Jump to content

Menu

Is throwing a basketball at someone's head just playing around?


Merry
 Share

Recommended Posts

There is a homeschool PE class that takes place once a week.  A friend of my son's, an older teenage boy, got into a quarrel with my son or maybe my son started the quarrel.  Then he picked up a basketball and deliberately threw it at my son's head, breaking his glasses.  Fortunately, only the frame was broken and the insurance covers the replacement frame but my son will be without glasses for one week.  So I texted the boy's mother about it.  I also told her that this was not the first time her son had been rough with my son and hurt him.  She texted back that my son kept saying stuff to upset her son and so he told him to stop but when my son wouldn't stop, they got into it.  She said that playing around could get too far. 

 

First of all, her son is bigger and older than my son.  Second, I don't think hurting my son is the right way to go about making him stop picking on him.  I agree that playing around could get too far but still....

 

Am I being overprotective of my son who is now fifteen years old by the way?  How should I deal with this?  Leave it up to them?  They do see each other quite a bit at the PE classes and some homeschool events.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have plenty of older male cousins and if I provoke any of them, I would have to dodge if a flying basketball/football/tennis ball gets aimed at me. I would also leave my cousins alone if they were having a "grouchy bear" day.

 

While the other boy is older, sometimes it is hard for even adults to just walk away when they are annoyed.  Regardless of who started it, is your 15 year old good at assessing the situation and walking away?  My oldest tolerates my youngest antics a lot more than outsiders.  I have to remind my youngest that not everyone is going to be as tolerating as his brother and there could be bad consequences.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you there when these interactions happen? When kids tell 2 different stories, it's hard to make a change. I would wok to avoid this kid entirely if possible. I have a 15 year old, teach groups of tweens and teens, and some teens and young adults really have a ways to go on impulse control.

Edited by WoolySocks
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

At that age, I would leave them alone.  My 14 yods would be horrified if he was in such a situation and I even contacted the mom :)

 

I would tell my son that he should probably stay away from the guy as much as possible and if I even suspected that he was antagonizing the other young man that would be our discussion.  That he knows the other kid has a short fuse and he is just as much as fault as the other kid.  Not excusing the other kid losing his temper but that's not an issue I could solve.

  • Like 12
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think it is just playing around at that age if the intent was to harm. I wound want/need to know what role my kids truly played in it all. I didn't garner from your post what your kid says happened, only what the other kid's mom says. I don't think physical aggression is a good choice but I'd want to know if my kids pushed the other kid's buttons to the point of breaking or if this kid is just a short fuse. That would color my view of how to proceed.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hard to say whether this was provoked or not.  I agree that getting physical isn't the most enlightened response of the older boy, but it is a rather predictable response at that age.  Enlightenment is rarely achieved until an older age.  ;)

 

It's hard to say what is the correct response to non-physical taunting behaviors (which, if the sizes and ages are close, could be considered bullying).  On one hand, turn the other cheek etc., but that often leads to worse and worse taunting that often gets physical or otherwise intolerable.  On the other hand, a well-timed whack will often shut down the unwanted behavior.  Often kids are advised that if reasonable non-physical responses don't end it, physical means may be justified.

 

I went to school with a small but annoying boy.  He would frequently taunt and annoy and kick people's shins etc.  As he was the "new kid," people put up with it for a while, but then (after fair warning) they started kicking back.  Well, of course the boy cried to his dad that *he* was being bullied and tortured all day.  The dad had a fit at the school, and the principal had a fit at the kids.  Luckily the kids held a united front because he was so obnoxious to so many of us.  But the dad would never accept that his kid was the instigator, and he took his kid out of the school.  It probably would have been better for the little instigator to learn a lesson about his own behavior.  If he went to another school and started kicking kids there, I'm guessing it didn't go well for him there either.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ouch. Even without glasses a basketball to the head sounds awful. That part doesn't sound like playing around. That sounds like temper lost, trying to hurt someone. Probably not trying to break the glasses. I played basketball with siblings, my father, and on a team. I wouldn't throw a ball at them in the head and think it's okay. Pretty sure everyone would think, "WTH?"

