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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry this is so detailed...My 7 yo DS had a ton of friends at his old school and was very "popular". He had to move to a new school when we moved 2 years ago and there were only 4 boys in his class, he was "kind of" friends with one, but then all 4 moved away during the summer. So he started grade one last year in a new class knowing nobody. He ended up playing with kids in grade 7 & 8 at recess, but after talking to the school about it, they put a stop to it. According to him, he did nothing at recess every day. According to his report card, he would hang around the teachers or stand by himself.

His dad and I have had some marital trouble and his dad was admitted for 3 months to a mental health facility for depression and anxiety as he was suicidal. I know DS's home life has been very hard for him the past year and a half. He wasn't invited to a single bday party or playdate all year, and basically had no friends at all in grade one (though he's doing well academically and he loves school). I do worry somewhat as previously, he made friends easily and had a lot of friends, even in new situations. He occasionally cries that he is lonely and wishes he had friends, but I try to do things with him and his little brother and most of the time he seems happy to do so. So all that to say he doesn't really have any friends.

So about 4 months ago, he meets this boy on our street that we had never met before (this was only our 2nd summer here). They were instantly "best friends" and just seemed to "get" each other. He would get so excited to see his friend and they wanted to get together every day.

So as I get to know N, I learn that he has NO supervision by his parents, he was 6 years old and out riding his bike down the middle of a busy street every day, until late at night, no helmet (it is law here to wear one) and he actually drove his bike out RIGHT in front of my car one time and stopped in front of me and gave me a dirty look. He also uses bad language, and he was kind of rude, would go around to all of the houses on the street ringing the doorbell incessently until someone answered. He wouldn't take "no" for an answer if I said DS wasn't home or couldn't come out. He would invite himself for dinner. Then I had two separate neigbours approach me at separate times and warn me to keep my kids away from this boy. The one family has a 13 year old daughter and tall and muscular 15 year old son, and the mother told me that both of her kids are scared of N and won't walk by his house. She said he came over and threw rocks at their heads a few times and if they walk past his house he tells them he is going to come and kill them and hurt them.

The other neighbour told me that her 8 year old son took the same school bus as N (they go to a different school than DS) and that he has been repeatedly kicked off the bus for threatening the other kids and using very bad language. This kid is 6 remember. He apparently also told my 8 year old neighbour that he was going to come over one day and kill him, his brother, his parents, his dog and his goldfish.

This kid had been at my house every day for about 2 months, he was always very polite, followed all my rules, I felt like he was a sweet kid that just didn't know what he was saying. But then he started using some bad language and telling my older so to play games that excluded my younger son. I would address the language and exclusions and N would apologize each time and then the boys would play really well together, but finally I told him that if he was going to use that language that he was not welcome at our home, that we do not talk like that in our house. I just wanted a break from him so I told him he wasn't allowed to come back for 2 weeks, I can't remember my excuse, and he hasn't been back since (this is now nearly 2 months ago). He now rides his bike right past DS and doesn't even say hello, DS is very hurt as he thought (and still thinks) they are best friends.

DS knows that N makes some unsafe choices re: going on the road and that he makes bad choices on things he says to people, but DS wants to "help him make good choices so people will like him since he's such a good friend". DS is very sad that N doesn't talk to him anymore.

So, would you encourage this friendship since DS and N really seem to "get" each other, they played so well together, N was sweet and very polite most times he was over and DS really liked him and is having such a hard time making friends, (I also wondered if it would be better to be on this kids "good" side LOL), or would you discourage it?

Any thoughts are welcome.
 

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I wouldn't encourage a negative friendship, but it sounds like your son and the boy had a good relationship going with no major problems besides some bad words (that your son probably already knew from school) and not wanting to include a younger sibling in the game (which is fairly typical for older siblings to do). My dd has had two friends who would hurt anyone else in a heartbeat but never her so I wouldn't rule out friends based on what neighbors say, especially when you didn't ban him because of bad things but more because you needed a break from him.

