Free range parents! (Or not parenting at all)


Update 8/31/18

I agree with all comments... honestly I wondered if I was just not agreeing with parenting styles but you guys are right... they just aren’t parenting. I really can’t just avoid them, unfortunately but I may have to have a talk with them.

Hey y’all,

I need some advice. I have an acquaintance who about a year ago adopted two toddlers, she is in her 40s as is her husband. And they believe in free range parenting, though they don’t call it that. Anyways their son is 3, (daughter is 2) and my son is 5.

My husband and I work with the dad and the wife desperately wants to be our friend and be “family”. We all live far from our families so I get it but... their parenting style kills me. She expects everyone to watch her kids but her.

Example from a few months ago, the office and all families got together for a forth of July picnic. After we ate the kids were playing and mine came to me crying saying that the other boy hit him, so I had him sit with me and watched the other two run a muck, and nearly climbing over balconies, getting into peoples offices and into drawers all as the parents just chilled and talked to friends. I end up watching them the whole time.

I steered clear for a while, the wife asked me over for a play date the other day and within an hour both of her children had hit mine without cause. I saw it. I quickly made an excuse and went home.

Today the wife called me and said her babysitter (she doesn’t work btw) couldn’t make it today so could she bring the kids to my house... I told her no because I had to work today. Later the whole office goes out to lunch kids included. She sat her son right next to mine. They talked and played nicely then out of the blue her little boy slapped mine in the face. I told him strongly “we do not hit!” And she didn’t even say a thing. Soon after her son spit in my sons face and I couldn’t take it anymore. I sat between them and told mine not to mess with the other anymore. After we were done eating her kids started lining up chairs in the restaurant and waking on them (remember 2 and 3 year olds). My son told them it was dangerous, and thier Mom said “aww well I am glad they are having fun) and just went back to talking.

I don’t know what to do, I can’t avoid them forever, but can not let my son be treated that way, nor am I willing to be their parent when their parents are right there...