 

I would tell your ds to avoid that kid. Maybe ask how the thing escalated and what would have been a better way to handle it. But given the ages, it sounds like they should probably just limit interaction. And ultimately probably have to deal with it among themselves but I wouldn't feel badly about asking my kid to avoid the other kid if I'm having to replace frames over it (regardless if it's covered).

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Who teaches the PE class?    I wouldn't even bother with a class where someone can throw a basketball at another kid's head, whether or not glasses get broken, and nothing happens. 

 

What are the students learning?   People who don't control themselves will just get away with it here. 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that it's not playing around; it's fighting.  And...in a case like that, it's hard to tell which kid started it.  Taunting or the physical jab. 

I'd probably leave it for my child to figure out himself unless he specifically asked for help.  And even then, it would be helping him figure out a way to deal with it, not me dealing with it for him.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It doesn't sound like "playing around" to me, but pretty well within the scope of normal teenage boy behavior. My 13-year-old threw a entire Sprite in his brother's face last night. Sigh. 

 

I do wonder, where was the PE teacher when this was going on? I think the teacher should be the one to contact if you feel that your son is being targeted during class, not the other parent. It doesn't sound like either boy is completely faultless in this situation, so I would probably leave the situation with the other boy alone, and just talk to my own child about his part in the altercation, keeping some space from the other boy, asking the teacher to intervene if the other boy starts something with him, etc. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Who teaches the PE class?    I wouldn't even bother with a class where someone can throw a basketball at another kid's head, whether or not glasses get broken, and nothing happens. 

 

What are the students learning?   People who don't control themselves will just get away with it here. 

 

Even good teachers can't always prevent something like that happening. The difference is in how they handle it afterwards. I'd want to know the teacher's perspective on this......... does the teacher know?

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Doesn't sound like playing around, it sounds like it was done in anger.  I would be irritated that the other parent didn't take it seriously.  She is fortunate that it was only glasses that broke and not your son's nose.  I get that younger kids can be annoying and not know when to stop, but that is what the teacher is there for IMO.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

yes - friends could do such a thing when they were being jerky.  (and it's more a ball  toss - NOT "throw".)

 

that's not what this sounds like.  I would expect the mother to pay for her precious baby's damage.  maybe if she has to dig into her pocket - she'll put forth some effort in teaching her precious snowflake to act in an appropriate manner.

if this is an ongoing problem - I would consider small  claims court if needed to get her to pay-up.   it's not about retribution - it's about this kid needs  to learn how to act in a civilized manner before the world really yanks his chain.  his mother is only hurting him by protecting him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that it's not playing around; it's fighting.  And...in a case like that, it's hard to tell which kid started it.  Taunting or the physical jab. 

I'd probably leave it for my child to figure out himself unless he specifically asked for help.  And even then, it would be helping him figure out a way to deal with it, not me dealing with it for him.

 

legally - unless the taunting included specific threats of physical violence  - it's the physical jab.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

legally - unless the taunting included specific threats of physical violence  - it's the physical jab.

Depends on the state. Ours actually has a "fighting words" clause that can be used to punish the one who provoked the fight by using language or taunts that could be easily expected to start a fight. I think the person who throws the punch is still also guilty, but if I make a crude crack about your spouse and you knock me out, I can be legally in trouble for the fight though I didn't get a chance to throw a punch. 

Just an interesting sidenote.

 

In this case I don't think it's playing around. Maybe try telling the mom "I'll be addressing with my son the need to not provoke others. I would appreciate if you could help out by reminding you son of healthy ways to respond if my son, or anyone else, acts inappropriately." Then don't stress if she doesn't because you've done what you can. And chat with the teacher or another person who may have seen it just to try to get a more full picture.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you've gotten lots of good advice, I used to do this thing I called "Law& Order Parenting"  It was a way for me to think about events in children's lives vs. adult lives. 

