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in the way I dealt with this minor issue?

(24 Posts)
create Thu 11-Aug-11 22:19:21

Had a lovely day out yesterday with a friend, her DS and my 2 DSs. It was a long day though and we probably should have left about an hour earlier than we did.

My DS1 had tried and failed to do something in a game. He tends towards clumsiness and has some co-ordination issues, but no diagnosed special needs. The friend laughed at my DS1 and DS1 cried (unusual for him, but the end of a tiring full-on day etc)

I said, well, it wasn't a very nice thing to do, but there's no need to cry, don't be so silly, changed the subject and walked on with DS1 for a while while my friend and her DS had a chat. I thought it best that they had a few mins appart and expected it to blow over.

But, friend and her DS thought I had been unecessarily harsh on him by pointing out that he'd not been "very nice". My friend told me I'm overprotective of DS1 and that kids will be kids etc and DS needs to deal with it. The DS apparently doesn't want to go out with us again.

I know I do feel for DS1 when he struggles to do thing other kids seem to find easy, but I in no way had a go at my friend's DS and pointed out that my DS1 was being silly to cry (I thought I was being quite hard on DS1). The boys in question are 10 & 11

So, what should I have done differently?

My friend would have called her DS a wuss or a tart if he'd cried in a similar situation, but I hate to hear parents insulting their DCs. I know she thinks she toughening him up to help him deal with situations in life where this kind of thing obviously will happen. I believe the best way to help them deal with it is to build their self-esteem and give them the absoulte knowledge that they are valued within the family. So we are differnet (and thank God for that!) but even accepting that, I still don't know what I should have done

ThePopsicleKat Thu 11-Aug-11 22:35:10

I am also at a bit of a loss as to what you should have done. Your friend is being quite over the top by refusing to go out with you and your DC again. It isn't nice to laugh and make fun of someone for being clumsy (as I know from personal experience!) and there's no reason her DS shouldn't know that.

But still. You didn't tell off his DS. You didn't make an excessive fuss of your DS for being upset. I can't see the problem.

I suppose, don't go out with them again (or at least for a while) if your friend is going to be so PFB.

Takitezee Thu 11-Aug-11 22:36:36

YANBU. It wasn't nice for him to laugh and there was nothing wrong with you giving your ds a little comfort. Yes, children do laugh and make fun of others but that doesn't mean parents should just accept it and not tell them it's wrong.

redexpat Thu 11-Aug-11 22:37:54

YANBU. Don't see what else you could have done that would be proportional and appropriate.

SuePurblybilt Thu 11-Aug-11 22:41:19

She calls him a tart? That's really odd.

I don't think YABU at all. Does she not see that her DS may have been hurt by your comment but your DS was hurt by her DS' comment/laughter? Why was your son feeble to be upset by words and hers not?

That all made sense in my head btw.

squeakytoy Thu 11-Aug-11 22:43:31

I think at that age you have to leave them to sort out their own battles. Your boy will need to toughen up a bit though I think, and learn that we can laugh at our own clumsiness at times, and it is better to do that than get upset as that will just attract more teasing if his peers see a weak spot.

jasper Thu 11-Aug-11 22:49:43

I think they should sort out their battles too, but it does not really sound as though you were actually battling on his behalf!

Completely odd to call a child a tart as an insult

create Thu 11-Aug-11 22:49:54

Yes, I get that squeaky - it doesn't some naturally to me when it involves DS1's "problem" but I thought on this occasion I had. I didn't interfere. DS1 came to me in tears and I told him not to cry. It is unusual for him to cry. By this point we'd been out together for more than 10 hours and didn't get home til 10pm, so it was all a bit much, but we'd been having such a good time with no issues at all before that.

squeakytoy Thu 11-Aug-11 22:51:19

I think I would just put it down to tiredness all round then. It will be fine next time you are all together.

skybluepearl Fri 12-Aug-11 00:18:07

it's odd - friends son had a laugh at your kids expence but then couldn't handle the fair feed back.

MadamDeathstare Fri 12-Aug-11 00:44:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gillybean73 Fri 12-Aug-11 00:49:42

I'd tell them both to sling their hooks!! Who needs friends like that anyway?? You ultimately know what the best way is to handle your son and your so called friend should respect that.

