15 answers

Dilemma with Another Child with GREAT Parents

I'm just not sure how to go about this problem

To make a long story short, I met this WONDERFUL woman who takes care of her grandson. Her grandson has numberous issues like a heart defect, severe ADHD, and speech issues.

This woman has explained to me how her grandson has literally no friends at school and gets bullied constantly for his speech problems. Its really quite sad and I feel awful for this child and her grandmother who's heart is broken over it. This little boy has become friends with my son. Here is the issue....this boy, because of his impulse issues from the ADHD, is pretty rough with my son. There hasn't been a playdate where my son doesn't get hurt at the hands of this boy. Although the grandmother steps in and takes action, this boy cannot seem to control his impulses. After the boy acts out on my son, her feels terrible and starts to cry because he hurt my son. You can tell this boy really just cant control himself and my heart aches for him. Because this boy has NO friends, the grandmother calls me at least once a week (sometimes more) for playdates. After this last playdate, I think my son has had it. This boy pushed him against a wall and hit his head and he needed an ice pack.

My son isn't sure if he doesn't want to have playdates anymore cold turkey, but I dont think he's eager to play with him anymore either.

How to I go about this situation? I know I need to speak to the grandmother about this. I want to be sensative to her issues and I dont want to hurt her feelings. But I cant keep putting my son in these situations where he needs ice packs afterwards either.
Let me make it clear that this grandmother really does try to nip this behavior in the bud as soon as it happens and I'm happy about that.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

We have a neighbor whose son has "high functioning autism" and “echolalia”. He sounds exactly as you have described this other child. The Mom was so sad because he had NO friends and was always getting picked on at school. The Mom is super sweet too. My son who is 5 , didn't want to have play dates with him anymore because he was constantly pushing my son hard or snatching stuff out of his hands all the time. The Mom was actually the one to say that she would understand if my son just didn't want to play with hers anymore.

I suggested that from now on when we get together, we sit down and play with them instead of letting them just play alone. Next time they came over I got out my son's play table, play-doh and fnger paints and we all sat together each at opposites sides of the table. Next I got out the bubbles and sidewalk chalk. They were playing together, but separate with me right in the middle. It worked out so well my son actually had fun and was sorry to see him go. It has been smooth sailing ever since with me always in the middle. Now this boy feels like he has a friend =-)

Maybe that will work for you?

Best of luck!

12 moms found this helpful

More Answers

We have a neighbor whose son has "high functioning autism" and “echolalia”. He sounds exactly as you have described this other child. The Mom was so sad because he had NO friends and was always getting picked on at school. The Mom is super sweet too. My son who is 5 , didn't want to have play dates with him anymore because he was constantly pushing my son hard or snatching stuff out of his hands all the time. The Mom was actually the one to say that she would understand if my son just didn't want to play with hers anymore.

I suggested that from now on when we get together, we sit down and play with them instead of letting them just play alone. Next time they came over I got out my son's play table, play-doh and fnger paints and we all sat together each at opposites sides of the table. Next I got out the bubbles and sidewalk chalk. They were playing together, but separate with me right in the middle. It worked out so well my son actually had fun and was sorry to see him go. It has been smooth sailing ever since with me always in the middle. Now this boy feels like he has a friend =-)

Maybe that will work for you?

Best of luck!

12 moms found this helpful

Kudos to you for trying to help this family.

Is it possible to have playdates where they work together or side by side on things? i.e. they each build something out of legos? they each color something?

That way there is the companionship without the contact?

2 moms found this helpful

God love you. Is there a more directed activity that the boys could do together? Like a quick bite to eat or a movie? Live theatre, ice show-something lively and engaging?

2 moms found this helpful

this boy may be a candidate for medication. I know I know we live in a society too quick to medicate BUT he has no friends, he hurts kids on impulse and then cries because he feels so bad about it, Sounds like he would be a LOT happier if medication could help him. (course I dont know about his other health problems maybe its not an option)

2 moms found this helpful

I don't have a lot of advice. But I did want to encourage you and tell you that I think you have a big heart and what you do for this family is just wonderful. I feel terrible for this little boy (and your son, too!). This must be so difficult.

This is a great learning experience for you and your son. He will gain empathy and a mature sense of understanding that not many of his peers will have. You're giving him a gift with that.

All I could possibly suggest is that you ask the Grandmother for a little break and see if that helps. Find out what triggers the boy's outbursts and talk to your son about it and explain that this friend is special so there are just things we don't do around him, just like being gentle with babies... we have to be a little more sensitive with the friend (maybe? I don't know).

Anyway, just kudos to you.

1 mom found this helpful

Does this kid do this stuff when the boys are off on their own, or does it happen when adults are present? Is he more apt to get physical when he's doing activities that can get him excited, like playing ball, or video games? Or can it happen even if people are just sitting around passively watching tv? I guess, I'm wondering if there seems to be a trigger for this behavior.

If you can pinpoint a trigger, you might be able to salvage a simplified relationship with them (if you're son is up for it, of course!) by suggesting to limit visits to structured activities that work well with this kids temperament. So maybe, once a week or every two weeks the four of you go to a movie and have lunch, would work if the kid can handle passive, yet supervised activities like that.

Or maybe you could go to the zoo or park for an hour or two as a group if he can handle that kind of stimulus.

I suspect he's probably not a good candidate for unsupervised play, where they can get into expected rough housing or running, and physical activities like playing catch or something.

But maybe, if he is invited to very structured activities or get togethers that can be paired down to about an hour and a half or so, he might be more tolerable, and the relationship can be saved.

However, with that said, if you're son isn't up for the challenge, I wouldn't push it. That's a lot to ask of him. The friendship and the effort behind it should be genuine for everyone's sake.

I just think, if this behavior is the only thing that is making your son not want to visit, but he otherwise thinks this kid is great, this might be a good opportunity to learn how to deal with differences. Afterall, any friendship has it's limitations. People learn to adapt with different people and situations.

If you feel your son isn't in serious danger (because the kid is unreasonably violent or something) and there can be some compromise, it might be worth at least one more try with a plan behind it to see how it goes before throwing in the towel. Talk with your son and see what he honestly thinks, and if he's game, then see what Grandma thinks and take it from there.

If your son is up for it, maybe get a couple of books about ADHD aimed at young readers. He will understand better why his buddy is this way...and might learn ways to communicate better with him too.

Just food for thought.

1 mom found this helpful

Explain to her the situation and ask her what the Adhd game plan is so you can help provide activities that his therepists may be pushing and say that your kiddo wants a break for a week that last one kind of shook him up but he still wants to be friends with him. If she says no therepist then she may not actually be adressing the Adhd from all angles. We are working on getting someone to do therepy with my son he is 4 and aparently no one wants to do anything with a 4yr old but medicate them and my son is NOT going on blood pressure meds and antipshycotics (sp). I think the best thing is to talk to her and understand that feelings might be hurt but it is better than your son being hurt all of the time. My son NEEDS wrestle time and that may be something her grandson needs but does not get b/c gma is not someone you can wrestle with ... maybe this is something your husband can help with?

1 mom found this helpful

I am sorry for both children. I think talking to the grandmother and telling her the truth is the best way to go. I would not want my son to keep getting hurt either. You probably lasted longer than I would have. If it were me, I would tell her the truth and I would tell her we will have to put off the play dates until he is under control. That my son is getting hurt and he doesn't want to be hurt anymore. I mean really what else can you say . Maybe in the future when he has control of his impulses they can try to be friends again.

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