Would you tell your friend?

@SViswan (12071)
India
May 19, 2008 2:26am CST
My neighbour goes to work and her mother-in-law is home with the kids because the kids are having school vacations. My son goes over to their house some days to play and some days the kids come over to my place. Today, my son was at their place and he called me a few minutes back to ask me permission for something. In the background I could hear my friend's older son shouting at his grandmother and speaking very rudely to her. I was shocked to say the least....because I've never heard him like this and have always seen him to be a well behaved boy. I also know that his mother will not like it (even if she doesn't get along well with the mother-in-law). I don't know if he talks to his grandmother this way regularly or if it's just this once. I'm considering if it would be right to talk to my friend about it when she gets home....or is it none of my business because the child is very polite to me?
29 people like this
76 responses
• United States
19 May 08
Maybe ask the mother in law about it and see if it's a regular thing or if he was just that day or that time rather. He might have disciplined him already and even told your friend about the incident. If it turns out he does it often then I would talk to your friend about it - esp if the mother in law has never said anything to her about it.
4 people like this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
19 May 08
The mother-in-law never tells my friend about the kids (in fact they aren't talking to each other). And I don't think the mother-in-law tries to discipline the kids. I know if it was my child, I'd want my friend to tell me and I don't think she will take it in the wrong sense if I do tell her. I'm just wondering if it's the right thing to do.
3 people like this
• United States
19 May 08
In that case then yes I would mention it to her. I do believe it is the right thing for you to do :)
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
19 May 08
I have another 4 hours before she gets home.
3 people like this
• United States
26 May 08
i would stay out of it just because if something was mentioned and his mom talk to him then he will think your kid told on him.. and you dont know the situation that was happening in the background
@SViswan (12071)
• India
26 May 08
I do and I told the mother and she was glad I told because she didn't know.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 May 08
glad it worked out then
1 person likes this
@34momma (13895)
• United States
29 Jun 08
I would say something. i think that is the problem we have with youth now days. everyone wants to mind their business when it comes to other peoples children, but i knew when i was gowning up, we didn't do have of the stupid things we wanted to do because we knew if someone saw us we would be in trouble. i would let his parents know that he is being disrespect to him grandmother. I ask my friends and people in my area to look out for my children. if they see them doing or saying something they are not suppose to they have my permission to say something to them
@SViswan (12071)
• India
25 Jul 08
I actually spoke to the boy first and he was sorry for what he did. But I did tell him I will speak to his mother...which I did. And she changed jobs to be home when the kids are so that she could be the one disciplining them (which obviously the grandmother wasn't doing)
• Philippines
27 May 08
First,I'd ask my friend if that incident happens frequently.If it does,she has to properly discipline her son and tell him to respect his elders.And she should also tell him to get respect,he also must respect others around him.
2 people like this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
6 Jun 08
I did speak to my friend and she confirmed that her son was changing. She had a talk with him and he has promised to try and change that behaviour of his....but it's tough to break a habit. I'm sure he's trying hard, though.
@lieanat (1140)
• Malaysia
26 May 08
Hi, Sviswan, I think you should tell your friend about her son behave, but do it without the boy's notice. As long as you tell the truth and justify why you do so, I think your friend will accept it. This is a crucial act to mold and build a teenage to be a polite and good person. And I don't think by telling your friends makes you a busy body person.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
6 Jun 08
He isn't a teenager yet. He's only 9. I spoke to the boy and also told his mother later. I had mentioned to the boy that I will be talking to the mother too...so he was aware. I wasn't worried about how my friend would react...it was the other family memebers I was worried about. But I took the risk anyways...because I really like the boy and wouldn't like to see him speak this way to anyone else.
