Someone wrote a parenting handbook for this kinda stuff, right?

The other night I was sitting on the bathroom floor about to wash two filthy little children when The B man walked in and popped a squat on the bathroom stool.

 He looked me square in the eyes and said, “Mom, can I talk to you about something?”

“Sure!” I said.

I assumed he was going to tell me about the new Lego project he envisioned that day or rattle off the latest fact about dinosaurs or outer space that he’d committed to memory.

I was wrong.

“Mom, today at recess we ran races and I was the ref and Mike* and Joseph* were racing and Mike won more races than Joseph and so Joseph told me he didn’t want to be my best friend anymore. Then at second recess he told me he found a new best friend! I don’t know what to do, Mom! What do I do?!?”

I sat there listening to my sweet boy pour his heart out to me and glanced over only to see it – right there on his sleeve. And then I thought, “This, already??”

My B is a sensitive soul and so it really hurts me to hear anything like this coming from him. I know that when/if this happens to Little G someday he’ll be like, “Whatever dude” (or possibly the kid saying he doesn’t want to be friends anymore!) and move right on, but that is NOT how B is at all.

And I also know that kids will be kids so this will NOT be the last time he experiences something like this. It is ONLY the beginning. We talked it out and I told B that he just needs to tell Joseph that no matter how many races he did or did not win, he still would like to be his friend and that all he can do is let him know that. I also told him that it’s ultimately up to Joseph and that if he decides he does not want to be friends over something small like that, then it’s his loss, not B’s.

I think I handled it okay on the fly, but then I wasn’t really sure because this is my first experience with anything like this since becoming a parent. He seemed pretty satisfied with my solution and said he had already told Joseph that he wanted to be his friend no matter what. We ended the conversation by deciding we would just see how Joseph was the next day at recess.

The next afternoon, after school I asked him how things went with Joseph at recess that day and he said, “Oh fine, we’re best friends again!”


Glad I didn’t lose too much sleep over that one.

Although I’m sure as the kids continue to grow little problems like this will crop up more and more.  And I’m guessing they may start even earlier with K since she’s a girl and we all know how they can be…

*names have been changed to protect the innocent and fickle school mates.

And no, this picture has nothing to do with this post but I don’t care… 


  1. i am so scared for that age with my girls. i can already tell emma won’t give a crap, but … i won’t know what to do if lucy is more tender-hearted! you handled it well, momma.

  2. Yes, I already had some experiences like this last year with my son in kindergarten! Why do kids get so mean and fickle so young now?? It sounds like you handled it wonderfully.. and yes, kids definitely don’t hold grudges like grown ups.

  3. I’ve been dealing with the same thing with my oldest. I’m not really sure how to handle it, but have pretty said what you wrote here. I try to tell him that if they don’t want to be friends then that’s the other person’s loss and there are many classmates to interact with.

    Watching our kids go through this is NOT easy!

  4. My heart is scared for this already. I remember holding Eme, rocking in her chair in her room when she was 4 days old. I WAS SOBBING. Thinking about people hurting her down the line and I wanted to stab every one of them. I was HORMONAL like whoa, but I mean, you just picture your babies, as…YOUR BABIES. So its hard to see someone be mean to them. And it hurts. ugh.

    You did good. But really? I’d just go to school and beat those little shits up.

    I didn’t just say that.

    Sorry, I’ll put my mom claws away now ;P

  5. I think you handled it very well, Elaine. I’m taking notes so that if (or when) this happens to my little one some day, I’ll know what to say!

  6. Oh I know. It is going to be so hard to watch my kiddos go through that stuff. Just stinks.

    You handled it very well. :)

  7. I was going to comment… just wait until it is K. It starts really early with girls, and boys tend to be more forgiving where girls can just be mean. Because of that I’ve had to deal with this a lot. In this situation I would have told her to tell her friend that she is sorry that she feels that way, but the other kid really did win the race and she was just being honest. And that maybe they could take turns being the referee so that just one person didn’t catch the blame.

  8. I hate how early this starts. And it does change by the day, so I never know how big of a deal to make of it.

  9. Oh my this hurts my mothering heart!

    You handled it beautifully- of course you did!

    So many hugs to both of you!


  10. I think you handled it beautifully! I love that your son will come in and talk to you about it. Big T keeps it inside until a month later. The emotional seesaw of elementary school is an exhausting one. One day they are friends, the next day they aren’t, the day after that they are best friends forever.

    My only hope is that it teaches them something even if I don’t know what that is.

  11. That’s so sad Lainey :-( Where does this boy live? That would have been my reply I think, SO yeah, your was way better 😉

  12. I was a sensitive kid too, so my radar is up when I hear stories like this. I know that negotiating and learning how to deal with this stuff is part of life, but…

    it’s hard. I hope to be cool like you and keep some healthy perspective.

    But it’s so hard.