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Woman Says Her Son's Friend Made Him Give Up His Favorite Toy In Order To Remain Friends

Photo: Ann in the uk / Shutterstock
Boy cuddling a toy

A mother reached out to the “r/Parenting” subreddit for advice on what she should do about a predicament her child got into at school.

During the school’s scheduled “pajama day,” students were allowed to bring one stuffed animal for the day, and so her 7-year-old son brought his favorite Squishmallow to class.

The problem, however, arose when her son came back home without his favorite toy.

Her son said he had given his Squishmallow to his friend in order to stay friends with him.

To clarify the importance of the Squishmallow to her son, she provided context around how he got it and why it means so much to him.

“He got it for Christmas from an aunt who we aren't able to see anymore, and he adored it,” she explained, continuing the story. “Anyway, he went to school with it but came home without it, and said that his friend liked it.”

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It was pretty clear what had happened — her son had given up the toy to his friend, but she wondered why and had asked him about his decision to give up his favorite stuffed animal.

“My son said that this friend told him that if he didn't give him the Squishmallow, then the friend would no longer be his friend,” she explained. “He said he was ok, but I could see the sadness in his eyes.”

It’s clear that the toy meant a lot to him and that, had he been given the opportunity to, he would not have given it up.

“I normally always encourage my son to share, but I know how much he loved the Squishmallow. And if what he's telling me is true, then he was forced to hand it over to keep a friend,” she wrote, and so she asked the people of Reddit for advice.

She explains that she wanted to tell the teacher about it but didn’t want to seem like a “Karen,” so she was stumped.

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They told her that she had every right to get the teacher and her son’s friend’s parents involved.

“Oh I would 125/10 talk to the teacher and also the kid’s parents. emotional manipulation should not be ignored, encouraged, or rewarded. Call me Karen, I guess,” one of the top comments read. “Also time to talk to your kid about buying friends and how it’s never worth it.”

One person wrote about how they would feel from the opposite end — if a teacher or a parent reached out to them asking for the toy back — and said that it would be “no problem.”

They seemed especially keen on teaching their child a lesson on how they shouldn’t use friendships to gain anything also.

“I don't see any issue reaching out to the teacher and asking for help getting it back, or at least in contact with the parents if it is possible so you can facilitate the return yourself.”

Some people asked that she take special care of the teacher’s emotions as well, seeing as they may not be up for mediating a situation that could blow over, but reaching out to the teacher would be a good first step.

There’s nothing wrong with standing up for yourself or your family, and many people pointed out that she wouldn’t be a “Karen” for doing so in the slightest.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Keep up with his rants about current events on his Twitter.