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This scenario actually has happened & unfolded w/ in the past 24 hrs., just curious on your take of this & how you'd handle it.
My DS, 9 year old, has been taking the bus since day one. For the past 3 years, my DS has sat w/ the same child, who is 1 grade smaller than him. This child, the friend, lives 2 houses away from us, literally in between is the kid's grandparents. Who would have thunk it?
Any ways... originally, year's ago when we first moved here (4 years to be exact & counting), this little boy & his mother, walked to my house to introduce themselves & hopefully get the boys together in the future. When I opened my door, to my surprise, this mother, was someone I had went to school, and college w/, she was/is an acquaintance, not a "friend" but someone I'll talk too if I am at a school function etc. You get the idea. She "is" on my FB as a friend so it's not like we're strangers.
My son came home yesterday in tears & said "it's all your fault!" To make a long story short, his mother (my acquaintance) told her son (my DS/9 year old's friend) that he wasn't to sit with him on the bus anymore, that they couldn't be friends & the reason why they wouldn't have a play date was because his mother (my acquaintance) has been deleting my emails before reading them.
So... after hearing this info., seeing the hurt in my son's eyes. I decided to call my "acquaintance"....keep in mind that we've talked to each other on the phone several times. She's attended my DS' BDay parties, and there was a time she locked herself out of her house & I invited her in for a while (snowing season) until all was resolved. Never had any bad blood, to my knowledge.
I called her, got her & announced myself & immediately her tone changed. I basically asked her if there were any problems or issues I needed to be made aware of, I asked if my son had done something to upset her son, you get the idea.
She started to scramble her responses & words, you could tell that she was guilty as O.J., I might have been born at night but not last night. I ultimately said "so everything is okay? Dominic doesn't have to worry about his friend not playing w/ him anymore?" she said she would have a talk w/ her son & all would be well. Keep in mind, in the context of our 20 min. conversation, she accidentally nailed herself b/c she said something to me that her son had said to my son, that I never even said to her on the phone. Which means, she did in fact, have this conversation w/ her son regarding not being friends etc. What ever... I figured I had taken care of it.
This morning rolls around. Every morning, my son gets picked up AFTER his friend, and instead of his friend sitting near the window, to make room for my son to sit (as he's been doing for years), he was sitting at the edge of the seat & put his hand out in the expression of "NO" my son's face looked sad & he sat elsewhere.
Now I know, that when my DS comes home. He's going to say the same thing & basically reinforce that he's no longer friends w/ his neighbor. I told my DS last night that everything was fine & I talked to the mom. But after seeing this morning, I realize that's not how it's going to work.
I cannot make a child want to be friends w/ any of my 4 kids. I would never force anything. I also, would NEVER come between a friendship, regardless of how much I did or did not like a parent, unless it was an unhealthy friendship. Which hasn't happened...yet. I think it's EXTREMELY selfish to put a child in those shoes, and make a child dismiss their friend. I'm ashamed that she's behaving this way. I am not going to call her again, I said what I had to say, she's obviously scared to be honest & I'm not going to insist on her letting her son be friends w/ my son, as much as I think she's wrong, I can't make her do that, it's her son, her life.
Here's my dilemma... my DS/9, is going to come back from school, in less than an hour's time & he's going to have the same issue/concern & be just as upset. What do I tell him? How do I make this right? This is wrong but I'd like to tell him that his mother doesn't like me & she doesn't want her son to play w/ anyone related to me. Maybe not those exact words, but you get the idea.
I've never had to be in these shoes before. I do not understand what I should say or can say to make my DS feel better or that I had nothing to do w/ the mother making the child not like him anymore. But...it's the truth & I can't hurt my son more.
What do I do w/ this? I am lost & need some good advice that's not going to make things worst. Obviously we can't force a child to do anything, so there are going to be times that my DS doesn't get invited to an event b/c the child having the event just might not like my son, and that's to be expected. However, this is not how things have unraveled. What has happened is that mom, has decided to make her son not be friends w/ my son anymore. Which is so wrong, I can't even express how wrong I think she is. My son isn't a trouble maker, he plays sports, attends religious ed., sees a family therapist bi-weekly, I mean, everything... we come from a good family. We're not poison.
