mean kid

My son is on my ‘friend’s’ baseball team and he reported the son was mean to him last night. This little boy was being ‘rude’ to my son (his word for mean) and my little one told him he was going to tell his dad (the coach). The other little boy told my son to ‘shut his mouth.’ Now, I didn’t see or hear this part, but I did hear that other little boy say shut up later on and I couldn’t tell if was directed at his dad or another player, but dad had zero response/reaction.

DH has told our son ‘just stay away from him and if he gives you trouble at school, tell the teacher; if he gives you trouble at practice, tell mom or dad and we’ll talk to his dad.’ DH later reported to me that he saw this little boy shove my son away and then whisper to his little buddy, probably about our son.

Having a hard time dealing w/ this b/c I’ve kind of lost respect for my ‘friend’ and her DH over the last year, so her son’s behavior is just the cherry on the Sunday. If it weren’t for the fact that we used to be close, if this was just some other family that we didn’t know, it’d be easier to slough off. I told DH that it’s something we’re just going to have to get through.

The mean side of me is thinking ‘this little boy is getting ready to make his First Communion. Both he and his parents need the sacrament of Reconciliation!’

Are you just venting, looking for advice, wondering if your thinking they should go to confession is wrong…

A little of both. We’re only at the beginning, so I’m sure there will be more to deal with along the way and just unsure. I just told DS (who’s a little on the sensitive side) that no matter how the other boy treats him, he needs to do his best to be kind. I don’t think DS would ever be mean back, I think he’s just totally stunned and too shocked to know how to react when someone treats him that way. I could see DS crying before I could see him fight back or talk back.

I have had to reassure him lately that he’s not a bad kid. He got in trouble at school the other day (rare for him) and he was almost in tears telling me how he’s always the one starting trouble: at school, at home . . .We’ve probably been a little hard on him in the past telling him that as the oldest, he sets the example for his brothers. But I just reminded him that he is a good kid who sometimes messes up, but just to get up and keep trying to do better. I think he takes his own bad behavior worse than unkindness from another kid.

One of the toughest things I have ever dealt with in my life was something along the lines of what you have just described. Now, looking back after thirty years has passed I felt a moment of pain again, not for my daughter but for you and your son. There are a lot of missing pieces to this story and the only way to get them is to talk it over with the parents, there is a possibility that what you think you know is wrong. It is important to remain impartial until you get to the bottom of things. Thinking about this young man’s First Communion and his parents need to get to confession is headed off in a direction you really don’t want to head. Children change a great deal at this age and sometimes they just aren’t interested in being friends any more when their interests go different ways. There is no excuse for meanness, but you have yet to determine who is really at fault. Put it behind you or address it directly but don’t let yourself get in a place where you have bad feelings towards the child and his parents without the truth.

mountee, you are right on. I had those same feelings last night just trying to calm myself down and remind myself not to ‘go there.’ This family is a little unscrupulous IMO and the only reason I say that is b/c I’m not going to get too far into this with them. They have been in their fair share of hot water, so I really don’t expect them to be too receptive or for there to be some epiphany just b/c of what our relatioinship with them once was. We just have to do our best to ignore it and move on, so long as there’s no physical harm.

Thank you for your kind thoughts.

IMHO i think you made a mistake there, you should not give a kid the responsibility of being example for his little brothers, specially to a kid that young i mean i see him very young since he still uses “his words for”.

i think you are creating a guilty kid, and guilt can become anger.

of course that is just my opinion, I would suggest you go to a good therapist (specially Catholic), to ask for a profesional opinion.

I am a veteran of sports teams. You are probably not going to get anywhere with the boys dad being the coach as well. So you have a couple of options here. 1. transfer your son to a new team with a fresh start, new faces and coaches. 2. ask the coach/dad if he sees any problems between the boys. Not accusing his son or him but see if he sees anything wrong. 3. realize that when there are coach parents these issue do arise between kids if the child of the coach thinks he or she has privileges because the parent is also the coach. Let go of the friendship and be willing to move on.

DMC12, I get your meaning, I’m sure I’ve posted my feelings of guilt on this before. DS in question is nearly 8. I will respectfully disagree b/c we’ve talked to his teacher about this and our son is normally in the group of kids acting up (not bad, just being silly when they s/b buckling down). She encourages them not to follow along w/ their classmates who are acting up, but to be the example of good behavior and obedience. Setting an example for his little brothers to me is much the same as his teacher’s request that he set a good example for his fellow classmates.

We’re generally a little rough in our approach which DH and I are working on softening up our tone. As I said before, I got the chance to give him some encouragement the other night and he’s been more needy lately, so for now we’ll just ramp up the affection.

robwar, I suggested to DH that we just move him to another team, but I think for now we’re just going to deal with it. And who knows, maybe we won’t have any more issues the rest of the season. I expect game nights to go a little better than practice nights b/c it will be less casual and all the parents will be present.

Realize that sometime in the future, your son is going to cause hurt to someone. Really, he is. How do you want others to handle it? That is how you should handle this.

Do you want them making assumptions about your entire family what has been going on inside your life for the past year? Do you want them to assume the worst of your son? Do you want them jumping to conclusions about what happened?

Or do you want compassion, understanding, and patience while you use this future incident as an opportunity to teach your son?

Don’t say they will or won’t do this or that. Honestly, think of the above the entire time you are handling this.

That other boy is just that - a boy. He needs to learn and grow, just like yours. Neither one of them is done yet. Keep that in mind.

one other question? was this just a one time things between the boys or a pattern? If a one time things between the boys, you will have to teach your son to learn to blow off comments he may think are mean. ( you didn’t say what the other boy said to your son)
If one is going to be involved in sports, there is a need to learn how to handle negativity that comes your way in sports, a toughening up. Again, I am not sure if that is needed with your son.

Emphasis mine.

I have to agree. Objectively I was not a “mean kid” but in learning how to socialize, I did do some very mean things. I was probably the “mean kid” to somebody because of it…

I agree that telling your son to be an example, is the same thing that the teacher is doing. However, I think it is VERY wrong for both parents and teachers to tell 8 year olds to be examples. At 8, his job is to behave to avoid negative consequences such as time outs or loss of priveleges. However, I can tell you from experience, I was the kid who came across as well behaved for the simple reason I was too shy to do anything. And I know the pain of always being the good example and the negative effects it has on an 8 year old. The teacher is being paid to control the class not your son


God bless and thank you for sharing.

I am having trouble discerning whether this is just a one-time incident or if this is a pattern of very difficult behavior with this child. Thank you.

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