My big mouth has caused a big problem


#1

My very close friend wants to meet about clearing the air between us about the relationship between our sons. Her son is a young 17 and mine is 13 1/2. When they were younger, they didn’t get along at all. The first visit we had, her son picked a fight with mine (he was nine, mine was 6). and my kid threw rocks at him.

During those younger years, I thought he sort of bullied my kid around. And, I could tell she thought my kid was provoking her son.

But for the last couple of years, they haven’t really interacted. Her son has moved into the teen years with teen activities and jobs and high school. And, my son is still pretty much a “kid.” My son doesn’t really have a bad opinion of this this teen–ds actually thinks that this teen is pretty cool–good with computers and smart.

This weekend I made an imprudent decision. I was well intentioned, but it backfired on me. My 13 year old told me that this teen and the teen he was driving with were racing in their cars. My son wasn’t tattling. He thought it was cool. I told the two moms what he had said, but also I cautioned them that my 13 year old was easily impressioned, so it might be nothing more than just talk.

It turns out he did exaggerate. And, I way over estimated my friends’ reactions. They were very upset about any kind of car misbehavior. When I saw their reactions, I asked them not to reveal my son as the source, but sure enough it came out.

So, now my friend wants to clear the air about our sons’ relationship. I can tell from her email that her son is very vocal about not liking my kid even though I thought all that “stuff” was just a childhood thing that was over.

I’m not really sure what to say to her. Truthfully, I think there is a very big difference between a 13 year old and a 17 year old. And, if her son has a problem with my kid, he should just take a leadership role by just being polite. My kid doesn’t dislike this kid at all.

Also, I really just don’t like this teen anyway. I’m a little nervous about having any kind of conversation about him with my very close friend. And, my friend is really defensive about her son. I’m afraid if I say anything negative about her son, it will become a worse situation.

And, I feel defensive about telling them. One of my best friends who has older teens has told me (in the past) she never passes information that her children tell her about about other kids because it can either inhibit her kids from being open with her, or her kids can get reprecussions from their friends for tattling. At the time, I was so hard on her. Now, I see her point. :frowning:

Just looking for some perspective. I’m in a rather nervous twitter about the whole thing.


#2

Personally, I refuse to engage in this type of melodrama with any friends of mine. I have no advise. I would not want to be friends with this woman.


#3

If her kid is 17, why is she getting involved? Unless we’re talking sex, drugs or serious moral issues, let the 17 yr old deal w/ these teen disputes.

If you must meet, listen alot and talk little. Seriously, let her talk her heart out, smile and be pleasant. (and get it over with as quickly as possible) --KCT


#4

Personally, I’m not in to the whole “clear the air” type discussions. They serve no purpose.

I mean, really, what would it accomplish? Nothing.

I’d just say no. It’s a closed issue and there is no reason to rehash it.

edited to add:

And, I don’t think your “friend” is really a friend at all. Sounds to me like maybe a relationship that should have ended long ago and just hasn’t.


#5

I agree, they never accomplish anything other than making people emotional and angry. Probably words will be said that can never be retrieved.

I can’t believe your friend is so worried about a trivial thing such as her son’s opinion of a 13 year old boy. :rolleyes: She sounds hopelessly overprotective.


#6

Just because two adults are friends, that does not make their kids automatic friends.

Deal with your own son, as long as he acts in a good, polite and moral manner, that is what is important. Unless there is some big issue (illegal, immoral, etc.) - let it go.

13 and 17 is a huge maturity gap. Advise your 13 year old son to hang out with good peers.

When it comes to the 17 year old, unless you SEE it with your own eyes and it is illegal or immoral - don’t spread it around. Let it go.


#7

Absolutely!! This is my new motto.


#8

I agree.


#9

She actually is one of the most caring and virtuous women I know. but, I do think she has a sensitive spot with her teen.

I’ve noticed that sometimes, just apologizing is not enough–you have to do a little penance by listening to someone tell you how she has been hurt.


#10

The more I think about it, the more I think she does need to talk. I do think I’m going to get a reprimand. That will be good for my humility.


#11

I talked to the other mom involved to call and apologize again. She mentioned that one of the problems is that I told my other friend in front of another homeschool mom (one of her best friends) who has teens. So, it is possible that I could have started a rumor.

Oops!

I definitely goofed up. That was a very poor decision on my part. I was very careless. I also didn’t realize that the incident was such a big deal. I thought it was just a little heads up

So, I need to apologize for that, too.

This is definitely a big learning experience for me. I don’t think I was sinful, just using very bad judgement.

I think I need to mortify my tongue.


#12

I wouldnt waste my time with it. Therer is nothing to “clear the air” over.


#13

Your post is timely for me as I just experienced this–only on the receiving end.

