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What do you think of this - how to handle neighborhood boy

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive November 2006: What do you think of this - how to handle neighborhood boy
By Debbie on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 10:46 pm:

We have become pretty good friends with our neighbors since moving in a few months ago. They have 2 boys almost 6 and 4, and we have 2 boys, 8 and 6. I really like this woman, and dh really likes her husband. We all get along, and like hanging out together. Most days our dks get along well too. However, some days her oldest ds, and my 6 yr old butt heads. Their ds seems to pick at my ds some days. In the beginning, he would do things like telling on him all the time for little things, or saying mean things. We told my ds to stop reacting, he would cry or get really upset, and to just tell him he wasn't being a good friend when he did those things. I was really proud of my ds because he did just that. When the neighbor was mean, he would just tell him he wasn't being nice and he wasn't going to play with him. Well, it stopped for awhile, but now it has become physical. Most days they get along, but some days, he will just walk by and hit my ds or push him. Most of the time, I don't see it, I just hear about it after from one of my boys. My ds has been really good about just walking away. But, yesterday he came in from playing, and told me he didn't care what we did to him, next time the neighbor hit or pushed him, he was hitting him back. My older ds confirmed that my ds doesn't do anything to provoke these incidents. And, I have actually witnessed a few myself. When I have seen them, I will send the neighbor home, or tell him no hitting. Dh told ds to go ahead and hit him back, since nothing else was working. I don't know how I feel about this. I know my ds has tried talking to this boy, and he has walked away. So I am not sure what else to tell him. They are our neighbors, so it isn't like we can keep them apart all the time. A lot of times, they are outside playing with all the kids in the neighborhood. In my neighbor's defense, she always disciplines her ds if she sees him doing any of these things. Her ds tends to be sneaky, and he makes sure no adults are around before he does them. Should I talk to her? Should I give my ds the okay to hit him back? How would you handle it?

By Dawnk777 on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 11:17 pm:

I think you should say something to the neighbor. It sounds like it keeps escalating. You don't want your son to get hurt. I don't really think he should hit back, but it seems the neighbor boy is trying harder and harder to push your son's buttons, provoking a fight.

By Colette on Thursday, November 16, 2006 - 05:59 am:

If you are really good friends I would talk to her. I would also tell my son it's ok to defend himself.

By Debbie on Thursday, November 16, 2006 - 08:57 am:

Your right, I should talk to her. I guess I just don't see it doing any good, unless she watches them like a hawk every time they are together. She always steps in when he is acting this way, and she talks to him all the time about what it is to be a good friend. You know, it is the weirdest thing. Most days he is just great, and then some days he just picks and picks at my ds. I think it is because this boy tends to be a little sneaky, and my ds is vocal about calling him out on stuff he does that isn't right. I do want my ds to be able to defend himself, if need be, but I hate the fact that he could end up in a fight at 6 yrs old. Part of me thinks that if he just gives him a shove back once, he will stop. It makes me mad, that this boy is younger then my ds, but bigger, so he picks on him. However, he won't pick on any of the other boys, who are older and bigger. My oldest ds tends to step in and defend his brother, and since he is 3 yrs older I would hate for him to hit him. I have told him that since he is so much older, he is not to hit him. My ds is just frustrated because when he walks away, he is having to come in, or go home, and everyone else is still playing. So, he in the end, is the one suffering from it.

By Cocoabutter on Thursday, November 16, 2006 - 08:57 am:

Ditto Colette.

By Tonya on Thursday, November 16, 2006 - 09:16 am:

I say let him defend himself. This boy is a bully and is not going to stop until your son stands up for himself. Our rule in our house is if nothing else works hit back. And Timmy has had to do this once so far this year and it worked the bully stopped. Your children have to learn to fed for themselves sometimes and bullies are not going to stop until they are confronted by the person they are bullying. Good luck to your son. It is never easy.

By Dawnk777 on Thursday, November 16, 2006 - 10:01 am:

DH tells stories about being bullied and when he finally retaliated, the bullying stopped. I think he was older than 6, though.

By Conni on Thursday, November 16, 2006 - 10:11 am:

Your ds needs to stand up for himself. My rule is... Don't EVER start a fight. Or you will deal with me. But if someone starts a fight with you, you better finish it... or you will deal with me. ROFL

I don't think a *fight* is going to go very far at 6yo. I think this boy needs to be made aware (by your ds) that he can't get away with this behavior...

Of course, that's all jmo. :) I am sure I am not being politically correct.

By Enchens on Thursday, November 16, 2006 - 11:58 am:

Interesting, Conni. My mom had the same rule with us when we were growing up. Five of the 7 of us had to finish something at some point.

