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View Full Version : Way OT..but really need the help..Boys Fighting!


Taylors6
04-25-2007, 07:57 AM
Heres the facts.

Our son is 9 yrs old- 3rd grade. Raised with 3 girls..so not as "manly" as some boys his age. We never allowed fighting, wrestling, pushing, that kinda thing, just let him start watching some TV wrestling this year because he had some problems with some kids pushing him in the lunch line etc. and I gave in on letting him watch the Fri night wrestling because I thought maybe atleast he would learn how to "act" tough. Yeah..I know..seems stupid but he was getting made fun on and being called a sissy,etc.

Our son is really big- just under 5 ft- and about 100 pounds-(well proportioned though so no teasing about weight or anything)- Size 7 mens shoes..just a big boy (gets it from my DH)- so I think the challenge to bully the big kid made things worse for him.

We are pretty strict about not getting in trouble. Well compared to those we know-real strick. Our kids have never brought home a detention or anything (oldest is in 8th grade). They know we expect them to follow the rules. We read the school rights and responsibilities book every new school year- they understand consequences of their actions.

Last week our son got in a "fight" at the bus stop. Another kid was mad because DS wouldn't give up him place in line and grabbed my sons by the neck - my son punched him in the stomach. Trip to the office- principal talks it out gives each a warning. I was called immediately. The next day 4 boys are in front of our house on their bikes- there to beat up my son. The main ones are 2 brothers - one was the one from the fight. I walk out with my son and talked to them all- and my son too. Supposedly it was all OK. They were going to get along. Yesterday my son gets on the bus (end of day-I drove him to school that morning) and tells the younger brother "Your brother will be late getting on the bus-he got in trouble" when the older brother comes on he goes right to my son and slaps him in the head and says "thats for telling my brother I was in trouble" my son slaps him back. Our son told him dad about it last night and me this AM. I go to the bus stop and talk to the bus driver.

The driver says she has written another report. She feels its more on the other boy- our son did not hit first or anything but she said he is does seem tobe making it worse because he stands him ground. One day she told our boy to walk straight home-but saw him double back when the kid was yelling. She said she feels like he is trying to save face with all the other kids talking about him being a chicken. The other kid has told the driver he doesn't care if we call the police on him. She thinks its pretty bad.

Background on the 2 boys- they live about 2 blocks from us. The dad spent a 18 months in jail on a drug charge. We've seen the mom yelling at the kids. Both theboys have said things about their Dad "whupping" them for things they do or say. Not a good home life I understand. The police are there frequently anyways. Apparantly they don't see things are bad enough to involve social services.

I've talked to the school again- I'm going in this morning. Our son mentioned to him Dad that he is bothered by the fact that the driver moved his seat on the bus when he didn't start it. I say sometimes you can start it...even if its not by throwing a punch. I don't think that our son is an angel and can imagine he has made it worse- like telling the boy about his brother...I told him just don't say anything about the kid...NOTHING. But still, the boy can't just walk up and hit my son.

What would you do. Drive the kids to school each way? Call the kid out for bullying? Send my DH down to try to talk to the parents? These kids have been kicked out of school a few times this year for other issues with other kids. Call the police?

What do you all think?

Missy

lost*in*cyberspace
04-25-2007, 08:03 AM
This post brings back memories - sure glad my sons are now grown up and I don't have to deal with this kind of thing anymore.

The other parents sound hopeless and I don't think talking to them will do any good. It is time for the school to get involved. You need to speak with the school guidance counselor, teachers and the principal. It is their responsibility to make sure kids are safe at school. Don't let them wimp out and not take action. If things get worse and the school does nothing, call the police. You also have every right to contact social services if you think these kids are being mistreated at home.

