March 6, 2023

Ask Margaret: What Do You Do When Your Kid Ruins His Own Playdate?

When our kid throws a fit or storms out of a social gathering, embarrassing themselves AND us, how can we problem-solve in the moment in a way that's not punishing or even more disruptive?

A listener asked: "How do I respond when my child gets upset about something during a playdate and they are dealing with their own feelings and end up ignoring their friend?"

Margaret explains that as mortifying as this may be from our perspective when our kid acts out at a playdate or other event, we've all had this happen to us, because kids are kids.

Once there's a blowup, an immediate and completely smooth reset is probably not possible. The best you can do is let your kid cool off by themselves and check in with them every few minutes about possibly rejoining the others. Check in with your kid's guest to make sure they can keep playing happily.

And if your kid feels bad about how they acted after the fact, it's okay to confirm that and help them sit with the discomfort of how their bad choices affected everyone else.

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