Mother to mother

By Mir
November 18, 2008

I discovered very early on in my mothering career that FOR ME (not saying this is the rule for everyone, of course), I’m incapable of maintaining a friendship with a fellow mom whose parenting style is completely different than mine. Not because I think she’s bad or wrong, but simply because get-togethers involving all of the children will cause my head to explode. If Little Billy is, for example, sitting on top of Chickadee and kicking all of her teeth out one by one (plink! plink! plink!) and Billy’s mom is laughing and saying, “Boys just play really differently than girls, huh?” well, THAT’S A PROBLEM. You know?

My tolerance over the years has grown; I’ll confess that in the early days everyone in my “inner circle” was extremely similar in this regard. My death-grip on The Truth And The Way has relaxed as I’ve mellowed over the years (stop laughing; yes, this is the mellow version of me… scary, I know), and now, sure, I have friends who parent differently, but still, there’s some basic sense of unity there, for sure.

For example—and I know this comes as a HUGE SHOCK—I believe in talking.

(I KNOW! Who could’ve guessed??)

The belief in talking—as it applies to parenting, and other people’s kids—goes something like this: If a child comes to visit and misbehaves, I have no problem explaining the house rules. Monkey used to have a friend who is more of a monkey than he is—this kid was a compulsive furniture-climber. It sort of drove me crazy, because in my house we don’t climb on furniture. In his house, there were different rules. But it wasn’t a big deal; I would simply remind him, “Hey, in our house furniture is not to be climbed on, okay? Please get off the coffee table.”

On the rare occasion when a child visits here and misbehaves in a way that I find truly disrespectful, I have to make a judgment call as to whether the parent needs to be involved. That’s a case-by-case thing; usually I handle it myself, with a quiet but firm tone and, sometimes, the Mama Death Glare, but occasionally I will speak to the kid’s mom about it. “Hey, today when the kids were playing, something happened that I want to let you know about….”

Maybe it’s just me, but if it’s something I feel I can (and have) handled, I don’t then tell the parent about it later. Let’s face it; all kids act up now and then. One little transgression doesn’t worry me. If it’s something that’s really a problem, I’m going to inform the child that I need to talk to Mom about it.

And that brings us back to befriending parents with similar philosophies. My kids are getting old enough, now, that they have friends whose parents I don’t really know, sure; but I’ve been lucky enough here to make a bunch of wonderful friends who DO have kids my kids’ ages, and while we’re all different, I feel like we all hold philosophies which are similar enough, at least. I also feel like I could go to any one of these women with a concern, and likewise that they will tell me if they have one about one of my kids. We all care about all the kids. We have each others’ backs.

I mentioned yesterday that I let the kids go over and play with the neighbors this weekend, which is something I don’t often do. When we moved in, we were thrilled to discover ready-made playmates, the right ages and gender and everything! And it took about a week to figure out that this family and ours have… different philosophies.

I’m not saying they’re wrong. I’m just saying they’re different.

(You know. Different, that’s all. Different in a way that often makes me want to pop the heads off of those kids.)

To make matters worse, the mother is extremely well-meaning and clearly wants for the kids to be bestest pals, and I suspect it’d be okay with her if she and I became buddies as well, but that’s just not in the cards. I can’t explain it. She’s very nice. She’s very generous. We just… don’t have a single thing in common. And her parenting style is made up of a lot, “Oh, you know, he means well”s and “I think she’s just misunderstood” and the like.

But a couple of times a month I let my kids play outside with these other kids for an hour or so. What could happen?

Well, here’s what could happen: Yesterday I was working away here in my office when the neighbor showed up at my door. I was on the phone, but let her in and gestured for her to sit; I finished up my call and asked her what was up. And she said, “Well, I’m not quite sure how to do this, but I wanted to talk to you about Monkey. Mother to mother.”

She then proceeded to go through an extensive recounting of poor behavior my son has been exhibiting while playing with her kids. And it wasn’t just from this weekend; oh no! That would’ve been too easy! No, she wanted to tell me about certain VERY UNACCEPTABLE behaviors she has witnessed repeatedly over the last COUPLE OF MONTHS.

