Son treated badly at his own birthday party

(131 Posts)
talllikejerryhall Sun 10-Apr-16 00:09:26

I am still fuming from the whole incident, hence why I'm posting now, instead of sleeping soundly.

So it's my kid's birthday party and all well except a so-called friend of his who didn't stop belittling and treating him like sh*t, all day long - usually within earshot of me! I told him off a couple times, but didn't want to be sat there haranguing him, and making a bad situation worse, so generally kept out of it until it got bad, at which point I would step in and say something. It was just low-level contempt and disdain, all day. The sort of thing that would upset you if you saw it happening to a friend or a relative when you were out, except it was happening to my son at his own birthday. Another kid pulled me aside to complain that he was feeling bullied too.

I was honestly stunned by his behaviour. You expect kids to at least mind their P&Qs when the birthday boy's parents are stood right there, but not this one.

I have written an email to the child's mum, with whom I am friends, but not sent it.

It wasn't just his behaviour to my son that upset me, but there was also some really unpleasant sexualised conversation relating girls in their class which had me gobsmacked.

My husband says I will have a massive falling out with my friend if I bring up her child's behaviour, but I think a kid needs to be told when they are out of line.

Thoughts?

FelicityR313 Sun 10-Apr-16 00:11:45

I am learning (very slowly) to sleep on things like this. You'll know the right thing to do tomorrow. Not tonight though.

YouSay Sun 10-Apr-16 00:13:38

Feel for you but definitely sleep on it. What age is he?

BillSykesDog Sun 10-Apr-16 00:13:56

I'd send the email. Maybe wait until the morning and reread and see if it can be more measured (heat of moment things often aren't). But I don't think he should get away with it.

Poor DS. Can you pay for him to go out just with one or two friends for a meal to make up for it?

FelicityR313 Sun 10-Apr-16 00:14:01

And of course tomorrow that could be to take no action, to modify or tone down the email or to send the one you've already composed, but just take my word for it, in the heat of the moment or day, is not the time to take any action. A nights sleep can provide clarity that the dead of night simply can't for some reason.

awfullyproper Sun 10-Apr-16 00:14:14

Definitely wait.
Also, wouldn't this be better said face to face?

dizzytomato Sun 10-Apr-16 00:14:14

Exactly that. Sleep on it. How old are they?

FelicityR313 Sun 10-Apr-16 00:15:49

And happy birthday to your little lad. I hope he had a good day despite this.

MissSmiley Sun 10-Apr-16 00:15:53

How awful for you. Your husband is right though. People never like to be told they have brought up a brat like that. I'd put it down to experience and make a mental note to not invite him next time.
Why didn't you take him aside at the party and give him a few stern words about his behaviour? How old are they? 8 or 9 I'm guessing.

dizzytomato Sun 10-Apr-16 00:17:28

X post with you say. Also, if, in the morning you still feel the need to say something, actually say something, don't email. Try talking to mum and son together and address the child, not his mother. Children are responsible fir their own behaviour. You could say you didn't want to ruin the birthday by mentioning it in the day and also didn't want to do it without one of his parents present.

ShesAGreatGas Sun 10-Apr-16 00:19:19

Email isn't the way to go. Speak to the parents.

FelicityR313 Sun 10-Apr-16 00:21:03

Yes, cool calm head tomorrow and have a chat with the Mum in a non-confrontational way. What she chooses to do about it, is really her business. What you can do to protect your son in future, is your business (and I suppose your husband's lol).

talllikejerryhall Sun 10-Apr-16 00:21:18

Eleven... They used to be friends - though never best friends or anything - but noticed a deterioration in relationship over last year, but didn't pay too much attention, as DS has other mates he's closer to. Just invited this friend reflexively, cause I do every year and I'm friends with his mum.

But here I am typing furiously into the computer at 12.18, complaining about his behaviour, so it may be that this ship has sailed... I think I am more angry than DS is - he got a smartphone which has basically turned this into the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!

