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Secret world of Boys: According to my neighbour boys go through a stage where they are evil/fight with each other to see who's the strongest. I don't think it's true. Am I right?

(28 Posts)
FluffyBunnyGoneBad Thu 04-Jun-09 21:26:35

She said from ages 7+, they call each other gay/nerd/geek/dweeb etc and will start to bully the boys that are the least athletic in an attempt to dominate them. I'm not this old but I remember none of this when I was at school. She said it's normal to try and pull another boy's pants down to humiliate them and it's normal for boys to fight, regardless of whether they are at a boys/mixed/private/state school or not and I should accept it. Is she full of shite???


HecatesTwopenceworth Thu 04-Jun-09 21:32:17

well, mine don't call anyone such names or try to humiliate them and they'd be in SERIOUS trouble if they did!

But certainly lads seem to love physical play - pretend fighting, yelling, lots of noise and activity. I think that's normal.

Your neighbour doesn't happen to have a small boy does she? a small boy who is a bit of a bully?

(I think she's full of shite btw!)

ByTheSea Thu 04-Jun-09 21:33:55

This seems to be happening in Y7 and Y8. According to DS1-13, the boys rank each other in terms of who's 'hardest.' hmm

Curiousmama Thu 04-Jun-09 21:35:09

Well if they all did who'd get domintated? hmm Nope personally I think girls can be just as bad or good as boys. It's all in the individual. Can also be peer pressure or how violence is perceived at home of course. But no I think your neighbour is full of shite too.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Thu 04-Jun-09 21:35:37

He's 12. He's a lovely kid and plays with ds sometimes. She said within the first term of him starting secondary school he was being called nerd/geek/gay/posh wank*r. I think the physical stuff is normal, not bullying/fighting though. I'm shocked she came out with this. ds has been having problems at school with some boys so I asked her what she would do. It's a very odd attitude to have.

fluffles Thu 04-Jun-09 21:42:19

i don't agree with what she says but there IS a point at which all children have to learn to place themselves socially and make their own place in the world away from their parents.

some children, i'd say those struggling with self esteem and their place in the world, do this by putting other children down.

others acheive it without putting others down.

it's a hard time for children... and we all know some adults can be self confident and assertive without bullying, others bully or put others down, and some sit back and are unalbe to assert themselves. children at around 12 are forming which of these approaches to take and they all need a LOT of support and love to make the right decisions.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Thu 04-Jun-09 21:47:49

So what can you do as a parent? My son is 10, he's a confident child and he knows that it's not acceptable how others behave and he knows what it means to be a bully and that he can tell me anything. I feel quite powerless that I can't do more to help him though. I don't think he needs my help at the moment apart from me being there for him but (it's probably first born precious thing) I despise the thought of some little sod trying to make his life hell. What if it gets to a point where he can't cope or fend them off??

rupertsabear Thu 04-Jun-09 21:53:24

I have just watched the whole of the Life of Mammals, and it's pretty clear that what the males do for the most part is start fighting each other just about as soon as they can, and establishing a pecking order according to who's "hardest". Tbh, I could see a lot of similarity with my sons. We may be more civilised, but that primeval part is still there. So your neighbour is probably at least a bit right.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Thu 04-Jun-09 21:58:41


wonderingwondering Thu 04-Jun-09 22:02:52

I can't stand this 'boys will be boys' attitude - yes, they will be, if you let them run wild and don't teach them how to behave.

piscesmoon Thu 04-Jun-09 22:03:33

I don't think it is normal, although I would agree that they like physical play and wrestling is 'good fun'. If you watch bear cubs or tiger cubs etc it is very similar behaviour. It isn't normal to be malicious, and it will become very obvious because they won't have any friends.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Thu 04-Jun-09 22:12:19

