To the Mom I Ghosted

We tried. We really did. We tried to be friends. We tried to get our kids together and have them become friends. Turns out, I don’t like your kid. I don’t like when your kid intentionally drives toy cars over my kid’s hands, very obviously trying to hurt him. I don’t like when your kid pushes my kid down, making him cry and bleed within the first 5 minutes of a play date. I don’t like when your kid gets in my kid’s face and screams when my son has a toy your son wants. And I especially don’t like when you, more often than not, completely ignore his aggressive, cruel behavior so that you don’t have to try to correct it yet again. I get that being a parent is hard and you clearly have a particularly challenging child, but I can’t put my kid in this situation anymore. His personal and mental well being are at risk and it’s not worth it. So I’m done. I’m not going to text or call and I’m not going to bring my kid to your house or invite you to mine. If I see you out and about, I’ll say “hi,” but I’m no longer going to encourage our children to try to make nice.

At the most recent attempt to have our families be friends (and after your child made mine bleed), you told me that your child has been aggressive his whole life. That you’ve been dealing with purposeful screaming and scratching and biting since he was a baby and when you finally shared that with me, I was relieved. It seemed like you were finally going to acknowledge his behavior and your struggles, and that maybe we could finally have a real discussion as friends, but when I started asking questions about your experiences, you shut down the conversation. You played it off like it was just “a phase.” Perhaps you picked up on the fact that my questions were related to possible mental health issues that you might be seeing within your child and you didn’t like that, but I’m sorry, that’s a long “phase” and I’ve never seen any child play as aggressively as your child does. Surely you see that, too.

And listen, I can only imagine what you’re going through. Everything I’ve seen you say to him is clearly being ignored. Any correction I’ve seen you attempt has gone in one ear and out the other. I know that sounding like a broken record is not fun and for that, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you have a child that you seemingly don’t know what to do with. I’m sorry that you have a child that will physically harm you if you tell him “no.” And you need support! You need friends! You need other moms in your life that can be there for you, but that person is not me. My priority needs to be my kid first; his needs and his safety. And I cannot ensure that whenever your child is near mine.

The scariest part is that, since we’re in the same neighborhood, our kids will likely be going to school together for a long time. I worry that your kid will be aggressive toward mine and the other kids in class. I worry that he will become a bully. Perhaps these concerns are silly, but I’ve simply never dealt with this kind of situation before and my wildest imagination is giving me nightmares.

I hope you can one day find a mom friend who you are finally able to let in and be the support you need. I hope you can have an open conversation with her when she tries to express concerns about your child’s behavior. I hope you can talk to your pediatrician and get a recommendations on how to help your son deal with his anger. I hope you can find the right parenting technique needed to get him to listen, follow instructions, and, most importantly, express his anger and frustration in a more appropriate ways. Good luck and I wish you the best.

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