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Friend yelling at DS, what would you do?

(53 Posts)
Rojak Sat 26-Oct-13 23:43:02

Ok I need a good dose of MN common sense so I can see if I'm over- reacting / under-reacting.

DS (12) was with me and DD at friend's daughter's birthday party.

DS wasn't meant to go but had to bring him cos didn't want to leave him home alone.

At party, other kid, J (9), starts poking DS, generally low level annoying stuff. So DS, not an angel himself, starts winding J up eg. telling balloon guy, J wants a pink bunny etc etc

Now J then starts crying and I told DS off and to leave him alone and we get ready to leave.

J goes off to sit by himself and friend comes out to say goodbye, sees what's going on and proceeds to shout, angrily, losing it kind of shout at my DS and telling him off.

As we were getting into car anyway and it was her house, her party, I didn't say anything to her.

We left, I told DS he can't go around picking on younger kids and that friend had a right to be angry at him but I didn't necessarily agree witg the way she chosed to express her anger.

I have not texted or spoken to friend since and she hasn't either.

Her husband has texted to ask how we are.

Should I text her or wait?

She has huge anger issues - I have seen her fly off the handle with her husband and kids, and other people around her.

Earlier this week, I was beginning to think that I needed to put some distance between us as I could feel she was getting annoyed with me (but wasn't sure what about) - we play tennis together.

Am I over-reacting to think I could actually do with less drama of angry people in my life?

Unexpected Tue 29-Oct-13 20:15:28

If I was the party mum, I would be fed up with the whole lot of you! It's not clear what age your daughter is but it seems that she is old enough not to need you to stay normally at a party so first of all the party mum had an extra adult in her house whom she presumably felt she needed to chat to, offer a drink etc when she really wanted to be sorting out the party, then she discovers she has an extra, much older child in her house as well. Even if the 9 year old was winding your son up, it is difficult for the party mum to know exactly what is going on and even if she saw the whole thing, it is awkward for her to tell off one of the invited guests, particularly when you were there and your child is so much older. Why did you not intervene before party child started crying?

I don't think the mum was right to shout at your son but I can see why, in the hell that is a child's birthday party, it happened and I think there is fault on both sides. Did you apologise for bringing your 12 year old to the party?

BendyBusBuggy Tue 29-Oct-13 20:02:03

FatherJake, you say "If a 12 year old kid who hadn't been invited to a party was bullying my 9 year old kid, calling him names and asking for him to get a pink balloon just to wind him up I would be very annoyed."

OP has already said the boy wasn't the shouty friend's son.

Also, if it's ok to shout at other people's children, why was the shouty friend not annoyed with and shouted at the 9YO for provoking the 12YO? confused

perfectstorm Mon 28-Oct-13 21:54:44

i doubt the OPs description of the level of shouting.

Well, the shouter's husband texted to ask how they were after the incident, in the same day from the sounds of it, which indicates it must have been quite dramatic? Odd thing to do otherwise.

ASWf I completely agree. It saddens me that many people are so okay with a child being treated like that.

perfectstorm Mon 28-Oct-13 21:47:15

OP should have intervened sooner, don't you think perfectstorm

As neither of us were there I'm not sure quite what authority you have to say that. This thread is full of assumptions - at one stage people simply assumed the 9 year old was the party boy - and I don't think they are helpful.

reallyhurtz Mon 28-Oct-13 21:29:08

but, yes, i agree, shouting at child uncontrollably is not acceptable

I think, i doubt the OPs description of the level of shouting. For no really good reason though...

reallyhurtz Mon 28-Oct-13 21:27:03

OP should have intervened sooner, don't you think perfectstorm

AnySpookyWolfyFucker Mon 28-Oct-13 21:07:02

"If she was shouting at him, I bet she had a good reason, he must have really riled her."

hmm a familiar excuse for all manner of abuse including emotional/verbal. I'm sure my father thought I'd really riled him too sad but the punishment was completely out of proportion to the action, which was just an excuse for the bully to vent out their spleen on someone smaller than themselves.