I sat here in my chair and tried not to cry. Because I was mortified.

Finally I managed to ask her why she hadn’t told me this before. Say, the first time it had happened? “Oh, I didn’t want to worry you,” she said. Well, um, why hadn’t she simply told him that such behavior is unacceptable and he needed to go home immediately? “We handled it,” she said.

Really? REALLY? Because walking into my office in the middle of a Monday to detail several months’ worth of misbehavior DOES NOT SOUND LIKE HANDLING IT, to me.

She kept saying that she was telling me “mother to mother” because she was “concerned” and “very worried for Monkey.” I blinked back tears and she kept patting me and saying, “Oh, don’t be upset. I don’t want you to be upset! I’m just trying to help; I thought you ought to know!”

I held it together and thanked her and managed to get her out the door.

I spoke with Otto. I spoke with a friend. I fired off an email to the kids’ counselor.

The kids came home and sent Chickadee off to do something and sat down to talk to Monkey. “Do you want to tell me what happened at the neighbors’ the other day?” His face made it clear that he knew he was busted, and he was very forthcoming about most of what I’d been told. “Sweetie, what in the world would make you think to [insert obnoxious behavior here] NeighborBoy?”

“Oh, that’s easy,” he said, visibly relieved to be asked a question he could actually answer. “NeighborBoy does it to me ALL THE TIME.”

Uh huh.

Look; my kid isn’t perfect, and this behavior will be dealt with—believe you me. It’s unacceptable; he knows it; consequences and preventive measures are being put in place, as well as heaps and heaps of that TALKING thing I love. Because you know that I believe everything can be healed if you just TALK ABOUT IT ENOUGH. I’m not saying he’s right. I’m not even saying this is excusable. It’s a problem. It will be handled.

But as for the solicitous mother-to-mother shtick of the neighbor’s? Mother to mother, you deal with something like this the FIRST time it happens. Not two months later when you suddenly decide to be “helpful” with your laundry list of transgressions and “insights” that begin with things like “Well I used to work with abused children and we often saw behavior like this when….”

Pardon my French, but that is absolute fucking bullshit.

I told the neighbor that in the future I would appreciate it if she would send Monkey home immediately if he misbehaves at her house. But we’ll never know if she would’ve complied with my request, because my children are never setting foot on her property again.


  1. ImpostorMom

    How interesting that she played the part of the concerned, helpful mother when the behavior is something he learned from her kid. I wonder if she knew that or if her kid is just better at hiding whatever they’re doing. And I agree, you don’t dump months and months worth of transgressions in one sitting under the guise of being concerned.

  2. Marissa

    I have this problem too, but NeighborBoy is my NEPHEW!! and my sister-in-law and brother parent differently than my husband and I.

    This has really strained our relationship with them and right now we are in the middle of a “fight” — as in we aren’t talking to or interacting with each other.


  3. Suzanne

    The name for that kind of “parental concern” from that woman is “Asshat” and that is what she should be referred to from now on, as it is quite obvious that all she has on her shoulders is an ass… not a head! Yep… she’s an asshat!

  4. Lisa

    Mir, this isn’t the first time I have read a post and felt my life story in your words. As I just had this very thing happen to me, but the friend had been my youngest kid’s best friend for a number of years. The strained relationship had been noticable for a while and I suggested she move on. No biggy. But then I got that call. “Let me tell you what your child has done to mine over the last few months.” I was like WHAT? And really, I am not buying half of it. However, more talking is what we did and my kid knows how friends act and I know this girl hasn’t acted like a friend for a long time. I agree-it was a load of crap! And I had a day of tears.

  5. divrchk

    Wow. Good call on keeping them apart from now on. Are you going to tell her what Monkey told you about her son’s behavior? Or just let it go and keep your distance?