1 person likes this
@MsTickle (24993)
• Australia
26 May 08
It would depend on what sort of terms I was on with the neighbour/friend. If you both agree on how kids should behave then tell her. Put it in such a way .... like, "I wasn't happy with the way what's his name was talking to his g'mother the other day. That is not the sort of thing I want my son to be listening to or in any way a part of. Did you know what's his name speaks to his g'mother like that?" I'm pretty sure your friend doesn't know about this. How old is the boy? They tend to get 2 different personalities as teens. Especially kids who have a tendency to go off the rails. They are sweet as pie to adults with influence but they torment people, young and old, whom they have power over.
2 people like this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
26 May 08
The boy is 9 and his mother and I have the same yardstick for behaviour. My friend didn't know about it till I told her (I had even spoken to the boy and his grandma before that and neither of them told her even after I told them I will be talking to her). The boy has power over the grandma because she lets him and that's the way she talks. The grandma lives with them and the mother of the child does not want her son imitating this behaviour....what she believes is that he has to learn to be respectful even when she is irritating him....we grew up that way to respect our elders. She tells him that it's not wrong to put his point of view across (even if it is the opposite of what the grandma has to say) but it should be done in the right way and not by shouting back at her.
2 people like this
• China
21 May 08
I think you should tell her about this. Maybe she thinks that is normal, maybe not. But whatever her decision is, you should tell her the thing abnormal, cause she is your friend.
2 people like this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
21 May 08
I did and she's glad I told.
1 person likes this
• India
19 May 08
well frankly u should speak to the kid abt respecting elders and teach him to behave properly...it may also be the case that ur neighbour abuses the granny and the kid might have well caught up with this habit...u may never know
2 people like this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
20 May 08
I spoke to the child after I posted this discussion. It's not the mother who talks to the granny that way. It's the granny herself who speaks that way and the child is doing the same back to her. But it still isn't right.
2 people like this
@balasri (26553)
• India
19 May 08
It is always the urge we have to correct something that we see wrong.I often do that.But Many of them don't take it light.They always think that their ego is punctured and try to pricck us back gently. They often guard their children as gems and all kids tend to misbehave at times depending on their mood including ours. So be prepared.
2 people like this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
20 May 08
My friend will appreciate it..it's the rest of the family I am worried about....they'll think I'm poking my nose where it's not necessary.
2 people like this
@mayka123 (11045)
• India
21 May 08
I think you should speak to your friend because it is not good for the children to be so rude to their grandparents. It may be that your friend is not too polite with her mother in law and the son is just imitating his mother. And make sure your kids dont pick up the same habit.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
21 May 08
The boy is imitating his grandmother not his mother. And I talked to my son too and told him he can't go to their house if this is the way his best friend talks to his grandma. I talked to my friend and WE talked to the boy and she will be handling it.
1 person likes this
@mayka123 (11045)
• India
21 May 08
Its good you talked to your friend. And there is no harm in your friends meeting them as long as he does not pick up their bad habits. I think you can make your children understand that.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
22 May 08
Yes, since we had a talk with both the boys, my son is helping him to stop talking to his grandma that way. It's not easy to stop in one day....but with a friend's help it's always easier. When my son was out of his cast after a fracture, no amount of pushing from our side was helping him to walk....but it was this boy who helped my son to start walking...and in one week...our son was running...while we had been trying for 2 weeks to get him to walk and he wasn't.
1 person likes this
@mimpi1911 (25479)
• India
19 May 08
I would have told her, no second thoughts and similarly would expect my friend to tell me if my son does anything of that kind. This might be apparently insignificant but could be the reason to greater things in future. It should be nipped in the bud, as my mom keeps telling. lol..
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
19 May 08
Yes, I know my friend might want me to tell her just as I would like to know if my son did the same thing. The only problem is that the rest of the family might think that I'm poking my nose where it's not needed and that might create a problem for my friend. The issue of the child being rude will be sidetracked and everyone would focus on why I was so bothered about 'their' child.
