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Advice for keeping the peace with son's best friends parents?

Old 11-02-2005, 01:39 PM
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Default Advice for keeping the peace with son's best friends parents?

My wife and I do a nice job ( I think) in raising our 5, 9, and almost 12 year olds. They are involved in sports, music lessons (trombone piano guitar violin), scouts, among other activities. Here is the situation:

My almost-12 year old son's best friend's mom came over to my wife a little while ago, to return a CD my son left there 2 nights ago. It was a Nirvana CD, which has a song there with a questionable title (RAPE ME). She told my wife, "I don't want to pass judgement on your family and how you raise your kids, but we seriously don't allow this stuff in our house, and advise you do the same. They are only boys. We need to keep it innocent and sweet." My wife didn't know what to say , so she just kind of said ok with a look on her face and closed the door. They spoke again on the phone about 15 minutes after that, both civilly biting their lips.....

Their son is wild. But he is a good kid and a good friend of my son's. I take these guys to baseball and football practice all the time, and have coached them for years. They both are very interested in girls, rock music, and probably a bunch of other things that normal boys are interested in at that age. I don't think my son listning to that music is a big deal.... and don't think I could stop what he and his friends listen to, just as my parents couldn't stop me. But we are very hands on parents... open to talk about anything, and very clearly explain things... the birds and the bees... right and wrong....

My wife is angry. She says she doesn't want our son to play with their son anymore, because, "darn I am not going to have Dan Quayle's wife tell me how to raise my son, especially when her son is the wild one!!!"

I am chuckling at all this, and don't want my son to not play with his best friend anymore. And I want to calm my wife down too. And make nice with the friend's mom. Ok, how to do all this? Suggestions?
;?
Old 11-02-2005, 02:15 PM
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Default RE: Advice for keeping the peace with son's best friends parents?

Interesting...
My wife worries the same about our daughter etc.. I tell her "The values that you and i instill in her(our daughter) will be with her forever" She will know right from wrong .good or bad etc. Your son will know the same regarding the music etc. Your hands on open approach with the family is the right thing to do Its possible that your sons friends mom knows how her son is and that particular song title could possibly ellicit a reaction out of him. Parents try to justify themselves to other people when it comes to the raising or discipline of thier own.. I say your wife should be the bigger person and not say anything. She knows what to do.. As far as your son and friends.. Let them be friends..
Old 11-02-2005, 02:29 PM
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Default Re: Advice for keeping the peace with son's best friends parents?

give it a little time and everyone should calm down a little......the neighbor has no right to tell either of you how to raise your own child, but it's fine that she doesn't want that in her house.....other than that she needs to mind her own business. I don't know that not letting him play w/ his best friend is such a great idea.......I think he will harbor a lot of resentment if that happens. Anyway......you and your wife do what you think is best for your children.....they belong to you and you know them best. Good luck with it.
Old 11-02-2005, 02:32 PM
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Default Re: Advice for keeping the peace with son's best friends parents?

I would suggest that no matter what you do, do not forbid your kids from playing/hanging out with their friends. Unless of course those friends are terrible influences, which does not appear to be the case in this situation. Let what their friend's parents say go in one ear and out the other. Life is too short to worry about what the neighbors are thinking or saying.
Old 11-02-2005, 03:06 PM
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Default Re: Advice for keeping the peace with son's best friends parents?

You let them listen to Nirvana???? Man, don't you know Pearl Jam is so much better? Just kidding. Jack is 11months old and I am all ears for this thread.

--JK
Old 11-02-2005, 03:13 PM
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Default Re: Advice for keeping the peace with son's best friends parents?

1) Treat them like you would any other ignorant person, smile politely and ignore almost everything they say.
2) I do think your neighbor has the right to prohibit this material in her home so a frank discussion with your son is probably in order.
3) Calm your wife down by explaining to her how she is the far better parent than the neighbor, because you and she choose to instill a proper set of ethics in your children rather than sheltering them.
(The last one may be the hardest)
Old 11-02-2005, 03:24 PM
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Default RE: Advice for keeping the peace with son's best friends parents?

She cannot and will not prohibit her son from listening to certain music. If they don't permit it at home that's fine and I understand, but that will make a kid want it more and they'll listen outside the home. Kids naturally rebel against their parents at some point. If the song has lyrics like that, and you find it, just explain right from wrong as you already do. Your kids will be well adjusted. Hers on the other hand????

