Fight nice time is it over?

Barb - posted on 04/25/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )




We have some very close friends. Our 14 year old sons are best friends. Mine is trained in martial arts and has mild high fuctioning autism. The other child is very bright, funny, and very much a home body. About 6 months ago the other child complained that my son was hitting him. we sat down together and told the boys their would be no hit not ever joking punch in the arm.
About 2 weeks ago I picked my son up at their house and he was sullen. After about 3 hours he blew up and yell that he was not mad at us but that "Johnny had been hitting him and it had really hurt." When we asked him why he did not say something at our friends home he responded he did not want to get his friend in trouble. He had hit him the the head and then had puched his already injured leg 6 or 7 time. When my child had asked him to stop and reminded him the leg was sore after the 1st blow he hit 2 more time immediately and laugh. Johnny's 11 year old sister told him to stop after the 3 blow and he turned and raised a fist at her. She went and locked herself in her room. When I discussed all this with the parents they said. Well lets tell them no hitting. We did that 6 months ago and that is why my son did not hit him back. He hit him again in their car on the way to a sporting event last week. Johnny's Mom was driving and she told him to stop. When she told me the dtory she said the boys were hit each other again today in the back of my van. When I asked my son he said Johnny hit me and I told his Mom. As soon as she looked away he hit me again. I'm ready to tell my kid to hit him back froreal one time. But he really is afraid that he would hurt him.. Any advise?


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Elfrieda - posted on 04/25/2011




This is a strange situation to me. You say the boys are 14 and best friends, but it sounds like they are 6 and not really friends at all.

Since your son is coming to you for advice, maybe you could give him a few responses and act them out so that he can practice. I can think of a few.

1. Johnny hits Sonny on the leg. Sonny says, "Knock it off." NOT in a whiney way and suggests they play nintendo or whatever boys these days like to do.

2. Johnny hits Sonny in the leg again. If Sonny is in martial arts, does he know how to get him into a headlock or some position where he's immobilized? Do that, sit on the guy, and then say "Knock it off" and suggest they play Nintendo.

3. If Johnny keeps hitting him and won't actually do anything fun, then Sonny can say, "This is so boring. You never want to do anything fun. I'm calling my mom to come pick me up, because your house sucks." And until Johnny convinces Sonny that he really does want to do fun stuff together and not just punching, Sonny declines invitations, and brings a book or something else to do when your families get together for BBQs.

I don't think it's a good idea to make this a really big deal between you and your friend. Your kids can get along or not, and now that your son can stick up for himself, you can get together when you want to, and the kids can play together or separately. I'd let him bring a book or his gameboy and not force him to be social. It will teach Johnny a lesson, and probably he'll learn it quite quickly.

I think it will be really bad for your son's self-esteem if Mommy has to do the fighting for him, and decides that his friend is too rough for her delicate flower. It's better to equip him, encourage him, and stay out of it otherwise. Don't even talk to his mom about it, except to support your son if Johnny's mom is pressuring him to come over after he's decided not to hang out with Johnny for a while. I'm not saying that's the best thing to do in all circumstances, but it seems like the right thing in this circumstance.

It sort of sounds like Johnny is bored and maybe just wants to play fight or tease, and your son is allowing himself to be pushed around when Johnny doesn't actually intend to be a bully, he just needs your son to draw the lines of what is acceptable behaviour a little more clearly. That's my take on the situation, but of course I'm coming at it with knowing only a little bit about what's going on, and looking at it from the viewpoint of my experiences as a kid.

Jessica - posted on 04/25/2011




Well it seems you've already done the civil thing by asking them to stop. You and your son have clearly respected this pact you made with the other boy's mom and her son. You've even brought it up a second time, and it seems like she's just not interested enough to care cause its not her son getting hurt. Just for the sake of being polite, I would talk with the mother one more time, but this time be firm but respectful, by saying something like we've tried talking to the kids already, I'm not sure if your son has any complaints, but my son has come to me on (# of occasions) saying he has been hit/punched/slapped, whatever form the abuse is delivered, because thats what it is. Her son is abusing yours. If you have to, point that out to her as well. Unwanted physical contact is considered physical abuse, and maybe she isn't aware of this, and she thinks its just play. Tell her quite simply please have your son refrain from hitting my child, or we may have to put their friendship on hold and consider having authorities step in. If you need to charge this woman's kid for abuse to get her to see the point, so be it. It would probably get dropped in the end anyway, but its still the fact of initially being charged that opens people's eyes. Hope you and your son figure things out, and get the best of all worlds :)

Laurie - posted on 04/25/2011




Is sounds to me like this friendship needs to take a break. Years ago, as a teenager, I stopped hanging out with a friend that was being mean to me. She got the message and stopped the mean behavior and we were able to be friends later on. I always tell my children (who are younger) that if they are not nice to their friends, then no one will want to be their friend.

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