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Question
Posted by: Mom | 2011/09/26

Why does it bother me so much

Dear Prof

My son, who is almost 6, has 2 friends with whom he plays at school, the one is a very sensitive child and the other has an over-concerned mom. A while ago the over-concerned mom complained to the mom of the sensitive child that my son was very competitive towards her son and asked whether that was acceptable to her. The mom of the sensitive boy immediately cancelled the next day''s playdate, and since then its just been horrible. Until that moment there had been no big problems and the 3 boys had been playing together well. My son was also regularly invited to playdates with the sensitive boy. Since that mom complained, a lot has changed. On Saturday I invited the sensitive boy for a playdate (they live across the road from us) and his mom only let him play for an hour, whereas he was allowed to stay for 2-3 hours in the past. My son hardly gets invited to playdates anymore, and now the over-concerned mom''s son isn''t coming to my son''s birthday party anymore. The sensitive boy also has not confirmed whether he is coming. Those are his 2 best friends, and all the other friends immediately let know that they are coming to the party. This whole situation is giving me sleepless nights. I know my son is acting normal for his age as I discussed it at lenght with his teachers, and also that the over-concerned mom is indeed overconcerned. The sensitive boy is a " laatlammetjie"  whos sisters are in late high school and university, and he is very un-physical whereas my son and the other friend are rough and tumble boys. So they had been complimenting each other well. The mom initially was overjoyed at the friendship (they became best friends a year ago) but now treats my son as a monster. Or is it just my imagination?? Why does this bother me so much? I know that at this age they don''t form lasting friendships, and also that both those parents probably view things from another angle as they are both also older parents (not that I am young at 40). How do I handle this?? it is actually making me depressed. Please help.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Its always a shame when the kids are actually having no real problem with each other, but mothers choose to create problems.
Anyhow. The over-concerned mom jas been acting ... over-concerned. Not really a major surprise. And sensitive child's mom has been persuaded to protect his sensitivity from an imagined threat.
OK, so they live nearby, but are they really the only options for your son to have friends ? Aren't there other kids with more sturdy moms ?
Obviously this has been upsetting for you, but sleepless nights don't help, do they ?
They sad lad with the over-concerned mom will probably be far more damaged by her over-protectiveness than by meeting kids more competitive than he ( which would probably be almost every other kid alive ). Moms need to realize that a child needs to meet and deal with at least the minor annoyances and scrapes of life without being protected from them, but rather supported and encouraged to deal with them themselves, or they become MORE vulnerable, building up no capacity for self-defence.
Be careful not to over-react, as she seems to have been doing. I wonder what actually led her to such a gross over-reaction to a trivial and indeed helpful difference between the boys ? How does she imagine her son will cope through life if protected from anyone more competitive than he ?
Why it is upseting you quite so much is harder to answer. It seems as though you seem to accept Over-Anxious Mom's implication that there's something wrong with your normal and splendid child. Why might that be ?

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: Mom | 2011/09/26

Its the sensitive boy that ends up being the fifth wheel and who is suffering from this dilemma...I am just very upset that my son is being ostracized by the 2 moms. The kids sort themselves out and a mostly unaffected by this.

Reply to Mom
Posted by: Romany | 2011/09/26

Three is a growd. Has always been and will always be. Regardless of age.

Reply to Romany
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/09/26

Its always a shame when the kids are actually having no real problem with each other, but mothers choose to create problems.
Anyhow. The over-concerned mom jas been acting ... over-concerned. Not really a major surprise. And sensitive child's mom has been persuaded to protect his sensitivity from an imagined threat.
OK, so they live nearby, but are they really the only options for your son to have friends ? Aren't there other kids with more sturdy moms ?
Obviously this has been upsetting for you, but sleepless nights don't help, do they ?
They sad lad with the over-concerned mom will probably be far more damaged by her over-protectiveness than by meeting kids more competitive than he ( which would probably be almost every other kid alive ). Moms need to realize that a child needs to meet and deal with at least the minor annoyances and scrapes of life without being protected from them, but rather supported and encouraged to deal with them themselves, or they become MORE vulnerable, building up no capacity for self-defence.
Be careful not to over-react, as she seems to have been doing. I wonder what actually led her to such a gross over-reaction to a trivial and indeed helpful difference between the boys ? How does she imagine her son will cope through life if protected from anyone more competitive than he ?
Why it is upseting you quite so much is harder to answer. It seems as though you seem to accept Over-Anxious Mom's implication that there's something wrong with your normal and splendid child. Why might that be ?

Reply to cybershrink

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