 

In this case I'd fast forward about 6 or 7 years and ask so what happens if this occurs in the future. Suppose my kid is at an adult socialization venue. He mouths off to someone. They don't like it. They respond. Sure, the physical response is probably going to earn that person some jail time, especially if they have a weapon to use. So if they were my kid I'd be talking about that with them. BUT what about your kid in that future scenario? Well he could be dead, scared, confined to a wheelchair for life, etc. So while the legal system would see him as the victim there could be really tough real work consequences for mouthing off to the wrong person. So that's what I'd work with him on. You've told the other mother. You might let the adults in charge know what happened. It sounds like there might be too much down time in PE class. Maybe a few more laps should be run, push ups done, etc. 

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you've gotten lots of good advice, I used to do this thing I called "Law& Order Parenting"  It was a way for me to think about events in children's lives vs. adult lives. 

 

In this case I'd fast forward about 6 or 7 years and ask so what happens if this occurs in the future. Suppose my kid is at an adult socialization venue. He mouths off to someone. They don't like it. They respond. Sure, the physical response is probably going to earn that person some jail time, especially if they have a weapon to use. So if they were my kid I'd be talking about that with them. BUT what about your kid in that future scenario? Well he could be dead, scared, confined to a wheelchair for life, etc. So while the legal system would see him as the victim there could be really tough real work consequences for mouthing off to the wrong person. So that's what I'd work with him on. You've told the other mother. You might let the adults in charge know what happened. It sounds like there might be too much down time in PE class. Maybe a few more laps should be run, push ups done, etc. 

 

 

Excellent thoughts.  I know that adults in this situation would have to pay harsh consequences.  The grown-up using the weapon would be charged with battery, at the least, and perhaps worse, depending on the damage done.  The grown-up taunting the other guy would end up beat up, or disabled, or dead.  Both need to learn how to deal with their issues.  Perhaps counseling is in order.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not playing. Not at all. Basketballs can break noses, and bust out teeth. However, if your son has been regularly provoking the boy, then it might be a lesson learned in "backing off". 

 

That said, I wouldn't want my younger child to pick up the habit of acting out in anger in a physical way when someone says something not appreciated, so while I'd be training my kid at home to get along with others and be sensitive, I would also want to limit my child's exposure to the other teen.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a tough situation to read, especially not knowing the exact situation or either of the boys involved. It sounds like typical boy stuff, which I had no idea existed until I had several boys and a husband to educate me. There is a lot more physical and verbal jockeying for "top dog" or just to interact, it seems, than I ever experienced with girls. Sure, there could also be some bullying issues, depending on the boys involved, but often it seems to be guys getting physical and competitive playing a sport and then someone has enough and someone "loses an eye." 

 

As a mom, I'd look at the behaviour patterns of my son. Is he the kind of kid that pushes other kids/adults verbally and possibly physical, and you've already talked about it with him? If so, hopefully he will eventually learn to burb his behaviour. My dh, a former "teaser and taunter" has a great story about how he got taught the vital lesson of knowing when to stop or when to not even start. 

 

I'd also look at the behaviour patterns of the other boy, who you say has "hurt" you son before. If the two boys can't get along, for whatever reason, they probably need some time and space away from each other. 

 

And as a mom, I think that in some situations it's alright for another boy to get physical with my son if he just won't stop. Sometimes a physical reaction from another boy is exactly what's appropriate at that instant. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by wintermom
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 I don't think hurting my son is the right way to go about making him stop picking on him.

 

Are you saying your son was picking on another kid and the other kid told your son to stop and then your son didn't stop?

 

If so, then your son needs some lessons in realistic expectations and the other kid gave him one.  If you pick on someone, they tell you to stop and you don't stop, then they might very well use something other than words to stop you. Welcome to reality. Be glad he wasn't seriously hurt and start addressing his provocative and unrelenting behavior. Yes, laws do often punish people who use violence when they weren't in immediate physical danger, but let's not disregard the emotional pain of being picked on.  Sometimes the verbal attack has longer lasting and more damaging emotional consequences than the physical.

