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My Friend Yelled at My Kid!

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Here's another installment of the Friendship Court.

Rose from Pennsylvania writes:

Sarah and I have been friends for seven years. We met when our toddlers were in a playgroup. Recently we had her family to our home for dinner, and our boys had a fight. When her son told her his version of the events, Sarah started yelling at my son and said, "You have always been mean and manipulative." I pulled my son away and said nothing that night, but I have not spoken to Sarah since. I cannot seem to recover from this ... and she has not called me either. Is this friendship over?
woman yelling at boy

Guest blogger Leslie Adler: Hi Rose and thanks for writing to "The Friendship Court." I have to say ... this friendship may be over, because after reading your question I am wondering why Sarah has not called to apologize. If this was just heat of the moment "mother bear" type behavior and your friendship means more to Sarah than a tiff between two boys (which by the way, the boys don't even remember at this point) Sarah could have just explained that she got defensive and did not mean what she said. But some people Rose, can't make the tough call to apologize, so "be the adult." Call Sarah and open the lines of communication. Say, honestly, that you have no idea where this call is going but you needed to make it ... either for closure or to clear the air. Ask her "Why did you say that?," and more than my answer, her answer to that question will give you the tools to determine whether the friendship is over. If it goes well, this will help lay ground rules for the future of your relationship like, we really need to respect each other's abilities to discipline our children and we need to work on our friendship transcending the evolving relationships of our children.

Happy holidays Rose!


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8 comments so far | Post a comment now
Tammy December 24, 2008, 10:04 AM

I say no need to make that call. For this woman to say that the boy has “always been mean and manipulative” is much worse that if she has just reprimanded the boy for his actions. But to make a comment about the boys character is insulting to his parents more so than the boy. I would not be fr5iends with someone who thought so little of my parenting skills or my child. You kinda missed the mark on this one, Ms. Adler.

Anon December 24, 2008, 10:45 AM

I don’t agree that Ms. Adler missed the mark. Yes, for Sarah to make that comment is exteemly insulting to his parents and the boy, but Rose needs to finalize this situation by getting the appology or letting Sarah know for sure there is no longer a friendship. That way she can help her son understand why he can not longer play with Sarah’s child.

Crystal December 24, 2008, 11:42 AM

Well, maybe your child IS mean and manipulative. Does the truth hurt? She probably doesn’t want her son around yours anymore. Moms always think their own kids are perfect when in truth they are monsters. Except for mine of course. *wink*

Anonymous December 24, 2008, 12:28 PM

Maybe she had to yell at your kid because you WON’T.

BOB December 25, 2008, 9:25 PM

I AGREE WITH MS ADLER……IF SHES SUCH A GOOD FRIEND YOU HAVE TO OPEN THE LINES OF COMMUNICATION TO CLEAR THE AIR…

geen December 26, 2008, 11:50 AM

There are two sides to every story, maybe your kid deserved it, maybe he didn’t.

Cassandra March 4, 2009, 7:33 PM

I personally would no longer be friends with a lady who yelled at my son and called him names. Don’t get me wrong, I expect my children to listen to other adults, and I expect for them to be punished by other adults if I am not present. However, If I am there I am perfectly capable of disciplining my own kid. But her discipling my kid wouldn’t have been the problem. The problem would have been the manner in which she did it. It is never okay to call a child mean or manipulative. You may tell them that there behavior was mean or impolite, or that it wasn’t nice but that doesn’t mean that they are a mean person, only that they made a bad choice.

Anonymous October 7, 2009, 5:10 AM

Well she should of said “dont speak to my child that way!” Sounds like the one who yelled still has some learning to do of her own! Parenting skills maybe.


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