Having playdates can be stressful, especially for parents of children with autism. A parent of a 4-year-old with autism took to Reddit to see if they were in the wrong for keeping their son’s room off-limits during playdates to protect certain toys their 4-year-old likes to collect.
“Pretty straightforward, I got a lock for my four year old’s room. My son is only four but he’s super in the collecting things. (He has autism) He has probably every single monster jam monster truck ever made, he has every single Marvel/DC/superhero action figure you could think of, and he’s really into setting up these huge marble runs. Everything is organized and put away nicely and my son likes to keep it that way,” the OP explained.
“The problem is that every time my best friends kids or my nephew comes over, they b-line it to his room and trash everything. Literally from ripping off legs [of] the action figures, ripping off tires to his monster trucks and just trashing every single toy that they can get their hands on in general,” the OP continued.
It makes sense why the OP would want to keep their child’s door locked, especially since they go to say: “I’m not even talking about just normal wear and tear these kids are f***ing like destructive and they will destroy almost everything they put their hands on.”
This, of course, left their son distressed, so the OP decided that “they are no longer allowed in my sons room period.” The OP noted that they had plenty of other toys in the living room and other areas safe for play around the house. But now that the son’s room was off limits, the OP’s guests “started throwing a fit” when they weren’t allowed in the 4-year-old’s room, saying that the toys in the other parts of the house ‘aren’t good enough and they’re bored.’”
While it seems a bit rude for the kids to whine, it isn’t completely unexpected. What was surprising was the OP’s sister and best friend’s reaction.
“My sister and best friend are both saying that I’m being too much and saying that they’re just toys. But these toys are expensive… And after everyone’s gone and the room is trashed and all his toys are broken and misplaced he’s really upset over it. Rightfully IMO. They say I am teaching him not to share and to be greedy but I disagree.”
The OP then goes on to say they would be open to letting the kids play in their son’s room if they could learn to be respectful and not absolutely destroy their son’s special toys.
But that apparently didn’t work for the OP’s sister and best friend: “Now they don’t want to come over with their kids because they think I’m being an a**h*** and I honestly don’t care. I also believe that you should teach your kids to share but not everything HAS to be shared you can have specific things to just keep for yourself,” they concluded.
Nearly everyone who commented on the thread was just as baffled as the OP at their sister and best friend’s reaction. “These kids don’t respect ‘no’, and they don’t respect your child’s belongings,” commented one, adding, “ As you said, not everything has to be shared. And sharing doesn’t mean ‘I get to do whatever I want to your stuff.’”
Others applauded the OP for teaching their sons about boundaries and how to keep them — even if things get a little awkward. “You’re not teaching your kid to be greedy or not share. You’re teaching your kid that he has a right to his own space and to set proper boundaries with people who disrespect him or his space.”
And nearly everyone placed the OP’s sister and BFF firmly in the a**h*** pile: “If your sister and ‘best’ friend can’t teach their brats to respect someone’s things, then those play dates need to end NOW. They clearly have no respect for your child or his things, and those are things that are required for sharing to take place.”