How to deal with a friend who's overprotective of her children? Talk amongst yourselves.
My heart went out to this reader when I read this note. I too had a run-in like this when my first child was a baby, and it left me dumbfounded:
Five of us are in a mom's group, and our kiddos are about 10 months old. About three weeks ago, we were all at the park. My girlfriend’s baby put his fingers in my son’s mouth and (we can all guess what happened next) my child bit her baby's fingers – not hard, but it hurt. She swooped him up and proceeded to get more and more upset. I was a little shocked as my child was laughing as he always does; he’s a very happy, jolly kid.
Anyway, four days later, she called me and told me that she can no longer have her child around my child as he’s a danger and for the safety of her child and other children, she advised me to not make plans with the group and that we could no longer hang out. She was dissolving our friendship over finger-biting infants! How ridiculous, I thought. However, I was upset, appalled, hurt and confused, too. Aren’t they just kids? Three weeks later, the entire group still had not called me.
What do other parents do when they feel that other kids pose a danger to their child? Do overprotective moms actually keep and maintain friendships? Are their children growing up to be little cranky, whiny wimps? I am not sure. I sure wish I had a snapshot of a few years down the road. I have never had this come up in my life. My kid is not a bully; I am just shocked about the ridiculous behavior of this young, new mom.
This is a biggie, because on the one hand, we all want to keep our kids safe, which sometimes gives rise to awkward social interactions. On the other hand, this situation is extreme (the kid's only ten months old!). Anyone with experience to share?
Update: The overprotective mom in question has since called and apologized for her behavior.