Some of you may remember that Bryce had a biting problem at school, right before he turned one. That issue was just one of the many issues that caused us to eventually pull our kids out of that school. Well during this time, he was pretty much biting only one of the kids in the class of four. It made sense, because this child (we’ll just call him “C”) was the same age as he was, and the other two were smaller babies. So when C would take something from Bryce or otherwise make him mad, Bryce would bite him. It happened at least once a week, if not more.
Well, apparently C’s mother held me responsible for the bites her son was getting. We would see each other occasionally in the mornings during drop offs and usually chat for a bit, but after a couple of weeks of her son getting bit by mine, she started acting like a total snot to me. It was either the day that we ended up pulling the kids out of that school, or maybe the day before, and she came in and wouldn’t even look at me. I said hello and went about signing Bryce in, etc. I had passed out invitations to Bryce’s birthday party earlier in that week and when I was leaving I told her that her daughter (who is a little older than Rylie) was more than welcome to come to the party. She was like “oh thanks, but we aren’t going to be able to make it.” OK. Whatever. I was surprised at the way she was acting, but couldn’t believe it was over her kid being bit by mine. I was hoping she was just having a bad week. Sure, I felt really bad for her little boy, but it wasn’t my fault, and obviously there was nothing I could do about it since it was happening when I wasn’t there. It wasn’t until later that day, when I was told I had to have a meeting with the district manager about Bryce’s biting because another parent had complained, that I realized she really was mad at ME over this. I just couldn’t believe it. We ended up pulling the kids out of that school and that was the end of that. (It was also the end of his biting problem, BTW.)
Last weekend we went to Rylie’s friend Ethan’s birthday party. Well Ethan still goes to that old school, and C’s older sister was at the party with her mom. Would you believe that woman acted like she didn’t even know me? She wouldn’t even look at me! When I would walk into a room, she would leave. If she saw me coming down the hallway, she would turn around. Really? It was bad enough that she was mad at me over the whole biting thing, but the fact that she was still holding a grudge six months later absolutely dumbfounded me! Over a baby biting another baby!?!?!?! Amazing.
Obviously the question in the post title doesn’t apply to this situation. I was just giving you a (very long, apparently) background on what sparked this post. It is absolutely ridiculous for C’s mother to hold me responsible for Bryce biting little C when they were babies, and I was thinking that if she acts like this when her kids are older, they probably won’t have any friends. Kids are going to be kids, and they are going to be mean to each other every now and then. Is she going to get mad at parents every time a kid picks on hers? Is she going to get mad at the parents of a boyfriend/girlfriend if her kids get dumped? Ridiculous, right? Just as ridiculous as being mad at a parent whose baby bit her baby.
But when can you hold parents responsible for the actions of their children? Sure, there are parents that totally neglect their children and don’t bother trying to teach them right from wrong, and they can definitely be blamed if their kids grow up to be juvenile delinquents. But what about parents that do their best to teach their children morals and rules, and the kids still end up that way? You can’t blame the parents. At least I don’t feel that you should.
All kids mess up at some point. It is part of life. I just hope that I can teach my children to be respectful and honest, and that they don’t stray too far from the path I would like to see them follow. I will do my best at raising them to be good people, and I hope that when they do mess up, I’m not blamed. I also hope that C is not zoned for the same school Bryce will be going to! ;-)
So what do you think? Do you hold parents responsible for the way their children act? I would love to hear your opinions on this.
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