How do I explain this to my son w/ out hurting his feelings? How do I explain this to him so he doesn't hate me & think it's my doing?
Hugs to your son! Anyone who says they want to be a child again, forgets how difficult childhood is.
If it were me, I would take it as an opportunity to explain to him that sometime people do things that don't make sense. That it isn't him - it's them. I would hug him a ton & tell him that it's ok to feel bad about the situation. School is almost over & things will look better in the fall.
I really don't understand why this woman would do what she's doing. If she has an issue, she should be honest with you & tell you why. Not put it on a child. I wonder if her child is hurting too because he's missing his friend too.
TY Kris, the thing w/ Dominic, he's a super sensitive kid. Has had a lot of hurdles, which you all know. I'm sad for him b/c he's had this friend every day to sit w/ on the school bus, play at school etc., and for what ever reason, his friend's mom is being "weird"... I wish I could pinpoint "what" her deal is, but I know to be a fact that I've done NOTHING to her to promote this to come to this.
We know each other through weird circumstances, but none that are something to cause this. I mean, if she had an issue w/ me back when I was 14 (a long time ago), she would have seen me that 1 time when she walked over to introduce herself when we first moved in & that would be the end of it all. KWIM? But...it hasn't been that way, it's been normal, fine, good, but all of a sudden, he's being told this? I want to walk over there (it's 2 houses to my right) & say "what's wrong w/ you? do you realize what you've done to those little kids? if you have a problem w/ me, then fine, discuss it w/ me, we don't have to be friends but don't make this into something that the KIDS have to pay for"... I just want to go off on her. But... I wont. I told her yesterday upfront "if I've done something to upset you or I need to be made aware of something, please let me know"... I gave her many opportunities to say something to me if she had an issue. She never did. If anything, she tried to sugar coat & dance around it all, thinking I'd go away fast.
I added to the conversation & said "just so you know, that if the kids have an argument, which most kids do, and it's one of those things that your son isn't friends w/ my son for a week, then the following week all is well, that's normal & I know that's to be expected at this age"... I added "in the event that you or I had a mutual dislike for each other, I'd expect that neither of us would interfere w/ the kids' friendship"... she agreed. But again, she was lying through her teeth the entire time that I was talking to her. I don't get it. But to see my son hurt, makes me hurt. Then to think that my son is hurt & that hurt is caused by "me" or he thinks' that it's "me"...just break's my heart. I would NEVER cause my son harm or hurt, never. I'm not going to do that to him, but as a child, he doesn't see that, he sees that his BFF from school all of a sudden has ditched him & it's his own mother's fault. I feel horrible.
That's just awful. No one should use their kids as a tool to hurt someone else or put their kids in the middle of something that has to do with the adults. My guess is that maybe there was some type of gossip or something along those lines to make her suddenly dislike you if there hasn't been any problems before. No excuse for how she is behaving, but if my experience that is usually what happens when one woman suddenly decides that she doesn't like another woman.
I know it would be difficult, but maybe contact her one more time for your son's sake and just put it out there that she doesn't have to like you, but don't interfere with the kids' friendship in the nicest way possible. I know, you've already put it out there, but maybe it would sink it. Other than that, I'm not sure what to do except explain to your son that sometimes these things happen and reassure him that it's not his fault.
Sorry you and your son are going through this senseless drama.
Okay... well since I posted this...obviously DS came home, still sad, still confused why he lost his friend. Said he was "confused" and asked his friend if he did anything to make him not like him anymore. I was proud that my son tried to be kind & ask if he could make things better.
Last night, we had a family counseling session (had nothing to do w/ the friend thing, routine already). I talked to his therapist in regards to his "friend" problem, & how I talked to the mom. Long story short, the therapist said "it's not for you to figure out, it's between the two boys". And, in hindsight, she is/was right. I called & made sure everything was okay, I confronted the child's mother & did what I could. Nothing more could have or can be done on my end.
As far as what hair is crossing her bum to make her react this way? I have no idea. Truthfully. I don't talk to my neighbors, and in over 4 years want to keep it that way. I have to live here, not moving anytime soon, it's our dream home & I'm not going to argue w/ a girl who is a lot younger than me, who clearly has an issue but refuses to be adult about it. She's a nut job & for her to be this way, having her son relay a "message" to my son, then to me, that would only & obviously only come from an adult (the words were not of a child's dialogue & that's why I knew she said it even before I called to confront her).
