A bit of background first. My son is 6, he has a 'friend' who moved back to our area after an absence of around two years. Up until they were both four, they used to be good buddies, with the other boy always being a rough and tumble kind of kid. But both got along well together. Then they moved away, but we kept in touch sporadically. They moved back a couple months ago. We have had a play date at a park and at our home. The friend was grabby, not inclined to share and broke one of my sons toys. As in threw it to the ground deliberately. His mom was pretty weak about it. Before this incident, I had already accepted an invite for this kid's sixth birthday.
So, we go over to the park for the birthday. Kid comes and grabs at the gift bag. Plays ok with my son until his other friend comes and joins them. I was talking to the mom, when my son comes and complains that both boys are excluding him and saying some mean things. I went over to sort things out, knowing by now how things play out with this boy. They call him a tattle tale for telling on them. I take my son away to grab a bite at the picnic table. After lunch, it's more of the same, the birthday boy deliberately excluding my son, random mean comments, etc. At this point, I decide to leave. Cake had just been cut, I ask my son to take his slice and eat it in the car on the way home. My son goes to say bye and thanks to the boy and gets ignored with a sideways bye.
Kids change, they move on, I get that. But this was just a bad attitude problem all around! Needless to say, we won't be in touch with them again. But, experienced moms, how do you handle such bad manners and exclusion? What is the best way?