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My Son's Grades Are None of Your Business

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My oldest friend jumped to conclusions and now she thinks (and will likely tell her son, who will tell everyone in school) that my son has failing grades!

report card
Nicole from New York writes: Dear Friendship Court: High school report cards came tonight (we receive them online), and my oldest and dearest friend Allie called five minutes later. We both have high school freshmen. "Jason got all A's," Allie said. (Jason is Allie's son). "How did Grant do?" (Grant is my son). "I am not discussing Grant's report card," I responded. "Oh, he didn't do well?" said Allie ... and the conversation went downhill from there. I never said Grant didn't get good grades. What I was trying to say was that I didn't want to discuss Grant's grades with Allie and have her repeat them to Jason, and have him repeat them to other people in the grade. I think it is Grant's prerogative to tell his friends his grades, not mine. The problem is, no matter what I said to Allie, the conversation got uglier. She accused me of being a bad friend and having a son with failing grades and hung up on me. I do not believe I have anything to apologize for. What should I do?

Leslie Adler: Dear Nicole: Yikes! Who is in high school? Grant and Jason? Or Allie? 'Cause this is a "sophomoric fight." Allie is being very silly, to put it nicely. Why does she need to know Grant's grades? My guess is to compare his grades to Jason's and make herself feel good about where Jason "stands." If Jason really got straight A's, she shouldn't need to do that, should she?

I suggest you call her and tell her calmly that you are proud of her son Jason, and you are very proud of your Grant as well ... thank her for her concern about how he is doing but tell her you are not going to review Grant's report card with her. If she doesn't seem to understand, ask her to think about what Grant's grades have to do with your friendship, and to get back to you when she has a good answer.

next: Leave the Fireworks to the Professionals!
4 comments so far | Post a comment now
Sarah-Jane July 3, 2009, 12:06 PM

All parents seem to do this nowadays, whether the kid gets stright A’s or not. Why the hell? Oh, and don’t you just love the ‘parent spin,’ glorifying themselves for the kids’ achievments? Insecure much? I think so.

MerrieWay July 4, 2009, 4:17 PM

MerrieWay wonders: Why not give a simple response when asked about your child’s grades, “He’s doing fine, I’m so prowd of him (or her).”

lori July 4, 2009, 5:29 PM

Isn’t this such a silly thing for two adult friends to fight over?

manic motherhood October 17, 2009, 4:54 PM

I have a friend that does this also. I’m not about to compete with her over something like this. So I just use the, “awesome; I’m proud of [my son] too.” then I change the subject.

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