What do I tell myself?

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  • #599329
    mommamia22
    Participant

    Last night a child from my son’s class called to invite him for a play date. Last year this child called our home and left a very strange message saying “I’m going to kill you **Chaim Shlomo**”. We were alarmed and kept the recording (on our answering machine) but elected to wait and see whether a follow-up call would be made. Nothing ever happened after that, so we chalked it up to silly behavior of young children (who are just learning to use the phone). Last night, the kids were clearly unable to arrange the details of the play date, so I called the child’s mother and left a message to please call back to set something up. The child called minutes layer to say “my mother said **Chaim Shlomo** can’t come to our house. My son has issues because of a disability, and therefore has no friends. He was so complemented when the call first came in, that he said “so and so wants to be my friend!” I wanted to cry when the call came in later that this mother expressly said my child could not come to her home. How do I feel better and not feel so pained and hurt for my child? I never told him about the follow-up call and am hoping he simply forgets it.

    #809396

    is **Chaim Shlomo** your son or the other kid?

    #809397
    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the parents wanted the play date however the kid is too embarrassed to hand around your kid that he made it up. (and the kid has caller ID so didnt pick up the phone when you called and called you right back and deleted the message so his parents wouldn’t hear)

    #809398

    I have a similar issue with one of my kids. as much as we want friends for them there are people they are better off not associating too much with.

    Be prepared, your son most probably will NOT forget about the call and will ask you to follow up.

    Consider calling the mother (when you are very calm) and ask in a friendly way if perhaps there was a miscommunication, maybe her son didn’t give her message across properly, etc. Practice your opening lines so you don’t sound desperate or angry or like you are going to cry. If she is not immediately hostile or unfriendly, invite her son to your house, where you can supervise the boys’ interaction (to see if her son might be mean to yours). Also, she might be nervous to host your son if she has no experience with his disability. If it is feasible, and you think this friendship is worth pursuing, would you consider inviting the other kid’s family over on Shabbos or yomtov to get a feel for each other?

    Have you discussed with your son’s teacher from previous years which boys might be good candidates for playdates with him? Usually they can tell from the kids’ interaction in school who would be a good shidduch and who to stay away from.

    Hatzlacha.

    #809399
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    I wonder if it’s really the other way around. The mother might have told him to make the first call, and he made the second one in her name. The old message is irrelevant and should be forgotten about.

    #809400
    Nechomah
    Participant

    I would suggest that your son might your need help in setting up such a play date. It probably depends on his age, but if they’re setting up play dates, then I would suspect that he’s still young. If you spoke directly to his mother and got such a comment from her, then you could find some way to gently explain to your son that it didn’t work out, rather than him hearing it in such a direct and hurtful manner. Only after a relationship develops would I let my kids make such arrangements on their own. I apologize in advance if this is actually what happened, but I didn’t understand it this way from your original question.

    #809401
    EzratHashem
    Member

    Ask your school to get involved in sensitivity training to the class so that the kids will be more aware and inclusive. As for the call sometimes kids’ words can be enigmatic, we can’t always know exactly what they mean or what they are trying to get across because they don’t say things accurately. I would check with the boy’s mother.

    #809402
    mommamia22
    Participant

    So, I’m not as concerned about the call from last year. My son is *Chaim Shlomo*.

    The first call asking for a play date (“can you come to my house now to play”) sounded like it came from the child. He was asking for an immediate play date, right now.

    After I made the call to the mom and left a message asking to solidify plans, the child then called my son back (I answered) and he told me his mom said my son is not allowed to come over there. We have not advertised the issue my son struggles with, so, although other parents can see he’s different, they don’t know why. My son’s issues interfere with his ability to make friends, so, although he very much wants friends, he has issues that interfere with his ability to make them. He’s very isolated in class. Teachers have tried to connect him with the kinder boys, but to no avail. I’ve put him in social skills groups, but still, he continues to struggle and be isolated.

    #809403
    adorable
    Participant

    you can never know what really happened without calling the mother. if you want your son to play with this child, I would say you should call her yourself and talk to her when her son is not home.

    #809404
    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    The first call asking for a play date (“can you come to my house now to play”) sounded like it came from the child. He was asking for an immediate play date, right now.

    After I made the call to the mom and left a message asking to solidify plans, the child then called my son back (I answered) and he told me his mom said my son is not allowed to come over there.

    you never know what happened behind the scenes

    #809405
    oomis
    Participant

    First of all, I am getting that it is your child who has some social issues, and it breaks my heart to hear how he is friendless. Now, I will play devil’s advocate and suggest, that as a parent, if I knew there were very specific problems with a particular child (such as bullying, hitting, etc.) I would probably not pick that child as a social friend for mine. If it is more that your son is extremely shy, non-athletic, or a little immature, I would speak to the teacher about encouraging the class to play together as a group and not leave anyone out, so he might be able to develop a friendship, and I would invite the other kids over for a Shabbos party, to do homework together, etc.

