As their kid became more sensitive, especially when he was around our kids, the parents saw our boys as bullies. They sought out advice from other parents. Without knowing our kids, other parents told them to jump in immediately to intervene when their kid being bullied.
Instead of coming to us to raise their concerns about our kids, they took it upon themselves to deal with our kids. If they were to use the opportunity to teach them about bullying then I would have appreciated their effort. Instead they immediately jumped to defend their boy whenever he got upset. At first they raised their voice a little. When my kid said “You are mean,” their kid didn’t get a chance to respond, the mother replied, “He is not mean. How is he mean? That’s not nice to say.” Although I did notice the tone was a bit upsetting, I did not respond. Then it continued to escalate to yelling and grabbing. In retrospect, I should have spoken up. I have too much respect for them and I didn’t want to cause any friction within the family.
Their interventions did not helped their kid because he learned that his parents will defend him no matter what he did. As he got more sensitive, the attacks gotten more vicious to our kids to the point that I needed to straighten up the parents even if it has to fracture our relationships.
Now that we recognized the issue, I hope that we can work together to help the kids have a better, friendlier relationship. Family gathering should be fun, not stressful. They are at the age now that they can play on their own. I don’t want to have to hover them all the time to make sure that no one is crying or upsetting. Since they haven’t beat each other to the pulp yet, we can still help them overcome their conflicts. We just need to step back and give them space.