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Son's Friend Was Told By A Common Friend That He Stole From Him

Discussion in 'Schoolgoers & Teens' started by englishtutorjul, Feb 26, 2022.

  1. englishtutorjul

    englishtutorjul Silver IL'ite

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    Son (10 y) is friends with two other kids, lets call them A and B. Son has always been friends with A.
    B joined the party late, but son introduced B to A. Fast forward two years, son introduced B to all his friends. Now B has been joining hands with son's other friends and leaving my son out of sleepovers, play dates etc. B told A during one such sleepover that my son stole something from him. B made that up, because my son never steals. Also, the thing that B claimed my son stole from him was something I gifted my son, which A knows. So of course A mentioned that he dint believe B. But it still hurts. Last week, knowing that A and B left my son out during a sleepover ruined my sleep. This week, hearing that my son was accused of stealing is eating me up. How do I handle this? I am on talking terms with B's family. We used to be friends, since B was always at my house in the past, until he poached my son's friends. Since then communication between our families has been bare minimum. How do I handle this? Should I be handling this? Am I over reacting when I say it is eating me up?
     
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  2. Laks09

    Laks09 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    How is your son dealing with it? If he’s moved on and made other friends, I would say this is a learning experience. If he’s feeling singled out then it is a problem.
    A favorite school counselor once told me the only way to get ahead of the rumors is by creating opportunities for your child to meet with the other children one on one without the trouble maker. Although it was a group of girls, I’m sure this will work in your situation too. It did work well for me.

    No. I did feel similarly. What I did not do was look at how DD was taking it rather than making it my problem. I wish I had done that sooner rather than later. I would say, facilitate the time with other kids and step back and let him take the lead from there on. I wouldn’t engage B’s family if I were you. I have realized over the years that kids who go out of their way to be bullies don’t have it easy either. Who knows what home life is for the child? Best not to exasperate anything inadvertently by talking to the family. You take care of your child. Forget about B.
     
  3. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    When a child has an issue making friends or a friendship fades away, it is often harder on the mother than on the child. This is the same of any struggle or challenges the child faces.

    "Always" is relative. Before and when your son and A became close friends, they must have each had other friends? Did your son desert his other friends when he became friends with A? Maybe in preschool? No.

    This is like an established group in a neighborhood that always considers newer neighbors as outsiders, even 10-20 years down the line. Not nice to see in adults, and rarer in children left to themselves. No one was late to any party. A new kid joined the group, that's all.

    The way you put it, B made all those friends only through your son. Over two years, B relied on your son to get to know the other kids? Maybe not. Just like B approached your son and they became friends, B must have become friends with the other kids.

    Dynamics change a lot in friendships in 2-3 years. Covid and the varying levels of precautions that families practice hasn't made it any easier to maintain friendships. If the group is made up of 6 kids, chances are not all 5 are attending each playdate and sleepover. Maybe you are seeing too much into this exclusion. Like Laks said, the best way is to arrange for your child to meet other children one on one without the alleged "trouble maker." The one on one meetings really help during such tough phases.

    Let's say your observation is correct and your son is being excluded on purpose. Try to set aside your hurt, and explore what could be the reason. For example, does your son take cues from you and consider B as still the new kid? Does your son portray himself as the "link" between B and the other kids?

    And A told your son all this after the sleepover? Your son then narrated it to you? When there are so many ten year old's involved and so much narrated after the fact, you would do well to doubt every detail that you come to know. There are so many possibilities here ... Maybe A knows he is a coveted friend by your son and B. Such matters cannot be fully investigated. Help your child deal with it and move on.

    I don't think you are over reacting but only because I remember having that horrible feeling and sleepless nights myself. Again like Laks said, look at how your son is taking it rather than making it your problem. Your job is to help you son through this, not to solve the issue for him. Separate your pain from his friendship management skills.

    In general, a little detachment from the child's academic, social and other struggles gives the parent breathing room to gather their wits and guide the child. It takes some skill and experience to set aside one's pain and focus on what will help the child.

    ETA:
    I am sorry for what you are going through right now. It hurts really bad. I still vividly recall one time my child has friends over for a end of school year playdate. They were whispering and making plans to meet later that day and the next day, and my child was oblivious to it all. That was one horrible summer for me while my child was happy with books, swimming and interactions at summer camps.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2022
    Amica, englishtutorjul and Mistt like this.
  4. 1Sandhya

    1Sandhya Platinum IL'ite

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    I wouldn’t confront B or his family if I were you. But if the accusation ever comes up again I’d calmly state that B is a liar. Instruct your kid to do the same if any kid asks. No explanation or justification. Just state and calmly continue with order of business. If B or his family confront you, demand an explanation for B’s accusation and clear up the matter directly. You don’t owe anyone else an explanation.

    Have a little chat with your son. What’s really going on? Why are his friends not coming over anymore? It could be that they are into some new game or activity your son really isn’t into and the splitting off is natural. It’s common at his age for kids to bench off into different interests. Determine who are his current friends and current interests.

    Maybe you have slacked off a little lately. Arrange some play dates for your son. Which friends - let your son decide. Exclude B. Take the initiative and organize an activity they enjoy together - and see how it goes. The blessing with boys is that they don’t keep grudges. It’s all forgotten quickly. (The accusation is a bit more serious though.)

    Sounds like A is a good friend to your son, he was troubled enough to tell him about the accusation. Kids change a lot at this age. They are entering next phase of life. They’ll soon get busy with extra curriculars and academics and not have much free time. All this will be forgotten. Just keep an open communication channel with your son. Be guided by what he wants to do. That’s all that matters. Don’t communicate your fears and worries to him.

    Which country? If you live in India other issues are there so do mention it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2022
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