to not want this boy in my home again?(104 Posts)
This has been festering since the weekend so I have decided to seek the gentle wisdom of AIBU. Sorry it's a bit long, didn't want to drip-feed.
DS1 (16) wanted to bring his latest mate around, and I refused to allow it. DS1 was furious and thinks I am being petty. Perhaps I am, but here is my reason. This other boy used to live next door to us, only moved away less than a year ago, but while here he was particularly horrible to DS2. The boys all played together, but mainly this child and DS2, however if ever the boy was in trouble with his mother DS2 got the blame. The mother was the type who believed her angel could do no wrong, and never for a moment doubted his version of events. Her response was to very obviously treat DS2 nastily, such as excluding him from activities that DS1 and all the other neighbourhood children were invited to, calling her DC in whenever DS2 went out to play with them, and generally made it very clear she disliked him.
When I said I wouldn't discipline him for anything I did not believe he had done, she reported him to the school, for bullying her child at home. This led to the son taunting DS2 at school, e.g. taking things from his bag or hiding his shoes at gym, and saying "you can't touch me, or my mum will phone the school again!". DS1 was quite torn as the boy was nice to him but couldn't bear him being horrid to DS2. The boy knew exactly what buttons to press to get DS2 wound up (he suffers from anxiety) then complained of bullying if DS2 retaliated in any way, knowing his mother would back him all the way. I tried to speak to the mother about this but she refused to acknowledge her DS might be in any way to blame for anything that happened.
When the school said there was no action to take, the mother then called an anti-bullying helpline and gave them DS2's name and address because he was stressing them so much. She told me she had done this because whenever her own two DC were fighting and she intervened, they said it was because they were scared of DS2, even though at this stage they hardly saw each other any more. When I asked for details about what DS2 had done that she classed as bullying, she was very vague and just said they were worried about what he might to. She implied they weren't safe from him even though he had never actually done anything.
We eventually never spoke for about five years, (horrible in a small close-knit community setting) and then they moved away and it was bliss beyond belief not to have them anywhere near me again.
Only now, DS1 and this boy have become really friendly again, and all the memories of what a little shit he had been to DS2 came flooding back, and how the mother had behaved about it all. Neither DS1 nor DS2 know the half of what was said between the adults, or the real truth of why I fell out with the mother and eventually the whole family, and I don't want to have to justify myself to my son. A bit of a row ensued, and when DS1 kept asking why he couldn't come, I got really bad-tempered and reminded him of what he did to DS2, but DS1 just says that was years ago, he's not like that now. But DS2 still hates him, and I can't forget how he and the mother treated him. I was so glad to have them out of my life and even though the boy is older now he was still a complete shit. I just don't want him in my home ever again. I get upset and angry again just thinking about how DS2 was treated (and me, by association).
This won't go away, as he and DS1 are hanging around together quite a lot. I would never dictate DS1's friendships, however AIBU to think DS1 can see him anywhere else, just not in my house? Or do I need to get over myself?
Sod not letting him in your house, I wouldn't let DC1 go to his either. Can you imagine the inevitable fall out?
Sounds an awful situation - I think that you're being very reasonable understanding that your DS1 will be friends with whoever he wants to. As you say they can meet up, just not in your house. He can go to his or they meet out. Your poor DS2 would prob feel very intimidated if this boy came in your house and you need to protect him....and yourself!
Not a chance would I want this boy or his mother anywhere near my family. Your DS1 is older now. Perhaps you could go into a bit more detail with him just why his friend isn't allowed to your house. I'd say tell him he isn't allowed to this boys house either, with a mother like that, but at 16 I don't think you can really stop him.
Tell him this boy isn't coming over, explain why then tell him he isn't to ask you again as you will not budge on it and you won't engage any further.
Really feel for you. DS1 has been bullied at school - he's only 10 but it was quite manipulative stuff - and I can't imagine ever forgiving the child for how he made DS1 feel (bully also befriended and made a big fuss of DS2, which I thought - perhaps unfairly - was quite calculated). Of course 5 years is a long time, and your bully may have matured, but the mother won't have changed - and if DS2 still is upset by him, I would try and minimise the friendship. How to persuade DS1 that it's reasonable is another thing - I hope someone with experience of that will come and give advice.
YANBU. This boy bullied your son. The effects of bullying can last a long long time time (my DH was bullied at school and I can still see how it affects him some 20+ years later)
Actually Cap'n Nancy, it never occurred to me that he might go there! I can't see the mother allowing him in, to be honest. He mostly sees the boy at other friends' houses, he's never mentioned going there. I'll have to ask him.
