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I have a WWYD at school - Colt (sorry, got long)

luvmykids wrote: Colt has a "friend" at school, I don't particularly like this kid and haven't disallowed the friendship but I don't really encourage it either....this kid started the year out kind of picking on Colt but when they ended up on the same football team, it ended up getting resolved on the field when they were up against each other at practice LOL. I can't put my finger on it with this kid, I don't think he's the best influence, he's a little arrogant and bratty, and I just don't quite trust him.

Ok so yesterday after school Colt said at recess he tackled this kid (playfully, which these guys from the football team do sometimes...against playground rules but they do it, and I did chew Colt out for it yesterday).

When Colt did it, this kid got mad, which I understand....but the problem came when because he was mad, this third kid (who hangs out with the first kid but doesn't really like Colt) pushed Colt down and held his head down while the first kid stepped on his face. Colt said it wasn't real hard, and there was no mark, the first kid I guess was just trying to make a point. So the boys went their separate ways, the other two kids one way and Colt another and mad at each other.

Colt was minding his own business (this part told to me by Kylie and her friend) and the second kid came up to Colt with his fists up and took a swing at Colt, which he missed because Colt ducked. The first kid was trying to tell him to stop and Colt was trying to just walk away, the second kid was following him around with fists drawn and basically talking smack. is what I want to know. DH told Colt if that ever happens again to punch that second kid in the nose, that if anyone ever touches him meaning to hurt him he is absolutely within his rights to do something about it. We agree that Colt shouldn't have tackled the first kid, and understand if he was mad and gave Colt a shove back or something, but for one to hold him down while the other stepped on him was going too far. Where do you draw the line? When do you tell your kids it's ok to take physical action? Ideally I like to think that never has to happen, and certainly not in second grade but at the same time I don't want Colt branded as a wimp or an easy target. If it was just this one incident I think I'd just tell Colt he can't get rough like that and expect someone to not get mad but the fact this other kid basically butted in and wouldn't let it go combined with the history of some other things he's said to Colt, honestly, I kind of wish Colt had popped him one.

I'm just torn....I sort of try to stay out of these discussions between Colt and DH because I know it's part of a man trying to teach a boy to be a man but I hate the thought of Colt thinking hitting someone is the answer. At the same time, I don't ever want Colt to be a target and be afraid to do something if he needs to. DH isn't gung ho violence and fighting but does believe very strongly that if Colt needs to do that to get his point across, he should, and that if he doesn't this will continue. We've also told him to just stop hanging out with these boys, and especially now, if the first one would do something while someone else held him down he is obviously NOT a good friend and wouldn't have Colt's back. But this kid seems to genuinely like Colt, calls nonstop all weekend every weekend wanting to play, etc, it's just these flare ups seem to happen and that kid goes way over the line so I think Colt is confused and doesn't seem to realize this kid is trouble.

Sorry this got long, just wanted to give enough of the story to get some opinions.

boyohboyohboy replied: my dh would probably say the same thing as yours..
and it would be so hard for me to not call the school and ask where the play ground attendent was..
but so what happens if this had happened this exact way, and in the end Colt had hit back..would he be suspended?
I know that kids need to be able to defend themselves. I am not sure what I would say.

luvmykids replied: What gripes me is there are usually three or four teachers on duty and none of them saw it. Either that, or they have seen this kind of thing before and have the "boys will be boys" mentality. I'm tempted to talk to the teacher but am trying to make sure I have all the details first.

The school does have a zero tolerance policy, DH's approach to that is yes you will get in trouble but you'll only have to do it once, and they'll get in trouble too and it's worth it if you really had to do it.

I don't want Colt branded either way, as a target or as a fighter. I also thought about asking the kid who is sort of Colt's friend about it, he is a little intimidated by me (I'm not sure why, I just notice he slinks around and keeps his head low when I'm around) and I was thinking maybe just knowing I know about it would be enough to straighten him up. I could do it in a way that doesn't sound like Colt was tattling....I sub there all the time and could just tell him I heard about Colt tackling him and want to know what happened next as a way to talk to him about it.

boyohboyohboy replied: I think if I were you, I would use what ever "in" I had to get all the details and then ask the teachers what happened. I guess if at the very least can watch for these kids when they are all together again, so that it doesnt escalate to the point where Colt has to defend himself.

MommyToAshley replied: That is a tough call. I think I would tell him that the first option is to walk away, but if he was in the position where he had to defend himself or be hurt (like being pinned down by one kid and stepped on by another) then he should by all means defend hmself.

luvmykids replied: He has walked away from the third boy in the past, which I think is part of why this kid comes after him dry.gif I asked why he didn't just apologize to the kid he tackled and walk away, he said it happened so fast he didn't see it coming but that he did apologize when things had cooled off.

The thing I find so strange is by the end of the day, Colt and the first kid were over it and "friends" again, it's this second kid who seems to look for a chance to get after Colt even when it didn't involve him in the first place.