  6. Gem

    Been there, but I did not manage to hold it back when we were having the conversation, something I regret to this day because I still feel disloyal to my son. I feel she must have thought, very smugly, how right she was and how right her son was because I reacted so badly. In my situation it was even worse because it was my first child. He was only three and the conversation was with the child care provider. The only reason I say it was worse is because I did not have the confidence in my child, or my own parenting skills, to hold it together at the time, thank her for letting me know and then tell her we would not longer be requiring her services as she found him such a challenge. We struggled on for a few more weeks before I finally saw the light. This all happened 11 years ago and it is still raw with me. he is now a very sociable, friendly and well adjusted 14 year old, (ok, not quite a saint but only I am perfect!) Hang on in there. And you are completely right to remove him from a situation where he will be constantly under observation and comment

  7. Megan

    Wow. Does the blindfold she wear have sparkly sequins? And special feather trim? Maybe it plays a soothing little tune when she slips it on every morning, something with a refrain all about how sensitive she is and how loving and delightful a mother? I wonder if she has a day-time version and a nifty black number for evening wear?

    I mean.



  8. momzen

    Two thoughts: 1) The question I was taught to ask the kids (but may work on the mom too), is “and what was happening right before that happened?” Have learned some very interesting things that way.

    2) For about two years, we lived down the street of my MIL. Talk about people who parent differently… I did NOT like or agree with the way she took care of my kids. But… I understood that she loved them, and any “damage” done could be “corrected” when they returned home. I learned to say, “well that may be true at Grandma’s house, but it’s not true here.”

    It is very clear from what you write in your blog, that you and your children have pretty clear lines of communication. Truly, I think this one is more about the other family than about your own.

  9. Laura

    “absolute fucking bullshit” may well be the understatement of the century.

  10. getsheila


    Hi, PsychoMom? It’s me, Mir. I wanted to thank you for bringing Monkey’s unacceptable behavior to my attention. I want you to know I sat down with him to discuss it and he feels really bad about upsetting you. He did not realize it was unacceptable behavior in your house because NeighborSon has been doing that very same thing to him for months now. That is where he learned the behavior.

    I realized immediately you must not have known your son was torturing my son so horribly all this time. I thought you ought to know. I knew you would WANT to know. I am so glad I can help you in this way, just like you helped me.

    Happy holidays!


    I bet when she fights with her husband, she brings up all the crappy things he did from years back over and over again.

  11. rose

    Devil’s advocate here, and I don’t know your history with her, but it’s very hard to go “mother to mother”. It is all to often received badly, and she may have wrestled with herself before she made the trip across the yard. If Monkey has seen this behavior from neighbor boy, and you wish Mom next door had told you a long time ago, it stands to reason that you cover your rear end and let her know the probable root of Monkey’s behavior. Maybe she knows, but maybe she doesn’t. It might be a conversation with both moms and boys so everyone is on the same page. While you don’t plan for Monkey to be over there, there’s no guarantee they won’t play together. A little sit down would make sure everyone knows that everyone knows what’s going on.

  12. exile on mom street

    Wow. I don’t know what to say beyond I WOULD HAVE LOST IT.

    Seriously, the phrase “mother to mother” alone would have sent my head spinning. Like just because we both have kids you can be a complete asshat and I have to sit there and take it?

    You are a better woman than me, cause I’d be out in the yard erecting a fence.

  13. Debbi

    Quote:”that begin with things like “Well I used to work with abused children and we often saw behavior like this when….”

    OMG!! I would have kicked her out of the house with that comment. And then to find out that Monkey learned it from her kid?!?

    I agree with you, if you have a problem with a child, say something. Don’t wait months then vent. She needs to know her own child, obviously he isn’t innocent and she is acting like he is.

    Sorry this happened to you.

  14. The Other Leanne

    Asshat. Definitely asshat.
    Last Christmas I went over to talk to my neighbor because her 6 year-old was firing! rocks! at my house! with his new slingshot and she proceeded to scream at the top of her lungs at me. My neighbor is just crazy. And sometimes you just can’t make sense of people’s behavior, especially where their children are concerned.
    Getsheila has the perfect response, but do steer very clear of this troublemaker and her troublesome offspring.