The boy knew exactly what buttons to press to get DS2 wound up (he suffers from anxiety) then complained of bullying if DS2 retaliated in any way
....tiny little snippet hidden away in the middle implying it wasn't all one way. "knew exactly what buttons to press" is the classic cry of all victim blamers, from wife beaters to school bullies, and all!
Absolutely no contact between these two families, there is no way
Hippee That's the kind of age the boys were when it first started. It's quite a shock to discover how nasty and calculating children can be, isn't it? I'm not sure if minimising it will work, as they are in the same social groups at the moment.
You need to tell your DS1 exactly what happened in the past as you have explained here.
Under no circumstances should you allow this boy into your house, why should your DS2 be forced to have someone in his home that has bullied him for years.
I would focus on the mother and her behaviour. Tell your son more details of what happened and then explain that you cannot trust the mother. Therefore, you do not want the child in your house.
It is your house, your rules. Although at 16 you cannot feasibly dictate and control your son's friendship.
But I would tell him everything that happened and allow him to make up his own mind. It may well be that this boy has changed, or it may not. If the latter is the case, unforrtunately we have to stand back and allow our children to make the mistakes needed in a learning curve like this - life's harsh lessons.
No YANBU. You have to protect your own.
I wouldn't allow it either.
...tiny little snippet hidden away in the middle implying it wasn't all one way. "knew exactly what buttons to press"
An example of the type of retaliation I mean: other boy skateboarded a lot. DS2 wanted a skateboard too so he could go with his "friend". The first day he joined boy and his other friends with new skateboard, boy inspected the board, rubbished it completely saying it was a crap make, the wheels were too small, the trucks were loose, it looked cheap, etc., while his friends all laughed. DS2 burst into tears. They laughed even more. DS2 picked up a stone and threw it at boy's skateboard. Boy complained to mother that DS2 was thowing stones and bullying him. Which one is the victim?
*It is your house, your rules. Although at 16 you cannot feasibly dictate and control your son's friendship.
But I would tell him everything that happened and allow him to make up his own mind. It may well be that this boy has changed, or it may not. If the latter is the case, unforrtunately we have to stand back and allow our children to make the mistakes needed in a learning curve like this - life's harsh lessons.*
They need to learn for themselves at age 16. Tell him what went on. Let him know you are not happy having him in your home because of previous ......but let him make his mind up. The kid may have changed over the past 5 years.
Set a firm boundary. Any hint of previous behaviour he is banned. End of.
TBH, I don't think much of your DS1's loyalties. They should be to his brother, end of.
Of course the boys shouldn't be allowed in your home, and you need to sit DS1 down and explain the realities of what he has done to his brother, your family, and that you will not tolerate this boy in your house. He is showing a complete disregard for his brother's well-being by being friendly with him.
At 16 he needs to know the truth of what happened, and then tell him the subject is closed, you want nothing to do with them again and you don't want to hear your Ds speak about them either. The friend is not be at your house for anything. Because you know he'll go and ask his friend if it's all true.
You need to tell your DS1 exactly what happened in the past as you have explained here.
He does know most of it - he was usually the main witness, and where I got a lot of my information from. Despite what people often think, he doesn't love his brother much and never lies for him or defends him. So if I needed the truth about how something started I knew I'd get it from DS1. I guess the trouble is that he is not still angry about this boy like DS2 and I are, so he thinks we should just forgive and forget.
* I don't think much of your DS1's loyalties.*
Neither do I!
He always felt DS2 was a liability at school, as he was socially awkward due to his anxiety. He has been through CAHMS assessments for possible ADHD and ASD, and although he has a lot of traits, they're not enough for a diagnosis. DS1 knows this and has been told that he needs a supportive brother, not an enemy. DS1 is fine with this until someone he likes has an issue with DS2, then he takes the other person's side against his brother. It baffles and saddens me.
Despite what people often think, he doesn't love his brother much and never lies for him or defends him.
Nice. Ok if he wants this boy round, he can get out and invite him to his own home.
As a bullied child, I'd have been thankful my DM was doing as you were if I were DC2.
If DC1 is so insistent that this boy isn't like that anymore, which is more than possible, have you thought about framing it more as 'he may not be, but his DM will still be the same and we don't need that'
I don't think much of your DS1's loyalties. They should be to his brother, end of
That's a bit sweeping
I agree with your son about forgive and forget as far as most children are concerned, however when that is the style of his mother, there is much less chance of this lad turning out well
he may not be, but his DM will still be the same and we don't need that
That sounds like the key, Magik. There were a lot of conversations between the mother and me, which DS1 knows nothing about, where her monumental snobbery shone through. I think knowing more about her and her attitude to our family may be helpful to him. And it may prevent him from going to their house, if he's thinking about it!
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