Here’s my dilemma.  Again it revolves around parenting.  Number two son has a Facebook account.  He chats with relatives and friends, puts up pictures and checks on people he knows.  He’s Facebook friends with a girl we’ll call Ellie.  Ellie is a couple years younger than my son.  She’s adorable.  She has long brown hair and big brown eyes, dark eyelashes and rosy cheeks.

She’s the kind of kids that when she runs up to a teacher or coach with a question, they smile at her as she’s approaching them.  People are grateful to her just for being in the room.  She gets a little extra slack in most situations because she is just so dang cute.  I think being cute has gotten her a pass on bad behavior in the past.

A while back she was cyber harassing my son Jasper on his Facebook page.  She was writing  insults and obscenities on his profile page.  He was getting upset about it, and so was I.  He had asked her to stop, and she didn’t, so I decided to send the girl an email to let her know that I could see what she had written,  and so could everyone else, and that I wanted her to stop doing it.  I didn’t want to get her into trouble, I just wanted to enlighten her.

I wrote a short email that said (more or less) “Ellie, you are a lovely girl, but when you write things like what you’ve been writing on  Jasper’s wall, it makes you seem ugly.  Please stop doing it.  Jasper’s grandmas and grandpas are on Facebook and they can see those things you wrote.  If you have some problem with Jasper and you can’t work it out, you can talk to a teacher or talk to me and I will try to help”

She sent me a nice email  apologizing and saying she felt really bad,  it wouldn’t happen again,  she’d apologize to Jasper in school.   I sent her one back saying not to worry, everyone makes mistakes, that she didn’t have to talk to Jasper because he didn’t know I was emailing her.  She sent me another one back saying she was really, really sorry and she was friends with Jasper and they were just messing around, but they’re all cool now.   I sent one back saying great, she didn’t have to keep apologizing about it.  She sent me another saying things were totally cool with her and Jasper…. I stopped returning the emails.

Now she’s telling him his mom is creepy and won’t stop emailing her.  She’s so sweet faced, and really well liked in school.  I doubt anyone knows about her ugly side, but I think mean is mean, even when it comes from a petite, pretty girl.  What should I have done differently?  I don’t want to let kids bully my kid, but I don’t want to make him look like a mama’s boy, either.


8 thoughts on “Dilemma

  1. Talk to Jasper about it, give him your advise, and let him choose how to follow up with it.

    Some of the first steps to becoming a (successful) independent MAN are learning how to deal with difficult situations. Knowing where to go for advise – knowing who to talk to, and who to trust – and learning how to conduct yourself with “adversarial” or “difficult” situations/people.

    He’s a caring and sensitive kid… He will do just fine!

    And (if all else fails) – pour grass killer on the family’s front lawn under the cover of the darkness of a moonless night!!

    (Well, ok… Save that one for only the most EXTREME circumstances!!)

  2. Co-Worker of Father of Five says:

    Ahhh, a teachable moment! Hug you son and tell him how happy you are and when he is older, how grateful he will feel when realizing that not dating -and ultimately marrying Miss schizoprenic emailer cookoo bananas – was the best thing to happen to him. Just ignore Tara, or whatever her name is, and it will go away. (Not Scarlett O’hara’s Tara, but Treatment and Research Advancements Association for Personality Disorder)

  3. You know, I disagree with both of you.

    While it is an almost daily conversation around here that one of the things you learn in school is how to deal with difficult people (adults and kids), I do put my foot down when it comes to certain behavior from kids. When this little girl said (in a more or less public forum) that my son sucks dick, and when she wouldn’t stop after he asked, I felt duty-bound to ask her myself.

    I think children who misbehave in public are all too used to adults looking the other way without calling them on it. I think it’s bad policy, and it teaches kids they won’t be held accountable. Later on, those same adults will say, “what the hell is wrong with kids these days?”

    And Co-worker, are you really saying that when my son is unable to handle another kid, that I hug him and say I’m happy for him? or for me? I’m trying to picture this… It doesn’t seem like good parenting, it seems like radio talk-show parenting.

    She’s not good for him in any way. She’s just a loose cannon kid. And what in god’s name does marrying this little delinquent have to do with it? She’s a bully and a foul-mouthed one. I’ve always taught my kids to try to handle things on their own, then to try to ignore the situation, but when they feel overwhelmed, to come to us for help and advice.

