When Your Kid Gets Ghosted by an Adult

Most of us have been ghosted before and let’s be honest, it feels pretty bad. When your kid gets ghosted by an adult, though, it is a different level of hurt. One of the worst parts of ghosting is that it leaves you baffled wondering what the heck is going on.

Ghosting is defined as someone cutting off all communication without explanation.

According to Wendy Walsh, there are different levels of ghosting, lightweight, midweight and heavyweight. Not texting someone back about a playdate is considered lightweight or micro ghosting. Midweight or heavyweight is when you have a relationship with someone, and they engage in deep avoidance.

I made the decision to be vague in this article about the person who ghosted. I am not trying to hurt anyone here. I just want to talk about the decision to ghost.

The Situation

Let me start by saying that my son has a physical disability. He has cerebral palsy which impacts his motor skills, balance, gait etc. He asked me to take particular lessons and I said yes. We do all things with my son; we just do them differently. I explained to the teacher / trainer that we were looking for very basic lessons that would include core strength and stretching. The trainer did one lesson and then proceeded literally to ignore my texts. Let me add that this trainer also worked with my younger able-bodied son for lessons as well. Thus, ignoring me completely ghosted both of my kids, which neither of them deserved. Not cool. Not cool at all. The ghosting had this momma furious. It didn’t take me long to figure out that the I was being ignored because the trainer was uncomfortable with training my son. It was the obvious explanation but a terrible choice. As adults, most of us have learned to navigate ghosting, even though it sucks. However, if you are a teacher, trainer, or a person that works with kids, part of your job is to learn how to communicate kindly to children and their parents.

Why People Ghost

In the New York Times article, why people ghost and how to get over it, Dr. Jennice Vilhauer states that “Ghosting has a lot to do with someone’s comfort level and how they deal with their emotions. If someone thinks that there is going to be a confrontation, they ghost as a way to avoid confrontation.”

The downside of this is how the other side is impacted by someone’s avoidance of discomfort. In this case, I had to find way to answer my kid’s questions about why their teacher / trainer / vanished into thin air.

We can do better

Instead of ghosting, let’s all be direct. It’s not that hard and in the end, you may feel better about yourself for kind, caring, mature, adult communication. And you won’t hurt people, in this case children.

If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t think that you are the right match for a child, try sending a letter similar to this.

Dear parent,

Thank you so much for your trust in me and for allowing me to work with your child. He is a wonderful child. However, I am not very skilled at accommodations and because of this, I don’t think I am the best person to work with him. Let me give you some ideas of who might be a better match.

Kelley Lockhart-Delaune
Kelley Lockhart Delaune was born and raised In Metairie, Lousiana. She is married to her husband and has two boys, Roman (10) and Remy (8). Kelley received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from LSU and her Masters in Social Work from Tulane in 2002. Kelley is a psychotherapist in private practice. She owns Modern Therapy and Wellness, a group practice. Her and her team focus on helping others to heal themselves and their relationships. You can find her mental health and wellness blog at: https://moderntherapyandwellness.com/. In her spare time, you can find her working out, drinking coffee, going to the beach, cursing too much, staying up too late and writing.


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