    My daughter worked as a shadow for a child with Asperger’s-type symptomology, and she worked especially hard at helping him to develop socialization skills (I am not saying this is your situation, but just mentioning it by way of an example). Perhaps your son needs a similar type of assistance to help more fully integrate him socially. Again, I feel how painful this must be for you. No parent can ever stand to see his/her child be hurt like that, and I wish your son hatzlacha in overcoming this obstacle.

    #809406

    mommamia22-

    One thing that makes any parent feel sad and powerless is hearing their child say that they have no friends.

    I agree with the other posters who suggested that you invite the other child over to your house to play with your son.

    Perhaps adding an excursion to the pizza store, or making homemade pizza, can serve as a further enticement for a play date.

    Also, do you have any nieces or nephews he can play with?

    Hatzlocha raba.

    #809407
    bpt
    Participant

    I can sympathize with you MM22, because I was the child who was the recipent of 2 such phone calls when I was a kid. Both callers told my father, they do not think that little BPT is a good influence on thier sons. Yes, it hurts real bad.

    But under the circumstances you described, consider yourself lucky that your child is protected from someone who says, “I’m going to kill you”. Its not a joke, and while not necessarily a real threat, it does reflect what the child is hearing / seeing at home.

    The main thing for you to do now, is keep building your child’s self esteem. With time, he will overcome the obstacles he now faces, and then you / he will have the last laugh.

    Oh, and by the way. The two kids for whom I was deemed to evil to play with?

    I’ll not list specifics (after all, this is YWN) but suffice to say, they are not a source of nachas for their fathers (or children) right now.

    #809408
    reba
    Member

    This is very painful. But most children have issues with friends who may not like them just for who they are even if they don’t have specific disabilities. Don’t be passive. Ensure that your child has what to give to others. Maybe he can learn a musical instrument or take some kind of art or other activity. Monitor his friends very carefully and encourage friendships from those who can help him be who he is. He doesn’t have to be friends with everyone and we can’t shield him from disappointment but he can built up to know that he has what to contribute to others.

    #809409
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    but suffice to say, they are not a source of nachas for their fathers (or children) right now.

    Are you :?)

    Could he have friends from out of school? What about a cousin. A relative that is slighly older can be a good choice of someone who can come over once in a while to play with him.

    #809410
    bpt
    Participant

    ” Are you :?) “

    Are you kidding? How many fathers can brag about a smart-alecky, uber-athletic, all around nice guy as their kid?

    (And when you find someone who fits that m/o, please tell my father. He always wanted to get someone he could take places when he wanted to show everyone how great a kid he’s got.)

    #809411
    oomis
    Participant

    But under the circumstances you described, consider yourself lucky that your child is protected from someone who says, “I’m going to kill you”. Its not a joke, and while not necessarily a real threat, it does reflect what the child is hearing / seeing at home.”

    You were right, of course, and I had not addressed that in my own post. But – it still does not help that the child really is still wanting that attention, even from the kid who made such a stupid threat. It really saddens me to read of this type of pain. Children go through so much, as it is, even under the best of circumstances.

    #809412
    mommamia22
    Participant

    It helps to hear from all of you. Bpt, your story relieves me to hear that despite this, you turned out ok.

    My child’s rejection is my rejection. His pain is my pain. I made it through school with many friends, despite my own insecurities. This, however, brings out all those insecurities, and has caused me to fear calling other mothers for play dates, for this very reason. This parent is not the first/only one to reject my child, and the more it happens, the more fearful I become of calling people.

    #809413
    bpt
    Participant

    The thing to remember is, that no matter how hard you try, there will always be some people that do not appreciate what you have to offer.

    On the other hand, there are ALWAYS people out there who will value your friendship and accept you as you are.

    Focus on the latter, and have pity on the former.

    #809414
    bpt
    Participant

    And as far as me “turning out ok”, believe me, in real life, I do not have many of the “things” (lux cars, fancy clothes, movie star looks, ect) that the hype makes you believe that without, you are nothing.

    What I do have, is a positive attitude. And that is something each of us can attain, with just a little bit of effort.

    And AYC, if you are reading this thread, I appreciate the vote of confidence you gave me on two other posts. Thank you. The gains I’ve made were hard earned, but worth every minute and every effort. Know why? Because now I know how to empathize / sympathize with others.

    A short while ago, I faced a real monster of a crisis, and BH, I made it thru. How? Syata D’shmaya and a positive outlook. You need both.

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