Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What to Do? What to Do? - By Cara Potapshyn Meyers

I’ve been having a rather stressful past several days. And not only did I let something slide, which I shouldn’t have, but I also allowed my son to outright lie to me without calling him out on it. And now I am stuck in two extremely awkward and important predicaments.

For the third time within three months, my dog had to be admitted into the animal hospital. Thank goodness, no surgery was needed. However he was retching, vomiting and needed strong antibiotics badly, thus he needed to stay in the hospital to have them given intravenously. They ruled out certain diagnoses, however the Medical team needed to do an ultrasound on my dog on Monday to rule out anything further. This was all on Saturday.

On Sunday, my son and I had a Motherhood Later event to attend mid-afternoon at the NY Hall of Science (and we had a wonderful time!), but I was stuck with an ultra energetic child for the entire morning. I actually thought this kid was going to stick to the ceiling.

My son has a friend at school whom my husband and I do not approve of. This child has bullied my son by throwing balls at him until my son had to cower. He also coaxed my son into drawing a picture that almost had my son thrown out of the after school program both boys attend. We realize that we can’t separate the boys while they are in school, but we had put a stop to playdates outside of school because we noticed my son had been developing an “attitude” the more time he spent with this boy and was using what I call, “bathroom vocabulary,” more after he had spent time with this other child. My husband and I successfully pulled the no playdate rule off, but now it is full force.

My son wanted to go to our local park and ride his scooter with this boy the morning of the Motherhood Later event, which was in the afternoon. My husband and I had discussed allowing our son to go to the park with this boy for the whole week prior to Sunday. In my last discussion with our son, I told him that it was not a good idea. My husband, in a conversation at a different time, had told my son the same thing. I confirmed with my husband that the two boys were not to go to the park. End of story. Lesson #1: With important issues, have a family meeting where all members of the family are present to avoid the next issue I still am unsure how to deal with...lying.

On Sunday morning, my son was hounding me to call his friend’s mother to see when they could go to the park. I reiterated that we were not going to go to the park to play with his friend. Then came the lie: “But Daddy said that I could go to the park,” which I knew was a blatant lie. There were also other issues circling at that moment. Firstly, I was a nervous wreck about my dog and was awaiting a call from the Animal Hospital to get an update. Secondly, I knew at that very moment, my husband was in a boxing class at the gym and would never hear his phone ringing, so it was pointless to call to “confirm” that my husband had given him permission. Third, my son needed to get out of the house and use up some of his pent up energy. I made a rash decision. I let the lie slide and called the other boy’s Mom. I explained to her that my dog was in the hospital and that I needed to stay home because I was awaiting a call from the  hospital with an update. I asked if she minded picking my son up and bringing the boys to the park (a block away from my house), and told her that I would come get my son around noon to feed him lunch. She called around 11:30am and said the boys were hungry and asked if she could take them both to her house to feed them. I agreed simply because it was one less thing I had to do or think about. The Animal Hospital had already called and said my dog was stable but still having vomiting issues.

I finally picked up my son to go to the Motherhood Later event, and sighed in relief that the playdate was over. But the lying issue was still hanging over my head and I also opened up a can of worms by not standing my ground and saying "no" to the playdate. Now my son is going to want more playdates with this child whom I am not terribly fond of. It is a good thing that I have full days planned for my son and I the next two Sundays. But I am going to have to think long and hard (and get some knowledgeable advice) about how to go about dealing with the lying issue and trying to prevent future playdates with my son’s friend. What to do, what to do?

As an aside, my dog is home and slowly improving. Thank goodness one thing is going in the right direction! 

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Blogger Karen du Toit said...

I think you should still address the lie issue. Even if time has passed, you can still take it up with your son. Sit him down, and explain to him that you know about it, and that you won't allow it to happen again... I don't know what set of discipline measures you have, but I recommend some sort of punishment, like no tv for two hours etc. Good luck!

5:00 AM  

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