I have twin sons who are a bit unusual. Perhaps I should've posted this in Special Needs Parenting, but I'd mostly like opinions from other moms with kids in this age-bracket. The boys were born extremely premature, have developmental delays and are mildly Autistic. They go to regular school, but although they're 15, socially/maturity-wise they're more like 12-year-olds. They're still in 8th grade, so their classmates are 13 or 14. Basically, let's address my question as though we're talking about 12-year-olds.
Their best friend, for the last 2-1/2 years, is a kid I have come to really dislike. He's very insecure, which is sad, but he takes advantage of my kids, manipulates them and tries to isolate them from other people, to have them all to himself. They will be going to different schools next year and I am eager for the friendship to (hopefully) fade away, as they meet new kids. But in the meantime, he's in all their academic classes and eats lunch with them, so he's a big part of their lives.
An incident happened several months ago (November), where he was acting like a jerk and his parents, in catering to him, acted inappropriately with my kids. I told his mother what I thought and tried to be balanced and not sound like I was on a daytime talk show. I emphasized that I have always liked her and always enjoyed spending time with her and that my problem was with how she handled this one incident, not a blanket criticism of her. Nevertheless, she got very defensive, gave me a piece of her mind about my parenting and is now "not speaking to me". So, the boys are not getting together at each other's houses anymore, though they still Facebook and call each other.
This boy's birthday is next weekend. My sons believe (from what their friend said) that they're invited, but evidently their friend says his mom will not communicate with me, even to send them an invitation, addressed to my house. Basically, what I've told my sons is this: Although I don't like their friend much anymore and I'm not comfortable with them hanging out at his house, I understand that they still like him and that a birthday is a special occasion. So IF I had the information parents are entitled to have (where and when the party is, who will be supervising, in general what they'll be doing...), I'd consider letting them go. However, I cannot call their friend's mother and say, "Are my kids invited to the party I hear you're throwing?" And, even if their friend winds up telling them when he wants them to show up at his house, I cannot simply drop them off and wait for them to call and tell me when to pick them up. (Especially since the incident in November involved the friend's parents saying they were taking my kids one place, when it turned out they actually planned to take them somewhere else, where I had said they couldn't go.) For all I know, the kid's parents are taking his friends camping overnight somewhere, for the party. Besides, we don't actually know that my kids are invited.
But I feel bad for my kids. They're really disappointed. And they don't get invited to a lot of parties. Am I doing the right thing, or should I call this woman and try to make up with her somehow, to get my kids invited to the party?
I would just keep it simple and say that until you get notice in any form of the party, that they should just assume that they are not invited. I would not go out of my way to make up with a person that I don't care for.
I would not call her. If she wants to invite your kids then she will. If you don't hear from her then I would assume they aren't invited. And truthfully, even if they were invited I would not let them go. If she intentionally took them somewhere they weren't allowed to go in the past then I would not trust her to be responsible for their care. If she cannot responsibly supervise your kids while she is speaking to you then how could she possibly do so when she's not speaking to you?
What exactly are you asking? I'm not really sure after reading the post.
I'll just say that there is no way I'd send my kids to a party where the adult in charge refuses to speak to me and I have no evidence they have been invited. Mainly because I wouldn't trust her with the care of my children from what you have posted. I'd tell my kids that too. No I'm sorry, I can't leave you in the care of someone that is not on speaking terms with me.
1. Your kids weren't invited, so it's not polite to ask.
2. Even if you had the info. the parents don't sound trustworthy for you kids to be with anyway.
I would suggest that your boys invite the birthday boy out for his birthday-- they could take him out to a movie or whatever and give him a gift.
but everything has pros and cons
Sorry! I'm too verbose.
If this were only about me having a spat with another mom, I would feel selfish and petty about letting that spat ruin my kids' favorite friendship. Although I haven't declared to anyone, "I'm not speaking to Sam's mom, either!", I also haven't been the bigger person and called her to smooth things over, so our kids can start getting together again. Basically, my question was whether I ought to. As my kids and their friends go into their teens, and high school, how should my opinions about their friends (and their friends' parents) stack up against my sons' own choices about who they want to befriend? How grave an offense warrants me deciding that my kids can't hang out with their best friend anymore? And, after I decide that, should birthday parties be an exception?
But the simple, straightforward responses I've gotten make things so clear that I feel kind of silly for having raised the subject:.
* Of course, there is no polite way to try to get your kids invited to a party, if they weren't invited.
* And of course I don't want my kids supervised - even at a party - by adults who have made it clear they have no respect for me, as a parent, and who will not communicate with me.
It's hard to watch my kids be disappointed. But in the big picture, I wish they'd invested their energy in a friendship with someone else, from the beginning. I don't really want to invest energy trying to save this friendship, now.
And truthfully, even if they were invited I would not let them go. If she intentionally took them somewhere they weren't allowed to go in the past then I would not trust her to be responsible for their care. If she cannot responsibly supervise your kids while she is speaking to you then how could she possibly do so when she's not speaking to you?
I know it's hard for your boys, but you already know she's not responsible with them.
Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) , Emma (5/03) , Evan (7/05) , & Jenna (6/09)
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing Aaron Ambrose (11/07)
Disappointment is part of life. How you talk to your kids about this situation will help with deal with other situations in their lives. And while your son's are young for their age, you implied that you like to deal with this as if they were 12, and that would mean (to me) to use it as a learning experience.
As our kids get older, I do feel that how we feel about other kids parents has VERY little to do with whether or not the kids can be friends, but that needs to go hand in hand in our kids becoming more responsible and making good choices. Both my kids have cell phone and take them when they are with other adults. Part of it is so that if that want me to come get them for ANY reason, I can. Part of it is so that if they plan changes, they can call and let me know. I think that until child/teen can be trusted to do these things, then they can only be under the care of an adult that I trust. Are you son's capable of those things?
