Wedding Woes

Sylvie is a terrible, unreasonable person.

Dear Prudence,

In February my daughter “Jana” stole a plush toy from the backpack of her friend “Erin.” She was caught and sent home for the rest of the week. My husband and I agreed Jana would apologize to Erin and the rest of the class, be grounded for the rest of the month, and have sessions with the school counselor. When Jana apologized to Erin, Erin’s mom, “Sylvie,” told her that her apology was not accepted, that she was a thief, and that Erin would never be her friend again. When Jana apologized to the class, Erin plugged her ears, and later she and several other girls called Jana names at recess. I understand that my daughter did something wrong, and I couldn’t change whether Erin would be her friend again, but this was going overboard. I tried to talk with Sylvie about my concerns. She told me I should care more about raising a thief.

Later that month, Sylvie told another mother that Erin wouldn’t be allowed to go to her daughter’s birthday if Jana was there. The quarantine put a lot of this to the side, but I recently learned that Jana’s group of friends have been having Skype play dates. They’ve also met up for gatherings at a local park. Sylvie has asked that Jana be excluded from these gatherings. I’m worried about Sylvie’s obsession with punishing Jana. Some of the other moms are uncomfortable with Sylvie’s requests but don’t know what to do. I know my daughter made a mistake, but she’s a kid, and she has been punished. I’m not sure what to do to protect her or if I’m biased and this is reasonable behavior.

—My Daughter, the “Thief”

Re: Sylvie is a terrible, unreasonable person.

  • Yikes, I hope that Erin never does anything wrong in her life because it sounds like Sylvie will never forgive her. 

    Set up your own play date with the kids from the class; invite Erin and let them decide what to do. Sylvie is unreasonable but you don’t have to rely on her to find friends for your kid to play with. 
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I wonder how old these girls are.  Sylvie is the worst.  
  • I wonder how old these girls are.  Sylvie is the worst.  
    I was wondering this also!  Sylvie is being cruel and vindictive, but her "level" of cruelty for me is different if we are talking about a 6-year-old or a 16-year-old...who IS old enough to know better.

    However, the LW mentions "playdates" and that the stolen item is a stuffed animal, so I think I'm pretty safe in assuming these children are at least in elementary school and possibly pretty young.

    Sylvie just sounds so extreme!  I get she might always have a bad taste in her mouth in regards to Jana.  But to go out of her way to try and have Jana ostracized by others is twisted.
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  • I can understand being a bit wary of a kid who stole something from your kid, but this is too much. Jana has been punished, has apologized, and (I assume) hasn't done anything similar since. At this point Sylvie is just being a vindictive bitch...and against a kid, no less! LW should stand up her, like, yesterday.
  • Another thought occurred to me.  Going back to wondering how old the kids are.  Sylvie has labeled Jana a "thief".  But, if these are kids in kindergarten-(maybe) 2nd grade, Jana may not have been planning to "steal" the stuffed animal.  She might have just seen it and figured "it's my friend, she'll share her toy, I'm going to play with it" and then just took it home with plans to return it "later".

    I remember my cousin stole some stickers from a store when she was (I think) 5.  From her perspective, they had fallen on the floor...though still in the store, lmao...and she had "found" them, so she kept them.  I was about 9 and her older sister was 10.  We exchanged wide-eyed, horrified glances with each other!  Because we were old enough to understand that was stealing.  But, although little cousin knew what stealing was, she legit didn't realize that she had stolen the stickers and didn't understand she had done something wrong.  
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  • Taking things is SO common in young kids.

    That Sylvie is pushing this issue is showing that she's a steamrolling helicopter mother who has no concept of childhood behavior and is instead rearing her child in a child-centric view.   That's not how the world works.   The kid can't be raised in a vacuum and she's so out of touch that she's going to hurt her kid in the long run. 
  • VarunaTT said:
    I'm not sure I really care how old the kids are.  Sylvie is way out of line.  Unless that toy had her secret coke or money stash, this is a total overreaction.  I'd be angry at the other moms for letting Sylvie get away with this, which kind of makes me think this is Sylvie's regular M.O.

    I'd at least speak with the teacher and administration to let them know what's going on, and get the bullying stopped as much as possible.  I'd probably arrange playdates on my own and still invite Erin if Jana wanted me to.  I'd probably try and guide Jana away from her as much as possible though b/c Erin is probably going to be emulating her mother's behavior at some point and I wouldn't want Jana exposed to that.
    That's a good point also!  I mean, if we as strangers are all eye-rolling how ridiculous and cruel this is, you'd think these other people...who are parents themselves and know Jana...would be even more incensed and tell Sylvie she needs to let it go already and take it down a notch.
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