General Etiquette > Family and Children

DS stood up for a smaller boy-what should I do (if anything)?

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Hi, all (again):

DS13 has several friends in our apartment complex.  He is among the oldest boys; the youngest ("Bobby" of Bobby and Hannah) is 10.  DS came in very upset this afternoon and told me that the bigger boys wanted to play a game called "Flinch" with Bobby.  They would pretend to poke him in the eye, and if Bobby flinched, one boy could punch him two times  :o >:(.  DS stuck up for Bobby, telling the other boys that someone could get really hurt and that punching wasn't a game.  Then he escorted Bobby to our apartment on their bicycles and told me the story (backed up by Bobby).

When the other 4 or 5 boys involved inevitably showed up, I went out and told them all that if I heard of any more punching games, especially against Bobby, I would have to go to their parents.  Although most of the boys aren't very big, three have martial arts training.  I know that boys roughhouse, but I'm proud of DS for speaking up at whatever cost to himself (I told him to expect the boys to give him the "business", hopefully just words). 

Do I go to the main instigator's parents anyhow, whom I don't know, and if so, how?  Should I tell Bobby's mother, who is a friend, and if so, how?  Or just stay out at this point?

Good for your DS!  And good for you for raising him right! 

I would do nothing further at this point.  I think you got the point across.

"Flinch" as described isn't roughhousing.  It's mean, intimidating behavior.  You absolutely should tell Bobby's mother... exactly what you have told us.  Let her handle it from there, but keep your eyes and ears open, as you may need to address the behavior again for Bobby's immediate protection.  Your son deserves quite a lot of praise for doing the right thing and if he gets any flack from those kids I wouldn't hesitate to talk to the parents.  Let them know that your son had to protect a younger child from them and now they are targeting him.   

Great job by your DS!

I would tell Bobby's mom, especially since she's a friend.  She can help Bobby figure out how to deal with future 'games' by the other boys; build his confidence so he can stand up for himself.  Your DS's wording is perfect: punching is not a game. 

I think that the important thing for you to do now is to follow up on what you said you'd do - that is, if you hear about this happening again go to their parents. That will send the message that you can be relied upon to do what you say you'll do, good or bad.


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