okay, so when do you confront other kids and/or their parents about their behavior?
I am so irritated right now that I just have to write this down so I can chill out. We live in a small neighborhood, but there are A LOT of boys about the same age as my kids (about ages 6-11) Well there is this crew of boys that don't really let my kids play with them. Just today an 8 year old told my 10 year old that he couldnt play capture the flag! They asked if they could wait until the next game and he still said "no." Then when they tried to go out in the woods where they were playing they accused my kids of spying on them. Of course there have been other incidents too.
There are other kids in the neighborhood for mine to play with, but I am just so sad that they are being rejected.
do I just let it go and use it as a teaching moment for my kids, or do I confront the other kids parents? I don't want to be "that mom" who interferes but it is going to be a long summer. I am very non confrontational BTW!
It's always a tough call. Sometimes the kids are reflection of the parents, so the parents wouldn't do anything positive either. If they did, making their kids play with your kids could create stress in their own family.
I had 2 boys of similar ages at one time. When someone, or a group, rejected them, I just encouraged them to find someone else to play with and told them that they wouldn't really want to associate with such mean individuals anyway, would they?
They'd eventually go on to find friends that were better suited to them.
Kids can be cliquish just to be mean--mean is easier when you're part of a group.
Doesn't it break your heart to see your kids hurting? This is a great opportunity to teach your children, and I'm sure you'll do that. But if it were my kid doing the bullying, I would absolutely want to know. I'm assuming you don't know the parents well, so perhaps the best thing would be to try to get to know them a little better. Invite the parents or family of one of the boys over for dinner or something. Then you have a chance to see if the parents are the type you can talk to about this (probably better at another time, not that night). And who knows, maybe without the other members of the clique there the kids will play together, too, making it easier when the group is around.
It's always heart breaking to see any kids be left out. But I think confronting the other parents about their kids behavior and "forcing" the kids to play together, might make the situation worse, those kids would probably call your kids "tattle-tales".
Encourage your kids to play with other children that would appreciate your kids for who they are and that they are better off not being friends with kids who can be mean.
thank you for the replies! I actually do know all of the parents fairly well. I know 2 of the families would definitely not condone such behavior if they knew. The other family has had trouble with other kids in the neighborhood in the past, but the mom always has a way of making it so that the other child is the "problem." I wouldnt even think to approach them becasue it would be a dead end street. As hard as it would be to hear, I would want to know if my kids were treating someone badly.
Absolutely I wouldnt want my kids to be the "tattle tale" kids. And I don't want to force them all to play together. there are definitely kids who are better suited for mine and I actually really don't care if they are friends with these boys. I think I am just pulling from my own past and feeling the rejection and insecurity for them. I honestly know that I care a lot more than they do about it. They don't usually even tell me about it, I have to ask. I know there is a strong possibility that there is another side of the story and of course my kids wouldnt implicate themselves! But I ahve been witness to this type of thing several times in the past.
I probably won't say anything at this point. As I said I am more bothered by this than my kids. My youngest and middle child are pretty popular at school, so I don't worry about them as much. My oldest is a little different from most of the kids. He just isnt an athlete and likes more creative and artistic things. He doesnt fit in as well and has less close friends, so I worry about him particularly.
Thanks for letting me vent and for the great advice!
I would do both: approach the parents you are on good terms with AND encourage your children to play with other kids.
My oldest is a little different from most of the kids. He just isnt an athlete and likes more creative and artistic things. He doesnt fit in as well and has less close friends, so I worry about him particularly.
I wouldn't worry about your oldest too much. Not all kids are interested in being an athlete and really, not wanting to be an athlete is no big deal. Two of my grandkids are the same as your oldest, with the rest being nutcases about sports.
Creative and artistic kids are good! We need lots of creative and artistic kids in this world. Shoot, if we didn't have them, we'd not have any scientists/doctors/surgeons/nurses/dentists/teachers/sculpters/ painters/ poets/musicians/writers/financial experts/etc etc.
Variety is the spice of life, especially where kids are concerned!
I totally agree that it's okay not to be an athlete. It's just that he doesn't fit in well with the mainstream that is hard. I am sure he has a bright future in some career that is creative. It's just getting through the next several years that I am worried about. He is generally happy though.
I think at this point I am not going to approach anyone about the recent events. I am going to use it as a teachable moment for my kids and encourage them to play with other kids. I know I can't protect them from everything and I'd like for them to be able to handle themselves independently whenever possible. I'll just use the wait and see method right now. I'll re evaluate if things get worse.
Saying, "I don't want to play with you" is not bullying. I know it's hard, but I would stay out of it. Kids have a way of working things out among themselves. If he gets physically harmed, that's different, but getting your feelings hurt is part of life. They might be best friends in three days.
Parents should stay out of it unless there is some physical contact made. Kids get teased when their mom's interfere. That's worst that not being included in the games in the first place. If the kids behave like that, are they really kids that you want your kids to play with anyway?
I have decided to stay out of it because as you said I don't want to make it worse. It isn't bad enough for me to approach anyone about it. It wasnt just this incident, but a series of incidents that have upset me though. I understand hurt feelings are a part of life and I can't protect them from everyting. However, I personally don't think that waiting until there is phyical harm is always appropriate either.