Mom asks for advice after her child receives a note from a classmate’s parent

TikTok mom talks about note her child got from an adult

What would you do if an adult wrote a threatening note to your child? That’s what one TikTok mom is wondering in a now-viral video where she asks other parents for some much-needed advice.

Mom Victoria has a 7-year-old son named Ethan who attends a daily summer camp. In her video, she explained that he’s been having trouble getting along with another child there.

“Apparently there is a little boy there that, you know, they do play, but every now and then, they get into some verbal arguments, talk garbage to each other, whatever,” she said. “Again, they’re both seven. Camp counselors have noticed it. They said something to my son, said something to this other kid, also talked to me about it, and also to the other parent. They did not tell me who this other child is for safety, privacy — that’s fine. I don’t care. My kid shouldn’t be mean to anybody, no matter who they are.”

Victoria explained that after hearing about the incident, both she and her son’s dad had lengthy conversations with him about being nice to others and trying harder to make friends at camp, and Ethan agreed that he would work harder to get along with his peers. Problem solved, right? Well, not so much.

“Today, this morning, Dad takes son to camp,” Victoria said. “He is watching our son go into camp. There is a grandmother and her grandson sitting there. Apparently the woman stares at my child and says to her grandson, ‘Is that the little boy?’ The little boy says yes. She says, ‘OK, go give this to him.’ Hands the boy a note. Boy goes and hands the note to my 7-year-old son.”

Ethan’s dad thought that was weird, so he asked for the note.

“The note that was handed to my child was not written by a child,” Victoria continued. “It was written by parents. By parents, yelling and bullying my son.”

She added, “I personally don’t think I’m overreacting. We informed the camp counselor. Camp counselor said, ‘I’ve been teaching for 32 years and I’ve never seen an adult write a child—a 7-year-old, who can barely read—a note like this.”

Here’s what it said: “Ethan, Please stay away from (name)! Do not talk to him! Do not touch him! Do not even look at him! You guys do not get along! I don’t want to hear another incident that involves you! Keep your hands and mouth to yourself! Thanks!”

Screen Shot 2024 06 20 at 3.25.46 PM Motherly
Screen Shot 2024 06 20 at 3.25.46 PM Motherly

In the comments, other parents are offering all kinds of advice, but it’s pretty much all along the same lines: This is a huge overstep by the other child’s parents.

“Inappropriate behavior by the other parents should of called for immediate termination of their contract with the summer camp… While it was not the little boys fault the parents overstepped,” one person wrote.

Another added, “No parent should be independently communicating with a child without a parent’s consent. So very far over the line.”

Another asked this very important question: “Why do they know your son’s name but you weren’t given information about the other child? Don’t mess around with the parents, go straight to the camp Director/supervisor. They need to handle it!”

What to do if your child fights with another child

“It is absolutely common for kids to experience peer conflict,” Honora Einhorn, LICSW, MA, a licensed independent clinical social worker and behavioral therapist who specializes in working with children, adolescents, and families, tells VeryWell Family. “Conflict supports children and youth in navigating differences, learning to manage and effectively communicate difficult emotions, developing moral frameworks, and overall building social skills and competency, including empathy.”

However, if another adult is addressing your child in an inappropriate manner, you should help your child process it and validate their feelings. Keep them informed of how you handle the situation when discussing it with the other parent.

Some general tips for when your kid is fighting with another kid:

  • Stay calm. Your children are watching how you respond, so it’s important to model conflict resolution skills. You can try taking deep breaths and slowing down before intervening.

  • Separate the kids. If the kids are physically fighting, you can have them go to different parts of the room or separate rooms so they can calm down on their own.

  • Apologize for your child. If your child hits or bites another child, you can turn your attention to the victim and apologize. This shows your child that you don’t like their behavior and can help them learn empathy.

  • Set clear rules. Family rules help children know what’s acceptable and what’s not, and make it easier to remind them how to treat each other. You can even involve your children in setting up the rules.

  • Make discipline private. If discipline is necessary, avoid making the conversation public, as this can shame your child in front of their peers and make things worse. Instead, use this as an opportunity to teach a lesson.