Teacher, friendship expert and founder of a social-emotional wellbeing program for kids, Dana Kerford, explains the desire of parents to become involved usually stems from good intentions.
“That love you feel for your child is raw and visceral,” she says.
“But the second you find out [your child is in pain and] the pain came from another child, that sweet, warm mother hen morphs into Mama Bear.
“What once was warmth and compassion is now anger.”
And while emotions can run strong, Ms Kerford says it is important (in the majority of cases) to try not get involved in your child’s dispute for a whole host of reasons. Here, she outlines five of them.
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Ms Kerford says that often “involving the other child’s parent is humiliating, embarrassing, and erodes trust” between the parent and child.
2. You can’t view the situation or your child objectively
As a parent, “no matter how hard you try to see things from all perspectives, you will naturally have a bias towards your own child,” Ms Kerford says.
“You not only love your child; you also have a very large sample size of their behaviour to draw conclusions.”
3. Involvement can be charged by emotions
“When we picture anything negative happening to our child, we immediately experience an innate, sometimes even physical reaction,” Ms Kerford says.
While this is normal, it isn’t always helpful, she explains.
4. Your perspective is different than your child
“What’s huge to you might be small for them or vice-versa,” she says.
While you may think it warrants interception, your child may have moved past the issue by the next day.
5. It makes things unnecessarily awkward between you and that parent
“In the one out of 10 times where the conversation seems to go relatively well, even if both parents are well-meaning, it is often the beginning of the end,” she says.
“Your relationship with that parent will naturally feel awkward and one or both of you will come away feeling defensive,” something Ms Kerford says is instinctive.
This awkwardness and sense of discomfort became the reality for Amanda after she was contacted by Carly. She also says that she felt a prevalent bias by the other mother to her son.