I'm trying so hard to teach ds to respect others, no matter if they are gay/girls/skin colour/religion etc. It makes my job so much harder when people have attitudes like this, it's almost as if she's saying it's OK for boys to bully and I don't think it is. A bit of play is fine, rugby is fine, sport is fine, physical/verbal assault is not fine. Is it attitudes like hers that are making our society how it is today? Excusing boys violent behaviour because they are boys and it's 'natural'?? Makes me think. hmm

piscesmoon Thu 04-Jun-09 22:17:51

She is quite wrong-it is called bullying! It might be what boys resort to if they have no civilising influences-like 'Lord of the Flies', but luckily they do have families, teachers, society at large. Play fighting is quite different.

cory Fri 05-Jun-09 09:30:53

physical play- yes

bullying- only if they haven't been taught better or can get away with it

ABetaDad Fri 05-Jun-09 09:42:14

Yes it does happen and has happened to DS1. I hate the 'boys will be boys' attitude too. The word 'gay' is used as a frequent term of abuse to boys who are not good at sport or one of the lads.

It happens in both state and private schools and some schools tolerate it. Th ebest ones do not. It is not necessary and we have spent a lot of time making sure DS1 and DS2 understand it is not acceptable.

Sadly girls do it as well.

MrsMattie Fri 05-Jun-09 09:46:37

I don't think calling people 'gay' or hitting people is ever acceptable and that sort of behaviour should always be challenged. However, I do think that boys have an in built need to establish pecking order. I also think they often (not always) need to let off more physical steam than girls.

Girls also go through a 'establishing who is Queen bee' stage, too, so it's not exclusive to boys, it just seems to be expressed differently.

MrsMattie Fri 05-Jun-09 09:47:03

an, an establishing- sorry pedants

ICANDOTHAT Fri 05-Jun-09 14:21:56

I don't think the boys who use the term 'gay' actually know the full extent of their comment - unfortunately, it's a common word banded around at this age and older to describe someone who's weak or girly - I have also heard girls use it. Other names like geek and nerd are also very common both with girls and boys. I think kids will use them to apear 'hard' and others will use them because they are nasty billues. Either way, it's up to the parents/teachers to educate them that it's not acceptable, but at the same time not to get too heavy about it as it's just a phase of growing up and finding their place amongst their peers iyswim. I also hate 'boys will be boys' , but having two sons, I'm afraid there is an element of truth in it.

mulranno Fri 05-Jun-09 14:57:44

I think that it is realistic that this kind of "low level" bullying does goes on --- but I do think that there should be a zero tolerance to it by adults. We are trying to teach our childrent to be good citizens -- and it is never acceptable to behave like this in they might as well learn this sooner rather than later. ....also they need to understand to respect others and have empathy. They need to live and let live...the "bullied" also need to have effective strategies in place to cope. I "teased" (ie bullied) others at school - and I was bullied by older girls in turn. No one explained to me name calling was wrong ...and I did not know what to do when others were unkind to me.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Fri 05-Jun-09 15:01:15

Ds knows it's wrong. I've never heard him say derogitory things but this doesn't mean he never has. If I hear him say something unkind then I'm the first to pull him up on this. I can't see how we are creating a tolerant, caring society if we allow children to behave this way towards each other. Maybe this is where society is going wrong.

bruffin Sat 06-Jun-09 11:06:25

From what I gather the Year7 thing does happen although it is not excusable.

They have gone from being the big fish in small ponds to little shrimps in a huge sea. Some don't like it and take it out on whoever they feel they can.
DS was on the receiving end last year but thankfully we got through it and touch wood everything is fine now.

Gorionine Sat 06-Jun-09 11:19:12

My thoughts are as follow :

yes, it is probably normal for boys to do some pushing arround to fingd their place from as young as the age they start school IMO.

No it is not an excuse for exessive behaviour that could lead to bullying and has to be stamped on by parents/teachers. I think any parent who ears a 7 yo call another one humiliating names, finds it normal and does not act upon it (telling them off) needs a brain check.

piscesmoon Sun 07-Jun-09 09:36:31

I think it unfair to sigle out boys-girls can be equally horrible, but they are better at hiding it.

piscesmoon Sun 07-Jun-09 09:37:08


Gorionine Mon 08-Jun-09 10:28:56

you are right Piscemoon, but this thread is about how boys deal with it as OP has concerns about her DS.

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