FlamingoBingo Fri 12-Aug-11 00:57:29


I thought you were going to say 'AIBU for saying he was silly to cry?' and I was going to say yes, yabu!

But no way were you out of order for calling your DS's friend on unpleasant behaviour.

itisnearlysummer Fri 12-Aug-11 09:09:52


I'd have done the same.

My DS (12) also has some clumsiness and co-ordination issues but no diagnosed SN. He's learned to laugh at himself over the years.

But I also think it's reasonable to say that someone hasn't been very nice, when they haven't been very nice!

plupervert Fri 12-Aug-11 09:14:35

I think there is a danger if people stop emotionally educating their children too young, cutting them loose at an age when they are still vulnerable (and evidently, given that your DS was tired, he was vulnerable to tears) and lacking in emotional self-discipline. It's as though no-one wants to or dares bother telling people that behaviour is unacceptable, once they get past a certain age.

Why not continue modelling good behaviour and sensitivity to others, even once a child hits double digits? I think what you said was very proportionate and sensitive - to both boys.

Your friend could have felt uncomfortable because she looked rather insensitive in comparison. Maybe she was even remembering the good old days when she felt she could cuddle her little boy to help him regain his equilibrium, rather than forcing him to do it on his own, with little or no reassurance from her. It's human nature to want to be reassured, even as an adult, and her "wuss" and "tart" insults could be unkind even for an adult.

PenguinArmy Fri 12-Aug-11 09:47:25

This kind of 'toughening up' is what MIL used on DH. You're right all it does is either (i) destroy any self esteem or (ii) make them into arrogant boys (if that way inclined) which adds to the problem in the first place

Cheria Fri 12-Aug-11 09:56:27

The other kid will calm down and want to go out with you again. And your friend can just make him - it's not her kid who should decide anyway.

Not going to judge her parenting skills, each to their own method, but YWNBU, there's nothing wrong with pointing out that teasing isn't very nice. YW also NBU to say that it was silly to cry. I'm sure you didn't say it in a belittling manner.

halcyondays Fri 12-Aug-11 10:13:38

Yanbu, what you said was perfectly reasonable. It wasn't nice of him to laugh at your ds and his mum should have told him that herself. If the DS doesn't want to go out with you again, well no great loss really. Funny how it was ok for him to laugh at your son and he should learn to deal with it but her ds is such a delicate little flower that he can't cope with an adult correcting him.hmm

I've always struggled with coordination myself, at that age kids can be very self conscious and it is upsetting when other kids laugh.

MoominsAreScary Fri 12-Aug-11 10:23:40

you should have let them sort it out between them, you son is old enough to tell his friend not to laugh at him and that it's not funny that he's sometimes clumsy, you can't protect him from other kids at school, he needs to do it for himself

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 12-Aug-11 10:26:39

I think if you were going to say 'that's not very nice', it should have been to your friend a bit more privately, reminding her of the co-ordination issues. I do agree that kids should be left to play without interference and hovvering from their mothers because if you're always around to scoop him up, he may never learn to try, try again because you're busily mopping up the tears. We are all different, my reaction would be "oh dear, you're ok, try again". I'm quite frankly pleased that we're all different in parenting.

You don't say how old these children are, OP?

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 12-Aug-11 10:27:47

Ah yes, 10 & 11 - definitely old enough to sort it out and, forgive me OP, but I think a bit old for tears at not being able to do something. confused

usualsuspect Fri 12-Aug-11 10:30:49

Sounds like a mountain out of a molehill tbh

JustFiveMinutesHAHAHA Fri 12-Aug-11 11:24:21

But lying - it wasn't tears for not being able to do something, it was tears - at the end of a long day - when is friend laughed at him for not being able to do something...

OP YWNU - your friend was unreasonable for saying you were over protective when you weren't and she is being unreasonable if she allows her son to dictate whether you go out again or not. It was one upset at the end of a long fun day - it should all be forgotten about 30 seconds after the tears fgs.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 12-Aug-11 11:52:42

Tears over nothing really, in my view JustFive. The other boy was also presumably at the end of a long day. It all seems a big fuss over not much at all, I thought it was about 5-6 year olds when I read the OP first.

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