Playground politics: Do you dislike your children’s friends?

41% of UK parents admit to disliking their child’s choice of friends

Research has revealed that over 40% of parents admit they actively dislike one or more of their children’s friends and that one in three can’t stand the parents of their kid’s pals either.

The survey, carried out by uncovers whether parents fight in the playground as much as their children.

The reasons for disliking their children’s friends vary drastically, but the most likely reasons are because they are badly behaved, spoilt, bullying or manipulative.

15% of parents dislike their child’s friend for misbehaviour, while 12% of parents think their kid’s best mate is spoilt.

29% of mothers dislike their children’s friend’s parents while 31% of dad’s can’t stand ‘em. Mum’s are less likely to do anything about it while dad’s are more likely to actively encourage their kids to make pals elsewhere.

So what can the long-suffering parents do about it? 29% of parents will subtly attempt to encourage other friendships, while 24% will keep quiet and silently seethe as their child spends time with a seemingly bad influence.

To deter these friendships from blossoming, 24% of parents will discourage their child from spending time with the family while a further 13% will speak to other parents for support (or a bit of a gossip).

35% of parents won’t invite the naughty child to their playdates in an attempt to freeze them out and discourage any further bond forming.

But the drama doesn’t stop there – parents across the UK have also admitted to disliking their children’s friends’ parents. 30% of parents have an issue with the parents of their child’s friends, with 17% claiming the reason is because they don’t control their child properly and 7% feeling as though they can’t be trusted with their children.

Shockingly enough, the parents that have issues with their kids aren’t just the parents of teenagers as might be expected. 34% of the children that parents dislike are actually aged between 2 and 5 years old, proving that age has no limit when it comes to making enemies.

Shane Forster, Country Manager of says “Starting school and making friends is always a worry for parents. However, we don’t often think about what to do when they do make friends, but the grown-ups don’t like them! We are more used to learning about tension on the playground between kids rather than between adults, but it has been very interesting to see that when it comes to the parents they can often disapprove of their child’s choice of playmate!”

If you’re looking to sidetrack your child from spending time with this badly-behaved buddy, take a look at our Odeon vouchers for a distracting day out.