A bit of a departure from my usual posts, but it's been something we've been dealing with. And you know sometimes writing it out makes you feel better.
Why I’m Not Letting My Son Play With Your Son
My son can be a jerk.
Sometimes he doesn’t share. He’ll quit a game if it doesn’t go his way. He’ll rat you out in a heartbeat. Some might argue this is typical behavior for a 9 year old. I say, no, he’s being a jerk.
While that statement certainly won’t win me any Mother of the Year awards, it still gives me comfort. How? Because I know each episode is a teachable moment. He’ll be punished. He’ll lose privileges. He’ll cry and tell me I’m the meanest mother in the world. And I’ll smile because I know that one of my jobs as a mother is to help make him a productive member of society.
I’m a realist. I don’t sugarcoat much. If you’re acting like a jerk, I’ll call you out on it.
But along with the negatives is a little boy who says “please” and “thank you.” He has a laugh that is contagious. He will ask you if you’re okay if you get hurt on the playground. He’ll protect a helpless bug or animal, and he will give you a shoulder to cry on. He’s a good friend to have.
So when your son – a now former friend – took to tormenting him daily in school and on the bus, it hurt. Big time. It hurt me as a mom and it hurt my son who didn’t know why or how it was happening. He stood his ground though and gave back as good as he got. Yet, when I let you know what was happening, you turned the tables. Your son became the victim. You believed every word that came out of his mouth – even after you were told other people confirmed what was really going on.
I’ve heard excuses like, “He’s sooooo smart and that’s why he doesn’t get along with other kids his age” or “Well, he was born in November so he’s younger than everyone in his grade.” I’ve heard “My son doesn’t use those words” or “He does his homework on the bus, how could he be bothering your son?” I’ve heard it all and I cry B.S.
So Mom, YOU are the reason I won’t let my son play with your son anymore. If you had just acknowledged that your son could be a jerk too, we could get past this. But you can’t accept that your son might not be perfect (I know mine isn’t). Your son might use words like “idiot” or “stupid.” Your son might be poking and pushing other kids. Your son might actually be the cause of some problems. Yes, I know it’s a bitter pill to swallow. But if you could just get out of your state of denial, you, too, might want to take advantage of these teachable moments.
Yes, my son can be a jerk. But yours can be too. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It means you’re a mother.