Dear Neighborhood Boys,

When we first moved into our new neighborhood back in December 2015, one of the first things my son asked me was ” Can I make friends?” Of course, I told him he could make friends and hopefully there would be some kids on our street.

We moved in and noticed you and your friends playing outside a few days each week. He watched y’all. He watched you sometimes play basketball outside by yourself. He had to work himself up to come over and ask you if he could play. There were days where he stood outside playing with his own ball just waiting for an invite.

I think he got tired of waiting because one day he decided he wanted to come introduce himself to you. And you were nice.

You talked to him.

You let him play ball with you.

You even asked him to join your “clash of clans” group.

I was so excited that my son walked over to you all on his own.

The first issue only came a few days later.

My son had joined your “clash of clans” game and in the area for chatting noticed some not so nice words for 11 year olds. Thankfully, my son brought it directly to my attention. We discussed it together and I explain how maybe this wasn’t an online group he needed to be apart of. He understood and deleted himself from your group. I told him he could still play outside with you boys, but I knew then to keep an eye on things. I was so thankful also that my 8 year old ( at the time) knew better than to hide it from me and continue playing the game. He knew it could cost him the game, but he also knew those words were not something he was allowed to say or read. Proud mommy moment.

The next few weeks have gone by without incident. He mostly played with only one of you. A few times with the two of you. He took his own ball outside that he bought himself with his birthday money.

He never tried to impose. He just wanted friends.

Then today, we watched y’all outside while we did some late school work. Yeah, we took the morning off to run errands. We noticed you three boys playing basketball. He asked me if he could go outside and play. Of course, I let him.

Today though, I opened a window and listened. I sat in our front room and watched.

The first thing you did was take his ball away. Why?

I saw the other two boys laugh about it. But I watched. I kept my cool.

He honestly thought you were playing with him. I could see it though. You were being mean and you thought it was funny. You all did.

Yes, all 3 of you boys are older and taller. My child does not see an issue with either one. He has friends of all ages and knows how to treat them.

Then you laugh at him for not trying the right way to get the ball from you. SORRY MY KID HAS NEVER PLAYED REAL BASKETBALL! He is not a competitive person. Nor, do we force sports on him.

I watch though. My kid is laughing. He still thinks you’re playing. Then you give the ball to the curly headed boy. Curly headed boy now you think it is ok to take his ball and tease him. Telling him to get the ball and then laughing when he doesn’t get it. I see what you’re doing.

At this moment, I am trying my best to stay out of it. I want him to make friends. Not really with y’all, but I am allowing him to figure things out. I have to let him spread his wings at some point.

But then, I hear the words.

” Make him fall!” from your mouth. EXCUSE ME?!?!?

I decide at this point that I am going to step in. You 3 had no idea I was watching and listening to what was going on.

Telling P to come inside and that he would not be playing with children like you boys made me mad and upset all in one.

Mad because he is 9 years old. He did nothing wrong. You 3 did!

Yes, you 3 are older.

Yes, you 3 play basketball.

Yes, you 3 are great little buddies.

But, instead of simple saying you don’t want to hang out with a 9 year old, or letting my 9 year old know that you would like for him not to hang out with the older kids, you bully him.

Sad now that my 9 year old was looking for friends and now can not play outside with you 3 boys. Sad that I had to sit my 9 year old down and explain that you 3 boys were not being nice and playing, no you were being bullies. Sad, that I had to tell my 9 year old that while he sits and watches from a window those aren’t the type of boys we want him to associate with. It is sad that it hasn’t even been 3 months and it has already come to staying away from the bullies on our street.

My son is the most sweetest kid ever. He will make friends with kids of any ages. He tries to be nice to everyone and keep everyone involved. Because we are homeschoolers we have friends in all ranges. And you know what? It doesn’t bother my son one bit. He just likes having friends. People to talk to and hang out with.

It is sad that you 3 boys can’t see that. Can’t see the type of kid he is. Your loss, not his, that is for sure!

 

P1

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