You are all wise, wise women... I am going to sleep on this, revise the email to take the heat and emotion out of it and send in the morning.

Thank you for listening

ShesAGreatGas Sun 10-Apr-16 00:25:27

Reconsider emailing, honestly. Emails always come across as more snippy and rude than intended, and receiving an email complaining about your child isn't going to sit well with her and will possibly end up with you receiving a snippy reply and having a spat.

Better to talk to the mum.

FlyRussianUnicorn Sun 10-Apr-16 00:26:18

I'd be pretty pissed off if I received an email. If someone wanted to talk to me about my childs behaviour i'd expect them to have the back bone to come and talk to me face to face. No need to fall out with it- just say your child upset mine at his birthday party and i'm not happy about it.I think any reasonable parent would understand. Don't hide behind a computer screen, though.

talllikejerryhall Sun 10-Apr-16 00:26:29

I take point about email, but I was trying to avoid broiling emotionalism that would come from a face-to-face by laying out what happened point by point, as I didn't want my words to come out wrong, or to be inaccurate somehow, like 'this is what happened, please feel free to ring and discuss'.

But I'll probably feel less f*cked off in the morning, and capable of a normal discussion, at which point email will be handy reminder of what happened.

FelicityR313 Sun 10-Apr-16 00:26:33

Well a smartphone for an 11 year old is manna from heaven. Other lad probably a bit miffed. Your son sounds like he has a good bunch of friends and a tigress for a mother, so he'll be grand.

talllikejerryhall Sun 10-Apr-16 00:28:46

Thank you all - I may now climb down from my ledge and try and get some sleep...

HeddaGarbled Sun 10-Apr-16 00:29:06

Neither an email to nor a conversation with the parent will achieve what you want to achieve. No way the parent will throw up their hands and say, OMG, my son is awful, I'm so sorry, we'll sort it out. They will be angry and blame you for dissing their son, just as you would if it was the other way round.

Saying anything to the child is also a complete no no and will not achieve anything except accusations of bullying by you.

What you need to be thinking about is how to protect your son from future occurrences by reducing or eliminating contact. I found that saying to the parent that X & Y don't get on was a good enough reason to avoid further contact between the children.

CointreauVersial Sun 10-Apr-16 00:31:52

But if DS isn't bothered, and it didn't ruin his day....and you say they aren't particularly close any more....just let it go. Don't invite him over again, and put it out of your mind.

Focus on the fun aspects of the day - it sound like the phone was a big hit.

derxa Sun 10-Apr-16 00:33:36

Don't send the email. For the love of God don't

talllikejerryhall Sun 10-Apr-16 00:35:02

I think the friendship between boys is beyond repair - I don't think anyone could come back from being treated so rudely, nor should they.

I am friends with his mum - like her, respect her - and frankly I think she would be appalled at how her son behaved today. I know our friendship might not survive me telling her about what I witnessed, but don't we have a duty to call out bad behaviour when we see it?

HeddaGarbled Sun 10-Apr-16 00:38:06

Not to a mother about her child, no. She won't believe you and she will hate you.

FelicityR313 Sun 10-Apr-16 00:40:44

To be honest, the sexualised element I might bring up to her casually - Jolly Hockeysticks, I do notice the boys are becoming sexualised very early these days. I wonder what they watch on TV?

I'm a talk-circles-about-the-subject person.

talllikejerryhall Sun 10-Apr-16 00:43:54

I know it makes me sound a little hippyish, but I think it is more responsible to say something when a child is behaving in a really anti-social way than it is to ignore it.

We all have to live in the same society and the same world, so if everyone just ignores their instincts when faced with bad behaviour, the problem is rarely addressed or dealt with. The mum may well hate me, but I would rather speak to her honestly about the upsetting and disturbing behaviour I witnessed and give her some chance of dealing with it, than pretend it's not happening?

I think what I need to do is chill out before I have this conversation and remember they are just kids.

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