Let the kids play, keep biting your lips. You're doing the right thing.
Old 11-02-2005, 03:28 PM
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Default Re: Advice for keeping the peace with son's best friends parents?

She told my wife, "I don't want to pass judgement on your family and how you raise your kids, but we seriously don't allow this stuff in our house, and advise you do the same. They are only boys. We need to keep it innocent and sweet."


Your neighbor has already passed judgement. "Advise you to do the same"? Thats not giving advice. To me, It comes across as, "you better".
12 Year old boys, innocent and sweet? That lady better get into 2005 and not 1955.

In my opinion, the more you try to hide the real world from testerone laden young lads, the more problems you will have to deal with. Try to hide the truth from them and they will find out things on their own and it usually is in the wrong perspective. Too many parents today are under the impression that movies and song lyrics cause kids to go bad. Bull$hitt. Kids go bad because the parents dont spend enough time with them to teach them about reality and /or, ther is a psychological problem that the parents refuse to address/accept and deal with through the proper channels.

You describe the lad next door as wild. That is a common reaction to someone his age growing up in a repressed household with what sounds like a very dominant mother. I grew up in a house like that and rebelled because of it. Helped quite a bit when I went into law enforcement and had to deal with similar family situations over the years.

Don't bar your son from seeing his friend. Don't try to make nice nice with the neighbor. Wave, say hi, good morning, leave it at that. If it was a Lt. or Capt. in the service or the PD and they said "I advise you"...... I accepted it and understood it. From a neighbor? I don"t think so. My opinion, you asked.

ron

Old 11-02-2005, 03:31 PM
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Default Re: Advice for keeping the peace with son's best friends parents?

Thanks for the support guys...

I do agree with the comment that I have no right to tell her how to run her family.... I'll just keep quiet. The boys are gooood friends and they are good kids! We'll just keep our mouths shut.

And I'll pour my wife some Santa Margherita tonight and we'll play some Osmonds and Perry Como

Edit: and one more thing... I taught my son how to play guitar... and he listens to Tom Petty, Bruce, Hermans Hermits, Eagles, Zep, Wallflowers, Nirvana, Green Day (all 12 year olds do now...he got me into them too), Brian Setzer, Chris Isaak, Foo FIghters, ..... IE his tastes span everything... and I like that. He does kind of smirk when Roger Daltry screams, "aww who the F$%k are you!"

Old 11-02-2005, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Advice for keeping the peace with son's best friends parents?

I have a 17 year old son, and I always seem to make the wrong choice, so I can't help you. As far as this other lady goes, I think she knows her son is wild, and "outside" influences like your kids CD are just another of her 1001 excuses why it has nothing to do with her.



Hmmmm,

Green Day huh? Not in my house either.
Old 11-02-2005, 04:11 PM
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Default Re: Advice for keeping the peace with son's best friends parents?

You could tell her..."Appreciate your concern
You'll always stink and burn".........After all those are the lyrics in that song. However I agree let it slide....Kids will find a way and figure it out. I think its great that you let him listen to the old stuff. Having older and younger brothers gave me the best for music appreciation!

Old 11-02-2005, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: Advice for keeping the peace with son's best friends parents?

dwg2116 - 11/2/2005 4:02 PM



IAs far as this other lady goes, I think she knows her son is wild, and "outside" influences like your kids CD are just another of her 1001 excuses why it has nothing to do with her.
Absolutely right.

When you meet people like this, you have to decide if you will let them drag you down to their level.

Besides, this is a chance to set a good example to your own kids, who know the neighbor is a fool, and will learn from you how to handle situations like this.

Tom O
Old 11-02-2005, 06:33 PM
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Default Re: Advice for keeping the peace with son's best friends parents?

NormandyBeach - 11/2/2005 4:31 PM

we'll play some Osmonds and Perry Como
that's worse than Nirvana
Old 11-02-2005, 06:51 PM
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Default Re: Advice for keeping the peace with son's best friends parents?

How old is this woman?