1 person likes this
@mimpi1911 (25479)
• India
19 May 08
SV, I am sure if she is a real friend she would take it in the right spirit. And even if she doesn't I would tell her very decently for my son as well would be at risk of imbibing things which I might not like him to.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
19 May 08
My friend will take it in the right spirit and she'll be glad I told her but the rest of the family might not. And I'm sure they'll get to know.
1 person likes this
@bellaofchaos (11549)
• United States
19 May 08
I can't make this any easier for you. I have to say that I would leave it up to the grandma I would hope that if it was my friend she would tell me but I also know that people have a funny way of getting mad when you tell them something about their family that is not good. Especially when another adult is present and should be adult enough to discipline a child for acting the way the child in question did. However, I would tell my son that if his friend is going to be this disrespectful towards his gram that I would not want him there at that time.. Becuase I would not want my child to learn that behavoir.. And if this is happening solely with the gram then I would not let my child over to play will the gram is there and say the play date would have to be at our home so that I can supervise the behavior. Maybe your sons friend will realize once you son is no longer allowed to come over becuase of the behavior demonstrated that he needs to respect his gram even though he doesn't agree .. If you know that the MIL and DIL are not speaking maybe you should suggest that they have a log of how the day went with the child. But this is only if you tell her what the child has done. That way they don't have to speak to each other they can read the actions and go from there. Sorry that I'm not much help.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
20 May 08
Actually, that was helpful. I know the boy's mother will not get mad at me if I tell her...in fact, she'd appreciate it....but I'm not sure about the rest of the family. I spoke to the boy yesterday and told him that he could always put across his opinion without having to shout at his grandmother. I also spoke to my son and he confirmed that this wasn't the first time he heard the boy speak to his grandma this way. I've told my son that he isn't allowed to go over to play anymore and that his friend can come over to our house instead (he's always very well behaved here....it's only with the grandma that I heard him talk that way...and she tends to shout too...so I'm sure that behaviour was learnt from her...but it still isn't right) I doubt if the grandma will go in for the log idea.....the boy's mother tries to communicate and give the MIL some freedom but it always backfires on her. The fact that the MIL does not discipline and lets the kids do what they want is one thing the daughter in law does not like. I'm going to talk to my friend but don't want to do it over the phone....I'll make the time this week and go over and meet her....before the husband's home and when the MIL goes for a walk.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 May 08
I hope when you talk to the mom all goes well. from the response it sounds like the MIL lives with them. Do you think that she could talk to her husband and get him to talk to his mom and see if that changes things. sometimes it helps if the child of the parent goes to them but doesn't let on that the spouse asked them to do it. It can be more effective. Especially since I have no clue to the family dynamics or why the MIL and DIL don't get along.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
23 May 08
You are right...it will be more effective if the husband talks to his mother....but the problem is he won't. He thinks it's the problem of the ladies to discipline kids and it's for them to sort out the problem with each other. One of the main reasons for the MIL and DIL not getting along is the way the MIL handles the kids. The MIL tries to cover up for the kids instead of getting them to behave and that drives the DIL crazy. She tried explaining to the MIL that she isn't doing the kids a favour by helping them not get into trouble...but the MIL doesn't say a word and does what she wants ...or speaks to others about the DIL. Anyways, I spoke to my friend and told her what happened and that I had talked to her son AND the mother-in-law about the issue...and now it's upto her on how she wants to handle it.
2 people like this
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
19 May 08
Personally, I would wait until I heard or saw something again, before discussing it with the mother, because the grandmother knows what happened so it is not something that happened behind anyone's back. However, I would be concerned about what kind of environment your own son is in when he visits there and without overtly prying, I would try to get a feel from him as to whether that was a common occurrence and what sort of person the mother-in-law is. Good luck.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
19 May 08
The child was rude to the grandmother and she will not tell my friend. My friend will not like the fact that he was rude to anyone (even though she isn't on talking terms with the mother-in-law). In fact, I did ask my son why his friend was shouting at his grandmother but my son seemed to be more interested in hearing what I had to say about the permission bit....which makes me think that the shouting is a regular thing and my son has got used to his friend shouting at his grandmother. I'm sure he would have mentioned it earlier if he felt his friend was wrong. I'll be talking to my son again when he gets back. The mother-in-law is a little wierd but I still think a 9 year old boy shouldn't be disrespectful to his grandmother...he might not agree with her choice but that has to be put across without having to shout at her.
