Unrealistic expectations on my behalf? M

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Unrealistic expectations on my behalf? M
11
Sat, 05-24-2003 - 7:26pm
I have a question and I hope I can word it so that my concern is understood. For those of you who are new, I have a 5 year old son who I kept back from Kindergarten until Fall 2003. His birth date is Sept 12. I am satisfied with this decision and there are many things that are happening to help me see exactly why I did that. Many have to do with other children and his ability to control (or not *wink*) his anger. Today we had a situation arrise that once again makes me wonder if "I" am the one with the problem.

Tre and I just got back from grocery shopping when he saw a little boy (who is graduating the first grade this year) that he likes. The boy asked if Tre could come to his house to play. I said yes, because his dad works with my husband, and I believe they are "safe" in terms of playing inside and mom being home. This is the deal....every time I think I'll try him going to someone's house, he ends up having problems. I mean, not just play problems, but real issues. He gets hurt, physically. Well, today he didn't get hurt. He had a problem with the son. Tre claims that the boy didn't give him his turn with a toy that Tre brought. Mom heard the arguement, and asked what was going on. She told me that she asked Tre to share his toy and Tre got angry with her. She then said that she told him "Well, if you don't share your toys, *** won't either." I guess Tre was crying and she told him "In this house we don't cry, we use our words." They worked it out after a while and things were fine, is what I was told. Tre didn't appear upset at the time I came to get him so I was OK. We were going to talk about sharing and waiting turns, and being respectful to adults, PERIOD. I did that because those are things I want Tre to work on anyway, but "I" have several issues and I need your input.

I have a problem with what she said to him. If you don't share, he won't either??? Is that not a bit immature? I would have called the mom and said, "I think Tre is ready to come home. He brought a toy that he wants to keep to himself right now." OR I would have taken the toy because it is causing a problem. If the child got mad, he's going home. I wouldn't go the "no sharing" route. Am I wrong here??? I know Tre is my son but isn't that a bit much for trying to encourage resolution?

I also have a problem with what I see, which is their son hitting and pushing quite a bit. I don't encourage that. I don't know if they do or don't but I know they don't let their son cry, because it's a sissy thing. (Tough guy thing???) I am bothered by that but it's their son, right? When she told Tre, we don't cry here, I feel that was a message I don't want Tre getting.

In all honesty, Tre is younger than this boy. I mean, he is going to second grade, expereiced with "bigger boys" and school, while Tre is just going into Kinder this fall. (He does have PREK experiences.) I think they just don't click. The problem is when we are together, and we do because the two men work together, I just don't like the interaction between the boys. Not all of the time, but sometime. It's just no thte type of interaction I want Tre around on a steady basis. To me, it seems like they think it's "boy stuff" or "kids will be kids." I disagree. It is appearing to be a bully promoting environment.

So my question is this. Am I so far off?? I expect a family to speak appropriately to my son. I know everyone has their owm preferences, but how do you keep the styles separate?Tre was wrong in this scenario, I'm not hiding that. Like I said, we discussed that. I am just discouraged because it seems like I can't find other moms who feel like I do other than on this board! So many moms I have met with kids around Tre's age are either hover mothers or boarderline neglectful. I know in Kindergarten we'll have more opportunities, but for now are we doomed?? These moms let their kids run from house to house, which is against my cultural beliefs. I mean, it is one thing to call and plan it than to have your kids show up at the door all hours of the day and night unsupervised at the ages of 5 and 6. I don't know how to handle differences when Tre is at someone else's house. I still depend on adults to "help" children solve their problems. Not do it for them, but guide them by at least having each listen to the other. How do you all deal with this kind of thing? Should I talk with this mom and tell her how we resolve issues? I mean, she's seen me enough now with him to know how I do things. They are always asking for Tre to come and play with their son, so I'm thinking they're not turned off by my parenting style. Do you allow your kids to go to other houses without you? How long and how much do you have to "know" a person before you allow that? I feel like I want to get to know people better but in this military environment Tre is losing out on playdates because I seem to be the only mom who is concerned about this kind of thing. What do you all think? Any advice? I welcome all opinions, but be gentle....I'm fragile right now, in all honesty.

A saddened and discouraged Janet, mom to a fabulous 5.8 y.o. Tre (most of the time *wink*)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
Sat, 05-24-2003 - 9:20pm
Hmmm...it gets tricky when situations get repeated back as opposed to your being there to see for yourself. (And I mean the Mom filling you in afterwards) Could the Mom maybe have meant her 'If you don't share, so-and-so won't either' less in a 'How do you like dem apples' kind of way (which *would* be immature IMO) and more of an explanatory kind of "If you don't share others might not want to share with you" sort of way? I've told my oldest DS when he plays too roughly that it might make other kids not want to play with him again, showing the cause and effect of his behavior - maybe she was after the same idea? (Totally guessing her motives here) And if she *did* mean it in the 'So there' vein, I agree it's immature. I mean, if her *son* had said that, I think that's a fair response from a 7 year old, but from the Mom? Ick.