Second, I think that we can teach our kids to nurture friendships in other ways beside play dates and birthday parties. Talking on the phone or communicating via facebook lets the child/teen have their own friendship and leave mom out of it.
Last, I do my best to separate how I feel about the parent from how I feel about the kid,mostly because I have really horrid parents and wouldn't want that held against me!
but everything has pros and cons
I hear you. It is hard.
If you want a sort of bright side AKA positive spin it can be a learning opportunity for your kids on setting boundries. Of course we all wish that our kids never had to be put in these types of situations, so I understand wishing that things could have turned out differently.
Take the birthday party out of the equation, it makes everything clearer.
Should you try to smooth things over with this mom for the sake of your kids? This woman lied to you about where she was going to take your son, right? Her son treats your boys poorly. She's giving you the cold shoulder. There are 2 to 3 months of school left. They see each other at school and communicate on Facebook. That's good enough. The friendship is going to die naturally, and it seems that's what you want for your sons anyway.
Someone moved my effing cheese.
Bring them someplace fun the night of the party to take their minds off of it and have something exciting to talk about on monday, so they do not feel left out. I think it is a good way to show no matter what happens, family is always there to have fun with and find comfort in.
I actually think it's safe to assume that your boys are not invited to the party. The mom may have told her son that she would send the invitation and then not do it; or told him that he can't invite them (but he really wants them to come, thus the "just show up" comment, that's a perfectly logical plan for 12/13 year olds!).
What I would say to your boys is that unfortunately you and BF's mom don't get along, and she probably does not want to have any of you show up to the party. BF really wants them to go, which is why he's asking for them to come anyway, but as a parent you are going to honor the wishes of the hosting parent. Maybe they could make their friend a card or give him a small gift at school on his birthday, and remind them that you can can be friends with someone even if you don't go to the birthday party.
Under no circumstances would I show up with my kids in tow, or call the other mom. There are many reasons why a child might not be invited to any given party. I think you're probably correct in your hunch that your kids aren't invited because you and the other mom had a tiff (and to be honest, whenever you criticize another person's parenting or child, that is a potential happening, and I suspect that perhaps you don't hide your dislike for this other child as well as you think you do). I don't think you need to go into terrible detail. Just tell your kids that the party invite didn't show, not everyone can be invited or go to all the parties they would like, you'd be happy to facilitate them making something or giving something to their friend to celebrate his birthday party or no, and hey, let's do something fun as a family on that day. If they are sad, I would let them be sad. Or if they're mad or whatever. It *hurts* to be excluded, esp. when it is because something someone else has done and not behavior on your end. I think taking the pressure off the kids and putting this on the adults is the best way to go here because A) it's the most true thing, more likely than not, and B) you're not going to engage defensiveness or anger towards yourself if you make this be about the mean BF not inviting them (because HE has).
Their best friend, for the last 2-1/2 years, is a kid I have come to really dislike. He's very insecure, which is sad, but he takes advantage of my kids, manipulates them and tries to isolate them from other people, to have them all to himself. They will be going to different schools next year and I am eager for the friendship to (hopefully) fade away, as they meet new kids.
I think you answered your own question with this statement- why put effort into a relationship you actually hope will end? it's just prolonging unhappiness,and if it isn't working, this may be the answer to what you're wanting. I'd just let it go,and help your boys use it to learn about relationships.
Well, with the Autism, it takes my kids a long time - and lots of repetition - to process and deal with changes or disappointment. So, we have talked about these issues A LOT, over the last couple of weeks. But, by the time their friend's party rolled around, they seemed pretty OK with everything. DH and I left our toddler with Grandma and took the twins and their step-brother (who's been a best friend of theirs much longer than this other kid, anyway!) to Dave & Buster's. It was their first time there, but they've been wanting to go, forever. They had a blast! Then we took them to the bookstore, to pick out some new books and a movie. We made homemade pizzas together and they stayed up late, watching their zombie film and playing video games.
Their friend kept texting them during his party, to tell them what a great time he was having. After a while, I told them to just ignore his texts and they could all tell each other about their Saturday nights, at school on Monday. Whether their friend intended to rub it in, or whether he just really wished they were there, it just wasn't fair, if they weren't invited, for them to have a play-by-play of what they were missing. Surprisingly, neither of the twins got hung up about it. They were fine with ignoring his messages for the evening and seemed to really have a good time!
Although I'm having trouble with the "quote" function, one PP cautioned me not to judge my kids' friends based on their parents, as she would not have liked being judged based on her own. Just to clarify, my main issue is with this boy himself. He puts tremendous pressure on my sons not to talk to, or to join him in making fun of, their other friends and family members (their stepbrother and me), so he can be their #1. And the twins are particularly ill-equipped to deal with that garbage. They want to please whomever they're with. He also drags the twins into his conflict with other kids. For example, there's a popular, good-looking boy in their class, who has known the twins since 1st grade and is nice to them. When one of my sons was logged onto Facebook, this kid said, "Hey, let me type something!" and posted some scathingly mean stuff about the more popular boy. Of course, it looked like my son had said those things. And my sons are FB friends with a lot of their classmates, so who knows how many of them read it, before I found out and made them erase it and post an apology? My problem with the parents is just that they side with and cater to their kid, to the extent of undermining me with MY kids, in hopes of getting THEIRS what he wants. But I wouldn't try to end a friendship with a nice kid, just because his parents were problems. I'd probably try to invite him over more often.