2 people like this
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
20 May 08
Shouting does seem most inappropriate unless the grandmother is hard of hearing. I know you will make the right decision.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
20 May 08
it wasn't shouting to be heard...it was a rude way of shouting back at her when he didn't get his way.
@cupid74 (11394)
• Pakistan
19 May 08
Tough Question but you should mention it to ur friend in general talk, dont be specific as she feel that u r complaining of his son I hope u got what i want to say
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
20 May 08
Yes, I did get what you are trying to say. But she's a good friend of mine and will want me to be specific. I'm just waiting for the right time when I can go over and talk to her. She had been worried about the son's behaviour when she started work but we didn't think it would go so far in these few months.
1 person likes this
@cupid74 (11394)
• Pakistan
20 May 08
Hi SV, then u know what to do, start as causual and IF she ask u to be specific that u can quote the incident. regardless she and her mother in laws dont have good terms but i still believes elders should be respect Take care
@SViswan (12071)
• India
20 May 08
Yes, I believe that elders should be respected no matter what and I'm sure the boy's mother believes it too.
1 person likes this
@jalucia (1435)
• United States
22 May 08
I would mention it to my friend very casually, because to some extent it is their private business. I would just say to my friend "Did *child's name* have a bad day the other day. I was shocked to hear him being rude to his grandmother. He's usually such a nice boy." And, I would leave it at that. I wouldn't push the issue because you don't know all the details. If you have a relatioship with the child, you could ask him what's going on, why he got so angry.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
23 May 08
I spoke to my son first...and it wasn't just a 'bad day'. It was something that happened all the time...and that's the way he spoke to his grandma (well, she speaks the same way too). I talked to the boy after that. I also mentioned to the grandma that I had spoken to the child....but she brushed it off...and didn't find anything wrong in the behaviour. So, I spoke to the mother...and she didn't even know about the behaviour and the fact that I had spoken to either one of them. She was glad I told her because she wanted to correct the behaviour.
1 person likes this
@jalucia (1435)
• United States
23 May 08
I'd be interested to know how what the little boy had to say for himself. I was wondering why the mother would have someone watching her children that she doesn't even speak to herself. Maybe she could find an alternative for the little boy, because it's not good for him to get used to the type of relationship that he has with his grandmother.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
26 May 08
baby sitters are not common in India. The boy didn't tell me anything except that he will try to correct the behaviour. I understand him because I know how irritating the mother-in-law can be...and the boy is reacting the way she does....so can't totally blame him. But the mother expects the boy to be respectful to the grandma even when she is shouting. It's difficult for kids to hold their tongue when they are irritated....but the mother feels that it is our duty as parents to teach them that. The mother-in-law stays with them and the mother can't look at other options as long as she is staying with them.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 May 08
It is none of your business to tell. Every kid, even "well behaved" ones sometimes have a melt down. I am sure your little angel has his moments too, and when he does sometimes, you "can't believe he did that." While it is not right to speak rudely to the grandmother, you really were not there to know what truly on. Maybe grandma has things well in hand and she or the parents will punish or teach accordingly. If he does anything like that when he is at your house, then its time to say something. As long as the child is not being abused, it is not up to you to step in. You wouldn't like it if it were one of those instances where your child had a melt down and you were frustrated and a stranger came up and told you "how to raise your kid."