The point is that whatever the 'provocation' an adult shouldn't be shouting in the face of a child, let alone taking it upon themselves to deliver a tirade against someone else's child, without bothering to hear that child's version of events or consult the parent who was present to find out whether or not she was already dealing with the situation.

It is okay to think that the OP's son was badly behaved or that she had poor judgement in taking him. She accepts the former and had already told him off and was removing him from the situation. The latter was not his fault at all, if Shouty Friend had a problem with his presence, she could have calmly told the OP that he couldn't stay, or that she was annoyed that he had stayed and was winding up another child. But even if those things were the case, SF had no business losing it and shouting at her friend's child. She also isn't rushing to apologise which together with OP's existing concerns about her angry personality suggests that this wasn't a one-off, absolutely mortified afterwards event - she believes as do others on this thread that she was entitled to shout and bawl at a 12 year old, and didn't even do what any reasonable person might have done first - spoken to the child to hear his side of events and/or spoken to his parent who was nearby to make sure she was aware of the situation and to ask how she was going to deal with it.

Having grown up with EA, I have no wish for my DS to experience it. At the moment, that means I won't leave him unsupervised with my F. I wouldn't hesitate to protect him from a 'friend' either. I do wonder why your daughter wasn't willing to go to the party alone, and whether she had already seen this side of SF.

perfectstorm Mon 28-Oct-13 21:05:47

It's genuinely bizarre to me that so many people seem to think it's okay for this woman to yell at a child because of choices made by an adult. She didn't yell at the OP, who was the one who took him to the party uninvited. She yelled at a little boy, because he was embroiled in a dispute between two kids. And she has form for this type of nasty behaviour, at that.

Reallyhurtz he was sitting quietly reading a book, and was being poked and prodded by a random child, at which point he began to jeer back. No, random brat- child should not then have been teased, as he's younger and there are more effective ways of handling silliness by primary aged children, but at the same time it will do random child no harm at all to grasp that prodding bears may result in being bitten. Sometimes in life if you provoke you are going to get what you came for. The OP intervened and dealt with it appropriately, telling her son off. And while the OP shouldn't have taken her son uninvited, that isn't her son's fault and does not justify the frankly disgusting behaviour a grown woman chose to subject him to, all without seeking to find out what had actually gone on.

I don't think there is ever any excuse for an adult to shriek at a child. Under this little provocation from the child and without any real effort to find out what the story was it's downright abusive. I've never treated any kid like that, ever, and I hope to God I never will. If I ever do I promise you apologies will be promptly forthcoming.

reallyhurtz Mon 28-Oct-13 17:29:27

Its amazing how many people thinks its ok to take an uninvited 12 year old to a party and allow him to 'wind up' a 9 year old, to the point of tears

Faffalina Mon 28-Oct-13 16:46:41

Strange how many people think it's ok to shout "in a losing it kind of way" at a friend's child if you're annoyed enough. She hasn't even apologised and has been getting angry for unknown reasons already, so yes I would lose her as a friend OP.

Jan45 Mon 28-Oct-13 16:11:20

I'd suck it up if I was you, we don't know what she was told about your son and if she was shouting at him, I bet she had a good reason, he must have really riled her. I'd also expect my 12 year old son not to show me up at a party with children 3 years younger than him, not a good example to set younger kids nor give you much to be proud of.

Having said that, if this woman, as you say, has anger issues, perhaps you're better not being her friend anymore.

MillicentTendancies Mon 28-Oct-13 14:36:06

Rights and wrongs aside - as you had already told off your son I don't know why she felt like she needed to come and have another go. Sounds like shitty hostessing to me, making a scene - she could have ensured the crying boy was OK, rather than kicking off and making people uncomfortable. She sounds a bit unhinged to shout and properly lose it at a 12 year old :S No wonder your daughter wanted you there. Either way I think this friendship has run its course, obvs personality clash and sounds like way too much hard work to me!