He is very young and probably didn't misunderstood you kicking him out for a few weeks, it is possible that his parents made disparaging remarks about you to try to help him feel better about not being around you guys, so I think if you want to smooth things over for the boys you should tell him he is welcome over anytime and maybe mention it to his parents also. My neighbors once told my dd that she couldn't play that day because they had older kids over but was welcome to come over the next day and she thought they meant she could never play there and wouldn't talk to them after that even when we got things smoothed out. Kids that age don't understand what adults mean even when they are very clear and a small misunderstanding can really hurt them for a long time.
 

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Your son is a lonely little boy attracted to another lonely little boy I think you missed an opportunity to be a positive influence in this boy's life based on what other people told you about him.What kind of 15 and 13 yo kids are afraid of a 6 yo? That would make me look at them strange not the little boy. Seems to me the whole neighborhood is set on labelling this kid as a bad seed which can be a selffulfilling prophecy.If he is good to your son and generally follws your rules while in your home that is all you should care about.You should tell this kid you are sorry,invite him over, and go over and get to know his family so you can understand where he is coming from emotionally cause his family might be going through a hard time right now just like yours.
 

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You know, I think what you did was fine and fair. The little boy was not following your house rules and you sort of reverse grounded him. I don't see anything wrong with that, honestly. Maybe the only thing you could have done is explain what happened to the parents, but if you don't know them, then it's probably hard to do that.

I would just try to help your son find new friends. Schedule some playdates with kids from school over the summer. It's tough. Big hugs.
 

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Kicking him out for two weeks was pretty harsh. You probably seriously hurt his feelings (and boys put on a tough "I don't care" attitude when that happens). No wonder he's ignoring your ds. Nothing wrong with sending a kid home for the day if they aren't following house rules, as in sending them home until they are in better shape to follow the rules, as if they are just having a bad day. But declaring 2 weeks probably sounded like "I hate you and want you to never come back" to a 6 yo. It's ok to have limits but make them about your limits, rather than having no limits and then getting overwhelmed and hurting a child's feelings.

You say he was sweet and polite most of the time. That's pretty darn good for a 6 yo. It seems to be the age of sass with the 6 yos I know. I wouldn't be paying too much mind to stories from the neighbors. Who knows how any of those incidents were instigated. Could be someone was being snotty to him and he said something mean back but all you are hearing is one side of the story.
 

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I'll take the side of yeah, 2 weeks is long for a 6y BUT sometimes a mama needs a break! We have a neighbor girl who we are entering our 2nd week without her being allowed over and I have to say, last week, knowing that my door bell or phone wouldn't be ringing all day long, it was bliss. For me, I got tired of constantly having to supervise older children when I shouldn't have to because of her behavior which was not extreme but just always there. I always had to be on guard, listening and watching, it becomes draining day after day, and I felt harassed. She never would take no for an answer either. I obviously can't speak for you, but for me, I choose a longer break rather then a day because I could not stand to see this child coming near my house anymore. I like children, I like most children, but I was starting to have an extreme dislike of this child to the point where it was unhealthy. A day or two break was not going to cut it. Sometimes space is good.

As far as trying to reunite the friendship, I don't know. I only tolerate this neighbor girl because she lives by us and there are very few neighborhood children. As soon as school starts, we are too busy to play and she drops off the radar until the next summer, this is our 3rd year of doing this. There is no way in heck I would do this all the time. DD1 does have limited girl friends so I understand that angle you are coming from but I also need to keep this girl at a somewhat arm's length distance, there are vibes there that make me wary. I guess I wouldn't actively discourage a friendship with your son and this boy but I also wouldn't go out of my way to encourage one either.
 

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Hi there, I read your entire post, but not the responses as I am short on time. I would not encourage this friendship. I have a very similar situation with my 6 yr old DD and (2) neighbor children 6 & 7. I actually cared for these kids daily after school and it took a great deal of patience and time to foster their coming over to play and have interaction with an adult. Their mother pays no attention to them and their (3) teenage siblings are horrible kids and later in the school yr moved in with thier dad across town. Anyway, I figured by my guidance and constant explaining to my dd why they did the things they did and why they speak and behave this way or that was because of the lack of attention and no supervision they recieved at home.

Well it ended badly. The kids are actually soooo bad that I told the little boy he was no longer welcome here (I'll kill you and I hate you and such just does not end). Now the little girl is not allowed over either(by thier decision). And they actually berate my child and myself whenever they see us (the teenagers and the children) in the presense of their mother too. I don't know why people do the things they do but I can tell you that my life got a whole lot easier once they didn't come over anymore.