 

If I misunderstand it was just a couple of kids playing around and things got out of hand, I wouldn't worry too much about it unless it happened again.  I'd have a serious talk with him about not letting things get out of hand.

 

If I didn't witness the whole thing I would have to leave some room for the possibility that there's more to the story than my son told me.

 

I go to a homeschool PE class with 40+ kids in it.  It's unrealistic to expect the two coaches to see what every child is doing at all times.  That's not how humans work.  Stuff happens that they won't see even when they're doing their jobs.  This is a class outdoors, not a house with all 4 kids in the same room with mom.

 

 

  • Like 14
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've seen kids bait other kids until they lash out and the parents are outraged that the kid responded to that stimulus. They back up the instigators and instill zero sense of responsibility in them. Bullying has consequences.

 

At 15, I wouldn't be doing anything to make my smart-mouthed son feel good about starting something like this. My speech would probably be "You were both idiots and you're both doing x chore together to pay for the glasses." (They don't need to know how your insurance works.) It sounds like they each did something impulsive that resulted in broken glasses. They could both learn from this.

 

I have brothers. Sometimes they were just idiots.

  • Like 17
Link to comment
Share on other sites

She texted back that my son kept saying stuff to upset her son and so he told him to stop but when my son wouldn't stop, they got into it.

 

.

Is that the defense he will also use when his future colicky baby keeps him awake all night?

 

FWIW, sounds like both boys could use more direction and training in self control. That, and a good lesson in basketball etiquette. That ball is not meant to be a weapon.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I may have done the same thing in your shoes, idk.  I don't have a 15 year-old.  But if I were the other kid's mom, and you texted me about it I would probably respond like she did.  It sounds like your kid was bullying the other & wouldn't stop, so he made your son stop.  Both boys were wrong, but I wouldn't be all apologetic about it as the mom of the other boy, although I would make my son apologize to yours.  You might want to consider having your son apologize to the other kid as well.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay people. Let's get real here. I'm with homeschool mom in AZ on this one.

 

And I would not even remotely presume the kid who finally got fed up and tossed a ball at his head actually intended to break anything or is going to beat his colicky baby 8 years from now.

 

A lot depends on context. I can totally see the ball throwing being a natural and reasonable response between two teen boys. Most likely not delivered like a serious punch so much as a thump upside the head to quit being a jerk message bc the guy had quite rightly reached his limit of crap taking and given notice about it. Glasses can break pretty easily. And whether it was intended or not, boys playing anything are going to break glasses, it's just a matter of when.

Edited by Murphy101
  • Like 12
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've seen kids bait other kids until they lash out and the parents are outraged that the kid responded to that stimulus. They back up the instigators and instill zero sense of responsibility in them. Bullying has consequences.

 

At 15, I wouldn't be doing anything to make my smart-mouthed son feel good about starting something like this. My speech would probably be "You were both idiots and you're both doing x chore together to pay for the glasses." (They don't need to know how your insurance works.) It sounds like they each did something impulsive that resulted in broken glasses. They could both learn from this.

 

I have brothers. Sometimes they were just idiots.

Amen.

 

I had a smart mouthed teen boy. (*cough* I might have more than one. Can't think where they get it from. *cough*) And we have had that conversation with him. About limits and knowing them or facing the consequences. If a guy goes looking for a fight, he can't very well whine when he finds it. Well he can whine, but he won't get much sympathy from us for it.

 

Idk if boys are idiots for it though.

 

Boy has enough and says so and gets pushed more and tosses a ball or a punch. Other kid knocks it off. Problem solved. 30 minutes later they are back playing ball like nothing happened and all is well.

 

In many ways, I prefer that to the twisted mean girl games. Just punch each other and move on seems a lot more humane and sane in comparison.

Edited by Murphy101
  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Excellent thoughts.  I know that adults in this situation would have to pay harsh consequences.  The grown-up using the weapon would be charged with battery, at the least, and perhaps worse, depending on the damage done.  The grown-up taunting the other guy would end up beat up, or disabled, or dead.  Both need to learn how to deal with their issues.  Perhaps counseling is in order.