In the meantime, you might want to consider driving your son to school until things settle down, even though this may be very inconvenient for you. If he gets into more fights, even if it's not his fault, he risks being labeled a problem kid. Plus, it will take some of the stress off him.

imsayin
04-25-2007, 08:09 AM
We had a problem while back that luckily just resolved itself, but I did a lot of research on the internet. I saved this link from kidshealth about bullying in case I needed it for the future. It covers all aspects.

http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/behavior/bullies.html

TenThousandVolts
04-25-2007, 08:13 AM
Does your school have peer mediation? It is a very successful program at our Elm. school- and it teaches kids to work out their differences fairly. If not, perhaps suggest this idea to the guidance counselor. That may help in the future. For now, I don't have any real advice- I just wanted to say I am sorry you and your son have to go through this :grouphug: It is so hard to see our kids struggle this way.
You have read rights and responsibilities- what are the consequences supposed to be? Make sure the school sticks to the rules, even if that means your son will face consequences for hitting too- they are there to teach the kids what is acceptable. All of these boys are making bad choices. Maybe they will learn something from it if they are properly disciplined at school.

In our school any kid who hits another kid gets suspended. (I think they may get 1 warning- but I am not sure).

Earstou
04-25-2007, 08:26 AM
In our school district, if both kids are fighting, it doesn't matter who started the fight. Both get suspended. So we taught our kids that they don't hit back. My dd once broke up a fight between two girls, so girls should be taught this too! She was lucky the teacher realized she wasn't part of the fight, just trying to stop it.

I'm sure your son's size is partly responsible for the bullying. I've heard similar things from parents of good-sized boys. This may continue for a while, so your son will need to learn how to handle it without fighting back. The school counselor should be able to help with some ideas for your family. Our school, like many others, has really clamped down on bullying. If your school hasn't yet, ask them to start some kind of program.

I don't think going to the parents is going to help anything, in fact, it could make it worse. The kids probably learned this behavior at home.
Going to the school, and talking to the police if it gets any worse, are your best bets.
If a child causes multiple problems on the bus here, they are kicked off the bus.
Also, our buses pick kids up at each individual house, thereby stopping problems at bus stops. Would your school change where they pick your son up or where they pick up the other boy?

HeatherC
04-25-2007, 08:26 AM
This may sound completely crazy, and maybe it is...but are the kids about the same age as your son? We had a simliar thing happen in our neighborhood...4th graders picking on a 3rd grader...not involving my kids, but this is what the parents did and it really seemed to help. The kids are never going to be best friends, but at least they now can interact on a reasonable level with each other and will still get together for "neighborhood games".

I was thinking that maybe he could invite a small group of boys over to play one day...including these kids for like a baseball , basketball, soccer game, and ice cream. Call it like a "neighborhood game". Maybe it could be done a day that your husband was home to kind of be the "coach" for the game so "mommy" is not overseeing things. Let your husband get them to work together in the game and then step back a little when they are having a drink or snack and kind of let them just hang out together. Sometimes, once the kids get to know each other a little better things can kind of work themselves out.


I think bullying is a horrible and scary thing that needs to be stopped immediately. But I also believe there are different approaches that can be tried before escalating the situation. I kind of feel that even if this doesn't work, you at least tried to reach out and get to know them.

I wish you all the best with this.

HeatherC

dopeyprincesses
04-25-2007, 08:27 AM
I'm so sorry your son is being treated that way :sad1:

My daughter is also in 3rd grade and got hit two times this year!! In fact the second time was just yesterday! What is it with 3rd grade :sad1: I just sent an email to the teacher telling her what our daughter said about the incident.

I would want to go to those parents but it doesn't sound like they are rational caring people! I would drive my child for a little bit, hopefully things will settle down. Your son sounds like a very good boy. It's so sad that some kids are so mean and can't keep their hands to themselves.

Please let us know what the school tells you.

Taylors6
04-25-2007, 08:35 AM
I just read back thru the rights/responsibility book. Its vague- but I think that they should both be dismissed pending a parent conference. Our district is all about politics, and the school principal won't want to do anything because thats more work for her and highlights a problem at her school (last year a child was stabbed in the neck with a pencil and she told the secretary not to call the police...my friend was in the office and used her cell and called 911 immediately!) The schools itself is in a mess due to this principal and the District backs her because they don't want to look at fault. I'm in deep with it-because I have spent time in the Superindents office to discuss it on more than one occasion- I stepped down from being the PTA Presdent after 3 yrs on the board because the principal knew I had reported some things and I felt she was denying the PTA opportunities because of it. Long story- but a really bad deal. I deal with it because its important to me that our kids think everything is positive- but whatever she decides to do...by the book or not the district will back up. Period. Actually she is being removed as prinicpal their next year...but right now I have to deal with this.

