Nextdoor Neighbor Bullying My Son
I'm in total shock to the whole situation as I write this... and I am needing a bit of advice. Please don't judge me, I am just looking for a little guidance here.
I have always been more of an old fashioned parent. My kids are homeschooled, so don't have to deal with many of the issues that come about with bullying, but because my son meets friends easily and he has gotten many compliments on how friendly and caring he is, and we have a large group of kids that they have met in our neighborhood that play on a regular basis. The next door neighbor (a girl - 12), and my son - 10, became good friends when we moved in, they played often. I did notice then, that they would bicker at each other every now and then, but nothing major. Then, a new boy moved into the neighborhood that my son started playing with, they became good friends too. I always told my son that everyone can be friends and to include each other when playing, and he would. The girl didn't like the fact that Troy had started playing with the boy and wanted Troy to play only with her, and soon started creating conflict. There have been several statements made by the girl trying to make my son and the other boy to not be friends, such as saying my son was using the boy for his pool and didn't really like him as a friend. As time has gone on, the girl has seemed to start bullying my son. She compares his things to hers and says hers are better than his... he had a birthday party, and when my son asked if she had fun, she said "it was alright, I've seen better". My son got a scooter, and she had to put him down and say his scooter doesn't have the right parts, etc. Each time this happened, my son would come to me and tell me what she said. I just told my son he didn't have to be friends with her, and maybe if he talked with her and told her he didn't like what she was saying, she would stop. It continued, and she started saying things like "nobody likes you in the neighborhood", "I'm not going to be your friend if...", and the latest was when she said she is smarter than him because he's homeschooled.
As for my "old fashioned" values, what ever happened to when parents were trusted and able to look out for one another and their children? Being able to talk to a child that isn't yours about their actions? Sometimes a talk from another parent outside of the family can get through to them more than the parent... especially if the child is denying any wrong doing. I have noticed that our neighbors don't have very good parenting to begin with as the older teen daughter of theirs has many issues, we've heard some arguments and screaming in the house, shaved her head, has a mohawk and is allowed to do whatever she wants and dress however she wants, and I now know that even if we confronted the parents, they would brush it off as typical bickering of kids between my son and their daughter.
If my son were confronted by another parent about behavior it would not bother me, and I would want to know what happened to help my son correct his behavior and resolve the issue, but thankful that another parent was there to help. Isn't that what a responsible parent should do? Maybe I am totally wrong on this and my old fashioned thinking, but the whole situation came about when my husband confronted the girl who was bullying my son about their actions. It was done in a calm manner, not mean, just letting them know that what they were doing was not right. It seems as though parents these days have brought their kids up with a sense of entitlement, making it easier for them to think their actions are ok. When confronted, she completely denied everything, saying she didn't say or do those things. She acted with a very smart-ass attitude and didn't seem to really feel sorry even though she apologized. My husband was only trying to tell her to be nice because if she wants to keep my son as a friend and bullying and talking negative isn't going to help. She did start to cry after my husband was done talking with her, I think she did start to feel bad about what she was doing. She went to her parents, which we were going to talk with as well, but did go to the girl first in this case.
The mother came over furious that we had talked with her daughter and made her cry, and didn't go to them first. When trying to apologize about not going to them first, she wouldn't listen, and continued to yell about how our son was never allowed to play with her daughter again and that her daughter would never act that way. She then left our property. I went back in, and then decided to go back out and try to settle it with her husband who was more calm. When I started to try and talk with him about it, she came out screaming and yelling, and wouldn't let me or my husband explain what was happening or even apologize for that matter. It all seemed very childish to me, especially when the neighbor decided to get in my face, wanting to fight, along with the girl's mother all because I wanted to talk about this calmly and kept asking them to stop yelling. I just kept my calm, and stood there. I kept asking, can't we talk like adults here instead of the screaming and yelling? No... that wouldn't happen. So the biggest question on my mind is, are they more concerned with us not going to them first, or the reality that their daughter is bullying my son and putting him down every chance she gets? Not once did they let me speak about the situation at this point. My husband was finally able to talk with the girl's husband about it, but he just brushed it off as being kids. I can completely understand if this was just a small issue and they were bickering about something that would eventually pass, but this is a form of bullying and my son who comes to me everyday with something else she has said or done, is clearly bothered.
What is the matter with this country today? Why are children given a sense of entitlement and able to get away with more and more wrong behavior? What they did and how they handled the situation, I believe has just solidified in the girl's mind that it is ok for her to act that way and it doesn't matter. All the parents seem to care about is that their little girl was crying and hurt, completely ignoring the fact that her behavior is wrong and needs to be handled because it has been hurting my son.
This is our next door neighbor, so to make it even more awkward, we are dealing with parents who don't even really care to know what happened and why we needed to talk with her or resolving the issue in a civil manner. I know we probably made a mistake of confronting the girl first, and should have gone to the parents, but you would think they would be more concerned with what was happening and the real issue here. Any advice would be great, but please, no judging me. As parents, we only meant well and wanted to resolve the issues my son and their daughter were having.