Devastated by other parent's behaviour

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-21-2003
Devastated by other parent's behaviour
Sun, 10-30-2005 - 12:03am

Hi all,

I've been bawling my eyes out for the past couple of hours, and would welcome your feedback about what just happened. It's relatively minor in the grand scheme of things, but it took me by surprise and feels like a punch in the gut.

The background: My 9-yo DD made friends with a new girl (let's call her Amber) at the beginning of the school year. Amber (who comes from a different neighbourhood) has been to our house for lunch on several occasions, and I've kept her after school a couple of times to help out her mother. DD has been to Amber's house once.

DD and Amber made plans to go trick-or-treating together in Amber's neighbourhood. I confirmed the arrangements with Amber's mother. Today we got a message from Amber, saying that she was grounded and wouldn't be doing Halloween.

DD was upset, of course. Not only had she been looking forward to going trick-or-treating with Amber, but she had passed up opportunities to go with other friends (who subsequently made other plans) and now finds herself without a trick-or-treating partner.

After giving the matter some thought (and discussion with DH), I decided to call Amber's mother to ask her if there might be any flexibility in the arrangements.

Here, as best I can recall, is how the conversation went:

Me: I feel a little awkward asking you this, but I was wondering if there might be any flexibility in the grounding arrangements you made with Amber.

Her: No flexibility at all... I find it offensive that you should ask me that.

Me: What do you mean?

Her: It's not your place to tell me how to discipline my daughter.

Me: Please don't get upset. I fully realize it's not my place to tell you how to discipline your daughter. That's not where I'm coming from at all. I just wondered, since the situation also affects my DD, if there might be any other solution...

Her: No there isn't. And I have to say I find it really offensive that another parent would call me like this.

Me (starting to get teary): I'm starting to feel really attacked here...

Her: Your emotions are not my problem. I have company and I'm going to go now. CLICK.

OK, I can see that she may have a point. It's her tone, choice of words, and refusal to have a discussion that threw me for a loop. I felt that I approached her in an open-ended, respectful way, only to have a door slammed in my face. If there's one thing I abhor, it's being stonewalled.

Part of the reason I'm so upset is that I worry about how this might affect DD's friendship with Amber. I would hope that Amber's mother would be mature enough to allow the friendship to continue, but now I'm not so sure.

I'm also unsure about how to behave the next time I see Amber's mother. (I run into her every Monday afternoon, at the very least.) And do I continue to invite Amber to our house for lunch on school days? For playdates?

All thoughts, insights, ideas welcome.

TIA Freelance

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2005
Sun, 10-30-2005 - 6:32am


Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Sun, 10-30-2005 - 8:42pm
Well, I would think that Amber's mom feels bad enough having to ground her kid on such a big night, then to have another person second guess her, I would be mad too. I am sure that there are some other kids you could try to call. Your dd might feel better trick or treating with a group of kids. Sorry, JMHO.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!