If I push for the rules to be followed she will be mad. And make it worse for our son. Not the way it should be...but unfortunantly the way it is. Last week one of the boys said to our Kindergartener "tell your brother if he doesn't give me that spot that I am going to beat YOU up". The principal is aware and did nothing. According to the book that kid should have been put out for the day...if it was his 1st offense (which its not).

I guess I really need to give up on thinking it will go away and I'll be driving my kids to school and back. I don't really mind it. I just think its wrong because they like to ride the bus (especially our DD).

I'll update after I go in.

Missy

dopeyprincesses
04-25-2007, 08:48 AM
good grief that principal :mad: glad she's on her way out!

pencil in the neck :scared1:

:grouphug:

Twende
04-25-2007, 08:50 AM
This may sound completely crazy, and maybe it is...but are the kids about the same age as your son? We had a simliar thing happen in our neighborhood...4th graders picking on a 3rd grader...not involving my kids, but this is what the parents did and it really seemed to help. The kids are never going to be best friends, but at least they now can interact on a reasonable level with each other and will still get together for "neighborhood games".

I was thinking that maybe he could invite a small group of boys over to play one day...including these kids for like a baseball , basketball, soccer game, and ice cream. Call it like a "neighborhood game". Maybe it could be done a day that your husband was home to kind of be the "coach" for the game so "mommy" is not overseeing things. Let your husband get them to work together in the game and then step back a little when they are having a drink or snack and kind of let them just hang out together. Sometimes, once the kids get to know each other a little better things can kind of work themselves out.


I think bullying is a horrible and scary thing that needs to be stopped immediately. But I also believe there are different approaches that can be tried before escalating the situation. I kind of feel that even if this doesn't work, you at least tried to reach out and get to know them.

I wish you all the best with this.

HeatherC

I was thinking along this same line too. Let the kids find a better reason to be friends than enemies.

It will take some time and monitoring to make sure that nothing inappropriate is happening, especially if these two boys come from a "rough" background. It really sounds to me like they need a good role model in their lives and a bit of love.

Homemade cookies, milk and some nights or activities with your son and DH will go farther with ending the problem than letting all the kids get these problems put on their records.

We can all make this world a better place and sometimes we have to do it one or two children at a time.

I sure hope you are able to help these boys!:grouphug:

Dory's Twin
04-25-2007, 08:54 AM
I know what you are going thru.

I would not approach the parents...they could take it out on you, your son or their boys could get hurt...

In an odd way, be glad that your son is standing up for himself. My son was always the big kid, tall and skinny, he got "challenged" a lot...seems that this is a good age to decide the pecking order...My son stood his ground, got punished by the school and then removed himself from the difficult playground situations (for the most part.)

Talk to the school. Bus drivers can fill out reports but usually nothing gets done unless it is way serious! (not just a push or hit). I would drive your child to/from school if only for his sense of peace for awhile....and if they tease him about being too chicken to ride the bus have him say something like..."I got in trouble for hitting on the bus, my mom is making me do this!"

I think the game day idea is a good one, if you can stand to have those other boys around.

Just remember, this too will pass and it's best that they don't end up enemies forever....Middle School can get rough if that happens!

My son is now a Sophomore in HS, 6'3" and full of quiet confidence. The majority of boys look up to him and those that don't leave him alone! The old bullies are small and most have disappeared (umm, dropped out, kicked out), but when he runs into them, they all say "hey", nod, hit knuckles, and go on their way!

Good luck! Just make sure that you are taking care of your son's mental health in all of this and please do not punish him for standing up for himself....if the school does, then let him have his detention, etc. and explain about having to deal with consequences etc....then have ice cream!

Dory's Twin
04-25-2007, 09:02 AM
Oh, just saw the prinicipal update....bad, bad, bad! We live in a political school environment as well.

Your son will not get help there!

Document, document, document!....sometimes a quick little phone call to the Superintendent looking for "advice"...not accusing, not asking for action...can help....but she is on her way out so they know there's a problem. By help, I mean that it could forestall any punitive action against your son....but she probably won't act regarding the other situation...

