Wednesday, November 18, 2009

unfriend him

There’s this kid that I wish my boy would unfriend. I know that I must tread lightly; he’s already got an inkling that I’ve got something against this punk. He is very careful about not mentioning him in any context that could possibly be construed as questionable.

I think there’s a part of him that understands where I’m coming from though, a little speck that resonates with my misgivings. I know that I must cultivate that speck. I must find the language to nourish that speck until it becomes a driving force.

What is that speck?

Conscience? Integrity? Character?

How will that speck stand up to the influences of an ever-changing parade of temptations?

I talk with my boy. I try to avoid the urge to sit on top of him or shove him back into my uterus. I try to be cool, to keep the desperation out of my voice when I plead with him to talk to me, to share with me, to always tell me the truth. I tell him that he can trust me, but I think he’s wary.

Maybe he needs to test me and see if I really can be trusted. I’ll have to be alert for any potential incidents that could serve this purpose. He needs to do something only marginally bad, tell me about it, and not get in trouble.

Holy shit, did I really just suggest that? That can't be right.

Can it?

Obviously, I have no idea what I am talking about. Help!


Rita.the.bookworm said...

You just need to keep the dialog open. Alex has had a few friends that we don't like over the years. Mostly in the 6th grade when he was still finding his way around the new school. Honestly? I didn't keep quiet about my dislike of the kids once I really got to know them. I thought it was best that my kid know that I wasn't wavering about it, I had reasons for not liking him and they were easily explainable.

I didn't let Alex hang out at that kid's house, since I knew the rules there were very lax (lots of unsupervised time while the mom was at work and the boys had the place free to themselves). So, they had to hang out here when they were together, and I got to keep an eye on what they were doing.

Plus, I held Alex accountable for his friends' behavior when they were here. I do that to Katie, too. That tactic has gotten both of them to choose not to spend time with certain people. If they're in my house and their friends misbehave, my children are punished for it after their friends leave. I do not take, "But I didn't do it! He did it!" as a valid excuse. The rules need to be followed and if your company does not respect YOU enough to follow the established house rules when they visit, then you should think twice before having them over.

Now, it's been tricky since a kid that was really nice and a good friend of Alex's has morphed into a surly, conceited, smarmy little ass over the past year. I've been careful with that, saying that he was such a nice kid, but something's changed and now he's not. Alex finally got tired of his antics and unfriended him about a month ago.

That one was handled as directly, but without manipulating where kids played or anything like that. It was more of a flowing conversation about some of that kid's behavior and whether Alex thought that kind of behavior was really decent and all right. In the end, I think his friend just pissed him off and Alex decided to end it. Because the thing with kids like that is, if they're jerks, they will eventually be a jerk directly to your kid. You just need to be there to support your kid when he decides he's had enough and wants to get out of the friendship.

Me, You, or Ellie said...

As you know, I'm a PANK (Professional Auntie No Kids) so I have no parently advice. I mean, I have plenty, but I assume it's moot. Maybe you could get someone to kick the kid in the kneecaps? Is that good advice? And I *am* available.

Sigh. Good luck Jacquie. I have every confidence and every faith in your parental ability and decisions.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

So hard!

My oldest has a friend like this too. I also need to cultive this speck you speak of. My girl and her are (fortunately) not playing together much right now, because, as Rita rightly suggested, she was a jerk to my girl. Unfortuantely, my girl will likley take her back....

Once you figure it all out, Jacquie, please do let me know. (Unless the only solution is shoving him back into your uterus. I'm not up for that, mine is still sore.)


Rita.the.bookworm said...

Yeah, Beth, that image disturbed me too, probably because my boy now stands over 6 feet tall. I know my uterus can stretch, but well, that's kind of pushing it's limits, lol. Imagine walking around with a 6 foot tall fetus curled up in you, that is cracking me up.

shares your shitty kid problem said...

let me know how this all works out for you...
my 12 yr old girl is getting better about this one nasty little snot who's been in her class since kindergarten but it's been a fine line on my part.
"are you sure you want to invite annie?"
"mom, you don't like her and she is nice and you said we should be nice to everyone."
"it's not that I don't like annie...I just think you have some better friends than her. and she isn't always nice to other people"

I never knew a 7 yr old could already have the patronizing gene, but little annie had it at a very young age.
It doesn't help that she is one of those kids that is strikingly attractive, so EVERYONE wants to be around her.

I'm just counting on karma to work all this out in the end...