Or am I to strict? How would you have reacted?

(153 Posts)
OHforDUCKScake Sun 12-May-13 19:35:05

My 6 year old son was playing with his friend who is 10 outside. He's a nice boy and they've always got on well.
I was in the kitchen and I heard this absolute wail come from outside that was my son. I ran out and he was clutching his eye and sobbing uncontrollably.
His friend was saying sorry to him and comforting him, and told he'd shot him in the eye with his Nerf gun.
DC couldnt open his eye so I didnt respond, and just ushered DS inside.
A cold compress later he could open it, but it was swollen.

We asked what happened when he'd calmed down, he said his friend shot him in the eye with a nerf gun. His dad asked how fat away he was stood and he said "where mum is now", at which point I had a cold compress against his eye so there was about half a foots width between our bodies.

A bit annoyed, I knocked on his door to as, what happened . He answered and I said just wanted to hear what happened (i.e was it deliberate) and he explained. He said "We swapped guns and I shot him in the eye."

Basically it pans out, it was deliberate but he didnt mean to hurt my son.

Then his mums comes to his side, I told her. She said "Oh dear. Did you say sorry?"

He said yes (he had).

That was it.

I left having to make a point of keeping my chin off the floor. His mum is a nice person from what I know of her but clearly we parent differently.

If that was my son especially if he was 10, who had shot a younger child, or any person in the eye, Id have been livid.

I was pissed off but now Im confused. Ive recently been doubting my parenting approaches with my son, Im having a bit of a wobble. And this has made me wonder if my reaction would have been too harsh.

So I put it to the jury, how would you have reacted if your child had done that?

CrapBag Mon 13-May-13 21:48:11

Only skimmed through.

If my child had done this deliberately to someone, my child would not be playing with their nerf gun anymore. Simple as that.

I worry that I am too strict but this one seems like a no brainer. I would also expect a 10 year old to know not to fire it in someones face. If they don't get that then they definitely shouldn't have that toy. I would expect my 5 year old to know that tbh.

Helltotheno Mon 13-May-13 20:55:42

Gosh, I feel sorry for any child who plays with Helltotheno's children

No problems there Maryz, beyond the normal anyway, but thanks for the concern smile

valiumredhead Mon 13-May-13 18:42:29

We had the best fun ever with them one Christmas, dh is a demon shot grin

everlong Mon 13-May-13 18:32:22

I don't get nerf guns.

I mean this sort of thing is always going to happen.

Just don't buy the damn things.

Maryz Mon 13-May-13 18:28:11

Gosh, I feel sorry for any child who plays with Helltotheno's children shock. She really sees the worst possible reasoning behind this. I mean, does anyone really think the 10 year old decided "I want to know what will happen if i shoot the op's ds in the eye" and then did it? Really?

And I'm still waiting to see why the op thought it was deliberate. She seems reluctant to answer, so I can only assume it was a complete accident, judging by the 10 year old's obvious remorse.

5madthings Mon 13-May-13 11:38:53

Its quite standard in primary school for the kids in yr 6 to be given 'jobs/responsibilities' etc one of these at our school and many others that i know is 'playground buddy' where they watch the little ones and if one is sad/lonely they chat to them and help them join in games. They play with the reception class kuds, read to them etc and are generally a 'buddy'. The little ones know they can go to them if they are upset or want to pkay etc.

Its not telling that incidents have happened with that age gap if anything another six year old is more likely to ahoot a nerf bullet into their face tbh as they dont think, generally a ten yr old will but they still lack impulse control and get carried away but nine times out of ten my ten yr old would be sensible, unlike a six yr old. If you had asked a year ago at just ten rather than nearly eleven i would have said about 70% of the time he was sensible, its an age where thry start to mature a lot ime but they are still children and prone to moments of being childish.

It all depends on the personalities of children quite often more than their age, so if there have bern a few incidents with that age gap i would say its to do with supervision and individual personalities. Some little kids do a good job of winding up big kids and vice versa, an 8 yr old through dirt in the face of my five yr old last week and my five yr old then hit him. I told my ds off for hitying but found it odd that the mum was all 'your son hit mine' and seemed unbotherdd by the fact her much bigger son had infact thrown dirt in a little boys face and her son was clearly ok despite being hit as he was stood saying 'he hit me..' no tearsetc he was just annoyed at being hit. They had been playing nicely and normally do but the digging in the dirt like dogs game got out of hand [shrug] these things do happen regardless of age. I told my ds off for hitting, cleaned him up and got the dirt out of his eyes etc and assumed the mum.went on to have words with her son about throwing dirt. i was perplexed at her marching over and being all your son hit mine when her kid was fine and ds4 was in tears with dirt in his eyes and all over his face courtesy of her ds roles reversed and i would have been apologising and checking the little one was ok.