  15. liz

    Are you KIDDING me? “We saw behavior like this in abused kids?” Your kids are some of the least abused kids I’ve EVER EVER EVER seen.
    A pox on NeighborMom, I tell you.
    And Monkey learned it from her kid? I say you go have a come to Jesus with that woman. I’ll come over to back you up.

  16. Anna

    I am sort of… confused about this. If this behavior was SO VERY bad, just ‘handling’ it and letting it continue for a couple of months isn’t enough.
    And yeah, if you’re sure it wasn’t your kids, they need to stay away from neighbor kid because HE is learning it somewhere, and your kids aren’t safe.
    Sheesh, Mir, what a sucky situation.

  17. RuthWells

    I like GetSheila’s solution. Seriously, NeighborMom needs a verbal slap upside the head.

  18. Kendra

    She worked with abused children my ass. Then she would know to come to you right away with her concerns not months later with a laundry list of complaints. She is a weak person who can’t see her own child for what he is.

  19. tara

    I would tell her that your son said he got this behavior from hers. Sometimes two kids just bring out the worse in each other and it is best they don’t play together. That way she knows before she sends her kids over to play and you have to tell them your kids can’t play with them.

  20. MomCat

    Unfortunately there’s not a tactful way to point out that the source of the behavior is her own kid, at least not one that she would hear. So I think your decision of avoidance is the only way to go.

  21. Leandra

    She’s going to be kicking herself next summer when you guys are having a great time in the pool and she can’t send her kids over for you to babysit.

    Urgh. I’m fighting to squash the murderous rage that I feel on your behalf.

  22. Lucinda

    I love GetSheila’s advice but I tend to agree with MomCat. Seriously, the phrase “worked with abused kids…” is complete bs. I’m so sorry for you but I think you handled it very well. As you seem to often do. Kudos because seriously, I would probably have lost my shit with that woman.

  23. Holly

    I’m so sorry you had to deal with this! It’s always so awkward and if you’re anything like me, it’s hard to believe anything bad about your children. I have to say, I agree with Rose, though. It could be that she really is completely ignorant on the part her son played in this. I think a sit down with both boys and the other mom is a good idea. Really though, it’s your call and you know your cyber fans will support you no matter what!

  24. alice

    Yeah – *I’ve* also worked with abused kids, and if you’re actually concerned about something going on, you 1) don’t WAIT 2 months to say something, 2) only say something if it is, in fact, a real issue and 3) have resources at the ready. You *never* bring up the idea of abuse outside of a real, honest-to-goodness dangerous situation with a parent, because it’s a crazy-making thing to bring up. Honestly!

    And though it might not be practical, getshelia’s idea has a lot of merit if you ever are going to have the kids go over there again (or if there are occasions where the kids will play together outside). There’s broadening your comfort zone to include different styles of parenting, and then there’s dealing with people who don’t have any real appreciation for clarity – the former is good, and the latter will drive you insane. Here’s to sanity for all!

  25. StephLove

    Just curious what other people think the statue of limitations is on mentioning other kids’ misbehavior is. Something disturbing happened at my son’s best friend’s b-day party (partner walked in on it when she was picking up our son) about a month and a half ago. It was rough-housing that went too far, much too far, with our son on the receiving end. We haven’t brought it up with the parents because we felt awkward, but I feel we should have. I came close to mentioning it the last time I saw the parents, but I didn’t manage to do it. It was a one time thing, not a laundry list of offenses. I’m not sure if we’ve missed the opportunity or not.

  26. Karen

    The neighbor who lived across the street from me had 3 boys. Sometimes I had days off during the week, when they should have been in school, and I would see them playing in their back yard when she was gone to work. I told her one time that they were skipping school, but she shot me a glare and said her kids wouldn’t do that. Then, one day I say the youngest one who was about 9, sitting on top of their garage with a BB gun. He shot every window on the front of my house with it, so there were little BB holes in them.

    I called the police to file a report so my homeowners insurance would pay to replace them. While the cop was there he asked me certain questions, which I answered truthfully. When he finished talking to me, he walked across the street and talked to parents of BB Boy.

