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Yeah, I’m Confronting Confrontation. What are you gonna do about it!??

As I dialed the number, I felt a pit in my stomach.

I hated this.

It  was like the call I made the other day to my father’s doctor because they left him sitting in the waiting room for over two hours, and then the doctor had to make an unexplained departure before seeing him. I was angry but totally uncomfortable, and overcompensated by being too polite and eager to accept their apologies. I may even have apologized for calling. I know. I know. But just the idea of a heated discourse gives me palpitations. I have a long history of allowing people to wipe their feet on my back.

The phone rang on the other end.

I wanted to hang up. But I didn’t because this call was for my 8 year-old son.

He had complained on and off all year about a boy who seemed prone to trash talk and shoving in the school yard. I listened and kept a pink flag at half-mast. It’s hard to know what exactly is going on with 8 year-old boys when they’re not with you, and I don’t like to jump to conclusions. Until Friday.

Friday, Michael came home and said that the boy had cursed at him and punched him in the face. He told a teacher, and there had been a meeting with the boy where they supposedly hashed everything out and he apologized.

Good, but not good enough. I needed to call his parents.


I’m back in seventh grade, unable to defend myself against Debbie who just shoved me in the halls. Or, Julie who ‘accidently’ blew saw dust in my face in Home Ec, again.


Dum dum DUMMMM

Dum dum DUMMMM

The last time I made a call like this a few years back for my older son, it didn’t go very well. The parents got extremely defensive.


Maybe they’re not home. It didn’t feel right to be relieved. But I was relieved.


Gulp. Swallow. Breathe. Man up.

With my heart skipping and galloping outside of my body, I heard my own controlled nervousness as I explained what happened. I almost winced, waiting for her tone to sharpen and turn hostile, but instead, we had a conversation. A good, productive conversation.


Later, my son asked, “Did you talk to his mommy?”

“I did.” I said. “And she’s going to speak with him. You did the right thing telling the teacher and me.”

He nodded and accepted that. “I think he was sorry.”

I nodded back. “I’m sure he is. And I don’t think this will happen again. But… if he ever hits you again, baby, it’s okay for you to hit him right back.”

“Okay,” he agreed tentatively, wide-eyed. “But, I didn’t want to.”

“That’s okay too. You did exactly the right thing.”

He seemed appeased, but then looked thoughtful again. “What is it, honey?”

“Can I buy a new game on my iTouch because I did such a good job?”

I smiled. My boy is a master negotiator and manipulator, definitely more apt to use his words.

Still, I don’t want my kids to run  from confrontation. I want them to stand up for themselves.

That way, I won’t have to do it for them.


Daily Prompt fight or flight  

About Ice Scream Mama

Mama to 3 boys, wife to Mr. Baseball and daughter of a sad man. I have a double scoop every day.

59 responses »

  1. Good job, Mama. You stood up for yourself and called her and in doing that showed him he can do the same.

  2. Talking to other parents is the worst when it comes to this stuff. At least you can expect professionals to be somewhat impartial.
    You done good! Give yourself a pat on the back 🙂

  3. I haven’t had to make one of those calls yet. I’ve been close. So close. Glad it worked out and hope it stays that way.

  4. Wonderful done!
    Your children have a lot to learn from a parent like you!

  5. I would find that call very intimidating! At least they were receptive. You never know how someone will react to a call like that.

  6. Winnie Schindler

    It was a good story and never feel unsure of things you have to do when it comes to your kids, defend them to the end, then beat them up if they fool you. love them unconditionally.

    On Tue, May 28, 2013 at 6:42 AM, Icescreammama

  7. My favorite part is where you gave him permission to hit back. I think I will do that too when my kids are old enough to confront such a thing. You did good, mama. Glad the phone call was productive.

    • thanks. you never know how people will feel about that. but of course, your kid’s nature is what it is. some are naturally aggressive and other’s naturally not. i can tell him that all i want, but i don’t know if he’d do it…

  8. Love that last line, you sneak.

  9. Nice work! I’d want to know if my kid was being a bully, but sadly, most times when you follow a bully kid home there’s a bully waiting for him at the door. They’re often less than reasonable. My 9 year old daughter hasn’t had any issues, but I dread the boys going through school, especially my middle one. He’s a softie!

    • it’s not easy – and yes, it’s seems a lot of times, bully kids come from bully parents. very tough situation. none of my boys are tough like that, but i don’t want them to be anyone’s doormat. tough tough tough.

