A mom of a girl in my 6-year-old daughter, Fizzy’s, class messaged me on Facebook asking me to please talk to Fizzy about her bad behavior with her daughter, Bubbles. Bubbles is no stranger to trouble and they do get in trouble together. I just didn’t know how to respond. Of course I talk to Fizzy whenever she gets in trouble. And is Facebook the place for this?
No, facebook is not the place for this and neither is email. Discussing our children’s behavior is best done in person so that details can be clarified and facial expression can be interpreted. It may be that Bubble’s mother was embarrassed and didn’t want to confront you, but in this case she is in the wrong.
You have some options:
1) Write her back on facebook asking for an in-person meeting to discuss how you both can help your daughters make better choices. This is probably the “adult” response, but probably not the most satisfying.
2) Expose her daughter’s behavior on facebook complaining in public how Bubbles is leading your Fizzy astray and how Fizzy’s reputation is being shredded by the association. Have your lawyer ready if you choose this option, it could turn ugly.
3) Ignore the whole thing, it will eventually go away. Pretending it didn’t happen is my response of choice. Not perhaps the most proactive option but I’m lazy so it suits my temperament. Lots of times things just go away and once the facebook message was sent there’s a *50/50 chance that Bubbles’s mom vented and then forgot about it.
4) Have a showdown in the school hallway. Wait until the waiting parents pack the waiting area and then call her out from across the room. Have a shooting match in front of all your peers. Get a little nasty but stay short of actionable comments. You’ll find that no one messes with your children again. In fact you’ll find that no one associates with you on anything at all.
5) Pull Fizzy from her school. It sounds like a dud. Children should be encouraged to get into a little trouble, otherwise their lives will be bone achingly dull. Enroll her in a different school. Complain madly about the previous school. Make friends with the mother of the biggest goody-goody in the school and hope that the little darling rubs off on Fizzy before her mother starts messaging you on facebook.
Good luck and remember, which ever option you choose to take, Fizzy is fabulous and should be encourage to grab life by the horns.
* Not based on any scientific evidence. In fact I just made the number up. That doesn’t mean it isn’t valid.