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
20 May 08
This isn't a melt down and I confirmed with my son...this has happened when he was there previously. And I don't think I (or even the child's mother ) will be able to excuse the behaviour as meltdown. I heard everything that went on and know exactly what happened. The grandmother isn't the best person in the world but that doesn't mean that a child can speak to them without respect.I I've spoken to the child about the behaviour and mentioned it to the grandma that I talked to the child too. I know the grandma will not tell the child's mother...so I will tell her. I'm not a stranger and if it was my child behaving this way in my absence I would want to know because I am the best person to correct my child's behaviour. The mother also knows that I will correct her child if it happens at my place...but she knows she can't trust her MIL the same way.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 May 08
If it bothers your son, then encourage your son to say something to his friend. Sometimes what a friend says means a whole lot more/has a bigger impact. saying "hey, i like your grandma, i don't understand why you talk to her that way," or "it bothers me when you are mean to your grandma." Or maybe even by being a good influence by being extra polite. You have heard of kids who get a friend who is more studious than they are and the friend "rubs off on them," etc,. Then let your son rub off on the friend. I still think if you say something to your friend unless you are intimately close, that you will be perceived as telling her "how to parent", she may stop letting your sons play together because she thinks yours is a tattle tale, etc. Or if she knows about the problem, she may get defensive or embarrassed.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
21 May 08
Well, I spoke to my son...and now the boy is trying to change and my son's helping him. I spoke to the mother-in-law...no use. And I did talk to the boy's mother too....and she is worried because though she didn't know of this particular problem, she was already worried about other aspects of his behaviour...and she was glad I told her. I don't go around telling people (even friends) how to raise their child. I tell them there's a problem and make them aware of the problem. How they handle it is their own business and they are the best people to know what works on their child.
1 person likes this
@salonga (27955)
• Philippines
20 May 08
SViswan, I believe your friend knows the behavior of her son better than you do. I believe she knows already that her boy has the tendency to misbehave at times and perhaps the mother in law has already told her so, unless she is not bothered by that wrong attitude of the boy. I also believe the mother in law is at some fault if she allows that boy to talk that way to him. The mother in law has all the reasons and obligations to tame that boy. Now regarding your concern, maybe it is better if you will ask the mother in law first if her mother already know the attitude of the boy. If she answers in the positive, then you do not have to tell your neighbor anymore because I believe the mother is already doing something about this or if she does not, then she is accountable for whatever kind of boy she is raising. If she has not told the mother, then do inform him in a way that will make her feel that you do care for the boy and not because you want to discredit the boy. God bless!
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
20 May 08
I've known this boy as a very sweet and well behaved boy. It's only a few months since the mother has started work and isn't around when the kids are. The mother-in-law doesn't tell the mother anything. So, the mother doesn't know that it is a regular thing (she does know that he has started changing...we had a talk about that). One of the mother's main concerns is that the grandmother does not discipline the child when it is needed. She turns a blind eye and doesn't correct him even when it is directed to her...and to make the matters worse, she doesn't tell my friend either. If I was in her place, I'd want to know if my son did anything like this in my absence.
1 person likes this
@salonga (27955)
• Philippines
20 May 08
Well my dear as I could see it is the mother in law who has to be blamed. The very reason why the boy has changed from a sweet one to rude is that the mother in law neglects her duty to train him the right way. That is why she is the first victim of the misbehavior of the child. But her mother could still do something. It is still not yet late though. Proverbs 22:15 says "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child but a rod of correction shall drive it away from him. And if the mother has to use the rod sos be it. I admire your concern over the child and I could sense the goodness of your heart and concern with your neighbor. You can go and follow up with her mother and advise her that She has to dicipline her child herself. If the mother in law would not do then she should do something to instill in the mind of her child what is right and what is wrong. Even if she is working she can always do it. Once she is at home she should teach her child. In Prov. 22:6 - it states, Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he shall not depart from it." The child needs to be trained, he will not know what is right and what is wrong if nobody would tell him. Advise the mother to first lead his boy to Jesus, read biblical verses about how a child should behave. Let her son memorize by heart Ephesians 6:1 "Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right." Kindly advise her also to devote time in praying for her child, that is very necessary. And one thing more the mother should pray with the child before he goes to sleep. I sincerely believe that with God's intervention the child will amend his ways. God bless!
