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?

Fancydrawers Sun 12-May-13 19:36:35

But what did you want her to do?

JerseySpud Sun 12-May-13 19:36:44

If my dd was 10 and had done that to a 6 year old i would have gone mental and most likely grounded her for a weekend.

But i dead strict

JerseySpud Sun 12-May-13 19:36:52


SaidFlorence Sun 12-May-13 19:36:56

It was an accident, he apologised. These things happen...

He said sorry, it was an accident. What else is there to do?

HazleNutt Sun 12-May-13 19:40:13

no it was not an accident. a 10-year old should know better.

mrsjay Sun 12-May-13 19:41:01

I would have been annoyed and blathered on about how stupid they were but I think the kid has said sorry they were being daft with nerf guns I hope your son is ok and dont let him stop being friends just watch them witht he nerf guns

Nagoo Sun 12-May-13 19:41:31

I would have taken the toy away. What else do you want? He didn't mean to hurt him, he did something stupid, and he was sorry about it. I he had hurt him maliciously then I would have done something more punitive.

phantomnamechanger Sun 12-May-13 19:41:49

DD (11) accidentally shot DS (8) with a nerf gun last week while loading it, right in the eye - boy did he scream - she was mortified and apologetic and running round getting wet flannels etc. We did not need to add to her concern by punishing her for an accident she felt dreadful about. Different matter had it been deliberate!

But 10 is old enough to KNOW not to do that deliberately. And a very good apology is called for, at the very least - without knowing the kid its hard to say if he should be "punished" too - was he proper sorry or just shrugging it off?

ryanboy Sun 12-May-13 19:43:22

So is it your DS's gun? confused

Sirzy Sun 12-May-13 19:43:40

You don't know what was said after you had left. Perhaps she didn't want to talk about it with someone else around.

BoundandRebound Sun 12-May-13 19:44:11

Malice afore thought I'd have gone ballistic

Stupid mistake cos he's 10 and didn't realise apology suffices

When you went out 10 year old was shocked and comforting your child and apologising rather than running off or saying he didn't do anything - that's a decent kid who made a mistake and clearly has good boundaries

mrsjay Sun 12-May-13 19:44:42

maybe sirzy is right maybe the boy is getting a right telling off from his mum and she didnt want to rant on infront of you

zoobaby Sun 12-May-13 19:46:25

If the 10yo was mine I'd be explaining in no uncertain terms my disappointment and explain the dangers (bring out the old "it's all fun til someone gets hurt" chestnut), etc. I'd then get him to come over and see the injured younger child to reiterate his apology with a bit of explanation about how he now understands why it was unacceptable to do. Then we'd discuss a consequence which would probably involve giving up the Nerf gun for an amount of time.

Sirzy is right, I definitely would have told DC that it was stupid, what did they expect to happen, be more careful in future, should know better etc.

However I wouldn't have done that in front of you, and I had assumed that the mother probably would have done the same thing as I think thats what most parents would do, but not in front of you.

HotCrossPun Sun 12-May-13 19:47:22

Why would she speak to him about it properly when you were standing at the door?

Do you think that when they got inside it was never mentioned again?

BarbarianMum Sun 12-May-13 19:48:44

If I'd been his mother, I would probably have given him a right telling off. BUT I think BoundandRebound is right - a telling off might have made you feel better but it probably wasn't necessary in this instance.

Coconutty Sun 12-May-13 19:49:31

I would have talked to my DS in private, not in front of you at the door.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 12-May-13 19:51:50

What were you expecting her to do?

The 10yo didn't mean to hurt your ds, and reacted appropriately when he did. For all you know, they did have a talk about it afterwards, and her shouting and giving him a proper telling of just to appease you wouldn't have done any good anyway.

HarrietSchulenberg Sun 12-May-13 19:52:42

He's apologised. He looked after your son. It sounds as if it was a genuine accident and they were playing. He's only 10. Nerf guns go off easily. It's a nasty thing to happen but I don't know what else you expect.

Why either of you would give your child a gun that if shot at close range causes that kind of damage is beyond me.

Honestly, it sounds really like a very stupid thing to do.

mrsjay Sun 12-May-13 19:53:51

I never told dds off in front of anybody outside It is embarrassing and Id march them in to do it, I would have made them apologise which the mum did, then ranted like a loon when i closed the door

OHforDUCKScake Sun 12-May-13 19:54:42

She was very much "well, nerf guns hurt <laughs>"

I really, really doubt that she had any words with him at all.

But what someone pointed out was right, he did comfort him, and he was honest. Ive been thinking that.