But i agree disciplining to be done in private after the event is quite normal.

WileyRoadRunner Mon 13-May-13 11:36:19

What are you meant to do with Nerf guns? Presumably fire them at each other? Did you set strict rules about not in each others faces etc?

Obviously the 10 yr old should not have fired it in your son's face but sadly without adequate supervision many games can easily end in injury. It doesn't sound like the intention was to hurt your child and the other boy was obviously upset about his actions.

Many children would lie about having fired it into someone's face. I can't imagine he will ever do something that silly again. His mother made sure he had already apologised and therefore it appears she would likely have words with him behind closed doors. Obviously he knows right from wrong.

OP I think you just need to set strict rules for both children playing together.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 13-May-13 11:09:24

It was a mistake. It's happened with my two (11and 9) as they didnt realise how keen they come. Also the elite ones are much stronger so if someone isn't used to those or has a bad aim

We had to set strict rules about aiming at faces but it took us to set them.

Helltotheno Mon 13-May-13 11:06:26

if they think a six yr old shouldnt be playing with a ten yr old.

It's not that I think there should be a rule. The whole thing very much depends on the personality of the kids involved. Put it this way, my child is in an activity club that involves kids of different ages (supervised). Not too many incidents and accidents luckily, but the few there have been have involved a similar age difference and that to me is telling. It's a lot easier to arbitrate an incident involving kids the same age.

But parents do have a right to act as they see fit around something like this.. obviously I don't mean giving the 10 yr old a telling off, more whether they want to cut down on those kids playing together etc.

iwantanafternoonnap Mon 13-May-13 11:05:18

OP said it was deliberate and therefore not an accident and the 10 year old should be suitably punished for that but at the same time praised for apologising.

My 3 year old gets a telling off for putting/pointing/shoving anything or anyone in the face and the toy removed. This boy is 10 and I would certainly expect my son to know that firing a toy gun in someone's face and that age is dangerous and is just not acceptable behaviour even if he was being silly.

I would have apologised, said I was going to have words and that I was taking the gun away.

Can't believe the attitudes that some people think it's okay and just harmless fun. Children of every age should be taught not to throw/hit/point/fire/poke things at peoples faces and heads. It's dangerous and if you don't teach them that then how are they going to learn. 'oh sorry but I have just whacked your kids head with a bit of 2"x2" but I didn't think it would hurt and I was just being silly I mean nobody said it was wrong/punished me when I shot at someone's head'

Hope your son's eye is okay.

Helltotheno Mon 13-May-13 10:57:52

he clearly didn't mean to hurt your child

And that's a valid view. But I tend to feel that he was experimenting at the time and didn't particularly care about the consequences. There's no question in my mind that at ten, he would have had an idea that there would be consequences and that they may not be good. This doesn't make him evil, but would tell me on balance that it probably would be better to have my 6 year old play with other 6'ish year olds. I'd just rather not stick around for the next experiment.

All parents can do is act on instinct really. Some would choose to see it as a minor incident and business as usual, others might choose to maybe change the situation a bit, while not seeing the incident as the end of the world.

End of the day, everyone has to do what they feel is right for their kid!

5madthings Mon 13-May-13 10:57:26

I would be cross at my ten yr old and would prob enforce a nerf gun ban but the boy did apologise and was comforting your son so he realised he had done something wrong.

It is horrible when your child gets hurt but they were playing with nerf guns and these things happen.

Dont get hysteria of a ten yr old playing with a six yr old, especially as some ten yr olds xan still be very young iyswim.

Numerous kids these ages play out all tpgether in our cul de sac. In school playgrounds they play together, ds4 is in reception and plays with some kids in yr 6, when we go into school in the morning they come over to say hello. He loves playing with the 'big kids' and they are generally very sweet with him, i have occasionally reminded them.he is only little if they get too rough/boisterous but as the youngest of four boys he is quite used to holding his own.

