Today, The Boy did something wrong. He scolded a 4-yr-old boy when he should not have. The child's mother
The Boy was very upset by this but did as I asked and went to apologize. Just a few minutes later, he returned (in tears) to tell me the woman ran him out of her yard and would not even give him the opportunity to apologize. (Actually, The Girl came to tell me this but The Boy came home and told me as well.)
At this point, I'd had enough. I was at a good stopping point at work so I decided to confront the neighbor about her not allowing The Boy to apologize. The neighbor denied running The Boy off and instead, brought up her claim that he was swinging a wiffleball bat maliciously around other children. She claimed it has happened multiple times in the past and this was the last straw for her. I told her I was extremely upset to suddenly learn this was an ongoing occurrence since this was the very first I'd heard of it...she agreed she should have spoken to me sooner. (I maintain she could not have because this has not ever happened before but it was not worth arguing.) I explained I was not there to witness the alleged wiffleball bat incident and refused to take sides (although she constantly accused me of taking "a 9-yr-old's side over hers" - um...hello!! That 9-yr-old is, in fact, a 10-yr-old and, incidentally, MY SON! What did she think I was going to do?!). Her 6-yr-old son was now there and having his own little tantrum. (I should mention here - and not to be rude but to be honest - that her son is extremely prone to hysterics and often overreacts to...um...EVERYTHING.) I was not interested in this argument and tried to make that clear but she was very intent on keeping it up.
Finally, I told the woman that the reason I'd come over was not to debate the wiffleball bat incident; I did not believe my son was wrong in that case. I came over because I was extremely disappointed that she was not willing to allow him to apologize for his wrongdoing in scolding her child. She finally let him apologize but by then, the apology was half-hearted, as was the "acceptance" thereof.
I am trying my best to raise a MAN...not just a male child. A man does what is right and admits it when he is wrong. Unfortunately for The Boy, his apology fell on deaf ears. I only hope the lesson was not lost on him.
I would also like to point out that I am NOT one of those parents who believes her child is incapable of doing wrong. I live with these guys and know exactly what they are capable of! I have told each of their teachers since they first started school that I would not doubt anything they told me the kids did at school! If anything, I am a bit too hard on my children because I sometimes am to willing to believe the worst about them. This is not one of those instances. I know The Boy was not being in any way malicious and that the neighbor has serious issues she needs to work out!