I have to correct those who think it was an accident though, he admitted that it wasnt. I think it was just one of those not-thinking-this-through moments that children have.

mrsjay Sun 12-May-13 19:54:47

and what others said he didnt run off when he did it he was really upset and made sure your little boy was ok ,

Cloverer Sun 12-May-13 19:55:58

He didn't mean to hurt your DS
They are friends
He was sorry and told the truth about what happened

Not sure what you wanted the mum to do? Go ballistic and humiliate him in front of you on the doorstep?

If I was her, I'd have made sure he apologised, and then privately spoken to him about why it was dangerous and that he needs to be careful.

He didn't mean to hurt anyone, so don't see how shouting and punishing would achieve anything?

OHforDUCKScake Sun 12-May-13 19:56:33

Laurie with all due respect, a bat and ball would have had the same effect.

I feel as though a child should just not aim any toy at the eyes.

Cloverer Sun 12-May-13 19:57:25

He did something stupid. I don't think children need punishing for acts of stupidity so long as they are sorry, realise their mistake, and have learnt from it.

mrsjay Sun 12-May-13 19:57:44

I feel as though a child should just not aim any toy at the eyes.

you are right it was a stupid and dangerous thing to do i dont think the 10 yr old will do it again ,

OHforDUCKScake Sun 12-May-13 19:58:39

"What did you expect the mum to do."

Honestly, if it was me. id have told the mum that I would be having words with my son. then closed the door and had said words. id have explained how dangerous it was to aim any toy at someones eye, and wouldnt have let him out for the rest of the day.

BitOutOfPractice Sun 12-May-13 20:00:00

He's 10. He reacted with sympathy and concern when it happened. It was an accident.

What would you have done if your ds had been the "perp"?

It was just an accident. One of those things.

Cloverer Sun 12-May-13 20:00:31

You don't know what happened behind closed doors though.

Seeing as the gun wasn't his, and couldn't be confiscated, not sure I see the point of keeping him in all day.

OHforDUCKScake Sun 12-May-13 20:00:35

I think a lot of mumsnet children must not get punished for many things then.

I would genuinely like to be a fly on most of your walls when your child does something that I would consider dangerous. This is not a sarcastic statement, I would genuinely like to see it. My 6 year old is my first and I often wonder if I am getting things right!

OHforDUCKScake Sun 12-May-13 20:01:20

They both had a nerf gun, they swapped, he lifted and shot my son.

I said this in the OP?

Nope - a bat and ball is not the same as a gun.

A bat and ball has a purpose distinct from twatting someone round the head.

You might as well say that you can strangle someone with a bit of string.

Unless you're American and its part of your culture giving a six year old a gun is fuckwitted. And even in America they're encouraged to teach safely on ranges with children til they learn to handle a gun.

phantomnamechanger Sun 12-May-13 20:02:04

the boy made a mistake but his honesty is very important - if the mother went mental at him, he learns the message that honesty doesnt pay, and next time claims it was an accident. I think it is importnat to reward kids honesty, owning up even when you think that will get you in trouble is a very grown up thing to do

we have always told our 3 that we will be even more annoyed if we find out they have lied to us about soemthing

thecatfromjapan Sun 12-May-13 20:02:31

I kind of agree with what Laurie said. But, on the other hand, how were you to know? I have a ten year old. I let her play with her friends with limited supervision. No guns, but that's because she's not interested in them. I've not seen a nerf gun, but I had no idea they could do that!

To be honest, the other mother is probably just shell-shocked that nerf guns can do that much damage. And she's probably thinking quite anxious thoughts that it could have been her child that was shot in the eye.

It it tough. At 10 they are pretty grown up. but they are also still children. Really. I have a 15 year old, and he can suddenly stun me with acts of thoughtless, child-like, un-thought-through, bewildering idiocy. 10 year olds do that too. Unless you've seen signs of it before, it's unlikely that the other child is a genuine psychopath. He might be. But it is unlikely.

Ultimately, they are children, you are the adult. Although it's kind of unfair, the ultimate responsibility kind of lies with you. And you know it was an accident, not malicious negligence on your part. So, hard though that is, you may have to extend it to the other child.

Really hope your ds is OK. It sounds truly horrible. And I, for one, did not know that was possible with one of these nerf things.

Cloverer Sun 12-May-13 20:03:13

If a child does something dangerous because they haven't understood the consequences, why would you punish them?

If they do something naughty - deliberately hurt someone else or break something - then yes, punish. If they do something dangerous because they haven't thought or realised what they are doing, then I would want to ensure they do realise and won't do it again!

Children aren't little animals to be trained though, you can talk, reason and discuss things with them!