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Mon 28-Oct-13 08:32:54

The other boy poking your DS sounds like a complete pain in the a***. Your DS showed some quite clever initiative suggesting the pink party bag stuff, but obviously with hindsight a shame that he didn't use this initiative to get away from the situation.
I would speak to your friend and say that she is not authorised to let rip at your child(ren). If she has a problem or concern she comes to you.

FranSanDisco Mon 28-Oct-13 08:12:31

Your friend is out of order. A 12 yo boy is not much more sensible than a 9 yo ime and many will react to provocation of this type from younger children. The 9 yo picked on the wrong person if he couldn't take a bit of a wind up back. He doesn't deserve your friend's sympathy and you ds dopesn't deserve her wrath.

FatherJake Mon 28-Oct-13 07:53:31

"DS, not an angel himself, starts winding J up eg. telling balloon guy J wants a pink bunny etc etc"

So he was picking on a younger kid and making fun of him to an adult entertainer - to the extent that younger kid went off and cried. Sounds like bullying to me charitygirl but not sure there's much point in going over dictionary definitions. He acted in a horrible manner and should have been appropriately told off rather than being seen as some sort of victim.

Flicktheswitch Mon 28-Oct-13 07:25:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

charitygirl Mon 28-Oct-13 07:13:04

Fatherjake needs to check the definition of bullying.

reallyhurtz Mon 28-Oct-13 06:55:34

I agree with have 2 seperate discussions here

1) its great you have id'd that this woman has anger issues and you don't need to be her friend

2) but that shouldn't excuse yous/ your sons decision/behaviour in this scenario..

what exactly did she say, when she was screaming at your son?

FatherJake Mon 28-Oct-13 05:45:09

If a 12 year old kid who hadn't been invited to a party was bullying my 9 year old kid, calling him names and asking for him to get a pink balloon just to wind him up I would be very annoyed.

If it was my 12 year old kid doing this I would not be furious with a woman who lost her temper when she thought her son was being bullied. Nor would I be reassuring my son that I 'was on his side' as suggested by another poster.

I would take my son home and give him a very long, hard talk about how bullies are the lowest of the low and how you should never pick on anyone younger than you.

All the stuff about your mate is a red herring or a different discussion.
You (for taking him) and your son (for bullying) were badly in the wrong I am afraid.

AnandaTimeIn Mon 28-Oct-13 01:22:12

If a friend shouted at my DS I would be having serious words with her.

Don't worry, tennis season will be over soon.

ChippingInNeedsANYFUCKER Mon 28-Oct-13 00:56:14

I'm glad you have realised that you don't need another angry person in your life - that's what really matters here.

She had no right At All to shout and scream at you son, none at all.

reallyhurtz Mon 28-Oct-13 00:39:12

If your dd didn't want to go alone...that is her/your problem, not the party host. I would say a NT 12 year old could stay alone whilst you accompaniied your dd. Or dd would have to suck it up and go alone or stay at home. Did you check with the woman (who you know to have anger issues) whether this was ok?

id be pissed off with you. I think a 12 year old should be able to rise above ribbing from a 9 year old

Rojak Mon 28-Oct-13 00:04:32

Coming to this late - the other boy is not her child.

Yes I do regret taking DS to the party. With hindsight, I would have left him home alone. I am not in the habit of bringing siblings to parties.

DD did not want to attend the party on her own and wanted me there (not something she normally does, but she has been reluctant to go round in the last few months)

For my own well being and that of my DC, I now realise I don't really need more angry people in my life.

It is too stressful and I don't really need the drama of it all.

mammadiggingdeep Sun 27-Oct-13 18:44:28

You don't need her in your life.

Back away and spend your time and energy with other (non-angry) friends.....

BellaVita Sun 27-Oct-13 16:54:57

Backforgood, that was my first thought too.

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