Fighting Children's Batttles

Question

I have a friend with a son a few years younger than my 11-year-old boy. I invited them over, along with another friend with a boy my son's age (a good friend of my son's). Two more of son's friends (aged 12) came by and all of the boys were playing. Through the course of their play, my friend with the youngest son got his feelings hurt by the older boys. He started to cry (he cries easily). The boys weren't bullying him, but I'm sure he felt left out. In any case, after they left, my friend took my son aside and said few things to him. I saw her speaking to him about it, but didn't get involved. When I spoke to my son about the incident, he said he didn't do anything wrong (I believe him) and will be avoiding my friend (and, thereby her son) in the future. I realize that when your child gets hurt emotionally, you want someone to pay for it. Our daughter is overly sensitive and is somewhat of a crybaby as well, so I can understand the instinct to protect. My problem is that I think my friend took out her frustration on my son, and I did nothing to protect him. I feel angry at her (for taking it out on my son) - and myself (for not protecting him). How could I have handled this differently? What should I do when my daughter, 6, cries for the same reasons as this sensitive boy?

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