My own ds2 is almost 11 and always looks out for/looks after the little ones and will play with them. His teachers have said how caring he is, as soon as a little one falls over he is straight there helping them up, checking they are ok etc.

What a wierd world some people must live in if they think a six yr old shouldnt be playing with a ten yr old.

Op i would have apologised to you and then had words with my ds privately.

valiumredhead Mon 13-May-13 10:52:54

ryan you sound very sensible grin

ryanboy Mon 13-May-13 10:48:30

Of course it was an accident -he clearly didn't mean to hurt your child.It was an error of judgment or a moment of careless giddiness because he is 10.
That is why we don't let 10 year old s drive cars or buy fireworks

Morloth Mon 13-May-13 10:45:19

Meh, the eye incident has turned out OK though.

I like the sound of velcro vests though, like paint ball without the bruises!

samuelwhiskers Mon 13-May-13 10:43:08

Morloth - well, the "protective equipment" (seems a bit of an OTT term I agree) are wrap around glasses and a waistcoat thing with velcro! It would have saved OP's son's eye incident though.

Chandon Mon 13-May-13 10:40:08

My 10 yr old did this to DS2's friend, who is 7. so similar scenario.

It was "deliberate" in that he did it to be silly, he did not think it through.

I sent him to his room, was not allowed nerf guns for a week and I had a bit of a go at him. And I don't think I am particularly strict, but kids have to know they have to be careful especially around younger kids. That is very important.

difficult if it is not your own kid though! As to 10 yr olds playing with 6 yr olds, don't see anything inherently wrong with that TBH.

jacks365 Mon 13-May-13 10:35:43

Did he deliberately aim at your sons eye or just at your son? It makes a difference to how i would have dealt with it. The other thing is that if i found you forcefully questioning my son about something i would be irritated with you and would shrug of your concerns to your face, i would then talk to my son and any action i took would be based on just what was deliberate ie aiming for eye grounding just aiming at him serious talking to about safety.

BoffinMum Mon 13-May-13 10:34:39

The boy said sorry and now has seen the effect of not being careful enough, FFS. Chill.

Morloth Mon 13-May-13 10:34:29

There is protective equipment for nerf guns?

samuelwhiskers Mon 13-May-13 10:30:01

OP - glad that you think that you might have been a bit harsh on a 10 year old boy.

I cannot see that this boy deliberately shot your son in the eye, boys get carried away. In any case, he was remorseful at the time of the accident. I am more interested in why you don't insist that your 6 year old son wears the protective glasses? My 12 year old son wears them all the time with his friends and has spare pairs for them too.

Agree with other posters that 4 years is too big a gap to play unsupervised with nerf guns without the protective equipment.

Morloth Mon 13-May-13 10:26:40

You can't trust anyone with a nerf gun in our house, least of all the 39+36 year old.

As I said, kids do stupid shit and they do get hurt, it is inevitable and not really to be avoided, mostly they don't get seriously hurt and they learn from the little hurts to not get the big ones.

Saski Mon 13-May-13 10:21:06

Mind you I'm coming off a LONG weekend that included tons of nerf guns and a few tears - I honestly don't see how this is such a problem.

What the 10 year old did is POSSIBLY not nice. My 10 year old is occasionally not nice. It disappoints me, and I move on. I don't consider it an indictment of his character.

I don't think I'd every get extremely, extremely worked up over a Nerf gun incident, bar a few exceptions.

Saski Mon 13-May-13 10:21:04

Mind you I'm coming off a LONG weekend that included tons of nerf guns and a few tears - I honestly don't see how this is such a problem.

What the 10 year old did is POSSIBLY not nice. My 10 year old is occasionally not nice. It disappoints me, and I move on. I don't consider it an indictment of his character.

I don't think I'd every get extremely, extremely worked up over a Nerf gun incident, bar a few exceptions.

Helltotheno Mon 13-May-13 10:20:41

The ten year old sounds nice to me

The ten year old sounds like your average ten year old pushing the limits to see what he can get away with it. It's just a matter of different views on the world Maryz.

I stand by my point that they're not appropriate ages for each others, precisely because of situations like this. Maybe OP's six year old is more worldly wise than my DS was at 6, because there's no way my DS at that age would have been in the same ball park as a ten year old. He would've been scared to go near a ten year old!

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