Oh and I have every sympathy for your child's eye and hope he recovers well and elects himself not to touch the gun again.

I have no sympathy for an adult that gives a 6 year old a gun.

mrsjay Sun 12-May-13 20:04:12

we have always told our 3 that we will be even more annoyed if we find out they have lied to us about soemthing

^ ^ this is what we have always said id rather be shocked if they did something but glad they told us that barefaced lie that really winds me up

It was an accident!!!! Jeez do you want him to get an asbo or something?

BarbarianMum Sun 12-May-13 20:05:15

<<Unless you're American and its part of your culture giving a six year old a gun is fuckwitted>>

It was a Nerf gun, not a .22.

It is very much part of our culture that children play with toy guns - water pistols, cap guns, nerf guns - then grow up not to use guns at all. Not everybody agrees with this of course, but it is disingenuous to suggest it is unusual.

UnChartered Sun 12-May-13 20:06:11

how do you know that child's nerf isn't in the bin right now?

OHforDUCKScake Sun 12-May-13 20:06:12

Really Clover, you think a 10 year old wouldnt understand the consequences of shooting a gun at someones eye?

thecatfromjapan Sun 12-May-13 20:06:21

Oh. Your child is 6? I genuinely don't know what one of these nerf things is, but if it is capable of doing that, isn't it a bit daft to be sending your six year old off unsupervised with one?

Or was the 10 year old supposed to be in a supervisory role? Some 10 year olds aren't mature enough to supervise. Though some are.

OHforDUCKScake Sun 12-May-13 20:07:53

comedy have you read the thread? He admitted it was deliberate.

Thanks barbarian, I had a spud gun as a child, I turned out ok.

malovitt Sun 12-May-13 20:08:30

If I had been the boy's mum, I would have told my son off in front of you, then marched him round to yours to apologise again to your son.
I would then have confiscated his gun.
10 year olds should know that you do not aim at the face from any range, let alone 6 inches away.
But then I have a friend with the sight in only one eye now, due to 'stupidity'

mrsjay Sun 12-May-13 20:08:50

I am not sure what comes out of a nerf gun is it like a sucker thing ?

thecatfromjapan Sun 12-May-13 20:09:29

duck - It's not just Clover who thinks that. I don't think all 10 year olds are fully "there", all the time, when it comes to thinking through all of their actions. As I said earlier, my 15 year old can be shocking sometimes, and I know he's a boy with good moral grounding. Clearly, we expect a great deal more of them than we do of your average five year old. But they are still on the road to full maturity. It's why they are tried differently in courts of law.

OHforDUCKScake Sun 12-May-13 20:10:26

Apparently they are aged 6 and above, to be honest he'd only owned it 24 hours and the 'bullets' are foam. Probably less painful than a spud gun wink.

I guess I assumed a 10 year old child would know eyes hurt when anything hits them. hmm. But the mumsnetters are assured me that he wouldnt know that at all.

Blu Sun 12-May-13 20:10:34

I think 10 year olds who play nicely with 6 year olds are probably nice, kind kids at heart. You knew they were playing with Nerf guns, what would you have done had your 6 year old shot the other boy in the eye?

I would have had a serious word about bring careful, and a cross word about anyone ever deliberately aiming at faces, but I am afraid if you let your DS out to play with the big boys with a Nerf gun then accidents/ moments of ill considered idiocy will occur.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 12-May-13 20:12:03

I have to say that a ten year old shouldn't be playing regulary with a much younger boy anyway...and this is only one reason. That boy will be off to secondary soon where he will be FAR more advanced in terms of language and knowledge of things no 6 year old needs to know about.

OHforDUCKScake Sun 12-May-13 20:12:16

I totally agree that it was a not-thinking-this-through moment for him, and he is a nice lad.

But people are suggesting he wouldnt understand the consequences of his actions, which to me seems absurd.

Cloverer Sun 12-May-13 20:12:28

DUCKS are you saying he did intend to hurt your son?

thecatfromjapan Sun 12-May-13 20:12:31

Seriously, though, if you are going to ask for this child to be hanged in front of you by his mother, what do you think your punishment should be?

You intentionally left them with the guns. And you are way older than 10.

If you apply your slightly charity-less logic to yourself, I think you're looking at disembowelling, at least.

I think you deserve to be excused for what was a poorly thought through action. Personally, i feel you should extend that charity to the 10 year old.

I've just looked them up on Amazon and they fire actual darts confused

How is that sensible for a 6 year old? According to the blurb on Amazon on the advert I looked at it said not for under 12's.

And this is exactly my point, it's not an age appropriate toy.