The kids didn't go to school today after our night at the ER last night with DH and Colt is worried that kid thinks it's because Colt was scared of him rolleyes.gif

cameragirl21 replied: I'm totally with your DH on this--if someone tries to hurt Colt, the way to stop it is to hurt him first. Doesn't have to be lethal force but I've learned both as an observer and as an active participant that when you hit back, you solve the problem.
Also, holding someone down while someone else steps on his face is WAY over the line and I think those kids should be suspended. Wrestling between boys is normal and I can see where the kid who got roughed up would be pissed but stepping on someone's face while someone else holds the person down is imo at least a mildly pathological reaction. It can also seriously ruin someone's eyes and break his/her nose, not to mention it can knock out teeth which I imagine in Colt's case are by now mostly permanent (at least in the front). Punching and wrestling is normal and to be expected, standing on people's faces isn't, period.
I remember when I was in school, I took this little boy to baseball practice after his school day and mine. There were a bunch of kids there at baseball and one of them had a sister who one day showed up wearing an eyepatch so I asked her what happened and she told me (and btw she was in 6th grade so we're not talking little kids here) that some boy stabbed her in the eye with a pencil. ohmy.gif blink.gif Sorry, but I think if she didn't deck him in the face, it's a real shame, not to mention that if I were their teacher that boy would not be welcome in my classroom again, ever.
Kids will get in spats and sometimes they get physical but if kids aren't taught where the boundaries are then they run the risk of growing up to be seriously messed up and downright dangerous.
I'd tell Colt to let the other boy have it but ONLY if the other boy threatens him first. Too often, I've seen that kids misinterpret these sorts of instructions and end up starting the scuffle unnecessarily.

luvmykids replied:
DH has stressed that to him, that it's not something you do to look cool or tough, that it is ONLY acceptable when you know someone has the intention of hurting you. I think Colt gets it, he's not a fighter at all by nature and has a very good reputation at school both academically and socially....I think he would really hate for it to come to that so I'm confident that he wouldn't do it out of anything other than necessity.

I did feel bad for him, even though he started it. He honestly thought the other kid would wrestle around with him (like they usually do) and was shocked that it came to that. DH asked him when the kid pushed him down why he didn't kick or throw a punch and he said he still thought they were playing around.

DH has also stressed to Colt that if he ever sees that happening, his new best friend is the kid being held down no matter who the other kids are, friends or not.

The interesting thing is, Colt isn't a weenie or a wimp....he's taken both these boys down on the football field and is physically tough. He's just soft hearted and a peacemaker so I think he's totally bewildered in situations like what happened yesterday.

I think where I'm torn is just not wanting it to have to come to that, I really wanted to talk to his teacher but DH thinks that just makes it sound like Colt came home whining and now mom is fighting the battle for him. His opinion is at some point, boys may have to do this and the less involved mom is the better.....I can't quite bring myself to agree to that.

PrairieMom replied:
I had issues with ben being bullied around last year, mainly just being pushed down, I'm not even sure it was actual bullying , may have just been rough play. I told Ben that he is supposed to find a playground attendant and play around that adult. That way if something does happen, someone will see it, and the chances of him being pushed around are much less.

luvbug00 replied: I've always told mya that she has the right to defend herself.
If she starts the fight she will be punished.
If someone pushes her..walk away.
If she is hit below the neck, she is to get away from the situation..
If she is being hit repeatedly and/or by more then one person, or hit above the neck..she has my permission to fight back.
Her dad has always told her to where to kick boys and hit girls to get them off rolleyes.gif i think that is more the macho mentality speaking..
I'm sorry he had to go threw this, hug.gif

amymom replied: This is spectacular advice for any kid to hear! You are good parents.

luvmykids replied: Thanks, AnneMarie! hug.gif It sure is harder some days than I expected laugh.gif

I'm really hoping Colt outgrows this kid too....I have NO CLUE what Colt sees in him but for some reason Colt thinks this kid is great. I guess he is when they're one on one but I still don't like him happy.gif

I'm trying to also use this to teach Colt what a good friend is NOT someone who turns hot and cold towards you, and it is certainly not someone who would let someone else hold you down and take advantage of it. I told him if this kid had been "tough" he would have handled it alone, maybe given Colt a shove or something but now he knows this kid wouldn't have his back down the road. I'm glad Colt seems to be thinking about it; I know his feelings are a little hurt but I think it's really important they learn to choose friends wisely.

Thanks for all the input guys hug.gif I appreciate the opinions and insight. I have a really hard time encouraging my kids to take things to a physical level but I also don't ever want them to feel they have to allow someone to hurt them or even treat them badly like this "friend" does. Ugh!

ZandersMama replied: The rules here for Zan are if someone hits you, hit back. I hate it but I had to do it, a boy in the neighborhood over the summer was smacking Zan around every day, this kid was 8, Zan is 5 . I talked to the kid , talked to his mom (useless!). He would do this with me right in the yard with them. So I told Zander, in front of this kid, next time he hits you, hit him back just as hard. Next day he came over and gave Zan a shot in the face. Zan hauled back and cracked him one. Kid went home crying and the next morning was over with popsicles and we haven't had a problem since.

Kids have to learn to stand up to bullies. Sometimes all you can do is fight back.

kimberley replied: Jacob has "friends" like this and i tell him the same thing... if they get physical with you, defend yourself.... just try to avoid it if you can and don't throw the first punch. i spent years telling him to tell a grown up but the bullying wouldn't stop. they still pick on him because he is small but not as much as they used to.

sorry Colt is having a hard time. hope things get better. hug.gif

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