Ouch, just keep being patient and loving!

shirleyb
04-25-2007, 09:23 AM
I was thinking that maybe he could invite a small group of boys over to play one day...including these kids for like a baseball , basketball, soccer game, and ice cream. Call it like a "neighborhood game". Maybe it could be done a day that your husband was home to kind of be the "coach" for the game so "mommy" is not overseeing things. Let your husband get them to work together in the game and then step back a little when they are having a drink or snack and kind of let them just hang out together. Sometimes, once the kids get to know each other a little better things can kind of work themselves out.


I think bullying is a horrible and scary thing that needs to be stopped immediately. But I also believe there are different approaches that can be tried before escalating the situation. I kind of feel that even if this doesn't work, you at least tried to reach out and get to know them.

I wish you all the best with this.

HeatherC


I like this idea a lot. Like Heather said, they may not become best buds, but maybe these boys could really use a positive experience in their life.

My middle son was also the big kid - I think he was 5'2 or so in 3rd grade, and I was always afraid I'd be in the principal's office with him, but he's never caused me trouble in that regard.

dismom24
04-25-2007, 11:23 AM
I agree with the previous poster about documenting everything and everyone that you talk to. This will protect you and your son in the future should there be any problems.
I have dealt with this a few times. First time it was my DS and his best friend. I spoke with the mother, but we could never really find a solution. Now 3 years later, they have done some growing up and are buddies again.
I wish there was an easy solution.
One thing we did was to open our house up on every Friday night to any kids that want to come over. We have a game room and can easily supervise without being in too involved. Some of the parents have ended up staying too and it has been great to see the dads against the kids at ping pong or pool and for me getting to know the moms better. I let them play the music as loud as they want (we have no close neighbors) and provide lots of snacks. Some weeks we have lots and other weeks not too many. Some are kids they usually hang out with and sometimes it's just some kids from school they don't know too well. So far, we have not had any problems, but we do set rules on pick up times and behavior. It has been a great way kids to have a safe enviroment to come to and for us to get to know them without being too invasive. HTH.

Taylors6
04-25-2007, 12:45 PM
Back from school. Principal had already had them in and talked to them- at first the other boy said he didn't hit our son-but then admitted it when she told him the driver saw it as well as other kids and there is video on the bus. She said she was most struck by the fact that our son seemed so mad- she knows him pretty well from me being around for school help and has never known him to be this way.

He is removed from the bus for the rest of the week. Not an"official" suspention- but there is a report and she put that after talking to me it was decided to take him off for the remainder of the week. She also told me the other boy would have similiar punishment- but mentioned it would be longer because of some "other issues" (his report laying there was 1 full page-our sons was 2 lines) so I bet he was rude to the driver or something. She said she hasn't been able to get ahold of his parents (surprise!).

She called our DS back in and talked to him while I was there about the whole ordeal and him seeming so angry and he said he was mainly because the boy came to our house and "lied to my mom because he said that everything was all OK and then the next day he hits me". She asked him what he wished would happen about this boy and his response was that he would just move away so he wouldn't have to see him or deal with him anymore. The whole time hes talking hes picking at his fingernails and when I looked at his hands closer they are a total wreck. Skin all peeled off,YUCK! I think its from the stress lately- I talked to him a bit about it and he seemed better before we left.

His dad and I will be coming up with a plan this evening as to how to handle the neighborhood problems. We won't be inviting these kids to hang out...not because I think that approach is bad. We have done this often with my daughter (shes 14 now) we are all about helping out youth (so much that we lost $8000 last year opening a teen club that couldn't pay its own bills!) its not uncommon for us to have 10 kids over here in our family room or back yard on the weekend. So I think the kill 'em with kindness goes a long way to a kid that just doesn't have anyone in their life to take a minute for them....but to be honest I don't want my child to "make friends" with these kids. They are trouble. If they don't find it with my kid it will be someone else. I've been nice...I have invited them to sit in the van with us on cold or rainy mornings at the bus stop, sent down an extra umbrella for them,etc. Thats probably why they were decent when I talked to them all and said everything would be OK...then he hits my child in the head. I don't trust these kids, and I sure don't want to encourage my son to be anywhere around them. They should be able to stand at the bus stop for 10 min without a problem...but I draw the line at inviting them into my house or yard.
I'm past being nice. We'll figure out what to do around here, and hopefully the school problem will stop too.