As for the crying, I think she was out of line, especially considering your guy's age. Saying 'We don't cry here' to a 5 year old is ridiculous and I feel badly for her own DS regarding that. "Use your words" is a great, gentle reminder that there are more clear ways to communicate, but not at the expense of denying a child's emotions. She could have said, "I see you're sad because you're crying, use your words to tell me why". Don't invalidate his show of saddness. Bad enough she does it to her own son, but to someone else's? Give me a break!

Sounds like she has very little skill at handling these kind of situations. Personally, I would avoid unsupervised (by you) play between these two since it sounds like you have very different ideas of how to handle things. I don't know if I'd go back to her and make a point about how she handled things, but if it comes up in the future or another 'situation' arises, I wouldn't hesitate to make it clear that you have no problem with your son crying if he's upset, or whatever else they say to make you raise an eyebrow. And since you have to deal with this family on an on-going basis, don't be afraid to really let them see how you do things. If they think you coddle him, let them. Your goal is a well-adjusted person and I have a feeling this other mom is in for a rude awakening in a few years.

And of course, I'd probably take the opportunity to let Tre know that different families do things differently and in YOUR family crying is a perfectly fine way to show that you're upset. He might feel a little lost right now.

Hope this ridiculously long post helped somewhat! I feel so passionate about letting kids be kids!

~Jodi

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 05-24-2003 - 11:22pm
Hi,

Sorry to hear about Tre's challenging play date. I completely agree with what Jodi had to say. I think that it is ridulous to tell a five year old not to cry, telling them to stifle their emotions is never ok. Maybe you should try a few playdates at your house until you can find a child and a mom that are closer to your parenting style. You don't want your child to go to someone's home who doesn't seem to have very good parenting skills. You also want your child to feel completely comfortable there and not receive conflicting messages.

I run a daycare in my home and I would NEVER say the sharing thing or the not crying thing to any of the kids that I take care of. And for the Mom to repeat all of this to you, she must believe in what she is saying. I am so careful about what I say to other people's kids. I do believe that if I treat them with respect, they will treat myself, my home and my kids with respect too. So far this has worked well, but it also took me some time to find kids and parents that we "fit" with.

Keep looking for the "perfect playdate" for your child, he/she will come along. I haven't ever sent my two boys to a playdate's house before, with their young ages I always feel better having the date here. But that's my hang-up!!!!! Also, listen closely to what Tre has to say to you. Maybe he isn't completely comfy yet with going to someone else's home, that could be why he didn't want to share. Anyway, I don't know too many 5 year olds who are willing to share a favorite toy. Sometimes I'm not good at sharing either!!

Don't know if this will help or not, but just wanted to let you know that I read your post and offer you my opinion. It's so hard to share our children's pain somestimes, I so wish that everyone would be nice to them and realize how special they are! Good luck to you and to Tre. Hope he finds the "perfect friend" who is just as special as he is. And no, I don't think you have unrealistic expectations at all. If we don't watch out for our little ones, then who will? Hope all goes well. ~Tara

Avatar for behind_blue_eyes
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 05-24-2003 - 11:24pm
Hmmm, the first thing I thought of when you said she told him "If you don't share, then he won't either" was how she phrased that to Tre. I've often told Joshua that if he didn't share his toys with his friends, his friends may not want to share their's with him. Not in a snotty "so there" type of way, just more like a friendly reminder. (Is this coming out right??) I would have done the same thing as you would have if there was a problem though, the toy would be taken away. If the child got mad at me for that, he would be going home.

I'd also be bothered with someone telling my son "in this house we don't cry....." That to me is just absurd, particularly with this age! (I myself don't like a lot of *whining* either but I just tell them to slow down, take a breath and "talk" to me about what's going on). I love the fact that she told him to use his words but don't belittle him about crying and showing his feelings. I feel badly for this boy if he isn't allowed to cry in his own home.

I don't think your far off, after all, Tre is YOUR son and want the best for him. I'm not sure how to keep the styles seperate, maybe you could just have visits with this boy when your able to be around them also. I'm not sure I'd have a talk with the boys mom, since she already knows y'all pretty well and knows your parenting style. I'm just not sure it would make much of a difference. I'm with you, I also expect the adults to help the children with their problems(to a point). I know how I deal with my kids, but I also try to take into consideration how the other moms (at least the ones I know well) deal with their own children and try to incorporate that into the mix if there's a problem.

