What Would Debbie Do?
It Takes a Village to Raise a Kid
My neighbor and I have developed a close friendship. Her kids and my
kids play with each other almost every day and so they are close
friends too. They are 5 through 8 years old.
One day, they came over to our house to play. Her son did not want to share turns with my son. So my son got upset and went to play with his older sister upstairs. When it was time to go home, the kids said good-bye to one another. At least that’s what we all thought.
An hour later, my friend came over and my husband opened the door and
she explained to him what was going on. I was busy washing the dishes
and my boys were eating their dinner.
My husband called my 5-year-old to go out to talk to my friend
outside. I asked to know what was going on but he would not tell me.
So, I followed my son outside. My friend was talking to my son
telling him that he hurt her son’s feelings and that he can’t play
with her son if he says mean things to him again or is not being
nice. She asked my son to go and apologize to him at his house (in a
I was standing there like an idiot listening to her telling my son
all that stuff and no one is explaining to me what was going on. When
my son did go over and apologize, my friend told me that my son said
“I hate you” to her son before he left. That word almost killed me to
hear it come out of his mouth. I was so disappointed to hear that my
son used that word.
Dear Worried Mom,
I think the thing you’re missing here is that your friend DID tell your husband what happened, when he opened the door. And it seems like by the time you got there, things were in motion, and your son was already being reprimanded (and rightly so) by your friend for his hurtful comments. I don’t feel like she blind-sided you, because she told your husband first. If she had not done that, then I would say she was out of line, and mildly disrespectful of the both of you, as parents.
As to your husband, I’m sure he thought this was a small thing; he heard the situation, allowed your friend to confront your son, and that’s that. It doesn’t appear that he set out to keep you out of the loop-on the contrary; he seemed to let the process continue, as he made a judgment call on whether it should continue.
I think you’re focusing on the wrong thing here. If indeed this woman is a good friend, then I would think you would allow her to reprimand your son, if he did something terribly wrong. It takes a village to raise a child-having more than one person monitoring your child’s behavior in an appropriate way helps us all to raise responsible children. I say be thankful that your friend wanted to rectify the situation in a meaningful way, and that she cared enough to try and resolve it. The manner in which she spoke is unknown to me, but I would hope she was firm, but kind. Let this go…