 

My thought picture is to help only the parent you can control. It is up to each parent to decide whether their child needs more help or just a parental talk. They need to evaluate based on more than one incident. For the OP, does her child go to far, push at people and not understand their reactions? I don't know. With teenagers it could be a one shot thing too. Only the OP and the parent of the other boy can evaluate. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay people. Let's get real here. I'm with homeschool mom in AZ on this one.

 

And I would not even remotely presume the kid who finally got fed up and tossed a ball at his head actually intended to break anything or is going to beat his colicky baby 8 years from now.

 

A lot depends on context. I can totally see the ball throwing being a natural and reasonable response between two teen boys. Most likely not delivered like a serious punch so much as a thump upside the head to quit being a jerk message bc the guy had quite rightly reached his limit of crap taking and given notice about it. Glasses can break pretty easily. And whether it was intended or not, boys playing anything are going to break glasses, it's just a matter of when.

 

I agree that context and circumstances are important. 

 

My family is athletic (except for me). So over the years a lot of balls and other objects have gotten tossed at people, probably some in the face. They know better than to do mom, who's inept, but anyone else in family and on a team would be expected to catch the thing. My husband when coaching once said, "If you are afraid of the ball, it will find you." Kids get hit by balls all the time. My oldest's first game of kid pitch he got hit square in the helmet, got knocked off his feet, but sprang right up and took first. 

 

I would hope that they know better than to do this randomly, but in a PE class, I can understand why a young man might decide to throw a ball. And at this age, kids have learned some of the unwritten rules of sports, in baseball, the pitcher on a high school team is aware that certain transgressions can and may well be punished by throwing at the opposing team members, and even lousy high school pitchers can throw 70. It certainly explains why good athletes at this level who wear glasses, either switch to contacts or get goggles. (and hey OP, if you are still reading, that might not be a bad idea, even though this incident sounds intentional there are lots of things that happen unintentionally). 

 

If the ball tosser's mom is okay, then I'm going to make an assumption that she knows her child and can make the right decision. Just like the OP can also assess this incident and decide is this something her child just needs her to say, "Well next time shut up already, it could have been worse." Or does he need something more? I don't know. Only she does. 

 

But both moms should parent for their children's future conduct. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is that the defense he will also use when his future colicky baby keeps him awake all night?

 

 

Don't be ridiculous.  A colicky baby is helpless and is completely innocent of any wrongdoing.  Not so a bullying teenager.  Let's stick to the situation at hand and not bring up completely different situations.

  • Like 14
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would focus on my own kid. If I were her Mom, I would be livid at my son and make him apologize on the theory that no one can 'make' you do the wrong thing.

 

But as *your* son's mom, I would be telling him that if he is picking on people, he is creating the problem. If the kid asked him to stop and he didn't, your son is creating the problem.

 

That is an 'if' because I certainly would want to know if your son has a different story. If you son is usually kind and mild mannered, I would Wonder about the veracity of the other kid's story. If he has been mouthy before and you believe that is true, I would be asking my son how he plans to pay to replace glasses, and I would not be willing to accept excuses for his behavior.

Edited by Danestress
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't be ridiculous. A colicky baby is helpless and is completely innocent of any wrongdoing. Not so a bullying teenager. Let's stick to the situation at hand and not bring up completely different situations.

I was being facetious. We live in a culture that likes assigning blame and making excuses. My meaning was to state that both guys need to own up to their wrong behavior and skip the blame shifting.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On a practical note, basketball is a sport where it would be very easy to accidentally break glasses. I wouldn't send my bifocal wearing kid to play most sports without glasses designed for sports.

 

Is it true that your son was verbally jabbing at him before he threw the ball or is that the other kid's excuse for throwing something at him?

 

I would consider any teen past about 14 to be able to navigate this sort of stuff without parental involvement. Unless physical injury was the result. I had two friends in high school where one boy's horseplay resulted in the other boy needing several eye surgeries and it was questionable as to if he'd keep his sight in that eye. In that instance, I think getting parents involved is necessary.