Joshua does go to other homes to play, most are planned playdates though. There is only one child's house he goes to "out of the blue" but that is only to ask the boy's parents if he can come over to play. (He lives across the street...and I cross him). I don't let Joshua run all over the neighborhood at this age and I'm not really sure when the time will come when I will. (Surely not any time soon).

Like you said, I'd definately have a talk with Tre and explain that different families have different ways of handling situations (I have had a similar talk with Joshua about that) Aaaaannnnd..... I would also let him know that crying when your upset is just fine with you and your family.

Anyway, it's really hard to find people who have the same parenting style you have. Joshua has friends that are ok to play with ONCE IN A WHILE (and as long as I'm there too) but not people I want him to be around a lot. We're just different. And he doesn't really understand why we can't see "so-n-so" more often. (I don't tell him I just don't like how they do things! LOL!)

I don't know if I have an answer for you, I don't think you are wrong about getting to know the people who will be watching over your son for you, by no means. Just keep doing what your doing....teaching Tre your values, caring about his and others feelings, and if others think your babying him too much, so be it. Tre is your son and you want him to grow up being the best person he can be. I think your doing a wonderful job Janet! Too bad there aren't more moms around like you!

(((HUGS)))

~Lynda

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 05-25-2003 - 8:00am
That's a toughie. I understand what you're saying about how she spoke to Tre, but also, like the others, I think she was likely oversimplifying the natural consequences of not sharing. And it also seems to me that the real point of what she was saying was that she wanted Tre to use his words rather than to cry, instead of suggesting that crying was inappropriate per se. Obviously you must have had conversations that lead you to believe she's anti-crying anyhow, though, so I don't know. In any case, Janet, I'm more than confident that 5.8 years of your excellent parenting is not going to be undermined by one debatable playdate! ;-) And unless it was a major blowup or my DS were disrespectful of the parent in charge, I would expect her to attempt to resolve the situation in her own way (as she seems to have done to both boys' general satisfaction) rather than to call me at the first sign of trouble. With DS it seems to be that the first 10 minutes are virtually always a bit rocky, even with kids that play very well together. An interesting phenomenon - it reminds me of puppies - they sometimes need a few minutes' time to get the ground rules established between themselves (sometimes with some gentle reminders from an adult), and then they seem to enjoy themselves in perfect harmony.

I do let DS go over to other peoples' houses if both he and I have met (and I generally approve of) the parent and child he will be with. I do expect there to be absolutely no hitting/shoving, but other than that, I make a determined effort to allow the playdate to continue if there is more good than bad out of it, as, like I said, it is rare that there is a playdate which is wholly without disagreement. In fact, to me, part of the point is to learn that there is more than one way of handling an unpleasant situation. I generally find benefits in letting him get some exposure to people whose styles are different that outweigh the benefit of having the message from the parent in charge be perfectly consistent with my views. If he didn't enjoy going over, or if his behavior/attitude changed, I would certainly re-evaluate, and of course DS has far more playdates with kids who play more like him (and whose parents' attitudes are closer to mine) than with others, but it doesn't mean I never let him go see kids who are only a decent, not an excellent match. And of course there are kids who have earned blanket playdate prohibitions as I found there to be little or nothing positive DS could learn from them, but those are rare, thank goodness.

I know for a fact it's exhausting to have to find new parents/kids to interact with every ten minutes like you and I have had to do, so I sympathize! Hang in there, honey!

HTH!

Donna

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 05-25-2003 - 9:15am
Thanks for your support, Jodi. I think you summed it up...she just has no clue about conflict. I don't mind her having him use his words...I do the same. I don't mind her asking him to share...I do the same. It was just the manner in which she told me about it. Definately something I am not comfortable with. I'm working on not being so sensitive, but it's hard. Tre is so used to living in a developmentally appropriate home....like a school, really, because of my belief in what works. It makes it hard for us all to go to homes where people don't understand it to believe in it. KWIM? I don't mean that in a negative manner. I just mean, these are parents that don't really check out schols and such before they go, they just "trust" it and enroll. Where, I am more of an investigator, LOL!!

Thanks again!

Janet =)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 05-25-2003 - 9:29am
I appreciate your post, Tara. Like you, LOL, I am not always the best sharer. The thing with Tre is that he wants things his way most of the time. We are working on being more cooperative. There ahve been lots of changes in my house as of late,a nd I know Tre takes a while to adjust to things. I am not surprised that he is having some "break downs." LOL!! I guess I could have reminded him about that before he left to go over there. I was so just so caught up in his happiness of having been invited. We have a deal, if it is specail to you, leave it home. What you bring, you share, period. KWIM?