I wanted my dd to have this ideal little friendship in the neighborhood and it just does not exist (here and now). Kids without supervision are troubled and need more than I can give in an afternoon (or every afternoon for a year). Exposure to this behavior day after day WILL rub off on your child and what if they are best friends? Who wants that?
 

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Okay so I read some of the responses now and totally disagree with you missing an opportunity to provide a good influence. (If you couldn't already tell from my pp). Anyway, I am afraid of these children. They are violent, unruley, untrustworthy and mean. They also have no model of good behavior which means that they think it is normal to pick up a bat and threaten you with it.... then laugh and throw it at the dog.

If you are going soley on what others say and have never seen poor behavior then maybe give it another go. But really you have to explain to your ds what is really going on. If language is your only problem you have it very easy. I personally wouldn't worry about bad language and just always correct him... but it seems that there may be more to the story than a few bad words.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the replies so far - I should clarify - didn't want to make the original post any longer - but "N" (the other boy) actually had a VERY bad rash all over his face and he kept licking his hands and rubbing his face with his saliva saying it was so itchy and that made it feel better, (I have major issues about my kids getting sick b/c I have a boss who will fire me if I miss a day of work for that, and I'm the primary breadwinner, so I try to avoid illness at all costs...). It was also just really disgusting. So I told him that I was worried about his rash, that he should go home and try to get some cream for it and to please not come back until the rash was gone, and I suggested he come "not this Friday but the next one". So I wasn't really mean about it, but he may have been upset about the rash thing.

He was always very polite, but it was a huge drain on me to constantly have to be monitoring them as the two older boys would get playing rough (hockey or baseketball, nothing innapropriate) and my 4 year old kept trying to join in and would undoubtedly get hurt, so they could not be left alone. It was also making me nervous as the boys were to be home alone with my nanny after school during this time and this kid was there every day. I wasn't going to be home until later and my nanny was uncomfortable having the three of them there by herself, which I understand, so I feel it was ok to have him not come over for 2 weeks I think.

I have met the parents, they seem ok but the mom is a bit weird - disheveled and seems kind of out of it. I also really felt like maybe I could be a good influence on this kid as he does seem really sweet in many ways. My dad met him and said he seems to have a form of Aspergers that he's seen on another child - he said it in a nice way - but the no filter on what is said etc. I also worry that I don't want to be on the "bad side" of a kid who is threatening people like this, and maybe if he likes my son he won't threaten him and maybe I can help him be a better kid? But I also don't want people associating my kid with him if he has such a bad reputation.

This boy does hang around some older kids on our street who are BAD NEWS and have extremely bad potty-mouths, so I'm sure this boys is just learning it from them.

I just don't know - am I going to regret it if my son grows up associated with this boy or could he get in trouble with this kid as he gets older, he obviously has no supervision and I'm convinced will get in with the wrong crowd at the rate he's going. But my son really misses him and this kid seemed really good for him, I was so happy to see him with a friend and happy. He taught my son how to be a great hockey player, and he went from being one of the worst players in the whole ball hockey league he is in to one of the best - he kept saying "N taught me that...". :-(
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeybum View PostIt was also making me nervous as the boys were to be home alone with my nanny after school during this time and this kid was there every day. I wasn't going to be home until later and my nanny was uncomfortable having the three of them there by herself, which I understand, so I feel it was ok to have him not come over for 2 weeks I think.
Nothing wrong with making a rule that ds can't have company when you aren't home. About the friendship, they'll probably drift apart in a couple of years anyway. It sounds like it was more of a good thing than a bad thing, that you just need to figure out what your limits are and stick to them so you don't get overwhelmed. And if the boy has your ds to hang out with, he won't be hanging out with the older boys as much. I imagine it's hard with the younger sibling in the mix but it will get easier when he is older and has his own friends or can simply keep up with the big kids better.
 

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I agree with the no friends if you aren't home rule. I have the same rule in my house, when my nanny is here, no extra kids allowed. And the rash/licking thing, umm, yuck I think that one would of sent me over the edge and I'm not wary of germs!
 
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