Blu Sun 12-May-13 20:12:59

MrsJ , a Nerf gun missile is like a light foam Li-let.

Cloverer Sun 12-May-13 20:14:24

He didn't think it through, didn't intend to hurt - that's childish stupidity not malice.

Ah, cross posted.

Are the foam bullets ones Supposed to cause that much damage then ?

thecatfromjapan Sun 12-May-13 20:14:40

Sorry - typed too soon: poorly thought through - but who can wholly think everything through - action and accident.

Really, I don't think I could blame you for this either. It's just a really horrible thing. I would never, ever imagine a toy could do that. I doubt very much the 10 year old could, either.

Heck, who expects a killer/maiming toy these days?

zoobaby Sun 12-May-13 20:14:58

Next time they're playing with them, definitely go over some safety reminders first.

OHforDUCKScake Sun 12-May-13 20:16:26

"If you think the child should be hanged in front of you."
Before you start being over emotional and dramatic, read the thread properly.

laurie yes, thats right. My son went out with darts, and a dart went in his eye. hmm seriously?

Blu I said above what I would have done.

Rainbowinthesky Sun 12-May-13 20:17:15

2 kids unsupervised with 2 guns. Can't say I'm surprised.

Blu Sun 12-May-13 20:17:26

Yes, of course a 10 yo boy would understand the consequences of shooting a Nerf gun in someone's face. But 10 yo boys are capable of total idiocy without having ill intent, and do the most awful things to ea h other , apparently out of friendship. Even nice sweet ones. They are still kids.

thecatfromjapan Sun 12-May-13 20:19:55

I was being funny, love. Trying to ameliorate what I was saying with the humour of exaggeration.

I agree with Laurie, though.

Rainbowinthesky Sun 12-May-13 20:20:27

I assume you knew they both had nerf guns. Children are unpredictable and, well, childlike. It's a lesson for you really.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 12-May-13 20:20:59

That's right Blu and OP what you really have to ask yourself is the question, "Is this a suitable friendship for my child?" not because the lad acted stupidly but because he's too old to play with your son....now and then maybe but not on a regular basis.

thecatfromjapan Sun 12-May-13 20:21:17

You don't do self-blame, do you? <awed>

OHforDUCKScake Sun 12-May-13 20:24:57

I think you have summed it up pretty well actually blu! Thanks for making me see it.

thecat I dont do self blame? <hollow laugh>. Let us not open that can of worms.

neo I have asked myself that lots of times. The thing is, they have a mutual friend whos inbetween both their ages so make it work. These tow rarely play alone together.

There is a 14 year old that plays with them, I have to call my son in when this boy comes out, but thats a whole other thead.

Fancydrawers Sun 12-May-13 20:25:32

Why even bother posting if you're going to get all pissy when people disagree?

OHforDUCKScake Sun 12-May-13 20:28:36

Rest assured Fancy I am not pissy. grin

Thanks for your intelligent, insightful input though, that was wonderful. grin

IfNotNowThenWhen Sun 12-May-13 20:28:55

I think what OP is asking is how you would react if your 10 yr old shot another kid in the eye.
If I was the other parent I would say "I am really sorry this happened, and a) I think we need to ban the nerf guns when they are playing together and b) don't worry I will make sure this never happens again.
I don't think I would shrug it off.

KatyDid02 Sun 12-May-13 20:30:20

I would have been pretty annoyed if my son had done that. I doubt that he would but it is why we don't allow nerf guns. Thankfully he's never expressed any interest in them so I've never had to explain my stance. It'd still be no though.

ChippingInLovesSunshine Sun 12-May-13 20:30:41

I would expect a 6 year old to know that it's dangerous to aim something at someone's eye/face - let alone a 10 year old. Of course he's old enough to know it would hurt... very odd of people to say he isn't.

I'd have been furious that he deliberately aimed it at someone's eye.

Yes - it's good he told the truth - so half the punishment, not 'no' punishment, but you don't know what happened after you left - though it sounds like probably not much. Still, her child, her call, I guess.

Hope your DS is better now.

greenformica Sun 12-May-13 20:31:38

there's no way it was an accident, he pointed a gun at someones eye! He's 10 and not 2, he must have known it was going to really hurt.

ChippingInLovesSunshine Sun 12-May-13 20:32:16

Neo you do come out with some odd things grin

What would you suggest someone does if they have a 10yo and a 6yo - send the older one to live at Granny's?

greenformica Sun 12-May-13 20:32:56

I probably wouldn't let my son play with the kid for a few months. Find some nicer play dates instead.

thecatfromjapan Sun 12-May-13 20:33:48

Sorry, I didn't mean to be horrible. You demonstrate a strong stance on this thread, which (on reflection) couldn't possibly represent the whole of you. I was interested because I recently made a decision to try and be a bit more assertive myself.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 12-May-13 20:34:12

Chipping grin yes! I've had to ditch my older DD now we have the little one!

