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3yr old told me 3 older boys have hurt him - how do I deal with this

(4 Posts)
pixiemamma Fri 15-Jul-11 00:37:19

DH and I are really distressed as our 3yo DS told us last evening that some older boys in our very small cul de sac deliberately kicked/threw footballs at him (he said he cried and it hurt him, but I didn't hear this) and that in our neighbours garden they slapped his face and pulled his shorts down (in the 6yo's play tent). The boy he is friends with is 6 and lives next door, he and his family are extremely sweet and kind to our DS and he loves to go to see their pet guinea pig. I feel so incredibly stupid to have let him go into their garden without me, but he has played with this boy (and his 10yo and 12yo cousins who live 2 doors away) so many times (supervised) and they are all genuinely (it seemed) such nice, decent polite and caring boys, with very 'respectable' and 'decent' parents, who are usually always around watching.
Our DS has never ever lied about anything, and has been very specific and over the last 48 hrs has told the same story several times with no change to its content. He has never ever said anything if this nature before, and tbh he doesn't seem particularly distressed himself, he just wants his daddy to 'tell them off' for hurting him.
I have never felt so angry, hurt and so stupid. I want to march round there and go nuts at them, but obviously this probably won't help and I don't want him to be targeted when he's a little older and mixing freely.
I know that I am going to have to speak to their parents, but I am worried that depending on what reaction I get, things might get out of hand as we are so upset - and full of regret.
I should add - although frankly, it's immaterial; we live in a tiny cul de sac in a tiny village and all the children, small and big play together outside every day. On every other occassion DH or I have been outside with our DS and watched him playing, but he was invited to go into the garden to see the bloody guinea pig and so desperately wanted to go, so I thought that there could be no harm to it - now I feel sick.
Am I wrong? I have to deal with this, but I also feel that I was to blame for allowing him to play unsupervised with a 6yo (I didn't know his cousins were there as it's all very free and easy with children in and out of each others' gardens)
If you were the parent(s) of the boys, what would you say if I told you your son had slapped my 3yo, kicked balls at him and pulled his shorts [and pants] down sad

Demiwave Fri 15-Jul-11 00:55:00

If I was the parent of the six year old I would want to know about my son's behaviour and would be having strong words with him. He would also be made to apologise to you and your son. I certainly would not be annoyed with you for letting me know.
If I was you, however, I would be careful how I approached the issue. Six is still very young and, although the behaviour is not appropriate and needs to be addressed, it is not completely unheard of in children of this age. I think I would just explain calmly what had happened and how upset my son was then leave it to them to deal with. I would not be letting my child play with the others unsupervised from now on until I was sure he safe. (I know this goes without saying for you now).
Don't beat yourself up, you took a calculated risk allowing him into the garden based on your previous knowledge of the family and on this occasion, it went wrong but it wasn't your fault and your ds will be fine. smile

pixiemamma Fri 15-Jul-11 01:13:24

Thank you, I feel too that if my son was the 'perpetrator' I would want to know. These are all nice parents (whatever that means - in this case; middle class and clean with a new Picasso, good manners and expensive house) and the kids all seem(ed) just sooo perfect and very kind to my son. TBH I feel that the oldest boy (12yo) may have been the ringleader, and that he shouldn't be playing with such small boys himself, and that it gives him a sense of power as he is actually quite a 'puny' kid who probably has a tough time at the massive secondary school in the town - you may gather that I have been analysing this rather a lot.
We just feel gutted that our toddler was left so vulnerable to abuse and that we just didn't conceive that this could happen just because they all seemed so nice.
I am sure that he will be fine, but this is our first experience of this sort of thing and am feeling really down, not to mention more angry than I think I have ever felt in my whole life.
What if the parents tell me 'oh, not little XXX, he wouldn't do anything like that' or 'no, XXX denies everything, your DS must have made it up' - it might get ugly, DH is not diplomatic at the best of times.

Demiwave Fri 15-Jul-11 01:43:18

If they do react like that then I don't suppose there is a great deal you can do about it. If it is the 12 year old then that outs a slightly different slant on it imo.
COuld you maybe have a quiet word on your own with the mum and try to avoid DH getting involved?
Honestly, I would say my piece then leave them to deal with it and just avoid your son playing alone with the 6 year old (maybe try to avoid him playing with the 12 year old at all)
I have a 9 year old and the older they get, the more issues arise but I do remember that first feeling of someone 'hurting' my baby (even just with words) I still get that feeling now that he is a big boy but can maybe put it into perspective a little more. I feel for you. Have a word with the neighbour, you may be pleasantly surprised.

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