    When the police left, father of BB Boy stormed across the street and asked me why I told the police BB Boy was the one who did that, and I replied, “Because I saw him”. BB Boy’s father said, in front of BB Boy, “He couldn’t have done that because he was in school, and besides his BB gun isn’t powerful enough to do that.” What?

    So, when BB Boy was13, he wound up in juvenile boot camp for 6 months for various crimes committed. I never once went over there and said “I told you so.”

    Some parents just don’t get it.

  27. Katie in MA

    I’m totally on the GetSheila bandwagon. Either she’s appreciate it – and hopefully correct the situation, although I don’t think that’s likely – or she’ll be mad at you for what she sees as retaliating. If it’s the latter, you won’t have to worry about turning the neighbor kids away at the door, since she won’t let them associate with Monkey and Chickie! Win-win. And as an added bonus, you just might find some closure when you get that off your chest.

  28. Jillian

    I hate parents who say “Oh, they’re just kids!” I mean, rolling around in the mud is ok for a kid, throwing a tantrum because you can’t buy candy at the grocery store is not. Good for you.

  29. Aimee

    What a steaming pile of horseshit. Gah!

    I do think you should set her straight on where Monkey learned that behavior. I’m so sorry you had to deal with that ASSHAT.

  30. Randi

    Okay, that tears it and buries it. What in the hell is the world coming to?! Some people are just so oblivious to their own children’s actions! GOD! I would’ve done exactly what you did, Mir, except that when I discovered that Monkey had learned the behavior, I would’ve made sure that the OTHER mother knew it. Maybe something like this…”hello, neighbor? It’s Me. Thanks for letting me know about Monkey, but I wanted to talk to you. I’m very concerned. See, Monkey says that he only did what he did because your son does it to him. Mother to mother, I think this is something that should be taken care of immediately. I just want to help.”

    Or you could wait a few months, as she did, and THEN do it to her.

    But we were at a birthday party last weekend and I saw behavior that drove me WILD – it was the PARENTS, who always complain about their children, who were making the situation worse! GAH! Now I must blog about it. Well…thanks for sparking my desire to blog about something Mir!

  31. Angela

    Holy freak! Seriously.

  32. margie

    we had brothers in the neighbourhood like that… the bad boy….insert last name that starts with b. i can’t even begin to tell the stories, and worse, the stories my sons told me when they were all grown up in their twenties.

  33. Yan

    mir, i understand completely your being affornted by this mother. i would like to think that if i had children i like you would want to be apprised of my children’s behavior, both the good and the bad and more so the bad so that it can be dealt with in a timely manner. i disagree with her approach but it may have taken her months to pluck up the courage to speak to you about what she perceived as monkey’s inappropriate behavior (she may also be completely blind to her own son’s behavior). i am now trying to look at the bigger picture- you have now corrected any unwanted behavior in monkey and have set him on the right path and you can thank her for that even if you disagree with her methodology. i also think you owe her the same courtesy and tell her in as non-confrontational as you can manner (i love getsheila’s solution or a hybrid of same with none of her intended sarcasm). if i were his mother i would want to know. as a last piece, after you get over the embarrassment and anger at the situation and the approach, try if you can to preserve the friendship with monkey and neighborboy, afterall there is no recriminations on either of their sides…

  34. Neil

    The whole situation sounds unfortunate, especially when you consider that her blindness is only hurting her own child. The best situation would be if you could work together so you both can watch over the kids, depending the house they are in — but clearly, she isn’t signing on to that program.

  35. Celeste

    Mir, seriously… we gotta know what the behavior is! I mean, is it something SERIOUS? or “just” bad manners? Not that bad manners are no big deal, but there’s a wide range of behaviors that could send a mom over in a tizzy… depending on the mom.

    And Karen.. there’s one way the dad could have found out for sure his kid was in school… he could have called the school. Whereupon they would have mentioned the disturbing truancy pattern his child had.

