Jamie - posted on 07/17/2012 ( 7 moms have responded )
My oldest and dearest friend's oldest child is a boy 1 1/2 years older than my first child, a daughter. When we would get together, which required an over night stay at each other's houses due to living 4 hours away from one another, her son would bite, push, kick, hit, and emotionally torment my daughter. At first, I thought it was a stage he was going through, but the attacks over the years only became more cunning and vicious. Soon it went from physical attacks to include psychological attacks where for example on one occasion he whispered in her ear that he was going to take her favorite stuffed bunny away from her when nobody was looking and dismember him. Her son had problems with other kids at school and play group too.
My friend was struggling as well with all of it and would call me in tears not knowing what to do. She loves her son, but didn't want to take him to be seen by a professional. I did my best to point her in the direction of a mental healthcare provider for him, but nobody in her family would even recognize that there was a problem and she wanted to see it as him just acting like a boy and would get over it.
She came to visit for a birthday party and her son stood up while my daughter was opening presents and slugged her right in the face. That same day I walked into the room and my daughter was in the fetal position as he was getting a running start and preparing to kick her in the stomach again. I tried to talk to my friend about it and her response was that there wasn't even any blood spilled. I let her know how flawed i felt that thinking was and hoped for some resolution, but I knew what a terrible position she was in. The very next visit was at her house and in the presence of the grandmother and the boy's father he continually ran into her with large toys and such.
I went home and my husband put his foot down. He had heard enough. I felt guilty for not having protected my daughter and I began to draft a letter to my friend regarding her son that was harsh and to the point. I sent it the next day.
We talked about it and it's been about 3 years. We visit rarely and never with my children, but the damage has been done. I feel I let my daughter down and my friend and wished I had handled the entire situation differently from the beginning. I rectified the situation with my daughter, but I'm not sure if my friendship is salvageable at this point. Any ideas?