You make a lot of sense, and I wish your business continued sucess! You're a great provider who obviously cares for the children in your care. Hats off to you!

Janet, a fellow ECH educator! =)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 05-25-2003 - 9:39am
Thank you, Lynda. Your words comfort me. I just have to hang in there, I think, until I get more opportunities to find moms like me or at least similar to. I don't want Tre to think everyone has to be the same and agree all of the time, but I certainly don't want him around people that negate our family values, either. KWIM? I encourage charing and using words, too. I just don't like the way she said it to me. Maybe Tre didn't take it the way I did. Who knows, right? He was obviously fine with the situation. It's just MY hang up. The thing is, it's so easy for kids to get distracted from what their family values are these days, that I want more families similar to ours than the other way. I just don't want Tre to have to deal with too much negativity YET as all of that will come one day anyway. I want to empower him a bit more with an occasional test than throw him into it completely.

Thanks for your input, I appreciate all of your support!

Janet =)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 05-25-2003 - 9:57am
Thank you, Donna, for introducing a different perspective. Your post made me think. Good point about the not calling me, too. I was caught up in the whole, "if you can't handle it, call me and I'll come get him" thing, KWIM? I was just so frustrated with her interaction with me about the playdate. She offered to have him come over any time he wants so I guess it wasn't too bad....then again, there are some things she tolerates that I would NEVER. I guess its not so bad either way....at least Tre's behavior doesn't stand out in her mind like it did mine! LOL! She was probably just informing me so I would know in case Tre brought it up.

I wish I had more of your confidance, Donna! I would love to be less sensitive about this kind of thing. I was mentioning earlier that I inspect homes like I do schools for Tre, KWIM? It's o hard to get out of that educator mode and on top of that mom mode. Maybe it's just not time for us to have playdates without me present just yet. I mean, I held the boy out of Kindy for maturity reasons...that can apply elsewhere too, right?

Like your son, Tre needs a while to get into the playing "with" someone at a playdate. He is still very much into surverying the area for toys and such at first! LOL!! I'm between a rock and a hard spot. If I don't let him go, he'll neer learn, but if I let him go to our available options right now, he won't learn any way. The two places Tre likes to go to are two friends he's met through my occasional aquaintance with these moms. One has so many kids SHE can't keep track. I don't want Tre in that. He ALWAYS comes back hurt. The second is this family, who's son is older and more aggressive than I would like to entertain. The things is, Tre gets so involved with trying to be like them, that he loses control so easily. And because that doesn't happen often, he really doesn't know HOW to be like them. Did I say that right? He's soooo out of control trying to lossen up.

I just don't have many options yet. I'm waiting patiently though. I think this is God's way of adjusting my adamancy (sp?) LOL!! I'm trying to loosen up, but not at the expense of my sanity! LOL!!! From now on, kids come here. I think Lynda summed it up great. That way I know what's going on and I can regulate a bit better. I feel like a control freak but I have to for my son's sake. Our options are not very plentiful, KWIM?

Thanks again!!!

janet =)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Avatar for boymeetsgirl
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 05-25-2003 - 7:10pm
Can "DITTO" be a reply. I think that the moms here have given you some great advice and some things to think about. I know that I am very protective of my kids and if I don't think my kids will be looked out to like I would, I wouldn't let them go. Personally, for Gabby at 4.10 years, I don't let her go on playdates alone. I still have trouble letting Damian go, but I do, as long as I meet the parents (or in one case grandparents) before. You sound like a great mom, the type I would let my dd go to (well maybe...lol). You seem to have good morals and values from what I'm reading here, and even though you may think that Tre will forget it, they don't. That little voice in the back of their head will remind them of what mommy said.

Tracey

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 05-26-2003 - 9:31am
Thank you so much for your kind words! It's so hard working on mommy issues, and I'm so glad I have this board to keep me grounded! =) Thanks so much for your support! I hope Tre really does remember what mommy says....he sometimes thinks he is the boss and so he makes his own rules, KWIM? LOL!! What monster have I raised??!! *wink* I think this is just a lesson he is going to have to learn in life,and that's how to deal with different situations. I just hope I can be there NOW so when he grows up, he doesn't need me anymore. Like the baby who gets the needs met and becomes a self sufficient preschooler, I hope Tre is the young child whose needs get met so he is a self secure respectable young man in high school.

Thanks again!

Janet =)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Pages