But seriously....WHY is a ten year old hanging out with a 6 year old NON sibling? Siblings are not the same as seeking out a younger child.

MammaMedusa Sun 12-May-13 20:39:06

Ten-year-old boys can be pretty dim! I have one. The number of things he and his friends have broken in the garden, for example, has gone up not down lately. e.g. kicking balls through the glasshouse. I think sometimes their brains haven't caught up with their bigger bodies. They can also get really revved up and do things together, they would never do alone.

If you came to my door, I would have assured you that I would deal with it, but I would not have told my son off in front of you.

Honestly, I'd go ballistic with both kids. You can get special safety glasses for nerf, and if they were shooting at each other with loaded guns then they both should have been wearing them. So both you and the other mother WBVU not to ensure they were wearing the glasses when they went out to play.

However, if my 9 year old did something so stupid as shoot someone in the eye with a nerf dart I'd be seriously annoyed with him because I expect him to know better, even if the other child is wearing the safety glasses. hmm

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 12-May-13 21:00:56

Two boys, two guns and someone gets hurt. Who would have thought it?

BTW on Amazon it says quite clearly:

Warning: To be used under the direct supervision of an adult

Where exactly were you when this happened OP? In the kitchen. So not actually supervising which considering your DS was the younger I would have thought was at least equally your job as the other mother's.

LynetteScavo Sun 12-May-13 21:12:34

He meant to pull the trigger, he didn't mean to hurt your DS's eye...pretty obvious from his response when your DS was hurt.

10 yo boys don't always think things though very well...

If I were the other mother I would have asked if my DS had apologised, I would also apologise profusely.

I would have a quite word with my DS after you left. If I was livid every time my 10yo did something without thinking it through I would spend my entire life being angry.

crashdoll Sun 12-May-13 21:18:14

Perhaps the boy got punished when you left and the mum didn't want an audience?

roseannebarr Sun 12-May-13 22:19:30

If ive got this correct,your son was accidentally hit in the eye with a bullet by a friend.
You then did not acknowledge the boy when he tried to explain what happened.

If this was a one off and the 10yo usually plays nice then an apology was all that was needed, it was an accident after all.

Cherriesarelovely Sun 12-May-13 22:26:55

If she literally said just that OP I would have been pretty surprised and unhappy. I mean that is pretty much shrugging it off as if he had just called the other one an unkind name without talking about the potential for serious injury etc. I know she might have talked to him more in private but I would have apologised to the other parent profusely too and would have made it clear that I understood how dangerous it might have been. No, imo you are not too strict.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 12-May-13 22:29:37

I would have apologised profusely, spoken to my son away from you, and then asked him to write a letter to your son, saying sorry. I would warn him that if he did anything silly with the gun again, it would be taken away for a period of my choosing

As someone said earlier - his honesty and care should be rewarded

Fleecyslippers Sun 12-May-13 22:35:36

You let your kids play with this type of toy gun, someone is going to get hurt 'shrugs'.

The 10 year old sounds like a nice kid.

lborolass Sun 12-May-13 22:37:27

I wonder if you're crediting 10 year old boys with more common sense than they actually have. I can't honestly say that at 10 my son would know how painful having a nerf bullet in the eye would be if it hadn't happened to him.

Unless you have any other reason to think the boy deliberately hurting your son I wouldn't jump to conclusions about his parenting.

Pigsmummy Sun 12-May-13 22:46:03

What is a "nerf" gun?

lborolass Sun 12-May-13 22:47:53

A nerf gun is a big plastic gun that fires foam bullets, there are lots of different ones and some can fire the bullet quite hard, they have a rubbery end that would definitely hurt you if it went in your eye.

redwallday Mon 13-May-13 03:11:36

When I was ten I remember getting my 3 year old cousin to look into the end of a hosepipe and then turning it on! confused Needless to say he screamed a lot and it really hurt. I honestly didn't do it out of malice, never really gave any thought to it hurting and just thought it would be a funny prank to play. My Aunty absolutely roasted me and I ran home crying. If anything it just made me feel wary of my Aunty from then on.

He's 10, he didnt mean it and there's no long term damage done. Accept his apology and move on.

Iteotwawki Mon 13-May-13 03:59:07

My 7 year old has some Nerf guns. He had some friends over, they were played with, someone was shot in the eye.

