I'm having some trouble deciding how to handle the relationship between my son and another little boy in his class. Please let me know what you think...if I'm over-reacting, what you would do, etc :-) Here's what is going on:
After the first day of school (a couple of months ago), my son told me that a boy in his class (I'll call him "L") approached him in the bathroom and asked him if he knew Jehova. My son told him that Jehova's Witnesses come to his house all the time (true! we have a lot of missionaries visit our neighborhood for whatever reason from a few different religions). I thought nothing of this, and ds and I talked about the rest of his day.
A couple of weeks later I was talking to ds about our schools upcoming fall festival. DS said very matter of factly that he's not going to any festivals because he wants to go to the "beautiful garden". I asked him what that was and he said it was the most beautiful place you could ever imagine...you can pet lions and bears and you're never sick. After I asked some more questions he started to cry and told me that L said he can never have birthday presents and that in winter he can only go sledding...no Christmas. I talked to ds about how those were things that L and his family believed, but that we have different beliefs and to not worry, he can still go to all of the festivals, birthdays, Christmas, etc. Ds seemed ok with this.
Fast forward a couple of days after that, ds comes home upset saying that L keeps telling him he's only allowed to play with him because they're Jehova's Witnesses and they're going to the beautiful garden. I told ds that he can tell L that he is not a Jehova's Witness and that he can play with whomever he wants. This goes on for a few days.
Yesterday when I came to pick ds up from school, I found L hiding ds's lunchbox under a table. His mom happened to be coming in at the same time and saw L doing this and asked what he was doing. L quickly put ds's lunchbox away in its proper place and said that he was just helping ds. Later on, ds and I found that all of ds's belongings in his cubby had been either hidden around the room or thrown on the floor of his cubby. L and his mother had already left at this point. Ds began to cry and told me that L always does this and it makes him late getting ready to go outside to play.
Today I saw that ds had only eaten the grapes from his lunch. I asked ds if he was feeling ok and why he hadn't eaten the rest of his lunch. He told me that L told him he was only allowed to eat the same things as him, and they both just happened to have grapes in their lunch today. This made me really upset and I told ds that he needs to tell L that he can't tell you what to do. (I've been talking to ds about this for awhile now). L is not the boss, and if L won't respect you, you need to talk to the teacher. Ds says that he has talked to the teacher, but she just tells him to talk to L about it.
I want to talk to L's mom about all of this. If things persist after talking to the mom, my plan is to then bring it up with the teacher. I believe in trying to solve problems at the lowest level. I just don't know how to approach the mom. There really isn't time when we're picking up and dropping off our kids and that's the only time I see her. I could email her or call her, but I don't want to put her on the defensive and I don't really know how I would phrase things so they wouldn't put her on the defensive, you know what I mean?
Oh, for the record, my ds attends a Waldorf preschool/mixed age kindergarten. Ds will be 5 in February and L will be 7 in April. Ds is a highly sensitive kid and a total follower. He has a hard time taking a leadership role in most situations, but he's also good at expressing his needs and feelings. In this case though, he's having a really hard time sticking up for himself. Thanks so much for reading my super long post and any advice is highly appreciated!