Monday, August 4, 2008

Boys who fight - why do they do it?

My 16 yr old son got into a verbal altercation with a kid on the opposing team after a game yesterday. Since I was standing right there to witness the entire episode, rather than hearing his recount of it later - I'm at a loss. I really always thought there had to be more instigation to get these things started. Of course, I don't know for sure the history between the two boys. They have played in the same circles for going on 13 years now. {Holy Canoli how did THAT happen?}

As my son, my 3 yr old daughter and I walked towards our car this kid walks up and give us that snarky smile. You know the one. And being the level headed composed child of mine, my son has to respond with a great come back "What, what are you smiling at?" To which the other boy throws a few expletives. At that point I was slightly taken aback mortified. I mean, what would HIS mom think to hear him talk like that, much less in front of lady and a toddler? This started some highly intelligent verbal sparing:

Kid one: oh yeah, bring it
Kid two: you think you're so tough, you bring it
Kid one: %^&*& ^**(*
Kid two: no you are &*((^ &*(*

That might be paraphrased a tad. I tried to defuse the situation by telling my son to just grow up and that the other kid wasn't worth his time. What I REALLY did was escalate the problem because the other kid heard me and took offense. This comment that I thought would wake them up and show them the error of thier ways, really sent his curseometer into over drive. Another mother tried to talk that kid down and asked him to just go to his car (WHERE were all the men during this??) It did get said kid to back off my son, but he turned his hostilaty on the other mom and started dropping the F word on her!

In all seriousness, this all transpired very quickly and though I was there I'm still at a loss as to how it got so ugly so fast. I know that had adults not been standing there these kids could have easily become physical. Girls aren't like that. We get mad, say a few mean things about each other’s hair or outfit and move on with life.

I made it clear to my son that if fists had started flying and he was involved the consequences at home would have been so much worse than any pain he might be feeling from a punch. He assured me I just didn't understand. It’s a man thing. I assured him that HE just didn't understand. It’s a MOM thing!

I'm curious how others feel about this? Is a little fistfight just boys being boys? Would you punish your child if they got into a fight or be glad they stood up for themselves? If any men are reading, what makes you want to settle a disagreement by hurting someone physically?


Jenn said...

Thanks for stopping by and the comment. As for the fighting , I have told my kids you never ever start a fight or hit someone first ever,it makes you look bad and you get in more trouble for starting it and then you are really going to make me mad. However I do think if someone hits you and is dead set on hurting you then yes try to protect yourself. I just hope I never have to deal with it. I do have 15,13 year old girls and let me tell you I think teen girls can be just as bad if not worse then teen boys! They tend to be more sneaky about how they do things though.

Niecy said...

Have you never gotten into a fight? If not, consider yourself lucky. My mom always taught me that if someone hits you, you hit them back. I teach my children that if someone hits you, you tell. But if telling doesn't stop them from hitting you then knock the shit out of them. It is just a survival thing. Hopefully we never have to experience that firsthand as parents. BUT consequences are BAD for my kid if he/she throws the first punch or even instigates the situation/starts it up. KWIM?

Amy said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

I have 4 boys and my rule has always been:
You had better never throw the 1st punch! However, if someone hits you first- then don't stand there and be a punching bag!

Where was the mom of the child who had the potty mouth? Or did he drive himself to the game? Seems like the older the kids get, the smaller the crowd of parents/extended family watching them play and they drive themselves. I remember games with my oldest where I was the only parent in the stands. How do you stop supporting your child in what they're doing?