Edited by LucyStoner
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, it wasn't playing around, but they also didn't end up rolling on the ground, so it is possible it was just an inappropriate warning. Are you in a stand your ground state?  If it's at all possible that your son was doing anything that could be considered taunting and you're in a stand your ground state, it's time to have a serious talk about what that means - that anyone who feels threatened by him will legally have the right to kill him.  Agressive posturing is a phase I feel like many boys go through, but it's more important than ever to know when to assess the situation and walk away.

 

I would keep him away from that kid if I could.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was being facetious. We live in a culture that likes assigning blame and making excuses. My meaning was to state that both guys need to own up to their wrong behavior and skip the blame shifting.

 

I'm not yet convinced the kid getting bullied and then threw a ball at the kid who wouldn't quit did anything wrong. Maybe yes and maybe no.  None of us has enough information yet.  If this was a kid provoking and bullying another kid and refusing to stop when told to verbally, then a no permanent bodily damage  response may have been in order.  Instead of whining about my kid's broken glasses I out some serious analysis into why my kid is a bully and how I will put an end to it.

 

Plenty of men have stories where they were bullying someone verbally, eventually the person being bullied or an ally of theirs returned the verbal attack with physical one that didn't do permanent damage and bully learned the lesson. My grandfather served in WW2.  Where he was stationed an officer was insulting a lower ranking serviceman's wife.  The lower ranking service man couldn't do anything about it.  My grandfather, who was the same rank, told him to stop.  He didn't.  Grandad broke the bully's weapon which means he punched him in his mouth.   Problem solved.  The guy stopped.

 

My dad was a bully.  He picked fights a lot and is glad the day another kid kicked his butt. He says it's what he needed because my grandmother's pleadings and warnings weren't getting through to him and other kids were suffering because of it. 

 

I honestly believe where you come down on this (if it truly is one kid verbally bullying another kid and the victim getting fed up and throwing a ball at the bully's head) has to do with whether or not you grew up with brothers or if the father of your children grew up with brothers and if you're under...say...30ish. The male world is different than the female world and our feminized modern American culture. In the male world, the best thing for everyone involved is usually the victim fighting the bully. 

 

If you start a fight with someone, expect that they may try to finish it.  Walk softly and carry a big stick all that.

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, it wasn't playing around, but they also didn't end up rolling on the ground, so it is possible it was just an inappropriate warning. Are you in a stand your ground state?  If it's at all possible that your son was doing anything that could be considered taunting and you're in a stand your ground state, it's time to have a serious talk about what that means - that anyone who feels threatened by him will legally have the right to kill him.  Agressive posturing is a phase I feel like many boys go through, but it's more important than ever to know when to assess the situation and walk away.

 

I would keep him away from that kid if I could.

 

So we are clear, nothing in this situation when be considered as a possible use of a stand your ground or self defense statute.  The bolded is simply grossly inaccurate.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A basketball is a pretty solid, heavy and large ball. The fact the the glasses lenses were completely fine and only the frames got damaged seems to indicate that the ball wasn't thrown hard or even at the face.  Had it been a hard throw directly at the face, there would probably have been a lot more damage to the glasses and face.  This doesn't sound at all like a move to intentionally hurt another person. Then again, none of us were there. The boy could be a really bad shot. ;)

Edited by wintermom
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

At that age, I would leave them alone. My 14 yods would be horrified if he was in such a situation and I even contacted the mom :)

 

I would tell my son that he should probably stay away from the guy as much as possible and if I even suspected that he was antagonizing the other young man that would be our discussion. That he knows the other kid has a short fuse and he is just as much as fault as the other kid. Not excusing the other kid losing his temper but that's not an issue I could solve.

This. I wouldn't contact the mom

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a young teen son. I would do absolutely nothing, except maybe a warning about baiting if it's in his nature.

 

As an aside, based on my knowledge of teen boys, they forgot about this incident about 10 minutes after it happened. They are far, far less emotionally involved in this than the moms. I'd let it go.

