It was everything I could do in my power not to throw the kid out of my house (I was helping his mom out by letting him come here before school, so I couldn't really). Instead, I told the child in a stern tone that he is not to speak to my son, or to anyone else like that in my house. I explained he was basically saying that N is half bad. The child may think it is funny, but he is really being quite mean to his host. "I will not tolerate bullying in my kitchen, or anywhere else at my house!"
What makes kids say things like this? Back-handed compliments that serve no purpose? Are my kids saying things like this without realizing it? Has he been saying things like this to N all these years?
N has pretty low self-esteem. I don't need him playing with children who make him feel worse about himself.
So next time she calls for a favor, do I say no? Do I address the behavior or since I addressed it with the kid myself, do I let it slide? Do I have to have the uncomfortable phone call with the kid's Mom?
Parenting: more questions than answers!
Addendum:I spoke with N tonight. He totally didn't think it was a big deal. He thought the child was joking and hadn't understood why I got so mad. My husband totally got what I meant, so I know it wasn't all in my head.