  10. This was AWESOME!! I felt like we were related since i do the same thing all the time with overcompensating rather than confront. I felt your pain hoping the answering machine would pick up when you called the parents house too.

    My son had a problem with a bully at a bbq yesterday and it just broke my heart!! thanks for sharing!!

    • thank you! i swear it’s the hardest thing. some people are naturally gifted at it, but i just apologize all over the place and hope they aren’t the kind who are good at it! the whole bully thing is so so tough. you don’t ever want to see them in that kind of position.

  11. I hate confrontation too. You did great though and I’m glad the conversation went well. I also liked the idea of giving them permission to hit back if necessary.

  12. “But, I didn’t want to.”

    I think this just says it all. You are raising some pretty awesome little men.

  13. Go, mama! I also hate confrontation and am more the apologizing type. Good for you for standing up for your son and for modeling how to handle these situations with words. I haven’t had to deal with this type of situation (yet), but I love that you gave your son a choice and that both choices would be good in your eyes. I feel so much love for you right now … great post!

    • i’m so like, so sorry to bother you with this but your kid punched my kid in face. don’t mean to trouble you but can you maybe, uh, if it’s no trouble… maybe talk to him. hahaha! i’m so pathetic. luckily she made it easy on me and was fabulous and responsive. 🙂

  14. Bravo! I love how you let your readers experience this moment. I, too, hate confrontation and I was holding my breath when the phone rang. Your son sounds like a bright, sweet kid. I’m glad this turned out well – for both of you.

  15. Go you! I can be very confrontational in some situations and not in others. It’s a good lesson to turn. Of course I’m left wanting more details about the phone call.

  16. I really enjoy reading your blog. You always entertain, inform, or something! Way to go again!

  17. I say “oh man” to myself after so many of yours and other momma posts. I dread the big kid stuff. On another note, my favorite line was the red flag at half mast!

  18. So brave! I hate that kind of confrontation. Sounds like you did a great job, and I think that you handling this in an adult way is helping teach him how to do this himself.

  19. Oh man. Those conversations are so awkward and rarely go well. You are a brave Mamma! If anyone ever hits my 7 year old, I may have you call; deal?

  20. Kids instinctively know when to ask for reward. My daughter just wrangled a trip to Cold Stone from me.

  21. I think its so hard because you are stepping into a potential snake pit. You never know how you will be received so all that anticipation adds to the anxiety. You did a great job though and now your kiddo knows he can to.That one move went a very long way.

  22. You had me right there with you, I actually started to feel the butterflies in my own stomach as you dialed the phone. I often think parenthood is like this time machine for me and anything that I didn’t completely handle well as a kid seems to come back and bite me in the backside as I now have to deal with it again, only this time for my kids. So happy you and the other mom were able to handle it so well, for both of your kids!!

  23. Such a tough situation! My 8 year old boy sounds a lot like yours. He’s got a major bully in his class. Ever since kinder this kid has bullied my son and all of the other kids in the class. He’s constantly getting punished for his behavior and I’ve always let the teachers deal w/ him and have never called his parents. One day, my son got fed up because the kid was tugging on him and pulling at him so he pushed him away and the boy ended up falling. His parents were in the office that afternoon demanding that my son get suspended for *his* behavior!
    I think that if I had been more confrontational about their son’s abuse from the beginning, they would never have been so nervy as to insist my son be punished for the one time he fought back. Lesson learned–I think sometimes being confrontational can actually keep the child and adult bullies from seeing you as a target. Good job 🙂

    • i’m so sorry that happened to your son. that is so crazy frustration!! it’s such a tough ledge to walk – you definitely don’t want your kid to be aggressive but he needs to stand up for himself, being a victim is worse. i’m glad he finally pushed him… unless of course, it was down the stairs. 😉

  24. I’m sure I would be all swagger saying, “Let me give them a piece of my mind!” and then completely clam up on the phone. I’m glad that the call went so well.

  25. I have been there so many times but I’m the erratic parent. I try not to be but in my cases the other children have just had a slap on the wrist while my kids have continued to get bullied. I’ve even had to report the teachers before as well. This is not to say that I nit-pick at everything its just that when my kids tell me something is wrong, there is something wrong and apparently the steps put into place have not been the right ones – for either child involved. But I love that your little one did not want to hit back. Good mom. I could learn from you 🙂

  26. Uggg – it’s so hard to make those kind of phone calls. Excellent job by you, and excellent job by your son for speaking up. This is a great post – I hate confrontation, too, but I’m getting better at it. Reading stories like this are hugely encouraging!

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  31. Pulls at your heart strings, it does!


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