Edited by FriedClams
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you saying your son was picking on another kid and the other kid told your son to stop and then your son didn't stop?

 

If so, then your son needs some lessons in realistic expectations and the other kid gave him one.  If you pick on someone, they tell you to stop and you don't stop, then they might very well use something other than words to stop you. Welcome to reality. Be glad he wasn't seriously hurt and start addressing his provocative and unrelenting behavior. Yes, laws do often punish people who use violence when they weren't in immediate physical danger, but let's not disregard the emotional pain of being picked on.  Sometimes the verbal attack has longer lasting and more damaging emotional consequences than the physical.

 

If I misunderstand it was just a couple of kids playing around and things got out of hand, I wouldn't worry too much about it unless it happened again.  I'd have a serious talk with him about not letting things get out of hand.

 

If I didn't witness the whole thing I would have to leave some room for the possibility that there's more to the story than my son told me.

 

I go to a homeschool PE class with 40+ kids in it.  It's unrealistic to expect the two coaches to see what every child is doing at all times.  That's not how humans work.  Stuff happens that they won't see even when they're doing their jobs.  This is a class outdoors, not a house with all 4 kids in the same room with mom.

 

 

 

 

I've got to say my folks always told me this and it's a valuable little gem.

 

 

If you play with the bull, you're going to get the horns.

 

 

 

Once upon a time I sat and listened to a very lovely mom tell me about her son and why they were thinking about transitioning to another boy scout troop.  The boys in her son's troop picked on him.  I felt bad for her, I felt bad for her son.  I was hopeful that our troop would be a better fit.  My DH got to be one of the leaders in the room the night he visited to try it out.  The child was incredibly difficult - picking and taunting on other kids, not understanding/knowing the limitations of his behavior, not paying attention or cooperating.  My husband said it wasn't a bit of a surprise that other kids don't tolerate him.

 

So I say this having no idea if this kid is like your kid, *but* if he is - please, for the love of Pete, teach your kid what it means to be enjoyable, not annoying, and how to get along with others.  You would do him a HUGE life long favor if you said, "Some people don't tolerate crap."  

 

Do I think he deserved a basketball to the face?  Absolutely not.  That's horrible behaviour, but if it gets turned around to "George shouldn't have done that!" and somehow never gets to, "Stop being a twit and people won't react badly," then the kid who really suffers (life long) is your kid and not the other kid.  The other kid might never smack someone with a basketball again, but your kid doesn't learn how to communicate and make friends and get along.

 

That said, if this is not how this played out then disregard all of it.  But I thought later about that mom and thought that someone should really say, "Your child would be so much happier if he knew how to associate with peers and adult leaders appropriately rather than blaming those around him for not tolerating his behavior."

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Typical teen stuff, nothing I'd get worked up about and I wouldn't be on the phone with anyone. 

 

Yes, he broke your ds's glasses, but broken glasses are a big risk in basketball. It can easily happen during ordinary play - I get that it didn't, but you can only know that because the mom admitted it was an intentional toss. Annoyed kids do that all the time and it's usually deflected with no harm other than sore fingers or a bruise. If he threw it at his face with the intent to hurt him, it likely would have really hurt him. 

 

I don't think it's a big deal, and I think your ds needs to navigate these waters on his own. If I knew or saw the mom, I'd probably say that I shouldn't have texted, that the boys need to work it out on their own. I would say it, not text it, bc texting back and forth in these situations seldom ends well. 

 

Where was the teacher? Well, probably glancing away for the few seconds it takes to toss a ball. They are 15, not 5, he doesn't have to have eyes on them all of the time. 

 

I wouldn't put the kibosh on them being together or being friends in the future because the other kid tossed a ball in anger. If that's your criteria, he's going to have a mighty rough time finding boys to hang out with.  

 

You are being overprotective. It's not a big deal. It's a good lesson in learning that, if you push people, they will push back. 