@SViswan (12071)
• India
20 May 08
The mother cannot correct what she doesn't know. I know she will definitely correct him once she knows the situation. I don't think the mother is a very religious person...but I'm sure she'll know how to correct her child better than anyone else.
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
19 May 08
Personally I feel that it is up to the Grandmother to deal with this. The only time you should EVER get involved in things like this in terms of complaining or having a discussion with the parents is if the rudeness is directed at you personally. Families have a funny way of sticking together regardless of the truth of the matter. Maybe I am wrong but I am pretty sure that if you were to bring up something like this to the boy's mother rather then the Grandmother handling it; it has a good chance of blowing up in your face.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
19 May 08
Yes, that's what I feared....but I also know that the mother would like to know because the mother and grandmother are not on talking terms. But if I did tell, the rest of the family might focus on the fact that it's none of my business to point out their child's mistake...and that might in turn be a problem for my friend. But if I don't tell, she'll never know and will never be able to correct her child....and I don't want that because I've known the child to be a wonderful child and really like him.
2 people like this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
19 May 08
Well if the Grandmother and mother are NOT on talking terms, then it appears that the boy is pretty much copying the way he witnesses his mother deal with her own mother! I personally would definitely steer clear of this! It all sounds quite complex now!
@SViswan (12071)
• India
19 May 08
It's my friend's mother-in-law and not mother. I'm still thinking....I feel I should be considering what's good for the child than saving myself from trouble. In fact, the child is copying his grandmother's behaviour (she tends to shout too)....the mother is a firm and quiet type...and handles situations with her mother-in-law by putting her point across and leaving it at that....because most often the mother-in-law doesn't react. So, the child couldn't have learnt it from his mother. And I also feel that now the mother isn't at home, the child is being rude and getting away with it because his mother doesn't know...and he's taking advantage of that fact.
1 person likes this
@moondancer (7434)
• United States
14 Jul 08
It doesn't matter as you say that she doesn't get along much with her MIL, she is allowing her to sit with the kids. They need to show her respect. It may be that he is not because of hearing the mopther talk about her. This happens a lot, children doing things to others because of hearing another adult put them down. The child needs to respect her, afterall she is spending her time to watch and take carre of him. If he has acted this way once with her, I'm sure he does it other times. I would see about talking to the grandmother or just go ahead and talk to the boys mom. I'm sure she'd like to know that her son was disrespecting and adult. I would want to know and every mother I know would want to as well.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
25 Jul 08
I talked to the mother. Even though she doesn't get along with the MIL, she is always respectful. It is the MIL who shouts and throws a fit everytime.
• United States
25 Jul 08
Oh, it's sounds as though the MIL needs to chill a bit. But then who knows what all she's having to deal with that's causing her to be the way she is...there is usually a reason someone acts this way. She is being used to sit for the child, is she being compensated in any way. Even a dinner out once in awhile. Or getting her hair done, anything? She may feel she is being taken advandage of and the child obviously treats her badly on a regular basis. Maybe she's not allowed to disapline him. Who knows....
• United States
24 May 08
It depends on what was said. If it was Really bad and it seemed like he does this all the time, I would tell. But if it was something that was said in the heat of the moment, I wouldn't tell. But I guess you can't tell which of these statements is correct over the phone so I would tell.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
26 May 08
I actually could tell what the situation was (I heard the whole conversation) and I also asked my son if it was a one time incident and he confirmed it wasn't. So, I spoke to the boy and then his grandma and then his mother. The mother was glad I told her because the grandma hadn't.
2 people like this
• United States
27 May 08
I am glad that everything worked out.