My son has a school classmate that he used to be very good friends with but during the course of the year, he complained of feeling increasingly frustrated with her as she would follow him everywhere and bug him and tease him. It got to the point where he expressed feeling very angry that she would not leave him alone. For example, (according to him) at recess as soon as he would go outside she would follow him and say things like "you have bird poop on your head" or "you are a boob" and he would go into the boys' bathroom where she would wait for him to emerge again. He says he would spend most of recess running around as she would chase him all the time. I told him to ignore her. I drafted an email to her mom basically asking her to ask her daughter to leave my son alone, but decided not to send it since the school year was almost over at that point and I crossed my fingers that the whole thing would die down over summer and perhaps they would be in different classes this fall.
This week I got an email from the girl's mom, very friendly, asking to set up a playdate. Per the email the girl greatly misses playing with my son and has been asking and asking for a playdate.
When I asked my son if he wanted to go he just kind of shrugged his shoulders and said "I don't know." My husband's opinion is that he should not have the playdate because he will just come home upset (my DH is the one who picks up and drops off my son and has witnessed the pestering and name calling and my son on the verge of tears of frustration, whereas my son was usually better when I would come home 2 hours later). Of course DH is not the one who has to reply to the email.
My question is what would be the best approach for avoiding the playdate?
I hate lying, but should I pretend that my son is busy and unavailable on any date she might suggest? The problem with this is that I hate lying and she offers many date options such that it would be hard to believe that a 7 year old is so busy with prior commitments.
Should I pretend I didn't get the email? The problem with this is the dishonesty and I would feel bad avoiding her and when I will inevitably see her in person I will have to lie to her face and pretend I didn't get the email. Ugh.
Or should I just be honest? I just hate hurting people's feelings. In my kitchen I dictated a pretend email reply in private to my DH that went something like "dear Mrs. So-and-So, I hope you have been having a nice summer vacation. Thank you for the invitation for DS to play with your daughter but DS will not be able to attend owing to the fact that your daughter bugs the heck out of him and he can't stand to be around her for more than a few moments. Please have your daughter desist from stalking DS in the future. Have a nice day and we'll see you in the fall."
Sorry this is so long. I really just am not sure what to do without basically telling a perfectly nice person that my kid doesn't like her kid even though her kid likes mine, a lot. It feels like telling her there is something wrong with her kid so how could she not be offended or take that the wrong way if I tell her the truth.
We had a similar situation with another little girl in my son's extracurricular activity last year who was pretty obsessed with DS (followed him, grabbed him, hugged him all the time, and would announce that she was going to marry DS) but the difference there was that her mom and myself were both present during the extracurricular activity and would watch this occur and so I could step in to tell her that DS needed his personal space and body respected, and her mom could tell her to cool it too as she could see that my son was not comfortable being fawned upon by her daughter. The other difference is that this mom would never ever suggest a playdate because she knows how my son feels about her daughter so I haven't had to deal with this issue before.