Should I Save My Kid From An Obnoxious Classmate?

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Life is complicated. Thank goodness there are experts to help us untangle some of the vexing issues that, well, vex us on a daily basis. The Mouthy Housewives are here to help, three times a week. Today, the Housewives answer an exclusive BlogHerMoms question!

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Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My son starts the fifth grade next week and I just found out that a boy we can’t stand will be in his class. This boy is loud, disruptive and picks on all of the kids (including mine.) I really, really don’t want my son to have to deal with him for an entire year.

I’m thinking about talking to the principal and asking to have my son put into another class, but my husband says I’m being ridiculous and to just deal with it. Am I overreacting?


Worried Mom

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Credit Image: mac_filko on Flickr

Dear Worried Mom,

As a mom, your first instinct is to protect your kids at all costs. So it’s completely understandable that you’d want to shield your son from this supposedly "bad” kid. However, here’s a little saying I want you to mull over: “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.”

Meaning, you could go through all of the hand wringing, angst and drama involved in making such a move only to have your son wind up with a classmate who’s even worse. Then you’d feel like one of the schmucks on “The Price is Right” who turns down the new car showcase and winds up bidding on a room full of teak furniture and Rice-a-Roni. Even Bob Barker would say it’s a risky move.

But besides that, is this really the lesson you want to teach your son? That mommy can fix all of his problems and make his life 100% smooth sailing? You haven’t said that this kid specifically bullies your son or that he’s violent, just that he’s sort of a jerk. And guess what? Life’s full of jerks and sooner or later, he needs to learn how to deal with them. Today it’s the fifth grade, tomorrow he’ll have a co-worker who won’t stop stealing his stapler. And is he going to have his mommy call his boss when that happens?

My advice is to just leave things the way they are. Then, once school starts, listen to what your son has to tell you about the kid’s behavior. Ask him how he reacted, how the other kids reacted and what the teacher did about it. Conflict Resolution 101 right there, baby. But most important: Trust that the teaching professionals know what they’re doing and are handling the situation responsibly.

You’re a good mom for wanting to protect your son from jerks. But at a certain point, he needs to learn how to protect himself.

Good luck,


Wendi, TMH





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