difficult child & his best friend...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Last school year difficult child developed a friendship with a boy his age, in our neighborhood, and who goes to the same school. They were the best of friends- both seemingly desparate for a good friend and very loyal to each other. Both seemed more responsible and trying very hard- until they got into trouble together in March. Then, the PO refused to allow difficult child to have any contact with this boy. We mothers thought they should be punished by being grounded and staying away from each for a while, too, but we were going to let them do community service together. Then, difficult child's PO wouldn't allow that either.

    About that time, the other boy started acting like he hated difficult child at school and was spreading rumors about difficult child to other kids. The rumors were untrue and made difficult child look like a hardened criminal while the other boy maintained his innocence. The other boy had already confessed to his mom that the whole incident had been his idea and she had told me. It got quite cold for a while, then the other boy started acting fickle- sometimes being friendly with difficult child at school. Since difficult child's attny plead not guilty to a felony offense, but then plead guilty once the offense was lowered to a misdemeanor, and at the sentencing, someone else had subpeonoed the other boy to testify, we thought maybe that the problem was that the other boy and his mom had assumed that difficult child was going to try to pin it all on the other boy, which was not the case. That became obvious, even to them, when they didn't actually have to testify and difficult child was held in juvy. The other boy was put on probation since he had never been in legal trouble before.

    This evening, difficult child calls the other boy's house- they haven't spoken in over a month because school is out and difficult child was in juvy. The mom answered and was all friendly with difficult child- she said the boy was at his dad's (next county over) but would be home Tues., or difficult child could try his cell phone number. She asked how difficult child was and said it was good to hear from him. Then, difficult child tried the cell phone number, the other boy answers but gave difficult child the cold shoulder. He just asked difficult child why he was calling, then told him he had to go.

    difficult child asked me why he would do that- he said it should be him (difficult child) blaming everything on the other boy if it was going to be that way because it was all the other boy's idea. I told difficult child that it was both of their faults because they both broke the law and each one needed to own up to their part and pay the consequences. It sounds to me like the other boy doesn't want to admit to himself that he made his own bad choice and got caught. The boy has done stupid things before, just like many of them do, but he has never gotten caught before. I think the other boy needs to mature a little, then perhaps he will befriend difficult child again at some point later on. If he doesn't, then I'm not so sure that he could be a good friend anyway.

    Does anyone have any other perspectives or ideas about this? I really would like to see it from other angles, too. If the other boy is really just trying to stay out of trouble, would that lead him to treat difficult child like an outcast? He should be glad- when difficult child's attny got the charge dropped from a felony to a misdemeanor, it dropped it for both boys- not just difficult child. And the other boy- if he keeps out of trouble for one year, his charge gets dropped completely. difficult child's will never get dropped because he had been in trouble before.
  2. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Your son could have caught the other boy by surprise. He thought up the idea that got them in trouble. He told lies at school about your son. Maybe he couldn't believe that your son still wanted to be friends and thought that when your son called it wasn't to renew the friendship but for negative reasons. Your son's positive attitude could have confused the other boy enough that he couldn't figure out how to respond which made him want to end the conversation as quickly as possible.

    In other words, your son may have simply threw the other boy off balance.

  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I hadn't thought of that at all, Sara. I hope that isn't the case- because to me, that would just indicate that the boy isn't worth much as a friend to begin with. I guess the truth will come out in the end. I do feel better knowing that the mom isn't against difficult child, at least now that she knows we were never trying to pin everything on her son.
  4. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I see it another way.... if my scenario is right. Now that the boy knows your son still wants to be friends, next time your son calls, things should go better.

    You know how the mother feels. What do you know about the father's attitude?
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well, the parents are divorced- his dad lives in a county next to ours, but the boy sees him a couple of days every week or so. I have no idea how the dad feels. According to difficult child, the boy (thank you) says he likes going to his da's sometimes because he has friends in that area and sometimes, I guess, he just wants a break from home- but, the dad apparently is an alcoholic and has called the mom repetively in the middle of the night before, drunk, telling her that she needs to come and get the boy because he can't drive. I hear that the boy is depressed and embarressed about these incidences (understandably so). The mom is remarried and they have a little girl together. She seems (the mom) pretty reasonable but maybe one watt short of a light bulb. (When the boys were arrested in March and we were waiting for them to get released from the jail where they were being fingerprinted, she asked her husband if "do you think this means thank you might have to go to court".

