awkward, but she tried her best to advise her daughter on how to deal with it.

    "I told my kid not to offer to give Sierra anything, because it would encourage her to keep asking," she explained. "Next visit my kid forgot and Sierra asked again for other things, so my kid said no. I reminded her afterward to stop giving things away because it encourages Sierra's asking."

  • Recently, however, there was one more incident -- and it was the last straw for this mama.

    It happened one day on another playdate, after Sierra became "fixated" on a little rock her daughter received as a souvenir that was sitting on a shelf.

    "She kept going on and on, 'I love rocks. I don't have one like that,'" the mom recalled. "My kid said no, then asked Sierra to come in her room to play. Sierra said 'I'll only play with you [if] you give me that rock.'"

    Oh, yes. Oh yes she did.

    The mom intervened, telling her no, and reiterating that it was a souvenir from a special place and not just any rock. Still, the mom is annoyed -- it sure seems like this is a pattern of behavior and not one that will be letting up any time soon.

    She's wondering how to nip the matter in the bud once and for all, and isn't sure if she should sit the kid down for a chat or speak with her mother.

  • Some people said the kid was old enough to handle a one-on-one talk about their behavior.

    "She's 8," wrote one person. "She's old enough to be told to cut it out. I've had to do this with a kid who wanted my daughter's old clothes that she wouldn't even be able to wear."

    "This is a great opportunity to show your kid how to set boundaries," another person commented. "Tell Sierra how you feel when she asks for your things next time it happens. She is only 8 and needs feedback to learn what is and what is not polite/socially acceptable."

    After all, the commenter noted, "Hinting around about the button box is borderline ... it sounds like she is trying to figure out where that line is." 

  • Others argued that it was really best to speak with the girl's mother first.

    "I would speak to her mom and if next time she still did it I would sternly tell her it’s rude to ask for other people’s belongings," wrote one commenter.

    "I think you should talk to mom because either the mom doesn’t know about this behavior she is pulling at other people’s homes and once mom is aware she can help correct the behavior ... OR mom is aware of the behavior already and doesn’t see it as a problem and/or won’t help in correcting the behavior," another commented. "And then you would know this will probably always be a problem."

  • Others wondered why the mom couldn't talk to them both.

    "Talk to them both!" one person suggested. "Your language for addressing it directly with Sierra is fine, but you should also address it with her mom."

  • Other users pointed out that the behavior may be annoying, but it may also signal deeper issues at home.

    "It sounds like Sierra either comes from a home where she gets everything she wants or nothing she wants," wrote one person.

    The same user also agreed that talking to both the mom and the child might be for the best.

    "On the one hand, I think, at 8 years old, talking to her first and being gentle, but firm in explaining that it's inappropriate for her to be doing this in your house is fine," the person advised. "You should be able to set boundaries in your own home and she's not being a good guest.

    "On the other hand," the person continued, "I think her mom needs to be made aware of the behavior. Whether you talk to Sierra and she stops asking or not, given how pushy she's become about it, I'd actually be a little concerned that she'll hear your words, stop asking, and start sneaking things out. So I think mom needs to know."

    Although the original poster hasn't updated to say whether the "talk" has happened yet, it's safe to say something needs to be said -- and soon. (Or else she might want to start hiding things in her closets whenever the next playdate rolls around.)