It wasn't deliberate (person moved as shot was fired) so I didn't go <too> ballistic. The hurt child was comforted and I checked his eye for obvious damage, he was fine.

The shooter (my son) was given 5 mins time out to think about things. I put surgical tape (carefully!) over both eyes and asked him how he felt. Then I asked him to walk to the toilet. Then we talked about how accidents can have serious consequences. Then I took the tape off, he apologised and they both went off to play with Lego.

I felt partially culpable as these children were in my care and not being adequately supervised for that sort of game - so the guns were taken out of the playroom for the duration. Both boys have been much more thoughtful and careful when using them since!

lisianthus Mon 13-May-13 05:21:40

I come at this from a slightly different viewpoint from some of you. He didn't "accidentally" shoot the younger child in the eye at point blank range; he did that deliberately, (although he apparently wasn't aware that it would hurt the younger child). If the older child had been mine, I would take that as evidence that he wasn't sensible enough to have a nerf gun and I would be taking it off him, either permanently, or until I was absolutely sure he would not under any circumstances be doing it again.

The younger child could have lost an eye.

Not a punishment but to prevent the child doing something else silly that might have irreversible consequences.

Morloth Mon 13-May-13 05:42:10

It is kids being kids - they do stupid shit sometimes. Projectiles are dangerous. Duh.

I would have done what the mum did here and depending on circumstances I may also have given my son further punishment.

But quite frankly that is none of your business.

Your child got hurt, the kid who hurt him apologised and comforted him - that is all you can expect from them.

The moral of the story is kids do stupid stuff, this is because they are kids and don't think through their actions.

Maryz Mon 13-May-13 05:54:53

This is weird.

I don't get that he admitted it was deliberate.

According to the op he said (factually) "we swapped guns and I shot him in the eye". He didn't say "I deliberately shot him in the eye". It sounds to me as though he shot the gun, and it hit the op's child in the eye. No more, no less, no intention involved whatsoever.

And having shot him (by mistake), he was very remorseful, said sorry and comforted him.

OHforDUCKScake Mon 13-May-13 06:25:46

lbrolass actually, I think you're exactly right. I think perhaps I was crediting a 10 year old boy with more common sense than he had.

Im beginning to realise Im actually to expectant of my own son too, which is why I mentioned my parenting wobble in my OP.

Still, Im willing to learn, he's my first born.

ohforfoxsake Mon 13-May-13 06:38:21

I'd have probably been disappointed that my DS wasn't more careful. I have a 10 yo and I'd expect him to be more careful. I'd have lectured him after you left.

But if your DS's friend was honest and remorseful, I don't think you can ask for much more than that.

Tee2072 Mon 13-May-13 07:33:36

"Honestly, if it was me. id have told the mum that I would be having words with my son. then closed the door and had said words. id have explained how dangerous it was to aim any toy at someones (sic) eye, and wouldnt (sic) have let him out for the rest of the day."

How do you know this didn't happen after she shut the door? Perhaps she just didn't think it was necessary to say the first part, about having words, because, frankly, how she handles it is none of your business.

For what it's worth, I would have done exactly that, but only apologized to your face. There was no need to tell you more than that and humiliate the child, who I am sure felt bad enough.

KansasCityOctopus Mon 13-May-13 07:59:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OHforDUCKScake Mon 13-May-13 08:01:24

(sic) seriously? Could you be any more patronising and demeaning?

Tee2072 Mon 13-May-13 08:04:24

Yes, actually I could.

Perhaps a quick proof read next time?

And you still haven't answer the question, that's been asked more than once. You have no idea what that mother said after you left her door. Nor should you.

You parent your child. Let her, and I, parenting ours.

Or, to put it in MN vernacular, beak out. He apologized. Sorry you didn't get any blood.

tar and feathers should do the job....

fieldfare Mon 13-May-13 08:08:18

And this is why I bought dd the safety glasses and a spare for whomever she's playing with. They think it makes them look cool (like super spies or something), and I'm happy that they're not going to get one in the eye.

I think the response you got was adequate tbh, the mother more than likely dealt with it once the front door was shut.

OHforDUCKScake Mon 13-May-13 08:10:53

Maybe next time you will read the whole thread. Towards the end I clearly stated more than once, that I was too expectant of the 10 year old.

Yet you feel the need to come on and try and make me look like an idiot. Does that make you feel good? You quoted me. With quote marks. Any mistakes made clearly would have been mine, so what exactly would have been the point of you adding (sic) apart from to deliberately make me look like an idiot?

But more so, for you to make yourself look like a massive cunt?

Thanks everyone else for helping me realise that, yes I was being too strict/harsh, although I believe it was clear that I had come to that conclusion by my recent posts.