  36. Sheila


    Tough as it would be, especially because it would totally look like an “Oh, yeah? Well YOUR kid did…” kind of response, I would tell the neighbor what Monkey’s response was if I were in your situation. Then she can commence with THE TALKING, or not, but at least you’ve done your part in telling what Monkey reported.

    Of course, if she has witnessed this behavior, chances are she has seen it perpetrated by BOTH boys, in which case nothing you say would be news to her anyway.

    So… never mind. I’ll just go back to my original thought:


  37. Jess

    My comment keeps wanting to turn into a defense of my own “not telling a neighbor about her kid’s behavior” but it turns out being too long, so I will just say…

    Mir, I’m sorry. That sucks.

  38. nae

    I think Tara’s approach of “some kids bring out the worst in each other” is perect. It get’s both kids off the hook, and everyone is clear about the line in the sand.
    “Hi helpful-mom, i have talked to Monkey and he is doing some serious time for his behaviour. Thank you for your concern. I think some kids bring out the worst in each other, For the time being, i think both kids need a bit of space from each other. Have a nice day!”

  39. nae

    oops Perfect!

  40. ChristieNY


    I LOVE Randi’s reply, “hello, neighbor? It’s Me. Thanks for letting me know about Monkey, but I wanted to talk to you. I’m very concerned. See, Monkey says that he only did what he did because your son does it to him. Mother to mother, I think this is something that should be taken care of immediately. I just want to help.”

    That oughtta do it. :)

  41. Dawn

    Yeah, I had stuff like this happen with my kids. Not that they were always little angels, but more than once I caught the mother of some little hoodlum trying to hoist the blame for instigating something onto my kid that was totally down to hers.

    Hmm… if this is behaviour she’s seen in abused kids, then where is her kid getting it?

    I think I’d have to use some version Randi’s reply, clarify that Monkey learned this from her son (and let’s face it, if he were doing this all over the place you would have heard before now) and add that you’re especially concerned because of her saying she’s seen this behaviour in abused kids and suggest she might want to investigate what’s happening to her kid.

    And also, another vote for ASSHAT! Total, utter asshat. If she truly thought Monkey was being abused, she should have let you know immediately. She knows damn well her kid started it. He’s probably been nailed for the same thing at someone else’s house and she’s just trying to set Monkey up as the original instigator.

  42. Swistle

    Ack! Ack ack ack! This is a HORRIFYING story! And your French seems like exactly the right language for it!

  43. Leah

    Disgusted at your neighbor. I know kids do naughty things but alot of times they are mimicking who they have been around. That is not to say that kids don’t act up. My daughter 7 lets her friends walk all over her and bully her around. For one teeny tiny example yesterday her friend stomped on her foot for fun and it left a cut. My daughter waited til she got home to tell us. Of course we handled it, but that is just a little example. We are trying to get her to start standing up for herself, she is such a sweet and kind little girl (I get those comments), which I want her to remain but sometimes a little tiny part of me wishes she would get even :).

  44. tj

    This always seems to be an issue unfortunately. I dread this part of parenthood – it’s not all bad right? (crosses fingers)

  45. Mom on the Run

    You’ll find that life gets easier once kids get older. I have 10 and 12 yo girls (and a 5 yo boy). My neighbor has a 12 yo girl and a 14 yo boy. The 14 yo boy is quite frankly weird and withdrawn. He was like that as a little boy. For years I would make excuses why the kids could not play indoors at our house. I would set up separate playdates for my daughter with the next door neighbor’s daughter. The kids do not play together anymore now that they have computer games to play indoors. It is a relief not to have to worry about what weird scheme the boy would do next…walking on the roof, riding a way-too small tricycle in a reckless fashion…

  46. lindasands

    Ah, yes, the all too familiar scenario.
    You can pick your nose but you can’t pick your neighbors.

    I had to separate my daughter from the boy across the street… when she taught him how to kiss “like on TV” and was busted by the boy’s older brother, relayed to me via the concerned mom whose “perfect” teen daughter busted out her front teeth when she fell down drunk in the street.

    They moved last month. Praise Jesus.

