Parenting fail…

We live in a townhouse complex with a pool. Earlier today, I witnessed the most appalling thing ever, but refrained from doing anything. I’m curious now, what would you do in the same situation.

Some background…

A single mom and her 2 sons (age 9 and 14) recently moved into the complex. The younger son was in the same class as my son and my son considers him a friend. Based on casual conversation, I have come to the conclusion that there was a divorce or separation which was somewhat recent… which can lead to kids acting out. This corresponds to what I heard from another mom at school who said her son has been bullied badly this year by the boy. I try not to get too freaked out by such things (yet remain somewhat cautious) as I know the word “bully” is seriously overused and tossed around in many situations that are not actually bullying.

Back to the pool…

The grandmother has been doing a lot of childcare for her single mother daughter. Grandmother was looking after younger boy in the pool. She instructed him once to put the water gun away. No response.

The second time she did it… they boy responded with a “don’t tell me what to do,” a “get a life,” and a “shut up and go away.”

If my kid did that, he’d get a mouthful of soap and a serious grounding – although I’d probably check for demonic possession first because I have a hard time imagining the kid I’m working hard to bring up as a kind, respectful boy, ever pulling that shit with anyone.

My eyebrows nearly popped off the top of my forehead as grandma meekly sat back down with no sort of  comeback to the most awful display of disrespectful behavior I’ve witnessed in a long time. My first instinct was to go grab the little arsehole out of the pool, drag him over to grandma dearest, and make him apologize.

I did nothing of the sort. I kind of regret it now. Clearly this child is being trained to become a class 1 ass that will eventually be unleashed on society. Would it not be better for us all if some busybody neighbor such as myself intervenes while he is 9, rather than have him drive a young family to their deaths in a fit of road rage once he gets his driver’s license?

What would you do? We all know it takes a village right? Maybe mom is waiting for a village to help, because clearly grandmother part of the village isn’t making a dent.

Then again, maybe mom doesn’t want a village. She’s already blamed the principal of the school for her son having a rough year, but based on what I’ve seen, she’s a bigger part of the problem than she realizes. Also I like the principal even more than I did before.

For now, my son is not allowed to go play in his house and I will be supervising all interactions that include this kid,  very, very closely.


About dirtyrottenparenting

I'm a parent of two lovely (most of the time) children. I work full time out of the home and I don't cook well, bake, sew, or do crafty things. I keep my high heels and jewelry at my office because there's no point in having them at home.
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4 Responses to Parenting fail…

  1. freebutfun says:

    That’s a tricky thing. I’d love for you to intervene if you’d see my kids acting like that (but if I sat there obviously I’d do it too). But parents have different values and some… would not take it well. I’ve witnessed how a mum thinks my kids need to give up their own toys that they are playing with at the moment because her child wants to borrow and play with them *now* (and will throw a tantrum if the child doesn’t get what it wants). The mum started to suggest to my kids what other toys they could play with. Don’t get me wrong, I think my kids need to share too, but if they are just then using something of theirs, then maybe the other child needs to learn to wait? Even if there is a tantrum (like in what world is it OK to let children rule by threating with tantrums?!). In your case, the mum may feel so guilty or overwhelmed by the separation that she has stopped setting limits. Peace between neighbours may be at risk but the kid may benefit if an adult anyway teaches him to understand the expectations in the society? And sometimes they listen better to strangers too.

    • I just don’t know this neighbor well enough yet. I know some of the other families, the parents and kids, to know that it’s okay to step in as they wouldn’t let their kids pull that crap either. This new mom… I just can’t read her yet.

      I did feel pretty awful for the grandmother though. She did not deserve to be treated that way.

      Also I’m with you in that I don’t think my kids should have to give up their toys the second some other kid decides they want something my kid has.

  2. sillyliss says:

    I wouldn’t get involved unless the child was being abused. However, I would be appalled and blog about it.

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