    Anyway, she seems nice- a little biased towards her son, as I guess most of us are. But, she is the one who had her son's attny asked for community service because she wanted her son to learn a lesson. So, I don't want to imply that she doesn't discipline her son- she does.

    And, I have always thought highly of thank you. But he has done a couple of things pertaining to difficult child that made me raise an eyebrow. He really seemed to be difficult child's best friend and value that. But, when his headphones went missing out of his bedroom, he automatically started telling kids at school and on the bus that difficult child stole them. difficult child was heartbroken and swore he didn't do it. difficult child was so upset that I called thank you's mom to see what story she had heard. As it turns out, she told me she had been the one to take the headphones from thank you's room and thank you must have ASSUMED that difficult child did it. She spoke with thank you and all was resolved. but, you know, thank you had already been telling people that difficult child had done it and difficult child's (and mine) feelings were already hurt.

    As far as the current situation- I have told difficult child that I don't think he should call again. I think thank you needs to work some things out for himself and it is thank you's place to make a move now. (I don't want difficult child to keep going back to get his feelings hurt or to re-establish a friendship with someone who can't move past this.) It is one thing if the boy is going thru his own "growing up" processes, but it's another if he just sees difficult child as a stepping stone who is there only at thank you's convenience, Know what I mean??

    Oddly, I have my feelings hurt over this , too. I guess because it took so much before I accepted thank you as an acceptable friend for difficult child while he was on probation and I really had a lot of faith in thank you's efforts to be a good, reponsible kid. thank you has been to our house many times and difficult child has been to thank you's house many times. (They are 4 blocks away) I never expected thank you to be perfect- but I am hurt that he has blown my son off and seems to be acting like he thinks he is better than difficult child. Yes, difficult child started a brush fire last year and got arrested for it. thank you flew paper airplanes that were on fire out of his window - but since they never started a fire, he never got caught. It is things like that- thank you (and his mom) knows that it isn't a situation where thank you has never done these things. thank you has never gotten caught up in it. And it isn't difficult child's fault that thank you got caught up into this. A neighbor saw them BOTH and called the cops.
  6. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    Could difficult child's friend be embarrassed or upset about what they did or that they got in trouble? Seeing or talking to difficult child may remind him of the trouble they got into and all that has followed. It could be easier for him to not be around your difficult child because then he won't be reminded of what they did or the real unpleasantness of being involved in the system.

    Something similar happened with my easy child recently. He got in trouble with his "girlfriend" at her house. Two weeks later, he broke up with her. He said he just kept remembering how they had gotten in trouble, he was embarrassed and didn't want to have to face her parents again, and he just wanted to forget about it. He said she felt the same way. They were good friends before and now they barely talk to each other.
  7. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    My son had a friend who sounds something like that. My son wasn't the most popular kid at school but the other boy had almost no friends. He was just seen as a tad odd. He had two considerably older siblings and was involved in sports to the point that they took up most of his time so most of his time was spent with adults. He was just socially awkward with kids his own age. He and my son shared a big interest in sports and played on a number of teams together. They also hung out together a lot, playing one-on-one variations of their favorite sports. But every single time the other boy thought dissing my son at school or to what he thought of as the in-crowd, he wouldn't hesitate a second. He'd throw my son under the bus for a bit of attention from a group of older jocks at the school or whomever my son might be feuding with at the moment. The only person who ever called that boy -- or responded when he called -- was my son. They'd spend hours playing some version of hockey they invented. From time to time my son still mentions how he liked playing those one-on-one games with that kid more than anything else...except maybe long bike trips. And yet he kid say anything about my son -- true or not -- to try to curry the favor of a group who never gave him the time of day.

    I wonder if your son's friend is like my son's friend.