I was away w/ friends on a girls’ weekend several weeks ago. Many of us have kids the same grade in middle school–some boys/some girls. A discussion came up about an incident involving some of the girls about which some of us were completely unaware and others were, at best, in possession of sketchy facts. It was nothing as dangerous as racing cars, but involved some rather catty, “mean girls” type nonsense that needed to be nipped in the bud. Unsure of the facts of this particular situation, we agreed in principle among ourselves that if we learned information about any conduct by each others’ children which was of concern (morally/safety) we would encourage/welcome sharing that information with the relevant parent.

A few weeks after arriving home, I learned from one of my good friends who had been on the trip with me that not only had the incident we had all been discussing happened, but my daughter was a part of it. (talk about a humbling parent moment!). But far from feeling angry or defensive–I was struck by how lucky I was. I made a point of calling this friend the next day to thank her and tell her that she had really proved what a good friend she was to be willing to go out on this limb and tell me the truth I needed to hear.

My daughter undoubtedly wishes the moms were significantly less united and chatty, but she’s learning a couple of important lessons; namely that there are eyes and ears everywhere; that bad behaviour has consequences and won’t be tolerated; that selfish/childish impulses have no place in mature social interactions. Our kids take many years to socialize and will make many missteps along the way. This is a learning process for all of us and the more help the better…it DOES take a village to raise a child!


#14

In my experience, when someone wants to get together to “clear the air”, they really want to tell you what you did wrong and why it is wrong. If she is truly trying to get your relationship together back on track, that would be great.

You didn’t do anything wrong. You told her a concern you had about her son. Her son is a big boy and can handle it. And he obviously has and has moved on. Why she wants to drag this out, who knows.

If it were me, I would approach it with “I’m glad you suggested this meeting. I don’t want our sons disagreements to interfere with our relationship.” And set some ground rules for the future. ex. When you all get together, talk about something else than your kids. (I’m in mommyland myself, so I know it is hard, but it can be done.) Good luck! P.S. Start with prayer together.:thumbsup:


#15

I agree. I don’t think what you did was horrible, just bad judgement.

If this is a friend that you want to keep, I do think you will have to face her as she requested and basically accept her rebuke and offer several mea culpas. But I would then have a discussion from your end that although you enjoy her friendship, your sons don’t have to have anything other than a civil relationship towards each other.

As others here have noted, 13 and 17 is a huge gap during the teen years. Listen to your son when he tells you things, and maybe even use the stories as a leaping off point for discussions about what he would do in similar situations, whether he feels it’s right or wrong, etc. But unless the behavior is something that you know about from other sources, I wouldn’t bring it up to the parents. Your son’s identity will almost assuredly come out (as it did here) and he will get quite a bad rep as a tattle-tale - and would probably lose friends because of it.

Good luck and God bless!!

Trish


#16

I emailed my friend that I was again very sorry for my imprudence. And, that I wasn’t going to “report” events again unless I saw it with my own eyes and it was either life threatening or gravely sinful.

And, I told her that I’d rather not talk about our son’s relationship–that I’d tell my kid to be always polite and friendly and never to gossip (like his mother :o ).

I hope it turns out okay, but I feel like I did the best thing. I don’t want to have a big conversation about this. I think it would just be awkward. And, I think it could lead to things being said (remember my big mouth?) that would just make life worse.

I’m at a greater state of peace about it now. I’m going to put some prayer time in on the topic and I’m going to try to schedule a "fun’ activity with my friend that doesn’t involve conversation.


#17

leonie,
It sounds to me that you struck just the right balance! You didn’t allow yourself to get sucked into her melodrama, but owned up to your indiscretion. Well done! :thumbsup:


#18

Okay, now it’s worse. My friend emailed me back that she is upset that years ago she thought I was too hard on her son. Of course, she never said anything to me at the time.

And, she said that I was making accusations out of my prejudice against her son.

She recounted an incident that happened years ago when I rebuked her son when he was really innocent (of course, she never told me that he was innocent). I don’t recall the event, but she says that I found my son crying on the floor next the big kid, and I asked angrily of her son, “why is my son crying?” I guess, later she found out that my kid had playfully jumped on her kid and he naturally pushed him off. All these years she’s been angry about that. She said that these were frequent incidences that I blamed her kid for my kid’s misbehavior.

So, my innocent attempt to be a good friend has unearthed a whole bunch of garbage. I’m really too hurt and angry to respond.


#19

Okay, your friend needs psychiatric help and that is probably beyond the scope of your friendship. I knew she was a drama queen, I just knew it!!!:shrug:


#20

I’ll bet anything that she is on the phone right now, talking about you. She’s probably ‘asking for prayers’ as her cover for bad mouthing you. Don’t let your guilt over your indiscretion interfere with your protecting your reputation.


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