    Don’t you guys remember how hard it is to ignore really popular but mean kids? I do. Ignoring them didn’t make them go away.

    And lastly, If my child EVER does something like this, I sincerely hope that some adult will call him on it and maybe even let me know, so I can impose the appropriate sanctions here at home.
    Oops did i go on a rant?

  4. emily says:

    lisa, i agree with every word of your rant and every nuance of your actions. if telling someone — anyone — to quit bullying your child makes said child a “mama’s boy”, then i wish there were more mama’s boys in the world.

    seems to me, “ellie” is trying to shift her discomfort (at being revealed for who she really is) onto you (for having the temerity to tell her her soul is showing). does jasper know the truth of the situation?

  5. Yikes…. Looks like I was put in my place… (again)

    Well, (and maybe this is where things are different) as a male, I would not be emailing this young lady myself. If it got to the point where I felt intervention was necessary (i.e. kids tried to handle this and was unsuccessful) – I would print out the whole mess, take the print-outs to this gal’s parents, and ask for help intervening..

    Being the huge, giant clumsy fat kid in school, you can bet I dealt with my share (and them some) of the popular but mean kids… You know many of them… I (personally) chose to ignore it, or to deal with it through making fun of myself.

    Healthy? Not sure. Yet, it worked out for me. The same mean kids that I struggled to ignore or say out of their radar, are the same people that I enjoy talking and catching up with now…

    Upon further reflection, I do agree with you on…

    “If my child EVER does something like this, I sincerely hope that some adult will call him on it and maybe even let me know, so I can impose the appropriate sanctions here at home.”

    So, I do have mixed feelings about this whole topic. It is not quite as “black and white” as I would like to make it. Once again… You become that “little voice” in my head that makes me think more than I want to.

    To answer your ORIGINAL question.. (what would I do) – If your son has tried to solve this, and it did not work out.. I say intervene… but with her parent(s) help – although never expect too much from other parents… if you do you may be disappointed.

    BTW.. Co-worker… is just being sarcastic.

  6. Whew… I ‘m so glad co-worker is being sarcastic because i can’t tell you the number of times i had to re-write my response to that person.
    i do wonder if I should have talked to her parents. Last time I asked a parent about something (a party, you may remember the post earlier) the whole knot of kids got on his case about opening his big mouth to his mom. Lesson learned. I only talk to parents after the kids are not within earshot. And then I swear them to secrecy by letting them know what a treasure a child is who doesn’t know when not to “tell”. I love the fact that he tells me things that bother me.

    I also wonder if I could tell her I’m a witch doctor and that I have seen into her soul and am withholding my curse to give her a second chance, but that I am watching her….

    Or If I could find some other alarming story to tell her in order that she may behave all on her own….
    I could tell her i am a sit-com writer and that until I saw her nasty post I was considering her for the lead in a quirky new sit-com, but now…

  7. Co-Worker of Father of Five says:

    Thank you Dave, you are a true gentleman and thank you for defending my comment,(or me) and yes, it was tongue-in-cheek. Ask Dave, he will tell you that I agree with you 100 percent on the party / no parent at home thing. That behavior doesn’t and will not happen at our house or the house of my son’s friends. We are very fortunate that the majority of other parents we deal with have the same moral / social /common sense compass. Now I sound old when saying . . . “we never could or would do that because so-and-so’s Dad would discipline us and tell our Mom and Dad”. or when I would tell my Mother ” . . .so-and-so grabbed us and dunked our heads in the snowbank” Mother would say, ” . . .well, whatever you did to deserve it, don’ t do it again”
    The way I see it – in my own myopic way – may be the problem isn’t the children, but the parents who still act like children and refuse, or cannot act as responsible adults and parents.
    I have told my son’s teachers and parents where he is visiting – feel free to discipline him as you would your own child.
    Not a rant, but I did bounce around quite a bit – end of a long day, what can I say?
    What goes around comes around (eventually) and there will be they day when she will have to eat her words. Ask her if she kisses her mother with that mouth?
    My vote is to go with the witch doctor thing . . . more Santeria with a mix of voodoo. Voodoo is always scary and it’s fun to type . . . lots of ohs.

  8. Mike says:

    Just passing by.Btw, you website have great content!

    Making Money $150 An Hour

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s