  47. Lisa- Domestic Accident

    This is why I much prefer playdates at my house. Because I’m a control freak.

  48. dr aletta

    I’m going through such PTSD hearing all these neighbor mom from hell stories! They are so self-righteous, and ‘I’m a better mom than thou’ and they smile so sweetly, bleh! Excuse me while I tend to my flashbacks.

  49. coolteamblt

    As a kid, I used to play with the neighbor kids, a boy two years older than me, B, and a girl two years younger than me. I remember B once tried to take my pants off when I was ten. I told him no, and when he tried again, I hit him in the nose and called him a motherfucker. I went home and didn’t say anything to my mom. B’s dad called my mom, and my mom tracked me down, absolutely furious with me. When she asked me why, I told her the story. I remember watching the color drain out of her face and her sitting down. Then we had a long talk about when it’s good to tell on your friends, and I was no longer allowed to play with them. She asked me where I learned that word, and I told her “B calls me that all the time.” Years later, my mom told me she called B’s dad back, and his reaction to my side of the story was that “B just likes girls. A lot.”

    Point being, your kids are good kids! And anything your neighbor sees in Monkey could be at least partially attributed to things she’s ignoring in her own children.

  50. Kaley

    Did you mention Monkey’s report to the other mother?

  51. Mary

    A similar thing happened to me with my son’s preschool. I still am absolutely mortified. Let me preface this by saying that my son is 5 and we moved over the summer. My son, like your Monkey, has some sensory issues (especially problems with change). As you can imagine, leaving the only home/friends/school he has ever known was incredibly hard. So…we move in July and fast forward to September 8. My son has been in preschool for 2 full school weeks. We warned the preschool through a scheduled face-to-face meeting with the director and his teacher that we have moved and that he is having transition issues. We ask the school to PLEASE tell us immediately if he is acting out. We will intervene. No problem, they say. They have seen everything. 2 weeks later, out of the blue, I get a call from the Director saying that she simply cannot handle my son. Out comes a LITANY of transgressions (ranging from just not listening to roughing up a classmate and hitting a teacher). I swear my stomach went out of my toes. It turned out the school has a strict policy of NOT reporting “bad” behaviors to parents in the 1st 2 weeks to allow transition problems to settle down. However, as we were at pains to tell the school, his transition issues were not a matter of just missing mommy & daddy. The poor kid had been through severe trauma. So…he was kicked out. Just like that. More change. We ended up at a school that had in-house behaviorists who watched him and intervened in the classroom when he acted out. He now no longer needs the behaviorists and has transitioned.

    By the way, it turned out that what sets my son off is being bullied. There was a kid bullying my son and he reacted (albeit badly).

    I don’t know what the school was thinking. I am mortified that my son might have hurt another kid and behaved badly. However, why the school didn’t tell us about this behavior immediately is beyond me.

  52. Stephanie

    Man..I KNEW there was a reason I’ve always preferred for DD’s friends to live anywhere that is NOT nearby!

    I feel your pain and I understand about the “talking”…though, I’m afraid I tend to take talking to the “lecture” stage. I’m sure it’s not a great thing, but I don’t want DD to EVER say “you never TOLD me that!”

    I ALWAYS tell teachers and friends’ parents that I WANT to know, if she does ANYTHING that is unacceptable. No, I don’t LIKE hearing if her behavior is less than I’d like it be, but I can’t DEAL with something I have no knowledge of. DUH!

    Luckily, there haven’t been too many times that I’ve had to deal with behavior, either on the part of DD *or* her friends…but the times I have were NOT something I even remotely enjoyed.

    The good news is that there are NO kids even CLOSE in age to her within 1/2 mile of our house! HOORAY!

  53. DRKellogg

    My take on this is that is NeighborBoy did this with Monkey, he’ll probably do it with someone else in the future. If you’re really mad now, let the person in the future be the bad guy.

    It goes along with my motto…give them enough rope and they’ll hang themselves.

  54. Heather Cook

    Oh my. That made me angry on your behalf. Passive aggressiveness at it’s finest.

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