Ask Lulu: How Can I Stop My Son Being Blamed Unfairly?

There is nothing worth than your child being unfairly reprimanded. Yet it is not easy for a mother to step in without making the situation worse.

Our amazing agony aunt, Lulu, is here with some advice….

Dear Lulu,

I have an issue that is playing on my mind at the moment it’s how to deal with Charlie being blamed for things all the time by a great mate from school.

Charlie is much bigger and doesn’t cry much. He also likes some rough and tumble and will hold his ground if being pushed around.

However, he doesn’t usually instigate stuff but often gets blamed and because he is big and outgoing people often believe it. We do quite a lot with this boy and his parents are mates and they will say things like ‘R has stopped playing football because he keeps getting hurt by C’.. and often they’re not even on the same team so it’s not possible but if the parents don’t see it then we’re a bit stuck.

There’s competition between them at school too sadly and they both play the same instrument but this boy knows how to play the game and Charlie is still a Labrador puppy really. He is competitive but never minds if somebody beats him or comes first but he does mind if he isn’t chosen for things occasionally – especially if this boy is chosen all the time.. because he’s the ‘golden boy’.

I feel protective about Charlie and his reputation (not that he seems to care.. he just brushes it off) and I know I can’t really say anything to the parents without affecting our friendship and sounding like some crazy mother.

But the situation is affecting Charlie’s confidence a bit. He says things like ‘ R is the best in the class so will always get picked….’

Now I’m writing it, it sounds so trivial but actually, it’s annoying me and the boys are really good friends. I can see my children’s faults clearly so under no illusion that Charlie may well be in the centre of things often but I also know his strengths so the unfairness bothers me.

Last week that boy had his party – a football party – he chose the teams (to put the best players on his team).

Charlie’s team won – and won by about 15-3… and this boy cried after every goal and had a massive tantrum at the end and then I feel bad as the mum looks like the party had been hard work. It was drop off so I have no idea what happened.

Anyway, having written it out, it sounds pathetic really. It’s probably my motherly protectiveness wanted to wrap my Labrador in cotton wool…

Hope you can make sense of my muddle!
Ollie XX

Hi Ollie,

Your worries certainly don’t sound pathetic they sound completely natural!

We all feel protective over our young and hate it when we feel they are misunderstood and get blamed for things they (to our knowledge) didn’t do.

It is quite natural to want to protect your child’s reputation and oh so easy to put the metaphorical boxing gloves on, ready to come to our child’s defence at the drop of a hat, well done you for keeping your calm!

My suggestion would be to plan a playdate with the two boys together in the very near future where you take them to the park with a ball. When you’re there leave them alone to play their own games, give them lots of time to have some rough and tumble, step back and provide them with the opportunity to work things out together for themselves.

Leave them to it (within eye sight), for at least half an hour; you’ll have to distract yourself with an ‘important meeting’ on the phone or something similar. Tell them that you will be busy for a least half an hour and can’t be interrupted.

This will give the boys some space and time to figure things out on their own and find their way back to some fun friendship.

Doing this on their own without parent involvement will be great for their confidence and should bring them together again.

On the way home have that football team chat, you know the one about how good teams watch out for each other on and off the pitch and how they work together celebrating each other’s success.  If you can tell them a story from your life experience when you felt supported when you were in a school team or at work with your colleagues, see if they can share their stories too of times when they have felt vouched for and how good it feels.

Talk about snitches too and how no one likes a snitch!

I hope this helps.


p.s. don’t forget to wrap that big puppy up in huge hugs whenever you can!
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