Maryz Mon 13-May-13 08:20:01

Lovely shock

I still don't get how you think it was deliberate though.

conantg Mon 13-May-13 08:30:40

Tee2072: "let her and I parenting ours". Do you mean "let her and me parent ours"? You should have proofread your own post before advising the OP to proofread hers. "Me", not "I", is the object of the verb "let" in your sentence.

WakeyCakey Mon 13-May-13 08:57:19

Let Tee write whatever they like!
OP, no offence, and I mean this with the greatest respect, but why the hell bother starting a thread that you know if ridiculous only to start replying horribly to everyone who disagrees with you!

You want to be a fly on my wall? You would get swat!
Your child is 6 and shooting at his friend as well, he should of been supervised, wearing the correct safety accessories and should be taking 50% of the blame!!

You aren't super strict because you let your 6 year old play with dangerous toys so that he can be babysat by a 10 year old while you get on with whatever you want!

MrsMelons Mon 13-May-13 09:13:32

MN never ceases to amaze me though - over the weekend lots of people were commenting on a thread saying how its fine for 6 and 7 YOs to go out to the park etc alone as long as they are sensible etc but now a 10 YO is not sensible enough to be expected not to shoot someone in the eye with a nerf gun. If a 10 YO cannot be expected to do this how can younger children be ok to go out alone?

I would have been more cross than this other mum appeared TBH as I do think at 10 a child should have more common sense (I appreciate they don't always at any age!) it was probably a genuine mistake but I would have been having VERY serious words so it didn't happen again.

AmberLeaf Mon 13-May-13 09:16:58

As others have said, the Mum probably prefered to speak to her child in private.

It sounds like one of those things that can happen when children play with things like Nerf guns.

Maybe the Mum felt that the boy hadn't done anything wrong as he didn't intend to hurt your son and that a chat about playing safely was all that was needed.

What would you have done if it was your son that had done this? would you have taken the view that as it wasn't intentional it didn't require punishment?

Everyone has different standards of parenting anyway, I personally wouldn't let a 6 yr old play out unsupervised but that's just my standards.

MrsMelons Mon 13-May-13 09:18:00

did the boys actually mean to shoot your DS in the eye or did he just happen to hit him in the eye?

Just to add - when my DS was 3 or 4, we were at a beach with his friends and they were throwing stones in the water (if you live near the sea then you will know this is pretty normal for children to do), one child decided to run in front of them all suddenly and a stone DS threw hit her and cut her head quite badly.

He was only little but got a massive telling off as he knew to look before throwing stones, the girl was also told off as she should have been more careful. Just because things are accidental doesn't mean children should be told off but obviously not punished in the same way as a deliberate act (depending on age/seriousness of course).

valiumredhead Mon 13-May-13 09:18:17

Ime 10 yr olds have momentary lapses of sense and do the the most things that have you banging your head against a brick wall. Honestly, you think by that age they are mature but sometimes they act like 2 year olds!

I think it gave him a shock and the fact that he was comforting your ds means the whole thing took him by surprise.

He apologised and I doubt he'll do it again.

If the mum was anything like me she would have his guts for garters once she'd asked him to apologise.

Personally I think a 6 year old and a 10 year old playing with nerf guns is asking for trouble <experience>

valiumredhead Mon 13-May-13 09:18:36

the most daft things

ilovexmastime Mon 13-May-13 09:27:56

I don't think it sounds like he did it deliberately either. He was remorseful and stuck around to comfort your child. Lesson learnt hopefully.

lunar1 Mon 13-May-13 09:34:08

I am a strict parent and expect my children to think of the consequences of their actions. I would however never let them play with toy guns and my eldest will happily say no to playing with one if he is at someone else's house.

I think it's an odd parenting choice to basically give your child a weapon then expect them to play nicely with it.

MrsMelons Mon 13-May-13 09:38:47

Valium - I guess this is why I have an issue with young children going out alone to play, its one thing a group of 10 YOs but they don't not have the capability to look after younger children IMO due to these momentary lapses!

I still remember hurting a friend when I was about 7 or 8. We were playing with iron bars hmm We were at his house (3 of us, me and the two brothers) and we were climbing up a slide and throwing the iron bars as hard as we could then running down to collect them. I got over excited and threw too early and it hit my friend in the side of his face. His mum went absolutely mad - really angry, probably screamed at me more than anyone else has in my life! He later turned out to have some hearing problems and for years I thought I'd caused it.

