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What would you do?

My son has been friends with a neighbor for years. This child has some major behavior issues that the parents seem unwilling to work on. When they were younger, these issues were no big deal but now that they are older it really becomes more of a problem. My son no longer wants to play with this child. I believe the child is ADD/ASD or something that can be helped with therapy, medication, nutrition or behavior modifications. Should I allow my child to distance himself or is it mean since its obvious this child has some type of issue. The Mom has asked my advice before yet she has a reason why she can not address the very real issues her son has. She won't restrict his diet because it would set him apart, she won't medicate him because she does not believe in it, she won't send him for therapy because it will hurt his self esteem- I could go on forever-but you get the picture. Your thoughts?


Asked by Anonymous at 3:37 PM on Jan. 25, 2010 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (12)
  • You are not being cruel to the other child - his own mother is being cruel to him by not getting him the appropriate help he needs!

    I have a child with disabilities and if he acted the way this other kid is acting, then yeah, I'd fully expect other kids to want to be as far away from him as possible, which is why we have consistently enforced social behavior expectations with him. If you do decide to dump this kid, his mom may continue to play the "poor me - poor child" cards or she may finally get him some help, but either way, it is not your responsibility - it's hers.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:52 PM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • If your son doesn't want to, I wouldn't make him. By letting him decide based on real reasons, you are empowering him to make decisions later on when it's is kids doing bad things.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 3:38 PM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • Oh, the reason my son does not want to be with this child is because he says really immature things, can not keep his hands to himself, sneaks into our pantry and stuffs his face with our snacks, puts his hands down his pants... my sons other friends will not come over if this child is around because he disrupts all the games they try to play... they are in 5th grade (the child should be in 6th grade but was held back and is still struggling academically)

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:40 PM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • Let your son distance himself and down the road the other Mom will clue in when no one can deal wih her son. Sad but true.

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 3:41 PM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • Does the fact that this child most likely has a disability the parents are not addressing change anything? Am I being cruel and if so to who- my son or the other child?

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:41 PM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • We all have people that go in and out of our lives, so this friendship your son has with the neighbor boy shouldn't be any different just b/c you suspect the boy is different - if your son has outgrown the friendship or perceives it as being toxic for him, then there is no reason to continue it if he doesn't want to.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:41 PM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • The simple fact that they are not addressing it after you have tried to help is enough to make me want to distance myself...may it will jumpstart them into action. It would cruel to your son to make him hang out with him, when the child is doing such things...

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 3:43 PM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • You can't make your child like someone that he doesn't want to play with any more. Tell the mother that losing friends due to his behavior issues is more bad for his self-esteem then therapy could ever be.

    Answer by outstandingLove at 3:47 PM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • If your son doesnt want to play with him dont make him, if there are major behavior issues I wouldnt want my son going to play anyway..
    My son is ADHD, but it is managed well, I can't imagine not wanting to take control of your childs issues.

    Answer by mommymeg03 at 3:48 PM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • How old is your son and neighbor son? I'd tell the mother plus your son that playing has gotten too rough and not nice. And that for a while they can play together at your house when you're home, other than that they can't play. Just say YOU need to see more how they play. At your house they follow your rules and the rules are explained and repeated back multiple times during play.

    If that doesn't quiet things down for the boy to know he has a real friend then stop them from gathering and then tell mom why.
    But you can't risk your son's behavior getting worse copying someone else's behavior. Tell her if you see in the neighborhood that her son's behavior calms down you're willing to see if they can be friends again. I'd still though if you stop the play still say hello and talk nice. This is a good chance to teach extreme compassion to your son.


    Answer by lfl at 3:50 PM on Jan. 25, 2010