Anger and low level fighting in 9 yo boys(1 Post)
Has anyone else got this problem, and if so what do you advise?
DS1 is 9 and is tall, strong and athletic for his age, he has no SN and is academically average to slightly above average in some subjects just for background. He has quite a lot of friends - but... only a couple are really genuinely loyal and alround "good" friends, most of the others are really boys who want to play football with him (phone rings for him all the time but essentially he is wanted for football), or "frenemies" who are apparently friends one minute and very much not in the next blink of an eye.
There are a couple boys in his class seem to love to wind him up, including in one case hitting him, until he retaliates sometimes. This has, to be honest, been happening for years, but is more of a problem now.
The last incident was yesterday at school - the class and the class above were out on a trip together which involved a long break on a grassy field with a small playground to eat a picnic lunch. Inevitably a football game began and for some inexplicable reason the arrangement was DS and 4 from the class above - all from the football team against 12 others - 2 who play on the football team and 10 who don't. The smaller team of more obsessive football players were winning by quite a margin and two of them confronted DS during a drink break saying it wasn't fair, and one of them punched DS in the face and the other in the ribs, then they ran off.
DS chased them, brought one down and winded him - by the sound of it the other boy was hurt - apparently his entire stomach was red, he couldn't get his breath and his ribs hurt - so he was winded in the true sense - but after half an hour he was absolutely fine again - so absolutely not OK to hurt him, but no lasting damage.
DS got in a lot of trouble with his teacher and had to sit out the rest of the break on his own, the other boys did not get in any trouble. I absolutely appreciate that this was because only one child was hurt - DS had no marks, and that the teachers didn't see any of what was happening - 2 teachers were present but there were 50 children running about, so entirely possible.
The thing is that the old chestnut "tell an adult if they hit you" does not work because DS is a lot bigger, faster and stronger than the boys who seem to correctly assume they have a free pass to hit DS if things aren't going their way, so he is not taken seriously.
The mother of one of the boys thinks butter wouldn't melt - but tellingly he does not mention these incidents to her, and she thinks he and DS are best friends... The mother of the other boy is very on the ball but at a loss what to do, and he also seems to "see red" when he thinks things are unfair.
DS needs to learn how to react to kids hurting him without hurting them back. It is a big ask though as the boys are the same age just not the same size...
Has anyone dealt with anything like this - I am a bit at a loss what to do. Counselling for anger management? Some kind of very specific self defence training? He already does Taekwando which does focus on blocks, and I am wondering about talking to his trainer about whether there is some way to help him learn to block appropriate to real life situations - I rather think it takes years and years for a martial art learnt with an emphasis on formal jongs and no contact to pay any self defence dividends, and we were thinking more of sport and self discipline than defence when we enrolled him.
Sorry its long, its just that without the context it is hard to get the exact dilemma across! I also think it is possible this will follow him through life unless we address it, as he will probably always be tall and well built (DH is 6 ft 4 and broad).
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