Author Topic: DS stood up for a smaller boy-what should I do (if anything)?  (Read 5865 times)

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guihong

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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?



MOM21SON

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Re: DS stood up for a smaller boy-what should I do (if anything)?
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2013, 06:01:54 PM »
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.

MummySweet

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Re: DS stood up for a smaller boy-what should I do (if anything)?
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2013, 06:04:51 PM »
"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.   

Hillia

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Re: DS stood up for a smaller boy-what should I do (if anything)?
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2013, 06:05:42 PM »
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. 

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aiki

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Re: DS stood up for a smaller boy-what should I do (if anything)?
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2013, 06:13:34 PM »
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.
"A true gentleman is one who is never unintentionally rude."  - Oscar Wilde

WillyNilly

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Re: DS stood up for a smaller boy-what should I do (if anything)?
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2013, 06:18:10 PM »
I think its ok you got involved when your son pulled you in. But "two for flinching" is a pretty common games for kids, especially boys, and unless there is some sort of escalation I don't think you should do anything further or try to get the boys in trouble. So if you hear its continuing to happen, or know of any escalating violence, get involved, but for now, its done and stopped and over with. As for Bobby's mom, you might mention it, but I don't think its worth making a big deal over.

Oh the one hand I do understand the whole "no bullying" culture we have adopted, and in general its a good thing, but its also important to remember friendly roughhousing is a normal type of play for all mammals as they grow up. Its fine line between the two but IMO some roughhousing between kids is normal and even a good thing.

Judah

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Re: DS stood up for a smaller boy-what should I do (if anything)?
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2013, 06:26:18 PM »
I think its ok you got involved when your son pulled you in. But "two for flinching" is a pretty common games for kids, especially boys, and unless there is some sort of escalation I don't think you should do anything further or try to get the boys in trouble. So if you hear its continuing to happen, or know of any escalating violence, get involved, but for now, its done and stopped and over with. As for Bobby's mom, you might mention it, but I don't think its worth making a big deal over.

Oh the one hand I do understand the whole "no bullying" culture we have adopted, and in general its a good thing, but its also important to remember friendly roughhousing is a normal type of play for all mammals as they grow up. Its fine line between the two but IMO some roughhousing between kids is normal and even a good thing.

This, totally. *Unless*, Bobby didn't want to play and was being forced to by the older boys.
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bonyk

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Re: DS stood up for a smaller boy-what should I do (if anything)?
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2013, 06:31:07 PM »
I'm thinking if this was normal rough-housing, DS wouldn't have been so upset.  Let Bobby's mom know, and she can decide what to do about it.

MorgnsGrl

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Re: DS stood up for a smaller boy-what should I do (if anything)?
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2013, 06:32:51 PM »
I think its ok you got involved when your son pulled you in. But "two for flinching" is a pretty common games for kids, especially boys, and unless there is some sort of escalation I don't think you should do anything further or try to get the boys in trouble. So if you hear its continuing to happen, or know of any escalating violence, get involved, but for now, its done and stopped and over with. As for Bobby's mom, you might mention it, but I don't think its worth making a big deal over.

Oh the one hand I do understand the whole "no bullying" culture we have adopted, and in general its a good thing, but its also important to remember friendly roughhousing is a normal type of play for all mammals as they grow up. Its fine line between the two but IMO some roughhousing between kids is normal and even a good thing.

I don't agree. I might feel differently if it was a game where ALL the boys took turns trying not to flinch, but if Bobby was the only "flincher" then that sounds to me like an excuse to hit Bobby under the guise of a "game." Also, I think "friendly roughhousing" is between equals, not between a number of older boys and one younger one.

EllenS

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Re: DS stood up for a smaller boy-what should I do (if anything)?
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2013, 06:38:21 PM »
"friendly roughhousing" is between equals, not between a number of older boys and one younger one.

Agree.  The thing that troubles me about this scenario is not the punching, per se, but the fact that a number of older boys were recruiting each other purposely to gang up on the littlest one.  The emotional and physical difference between 13 and 10 is significant.

Kudos to your son for putting a stop to it.  I think you handled it just right, but I might mention to Bobby's mom to keep an eye out, and find ways to encourage Bobby to speak up for himself.

WillyNilly

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Re: DS stood up for a smaller boy-what should I do (if anything)?
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2013, 06:40:02 PM »
I think its ok you got involved when your son pulled you in. But "two for flinching" is a pretty common games for kids, especially boys, and unless there is some sort of escalation I don't think you should do anything further or try to get the boys in trouble. So if you hear its continuing to happen, or know of any escalating violence, get involved, but for now, its done and stopped and over with. As for Bobby's mom, you might mention it, but I don't think its worth making a big deal over.

Oh the one hand I do understand the whole "no bullying" culture we have adopted, and in general its a good thing, but its also important to remember friendly roughhousing is a normal type of play for all mammals as they grow up. Its fine line between the two but IMO some roughhousing between kids is normal and even a good thing.

I don't agree. I might feel differently if it was a game where ALL the boys took turns trying not to flinch, but if Bobby was the only "flincher" then that sounds to me like an excuse to hit Bobby under the guise of a "game." Also, I think "friendly roughhousing" is between equals, not between a number of older boys and one younger one.

We'll have to just disagree then. In my experience "two for flinching" is a very traditional, widespread game, often dealt by older kids upon younger ones. Its almost a right of passage. It hurts, but its not the same as being beaten up - if the big kids wanted to just beat the younger one up they would, this game is a weird way older kids help younger ones learn to toughen up; its usually done to a younger kid the older ones like. Older brothers for example (seriously allolder brothers I knew growing up, my own included) do this to their younger siblings, older cousins to younger cousins, etc. Heck Bart Simpson has done this to Lisa.

artk2002

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Re: DS stood up for a smaller boy-what should I do (if anything)?
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2013, 07:30:36 PM »
Just because it's "tradition" it doesn't mean that it's ok. Some traditions deserve to die. One would hope that we can improve our treatment of each other and not preserve cruelty under the guise of "we've always done that." Most universities have banned the "tradition" of hazing, and with good reason.

OP, your son did the right thing.
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sammycat

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Re: DS stood up for a smaller boy-what should I do (if anything)?
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2013, 07:38:21 PM »
I've never, ever, heard of this flinching game but it sounds like straight up bulling, no question.

OP, I'd inform Bob's mother of the situation, and if the bullies do take any further action, I'd have no qualms in informing their parents as you said you would.

Kudos to your son for his actions! :)

GreenEyedHawk

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Re: DS stood up for a smaller boy-what should I do (if anything)?
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2013, 07:56:14 PM »
Sorry but this is completely different than "two for flinching".  Poked in the eye?  Your son was 100% right to intervene, you must be very proud of him.
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Harriet Jones

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Re: DS stood up for a smaller boy-what should I do (if anything)?
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2013, 08:04:22 PM »
I've never, ever, heard of this flinching game but it sounds like straight up bulling, no question.

OP, I'd inform Bob's mother of the situation, and if the bullies do take any further action, I'd have no qualms in informing their parents as you said you would.

Kudos to your son for his actions! :)

I'd be tempted to inform the boys' sensei(s) as well. It sounds like bullying, not "two for flinching" between friends.