I ask because I am almost 41 and listened to Nirvana. That song is hard to understand, as most of his music was. Here are the lyrics in question

Rape me
Rape me, my friend
Rape me
Rape me, again

I'm not the only one[4x]

Hate me
Do it and do it again
Waste me
Rape me, my friend

I'm not the only one [4x]

My favorite inside source
I'll kiss your open sores
Appreciate your concern
You'll always stink and burn

Rape me
Rape me, my friend
Rape me
Rape me, again

I'm not the only one [4x]

Rape me! [17x]

I do not believe he is actually talking about rape, but more metaphorically.

I suppose if they were friends (your wife) then they need to sit down and talk things over. The two relationships (boys) should be separate from anything else. There is worse music out there that Kurt Cobain. RIP
Old 11-02-2005, 06:59 PM
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Default Re: Advice for keeping the peace with son's best friends parents?

I bet your son's best friend mother is a republican. Be cool its just a joke.
Old 11-02-2005, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: Advice for keeping the peace with son's best friends parents?

The wise thing to do ( your son's friends mother) was for her to give the CD back to your son and tell him that she doesn't approve of those types of music in their house. End of story. The fact that she didn't she ended up loosing some sense of trust from your son. I wouldn't loose sleep over it,after all she did return something that wasn't her's!
Old 11-02-2005, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: Advice for keeping the peace with son's best friends parents?

Me personally, I sooner confront the issues, deal with them, then pick up the pieces. I’d sooner know the bridge is not safe to travel then to cross it and worry about it.

Regardless of the outcome I’d have a discussion with my son as a follow up. Remember you can not gain respect if you don’t give it - build trust and respect don’t tear it down.
Old 11-02-2005, 11:40 PM
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Default RE: Advice for keeping the peace with son's best friends parents?

Slippery slope here! ;?

Maybe the kid's Mom thought it would be better to discuss it with your WIFE, rather than your son? Your neighbor telling a 12-year old it's "not allowed" might not get the real message across in a way your son might understand, and he may just end up mad at his best friend's Mom - and, ultimately, his best friend? I don't think it was wrong to say something, then your wife (and/or you) could explain it better - in YOUR OWN terms - to your son?

TELL your son WHY the friend's Mom was "concerned", and let him know that some people object to some "things" more than others.

I honestly think a BIG part of the immorality of some of today's youth is CAUSED by the music lyrics - "kill this", "kill that", "F this", "F that", belittling women, etc. - it's NOT a "good thing", and NOT in the best interest of ANYONE! The sleeze that makes and/or sells this CRAP is partially to blame - the parents that ALLOW it in their kids ears are also partially to blame! The "parental advisory" is there for a reason, but most folks don't bother to check out what their kids are listening to! ;?

Yep, I went through the same stuff when my kids were growing up - and told them when I didn't like the music - and explained WHY. It helped, although some "undesirable" stuff always got through the cracks. Back then - 10-15 years ago - there wasn't as much profanity and disrespectful music as there is today though.

I have a few CD's myself that contain language I don't really "like" - but I bought them for the MUSIC, and ignore the lyrics. I own NO "rap" music because that's where I hear the most derogative stuff.

Take some time and sit down with the kids and tell them "WHY"!

I don't think anyone wants their kid walking around singing "rape me", whether it's the "real" meaning or metaphoric?

Regards,
Old 11-03-2005, 06:23 AM
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Default Re: Advice for keeping the peace with son's best friends parents?

I agree parents shoulder the responsibility for making sure the music they listen too is in "check" with how they want their children raised. On the other hand all we can do is guide and hope they make the best decisions. We cannot be there 24 x 7 however. There was a group called "NWA" that promoted killing cops. In this case there are levels of what is "bad" and really "bad". I do not condone rape, but if someone listens to music that talks about it, and then goes out and does it, "because the music" told me so; they have bigger underlying issues.
Old 11-03-2005, 06:47 AM
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Default Re: Advice for keeping the peace with son's best friends parents?

Boy, I am reading this, and thinking. My baby girl is 23 years old, has one of her own and is teaching school. My wife and I raised 3, 2 boys and the girl, the oldest is 28, middle boy is 26, the girl 23. Long story short, I never did figure out how to have the correct answer. Course I'll be the first to admit, that I am not the sharpest tool in the shed. Seemed to me, that everytime I got a leg up on some problem, and I would be patting myself on the back for being so smart, something else would come along to remind me just how behind the eight ball I was.

Right or wrong, let things calm down, don't do anything to escalate the "problem". And I think Bruce W's answer makes a lot of sense.

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