Oh summer camp. I have such fond memories of thee. Old board games that are missing pieces, useless crafts, bored teenage counselors, sunburn and sweat. Such fun. Sullivan started summer camp a few weeks ago and it has been a weird adjustment. Gone are his nice manners his preschool teachers tried so hard to instill and his sweet little voice. What has emerged is an argumentative badger with no sense of self preservation and a healthy dose of fuck-you-attitude.
While some of Sully's friends are in summer camp with him, there are also a bunch of kids who are as old as 9. Sullivan loves to be the center of attention and he craves the attention of people who he thinks are cool. These 8 and 9 year olds are currently in that group and friends, these kids are assholes.
From the very first day, we could tell a difference. We played it up to just being overly tired. But here we are, three weeks in and its just gotten worse. The stories he brings home aren't any better. The new "friend" Logan is all we hear about. But we also hear about how Logan hits Sullivan in the face. Or how Logan threw a ball at his groin. Or how Logan pushed him down on the blacktop and gave Sullivan one hell of a banged up knee. That's when I kind of lost it.
We tried talking about how real friends don't want to hurt you and will definitely not laugh when you are hurt but he just says Logan doesn't mean to do it. I understand boys play a lot rougher than girls. Trust me, I have learned that the hard way. And Sullivan probably gives as good as he gets but he is really banged up right now. The neurotic type-A part of me wants to step in and talk to his teachers and tell them to keep them away from each other but I realize that's probably not the best way. Obviously if he was crying or really hurt, I'd step in immediately but he comes home laughing and bruised.
So here's my question. What do you do if your kid's friend is an asshole? Do you just let it ride and try to curb the crap behavior at home or do you step in and say something?