Parenting Dilemmas: When your children do something wrong - but you totally get why they did it.

>> Sunday, 26 May 2013

Boy #2, now aged 7, had a friend of the same age over to play today.  All was going swimmingly, until Friend noticed two girls that he knows through the fence that runs along the back of our garden, playing on a trampoline.  Friend has a bit of an eye for the ladies.  Not in an inappropriate way, just in a 'I like to chat to girls' way.  The boy is going to be a smooooooth operator when he gets a few years older, I can tell you.

Anyhoo.  Friend decided that chatting with the girls was far more interesting than playing with Boy #2, and nothing that Boy #2 said - no offers of lego, no car games, no suggestions to go to the compound playground - could persuade him otherwise.

Boy #2 put up with this for a while.  But then, the injustice of the situation - as he saw it, you understand - got to him.

He waited until the grown-ups were safely out of sight, and then proceeded to cool the situation down.  By turning the garden hose on his friend.

Friend was soaked - right down to his underwear - and unsurprisingly, not impressed.  However, after a quick change of clothes (and shoes - Boy #2, when he gets an idea in his head, likes to do things properly), they made up and retired to the compound playground far away from distraction.  And girls.

So, here is my admission.  I was cross with Boy #2.  I made him apologise, not only to his friend but to his friend's mother, who had to deal with the soaked clothes and trainers (after I had put them in the washing machine on a spin cycle, they were so wet).  I listened to his explanation for doing it in the first place - that he thought it would be funny - and suggested that a) it wasn't, b) perhaps it had more to do with his not wanting his friend to ignore him than trying to be funny and c) if he wanted his friends to continue to come over to play, behaving like that was probably not in his own best interest, and finding alternative solutions - not involving freezing cold water - would be preferable.

I think my remarks registered.

But, in spite of all that, I have to admit to a sneaking admiration for his actions...

Is that wrong?


Mummypinkwellies 26 May 2013 at 19:16  

If that was my daughter I'd have been secretly high fiving her!

MsCaroline 27 May 2013 at 08:20  

You did all the right things, Mum. Actually, I was thinking how comforting it is to know that he obviously knows how to stand up for himself when he's not happy with the status quo!

Carolin @ Mummy Alarm 27 May 2013 at 13:16  

I think my reaction would have been something like a choking sound, because I'd try really hard to keep my laughter in. Too funny, but I can see why it didn't go down well with his friend. I wouldn't be impressed either ;)

Apple 28 May 2013 at 14:43  

I think the thing is that we all wish we could do this to our friends when they do something hurtful/something that annoys us ;)

Expat mum 31 May 2013 at 14:11  

It's funny, but if you reverse the kids he probably would have been furious if he'd ended up soaked! You did the right thing in telling him it was not OK to do that. Sort of thing one of mine would have done, so I usually tell them to come to me or go tell a teacher before taking the law into their own hands.

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