Son's odd behavior

Sherre' - posted on 09/07/2014 ( 13 moms have responded )

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Hi, I had my son late in life. His dad is no longer in the picture. When he was 4-5 he liked to play cops and robbers like all kids (I think). Long story short he's my only child. People have bought him those cheap plastic handcuffs over the years and I would let him arrest and handcuff me. Fast forward a couple of years, he's 7 now. Recently he wanted to play cops and robbers after watching an old Roy Rogers show where Dale Evans was tied up. I agreed as it was a lazy, rainy day. I held my wrist out and he said " No. Behind your back." Ok I thought. He lead me to a chair and said "I'll be right back." he came back with some nylon rope (I have no idea where he got it.) He proceeded to tie my ankles together. Fairly tightly.He said I need something to keep you quite. In a firm voice I said "No way!" Anyway I could break the handcuffs in a matter of seconds but my ankles wouldn't be that easy. The whole game lasted 10-15 minutes and he was off to another activity. He has mentioned wanting to play this agin. I threw away the rope. I don't want him to grow up thinking tying up girls is ok. Should I nip this in the bud right now?

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Dove - posted on 09/07/2014

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It's not abuse to handcuff him either... it's a game.. he's playing... he wants you a part of his world. Seriously... my son spends his days fighting invisible bad guys and all sorts of odd games that I don't really get... but he is including me as much as I'll let him as well.

Your son sounds like a perfectly normal 7 year old boy.

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Sherre' - posted on 09/12/2014

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We played our little game tonight. We chatted after we were done about if he ever played this game with others. He just siad"Wwhy would I do that?" I didn't have an answer for that so I just let it go. Not sure how long I'll let this continue but for now I'll just go with it.

Sherre' - posted on 09/08/2014

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His dad gets him on rare occasions, like his dad's birthday which was this weekend. I wish he was totally out of the picture.

Dove - posted on 09/07/2014

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*His dad is no longer in the picture.

and

*He's with his dad this weekend.

That doesn't compute....?

Just saving this for my own reference... pay no attention. lol

Sherre' - posted on 09/07/2014

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OK. thanks. He's with his dad this weekend. I'll play things by ear. I still have the rope he tied my ankles with. I guess I over reacted. Again I really don't mind playing this game with him, It's nice to get others points of view.

Sherre' - posted on 09/07/2014

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I never had a bad experience. Just adult fun. I really don't mine the game at all. I enjoy spending time playing with him. This isn't about me really. But I guess since I'm the only person around, I'm the one who gets handcuffed. It would probably be abuse it he wanted me to handcuff him. He'll go around the house sometimes with his hands behind his back like the bad guys have him handcuffed.
He's shown no cruelty ever. Just wanting to make me his captive.

Chet - posted on 09/07/2014

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No, we never tied up a parent, but we had each other to tie up. Same with our kids. They have each other to do this kind of stuff with. We do play fight and wrestle with our kids though (both me and their dad) when we're willing and our kids love it.

If you're not comfortable with the game it's fine to tell your son that you don't like playing this game with him. If you are concerned about him hurting another child it's reasonable to ban the game. However, I don't think there's anything wrong with your son, and this sort of play isn't a warning sign... especially if you can trace it back to books or movies.

Warning signs would be things like torturing animals, a completely lack of empathy, playing with fire, excessive aggression, etc. If this was sexual in nature I'd expect him to be showing signs of sexual abuse... things overtly sexual, and not at all appropriate for his age.

Dove - posted on 09/07/2014

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If it brings up things for you... you don't have to allow him to do it. Have you gone to counseling for your past? That might be a good idea.

Sherre' - posted on 09/07/2014

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Thank you for your comment. I don't mind being hancuffed and my feet tied really at all. I know it's a silly game for him but I'm having a hard time separating a childs game and an adult, shall I say passion, from a previous boyfriend. I'm probably over reacting but I wanted others opinions. My son is a sweet young man. I just worry.

Dove - posted on 09/07/2014

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My son is 6 and loves to tie me or his sisters up w/ one of the jump ropes... as long as it's not too tight it's only a game. Really not a big deal. A young child will not equate a game now and turn it into abusive behavior as an adult as long as you raise him understanding and respecting boundaries... and if you don't WANT to be tied up... don't let him. It is very rare that one of my daughter's will cooperate w/ their brother's games and I make sure he understands that he must respect their personal space and boundaries when they say no.

Sherre' - posted on 09/07/2014

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But did you or your kids tie up your mom? I'm concerned on a number of levels. It may be harmless but I want to be sure I'm doing the right thing by letting him,or stopping this now.

Chet - posted on 09/07/2014

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When my brother and I were little we used to play a game where we would try to tie each other up so the other one couldn't escape. Of course, we were kids, and even though my brother knew lots of knots I could always got out... and so could he... although it often took a fair amount of effort. It was a fun game. It was fun to tie people up, it was fun to work at getting loose, and it was fun to figure out what you were going to try next time.

Our kids (we have four) have also tied each other up, and love to play with rope in general, so I don't think your son's interest in this is unusual or concerning. I also don't think playing a game like this when you're 7 translates into tying up women when you're an adult.

It's fair to get rid of the rope if you're concerned about someone getting hurt. Our kids play with rope, but it is a strangulation hazard and I don't blame other parents for being too nervous to have their kids playing with it.

As a side note, play fighting (and I would consider this sort of game a variation of that) is actually correlated with kids having _better_ social skills. The idea being that if kids play games where they must walk the line between having fun, and hurting or scaring the other person, they must finely tune their social awareness. If you hold back too much the game isn't challenging or sporting, and if you're too rough or too scary the other person will refuse to play and you won't have a partner.

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