By Tayjar on Thursday, November 16, 2006 - 12:14 pm:

I would probably do two things. I would let the mom know what is going on. If you discuss it like two adults and try to come up with a solution, she probably won't get offended. And, two, I would tell my DS to defend himself. It's gone on long enough now that the other child thinks he can do anything to your son and your son won't do anything back.

We have similar advice in our house as Conni does. Don't start anything, but don't take it either. We tell them to just walk away and see if the situation resolves itself that way. If it doesn't, and it has in most cases, then they are to defend themselves, either verbally or physically.

Our DD has had to defend herself verbally to a queen bee and it worked and then physically to a boy who kept messing with her as well as the other girls, by pinching them, knocking them down at recess, tripping them on the bus, etc. If you are a 4th grade boy and get your butt slammed to the ground at recess by a girl, you learn really quickly not to ever touch that girl or her friends again.

Good luck. I know how tough these situations can be.

By Heaventree on Thursday, November 16, 2006 - 01:53 pm:

Yeesh, I don't know that I would advocate hitting back, but that's just me. :)

We have a similar situation although my children are much younger than yours. The 3-1/2 year old put my 2-1/2 year old in a time out the other day. It was cute and funny, to me anyway but I think the mother was mortified. I did comment to her in a funny way that her son is "The Boss" and she seem to be fully aware of that, she commented on how she worries about that so it was good we had a chance to kind of sort of discuss it as I think as the children get older it might become a bit of a problem.

I would talk to her and like someone said above try to come up with a solution together, otherwise I would limit their play time to supervised only. Meaning the boy plays at your house and you supervise or they don't play together, you can lighten up over time if things are going well, but really you don't have to let your kids play with this boy if he's mean or a bad influence, I wouldn't worry too much about hurting the other families feelings when it comes to YOUR kids. You could also take this boy aside and have a talk with him yourself about hitting and that if he can't be nice, he can't come around. Anyway that's just me, you'll find a solution. Let us know how it turns out.

By Debbie on Thursday, November 16, 2006 - 03:22 pm:

I talked to her a little while ago. The good thing is she is aware of how her ds is with my ds, so it wasn't a big suprise. She was caught off guard though, on how upset my ds has gotten. I guess she didn't realize how bad it was. And, in the little boys defense, I am around him enough to know he isn't a "bad" kid, he just doesn't seem to know how to interact well with others. I am not really sure why this is. And, he actually considers my boys his best friends. We are both going to try and be a little more vigilant. And, she is going to talk to him again. She is now aware that my ds is at the point of hitting/shoving back. To be honest, I wouldn't be suprised if it comes to this. I think what someone mentioned, he does it because he knows he can get away with it, is true. His little brother will hit him back, so I notice he doesn't hit him very often. My boys are both not playing with him as much, they prefer to play with a couple of other boys in the neighborhood. But, when the weather is nice and they are all outside running around, it is hard to keep a constant eye on them, that seems to be when trouble starts. So, I will continue to promote other ways of working things out, but I will make sure my ds feels he has the right to defend himself.

I am glad I talked to her. She wasn't upset or defensive with me at all. She was really more upset with her ds, and she doesn't seem to know what to do. Her other ds is not like this at all.

By Cocoabutter on Thursday, November 16, 2006 - 04:53 pm:

I am glad that she was open about it. Some parents can't handle it when someone tells them their kids are naughty and go into automatic denial and defensive mode.

My son was bullied in first and second grades. This bully has serious emotional and insecurity issues. I call it attention deficit disorder, because he doesn't get enough attention at home. I am not sure what his homelife is like, but I had a long talk with his second grade teacher, and she said that his need for attention was going to be something that he was going to have to deal with all of his life. It is kind of sad, actually. I would go in to volunteer in class, and this bully kid was the first to come to me and ask me for help or to sit and listen to him read. My son was put off by that, but what could I do?

The second grade teacher also told me that once she found out how serious the bullying had gotten, she had a talk with the bully kid and asked him why he was bullying my son. He said, "Cuz it's okay with him." Well, it wasn't okay with my son, but because the school has told all the kids that they aren't allowed to defend themselves physically, and everytime my son went to the teacher, nothing was done, my son felt that he had no option other than to take it. So, that's how bullies work.

Anyway, that was 2 years ago, and he has regained his self confidence. He knows that he doesn't deserve to be pushed around, and is more than willing to dish it out when he gets it. He still has one friend that I worry about, but we have frequent talks about him, so I hope he won't allow this friend to push him around, either.

By Reds9298 on Thursday, November 16, 2006 - 10:47 pm:

Ditto Colette and Conni.
Conni- I love the way you stated your hitting 'rule'. I agree!!! I have to remember that one because my dd would hear the same thing only you said it better. :)
Debbie- I'm glad that talking to her was positive.

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