Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pre-Teen Mom Angst Redux

Well, in the case of the former best friend of the Elder?

It appears they're friends again. Or at least friendly. They've apologized to each other for whatever wrongs they committed (using the infamous "I'm sorry for whatever I did or might have done" pretext).

So that's good.

But on the downside, the FBF's parents have decided the boys can't be friends. I don't know their exact reasoning, but I figure it has to do with the fact that their child was called down to talk to the dean twice about how he was talking to my child, and that they were contacted by both the school and the before and after school center both boys use.

Embarrassment is a huge motivator. Sigh.

You know, in a perfect world I would have called the other mother before any of this snowballed. But in a perfect world, I also would not have lost her phone number. Or she would have called me. Or I would have thought to leave a note with the childcare folks for them to give her with my number on it and a request to call. Or she would have done the same.

But unfortunately, none of these things happened. I lost her phone number. She didn't call me (her son has our number in his phone, but in fairness he could have deleted it). Neither of us had the presence of mind to figure out an alternate contact even when witnessing our sons' friendship disintegrating. And then the boys (the FBF and another child) started taunting the Elder at school as well as at the childcare center, and all hell broke loose on a small, typical, sixth-grade boy scale.

I waited a week, and I still don't know if it was too long or not long enough. And I didn't call in the "big guns"... I emailed the guidance counselor for suggestions. But due to what was going on, he had to pass it up to the dean. And even so, when the dean asked if I wanted to "throw the book at them" I emphatically said no. These are kids. Kids do dumb things. Just get it to end.

Thankfully the dean is a bright guy and knows how middle schoolers are. I'm grateful for that, and for how he handled the situation.

No one was punished -- the parties involved got a stern talking-to, and warnings of consequences that would follow if certain behaviors continued. I hear the director of the child care center also talked to the parents of both the other boys involved, although I have no idea what was said (perhaps what was said at that meeting is why they are not supposed to be friends -- who knows?). And it was a good lesson for all of us. I've told the Elder that he and FBF need to remember to be careful with each other. I've also told him to be respectful of FBF's parents because I can't blame them for being cautious -- they likely don't know how careful I tried to be with their son, even considering all that went down.

If the shoe were on the other foot, I can't say I wouldn't react similarly, especially knowing how well kids tend to skew events to show themselves in the best light. Shoot, I hear rumors even parents tend to do that a bit...

The entire thing gives me a headache.


Aunt of 14 said...

I'm thinking... FBF's parents probably don't want to really fully believe that their own son could be a bully. Hopefully the problem, whatever it was, has been nipped in the bud. If not, then it will happen with another kid and FBFs parents will be forced to realize the truth. It's hard to be a parent in so many ways, but its also awesome. You, mama bear, took care of your little one very very very well! I would probably have done the same as you did.

Amanda said...

Thanks for that. And you may be right. I'm just hoping for the best at this point. Hopefully, if nothing else, this nipped a potential behavior in the bud and kept it from becoming a serious issue.

I just can't help second-guessing myself. Oh well, there's a reason my kids have therapy funds instead of college funds...

Dr. Fat To Fit said...

I went through something similar to this in 5th grade w/ my son. There was a lot of conferences and talking and awkwardness. Luckily it worked out and no 2yr later the boys are friends. Being a parent is just plain hard. All we can do is our best. Sounds like that's what you did. And when it was happening w/ me, the school didn't want the parents to be talking independently. They wanted to keep things confidential and on the record. FYI

Angela Pea said...

It seems the boys figured it out on their own and have decided to be friends again. THAT speaks volumes to the fact that you did a fine job, long before the arguements, breakup and conferences.

You Rock, Amanda!