My Child Sometimes Hurts Your Child, And I'm Sorry

by Lenay Schoeman
Originally Published: 
StefaNikolic / Getty

My dear friend,

Your child comes home from school and has another scratch mark on his face. The second one this week. You feel rage and fury. How can his friend hurt him like that!? You want the hurt to stop. So do I, my friend, so do I.

When I see the scratch mark on your child’s face, I feel angry and sad. I am deeply sorry that my child cannot always express his anger in the appropriate way. Mostly I am sorry that he is hurting my friend’s son, his best friend. People think he is a bully; they wonder what is going on in our household.

I can assure you that we are just a normal family. There is no violence, the occasional sibling bickering, fights about homework, eating food and brushing teeth. Nothing out of the ordinary. Yes, he has a damn strong personality and can be domineering, and for that I can only blame my genes.

You have showed so much patience and I thank you for that. He is a work in progress. We are told that if we guide him well, his strong personality can be his best asset in the future. Oh, how I hope they are right! We guide him in every possible way we can, we punish the bad behavior, and every night we say a little prayer that tomorrow he will do better.

I am hurting with you, my friend. Every day they are at school, I worry and hope: worry that your child won’t get hurt and hope that my son will be able to walk away if your son makes him angry. Yes, they are only 3 years old, but it’s difficult to accept if it is your own child doing the hurting. I truly hope and believe that it is only a phase; I cling onto that — without it, I don’t know what I will do.

Take your son in your arms tonight, kiss him, and tell him how proud you are of him, just like I do with mine after a good day of not hurting, and thank him for me, for being such a good friend.

I hope our friendship can survive this phase. Please can I ask you to be patient just a little while longer while he is still learning? He is such a loving little boy most of the time. There is a reason why your son chooses him as his friend, repeatedly. He must be able to see the friendship they will one day share, without any hurting, which I hope is someday very soon.


Your friend

This article was originally published on