What ever it is, is irrelevant to me as I've already said "do I need to be made aware of something?" "did I upset you in any way?" "did my son say or do something that would make this happen?" all the answers were "no"... with that said. I am not in the same circle of friends, at all. Never have been, just acquaintances, I knew her brother (older) and her ex (which is her baby-daddy), she was always a younger kid who I would say hello too & move on. I don't see her at all & I question if I keep her as my "friend" on Facebook. I want to remove her, but I feel like if I do that, it will make her more angry & cause more issues. So I'll leave her there & if she wants to delete me, then that is her move/choice.
This sucks. Sorry to say that, but I'm really disappointed in this "woman" who is making such a big mistake & hurting these kids. What is her deal? If I didn't live on the same street & 2 houses from each other, I would be at her door in person to see what is going on. I find that when you are speaking face to face, it's more obvious of the lies & the truth. Whether that would help any, I do not know but I do know that I'd let her know she was making a BIG mistake.
I did say to her on the phone that I realize kids this age tend to be hot & cold. One day they're best friends, the next they're enemies & what not. I also said..."I hope that IF there was an issue between you & I, it would never come between the kid's relationship/friendship, that it's a separate issue & the boys should never be in the middle of an adult issue"...she stuttered a lot & said "oh sure, I agree"... I wanted to let her know that I felt her behavior was outrageous, and I think I articulated that as much as possible w/ out calling the kettle black, I pretty much did.
I do understand Chantelle more than I'd like too . Lucy is very, very sensitive too & like you ds has been through more than her fair share of "life" at a very young age. It breaks my heart when she has experience that make her sad and hurt her. I wish I could put her in a bubble.
Unfortunately, we can't put them in a bubble. And this might be the 1st experience of his like this but it won't be the last . Kids are mean - people are mean. Personally I'm dreading the high school years. It only gets harder.
I think you are doing the right thing. I'm glad he got to talk it out in therapy as well. I hope it blows over & he gets his friend back. If not, I hope he find a new, better friend.
I agree that removing her from FB would only add fuel to the flames and make her even more angry. Those who are petty like she is usually take anything done on a social networking site to heart. I had a friend who when she was mad at me would take me down a few spots on her top friends on myspace and then when I was back in her good graces, move me back up. Some women just feed on drama and I'm pretty sure that certain ones get in a group huddle once a week and decide which innocent bystanders they're going to pick on next.
I would try and not let it bother you too much and even though, it hurts right now, it's still a good lesson I think for your DS. Not everyone is nice and sometimes bad things happen to good people.
I do hope that things will blow over and the boys can be friends again.
I'd like things to be drama free. Although I know in reality that's not always the case.
It's a tough lesson learned, and I know it's not going to be the last time that this happens. I just supposed that since we were neighbors, had a history, knew one another through education & what not, that we'd never have an issue like this. Oh well... I can't make her behave a certain way & personally, if this kid is going to be influenced to no longer play w/ his friend after 4 years b/c of his mother's opinion on me or what ever is her problem, then I'd rather him NOT be his friend at all. JMO.
Thanks for tips ladies. And Kris, I know what you mean, putting the kids in the bubble, I wish I could, but I know I can't. It's wishful thinking to prevent our kids from getting hurt or having their feelings crushed. The therapist said "this is what builds character, prepares them for the real world"... so I suppose I'm to allow things to unfold & never try to make things right? Yes, life is cruel, people are cruel, and kids are VERY cruel. At the end of the day, my DS isn't deserving of this treatment. Hopefully, he can find a better pal that isn't so mean.
I know what you mean, I'd LOVE for my life to be drama free, but that's never going to happen. I try my best to shelter my kids from it too, which is easier right now since they're so young. Part of me is dreading this coming fall when Meyson starts preschool because I know that school can be so tough for kids sometimes.
The bubble idea would actually be really great, but I suppose that's just not practical. I'm always told I'm overprotective anyway, but when my kids hurt, I hurt. I bawl like a baby every time that Olivia gets her shots because she screams every time.
I guess that the best thing to do is let our kids grow up and experience all aspects of life, even the bad parts, no matter how much we just want to scoop them up and hold them forever.