Principals thinks I should put him back on the bus next week and see what happens. I'll think about it.

Thanks for your advice and support!
Missy

dopeyprincesses
04-25-2007, 01:26 PM
OP - it's just not fair that a child (yours) defends himself and he gets punished too (from the bus). I hope things get better for your son.

I agree with you about not wanting your child to be "friends" with these kids you have tried your best.....enough is enough.

hsmamato2
04-25-2007, 02:15 PM
I agree, your son SHOULD be angry, he's being hit,slapped and bullied. When he stands his ground,he gets in trouble. The adults around him,not you,but prinicipal,etc are telling him he has no right to defend himself,or he's in trouble- and acting like him being angry over this is abnormal.
if i went to work one day and a coworker slapped me on the head, lied to my family and others about me,and I got in trouble,and it happened more than once, you can bet I'd be mad!:headache:
You are his parents,and you need to TELL the school what you expect of them regarding your child being bullied.
You and your dh should come up with a plan,together with your son,and let the prinicpal ,and the superintendent,and anyone else who holds responsibilty know that their job is not to be pc,it's to make sure that all kids can feel a minimum of safety while in their care.
-at home, in the neighborhood, I find that a quietly menacing,(not like you'd hurt them,but like you will call authorities at the slightest provocation) all seeing parental presence that hovers,sees,and calls kids on bad behavior soon makes the bad ones find somewhere else to be........ I've done it before,I'll do it again, sometimes, just hovering,and very intensely making sure that those bully kids know that you're watching every move within your personal neighborhood can be helpful. More so than talking,I've found.
Sorry- i'm not yelling at you...I just feel for your ds......

Dory's Twin
04-25-2007, 02:18 PM
Do what you are doing! Be stong and supportive of your son. The skin peeling on his fingers is surely a nervous habit....he is beyond stressed...he sounds distressed.....

Protect him....those boys are bad news and there is nothing that can be done to change them....unless someone steps in and takes them away from their home life....

daisax
04-25-2007, 03:40 PM
Some martial arts training (karate, etc.) might be useful. Not for offensive purposes (that's one of the first lessons, not to use it in anything but self defense), but as a confidence builder.

I know it's done wonders for my niece and nephew in the sense of confidence in the use of their bodies, and it might give you some peace of mind as well that he can handle himself if set upon.

karinbelle
04-25-2007, 09:53 PM
I second daisax's suggestion of karate lessons.

The main focus of these are defense from attack (blocking punches is one of the first things taught).

They teach "fist means WAR, open hand means PEACE - PEACE covers WAR" (We like peace more that war) and bow (show respect).

powellrj
04-26-2007, 05:30 AM
we dealt with the same situation with our oldest DS. It was awful, but we had the advantage that the principal was working with us.

The first thing I did was to limit contact with the kids so that he wasn't in the line of fire. If you could drive him back and forth to school for awhile, that might help. I know it makes it harder on you, but many times if the kid isn't right in front of them, they lose interest and move on to something else.

Get him involved in things these kids don't attend so that he will have a safe zone. Someplace he doesn't always have to be looking over his shoulder.

Once he reached upper elementary school, there was an incident where they jumped him coming out of a neighbors house and the police became involved. Once the police became involved, that was the end of the problem. I hope that yours doesn't come to that. But I have to say that once they did become involved, the problem went away the next day. The officer brought the parents to our home and listened while the boys told in detail what they had been doing to our DS. There were things I didn't even know about.

DS is now 23 and called me the other day to see if I had read in the police blotter that one of the boys was now going back to prison on a parole violation. The crime he is going back to prison for is beating up his father and holding him hostage for 68 cents.

Its scary being a parent some days and now with many of the zero tolerance rules it makes it harder because kids that would never have gotten in trouble are now being in trouble for defending themselves. It doesn't matter if the other kids were picking on them and they were just defending themselves, everyone involved is in trouble.

Good Luck.