 

Note that I'm not saying that teens need to handle everything on their own at all times, but this was a brief tussle, not a case of ongoing threats or bullying. 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Say, did you guys notice that "Dodgeball" is coming back?  Our dojang and our rec center have dodgeball as a legitimate activity.  I hated dodgeball because of the balls to the head, but apparently some kids like it and some adults are cool with that.  So maybe a ball to the head (that does not cause injury) is not such a big deal after all.

 

Just thought I'd "throw that out there."  :P

 

Another anecdote from childhood.  My brother was kind of a pi$$-ant at times.  One day he flicked an empty gum wrapper into a bigger boy's face.  Ha ha, hee hee.  The bigger boy tackled him, not intending to harm him, just as a sort of comeback or warning.  POP!  My brother's femur broke.  He was in traction for 6 weeks and then a body cast for 2 months.  One hopes he learned a lesson about annoying people.  Was the older boy punished?  I don't think so, because even my brother said he had provoked it and the boy had no intention to cause serious harm.  Was the older boy's parent expected to pay?  No way.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No.  It's not playing around.  My kids play competitive basketball and a basketball hit to the head can cause serious injury.  

Just a side note...a coach at our neighborhood high school was recently fired for throwing basketballs at kids.  

 

This.....this is why I posted and asked about whether I was being overprotective or not.  It seemed to me that throwing a basketball at someone's head was serious.  The boys have been friends for many years so it's not as if the friend was not used to my son's teasing him.  My son said that the teasing was not worse than usual so he was quite surprised when he was hit by the ball.  I am not sure if his teasing was getting worse or if the friend's temper was getting worse this past year or maybe both.  I was not there when that happened.  

 

I will talk again with him about toning down his teasing. 

 

The P E class was already over when this happened but they were hanging around while waiting for the younger siblings' class to end.  So the teacher was not responsible for them.  I plan on being there from now on just to keep an eye on them and serve as a deterrent to their tussles, so I hope.

 

I won't pursue this any further as most of you seem to think that I was overreacting.  Thanks for the feedback.

Edited by Merry
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I won't pursue this any further as most of you seem to think that I was overreacting.  Thanks for the feedback.

 

Just to be clear, I said 'overreacting' but I don't think it's over the top for you to be asking about it.

 

If I didn't have so many nephews, and if I hadn't witnessed this kind of thing over and over again over the years, my knee-jerk reaction would probably be similar to yours.

 

But I really don't think he intended to hurt your ds, and I've seen so many otherwise great boys act similarly within their 'tribe,' so to speak, that I've decided it's a bizarre ritual I don't understand, lol. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This.....this is why I posted and asked about whether I was being overprotective or not.  It seemed to me that throwing a basketball at someone's head was serious.  The boys have been friends for many years so it's

 

not as if the friend was not used to my son's teasing him. 

 

My son said that the teasing was not worse than usual so he was quite surprised when he was hit by the ball. 

 

I am not sure if his teasing was getting worse or if the friend's temper was getting worse this past year or maybe both.  I was not there when that happened.  

 

I will talk again with him about toning down his teasing. 

 

The P E class was already over when this happened but they were hanging around while waiting for the younger siblings' class to end.  So the teacher was not responsible for them.  I plan on being there from now on just to keep an eye on them and serve as a deterrent to their tussles, so I hope.

 

I won't pursue this any further as most of you seem to think that I was overreacting.  Thanks for the feedback.

 

What kind of "teasing" are we talking about? But actually doesn't matter, because the older boy asked your son to stop.

 

It looks like the older boy finally had enough. After years of teasing? Good for him. Is your son's face / head injured? You didn't mention this, so  I assume he's actually not injured. He wasn't hit hard by that ball, at all.

 

I'd be explaining to him that being hit by the ball after years of teasing and after being asked not to, shouldn't be coming as a surprise to him.

 

 

 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

To answer your original question, just as persistent teasing is not "just playing around", throwing a ball at someone is not "just playing around." And I think it is asking a lot of anyone who is subject to teasing to be good natured about for years. But out of all the aggressive / defensive actions the older boy could have done, he chose a very, very mild one.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...