    (Oddly, last we heard the boy had agoraphobia too.)
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Yes, I think thank you is embarressed. I think this has ruined his image as the good kid- unless he can convince others that it was all difficult child's fault or that he wouldn't have done what he did if he hadn't been hanging around difficult child. All that would be true if it hadn't been thank you that instigated it all. And, I can only expect so much maturity from a 13-14 yo boy. But, thank you and his mom and difficult child and I know that thank you instigated the situation this past March. So, embarressed or not, thank you needs to accept responsibility for his choices.

    difficult child said later tonight that maybe thank you is mad because he is still doing community service and difficult child is not. difficult child had time in juvy ordered in lieu of community service- and difficult child will never have his record clear. I just hope that thank you quits blaming difficult child (if that is what he is doing) and quits hurting difficult child's feelings- if thank you doesn't want to be difficult child's friend anymore, difficult child will move on. Hopefully, thank you's mom will talk to him and help him handle this in a more mature way. I guess I had forgotten how hard these middle-school age years could be.
  9. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    My son and another boy got into some trouble together and police came. For over a year the other boy had spent almost all nonschool hours at our house, and sleeping overnite. The trouble they got into, I was going to handle discipline of them on my own, but police had their own idea and required the boys not see each other at all or speak at all. Our police has their own way to handle juvies, and they do not go to court at first. They get a "sentence" and according to states attorney, it IS binding, without a trial....but if the kids have any infraction it is automatic reinstated charges with finding of guilty, and resulting in harsh consequences? So, if the boys DID see or speak to each other, they would have automatically been in far deeper trouuble. So the boys stayed apart. completely. which was dificult on both, considering the huge amounts of time around the clock the other boy had spent here. After their punishmenet was over, the other boys mom decided her son still could not see or speak to my son. Must have been weird for HER becuz she had depended on us to have her son all the time previously. Her sons father and his grandparents usually picked him up here for visits and dropped him off here. Our house is on her sons way home from school- he must walk past our house every single day. We see him, he crosses the street 2 houses before he gets to our house so that he is on the other side of the street. He puts his head down and looks at the sidewalk until he is 2 houses past our house. If I see him in town at all, he will quickly turn the other way, will not acknowledge a word to me. This boy has a sister who is my PCs age, and easy child and this boys sister also had been best friends for years. This boys mom did NOT intervene in the girls relationship at all, and continued to depend on easy child to get her daughter back and forth to school everyday even after the incident, and all the way until a new driving law went into effect that suddenly prevented easy child from haveing a passenger in her car. Then that mom TRIED to convince my easy child to continue to drive her daughter anyway. At graduation ceremony at school for my easy child and that girl, the mom was there and ran into us. She let her daughter say hi to me, but then she physically herded her HS graduate and her son away from us, lest her son might cast eyes upon me or someething. BUT when I am in town and see the mother and none of the children are around, she nods acknowledgement my way.
    ALl 3 of my kids have been so sad about this whole thing. Becuz we had the boy here for years around the clock, they feel as if they lost a brother. We actually fought with the police to not keep these boys seperated, we said they were like brothers to each other, but the police said no, they would not permit contact between the 2 boys.
    We think the other boy misses all of us but his mom is just nervous, upset, angry. Even tho she is polite to us in public, - watching HIS actions we think she has come down heavy handed on her son. And this boy here is so afraid, too afraid, even now after all this time, he just cannot even glance at our house or speak to any of us at all. We think (altho we could be wrong) that the boy just feels very akward about everything, about how my son might feel, and about how our whole family might feel. How we feel is we miss him terribly. Sadly when we see him outside, he does not seem to have hooked himself up to anyone else at all, no new friend. The thing our 2 boys supposedly did, nothing got broken or damaged, most people we have spoken with cannot believe police even got involved at all. But I think that boy and his mother took it totally to heart when the police said the boys could have no contact- I clarifyed with police for how long could the boys have no contact and maybe the other mother assumed the police meant "forever"? I was so angry at police, I asked what if these 2 boys were brothers? How could no contact be if they were brothers. Police told me, well then they would have brought in CPS to forcibly seperate the boys.

    OK, um, LOL.I originally thought when I began this reply that it was more similar to your sons issue at hand, but now that I have it typed, LOL- maybe it is not as similar as I originally thought. SORRY.

    Maybe your sons friend is just nervous that if they got in trouble again, the consequences might be more than he wants to face? Maybe he has some kind of survivor guilt thing going cuz your son got punished so hard? Even when people do not blame someone else, well, often each of us can be our own harshest judge. Maybe he has judged hiimself?