Anyway I think she was wrong to be so angry with me. a) she was letting us play with iron bars hmm and b) any one of us could have hit each other and c) it was a complete an utter accident - he was my friend, I had no intention of hurting him. I did learn not to throw iron bars that day hmm

OHforDUCKScake Mon 13-May-13 09:45:09




OHforDUCKScake Mon 13-May-13 09:45:41

*my son. Not him. Doh.

valiumredhead Mon 13-May-13 09:46:16

Simmer down OP grin

cheeseandpineapple Mon 13-May-13 09:50:20

Doubt "Conantg* would have made her (correct) observation if Tee hadn't challenged OP on her grammar.

OP, don't take the bait, can see why you're wound up by it but not worth reacting to. I read your posts to suggest you were completely open to the fact you might have had high expectations and that the thread was giving you a different perspective.

Unfortunately common sense doesn't come that easily to all kids. My 8 year old has bags more common sense than her 10 year old brother. I am currently undergoing "common sense training" with my son ie literally pointing out what I think is bleeding obvious but apparently seems to completely bypass him.

Last week, asked him to run a bath. Went to check on the bath to discover the bath mat which had been hanging over the side of the bath was still hanging over the side of the bath and was now half wet from the half full bath because DS had run the bath with the mat still hanging over the side.

It just didn't occur to him to move it first. I know my DD would have moved it.

Sometimes, particularly with boys, it's not so much disciplining them as trying to educate them on what seems like obvious common sense, assuming that basically they are good kids at heart. My son would have felt terrible remorse if he had done what your neighbour's son had done and would have learned his lesson the hard way, through experience and guilt rather than punishment but I would have had a stiff word with him about being reckless.

What I'm currently trying to make him understand is that if he is reckless then there will be consequences because by now, I do expect him to start anticipating what might happen and modify his behaviour especially around younger kids.

Don't worry about having a wobble, it means you're thinking about what you're doing and wanting to try and do your best. Unfortunately we end up parenting our first born very differently to any other children and our expectations of them are very high but just knowing that can help keep things in perspective as you go forward. Doesn't mean being slack but agree with others they need to be able to fess up without fear and steered toward the right path.

Maryz Mon 13-May-13 09:50:24

Oh dear. You aren't really listening yourself, are you?

Can I ask (yet again) what makes you think he hit your son in the eye deliberately ?

OHforDUCKScake Mon 13-May-13 09:52:23

Im alright grin. Although Tees adorable message made me angry for all of 3.5 seconds.

Its rather frustratin when people dont red the hole thread isnt it? Ive never notcied that before.

All spelling and punctuatiom mistakes put in ther for you Tea. Have fun! smile

Maryz Mon 13-May-13 09:53:39

But I have read the whole thread. And I've read your posts lots of times and I still don't see why you think it was deliberate [baffled]

Shouting doesn't really explain anything.

Helltotheno Mon 13-May-13 09:57:55

OP you wouldn't have been too harsh.
Fact is this kid shot your child deliberately in the eye with a Nerv gun.. shall we say, if people don't like deliberately, experimentally? Either way, not acceptable. What would be said now on this thread if your boy had lost an eye?

I would not have a 6 yr old hanging round with a 10 yr old.. this older boy clearly sees your son as someone he can Try Things Out On, and let's face it, no good can come of that.

Don't minimise your reaction here. Distance yourself, and if the other mother asks why, just man up and tell her you feel they're not appropriate ages for each other.

valiumredhead Mon 13-May-13 10:00:37

I would not have a 6 yr old hanging round with a 10 yr old.. this older boy clearly sees your son as someone he can Try Things Out On, and let's face it, no good can come of that

Fact is this kid shot your child deliberately in the eye with a Nerv gun.. shall we say, if people don't like deliberately, experimentally?

Really, how do you know this, were you there? It's not fact at all confused

Maryz Mon 13-May-13 10:03:30

Hell, how do you know it was deliberate? What makes you think it was experimental? I presume you mean "he shot him in the eye to see what would happen". Do you really think he did that?

Sorry to bang on about this, but the op isn't answering [sigh].

It seems her 6 year old had the gun, handed it to the 10 year old who shot it. Not AT the eye, or even AT the 6 year old. It just happened to hit him (as these things so often do).

An unsupervised 6 year old with a Nerf gun is an accident waiting to happen, I would think.

The ten year old sounds nice to me - he was playing nicely with a 6 year old, and when there was an accident he apologised and was concerned about him.

Wuldric Mon 13-May-13 10:03:36

Don't give it a second thought

Really, don't.

The child apologised. Kids do barking things sometimes. Does your son no longer want to play with the child? I bet he still does. Let it go.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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 10:34:29

There is protective equipment for nerf guns?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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

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

ryan you sound very sensible grin

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.

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!

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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