15 answers

How to Handle an Incident Between My 6 Year Old Son and the Neighbor Boy

My son is pretty close to the neighbor boy who is also six. They play about every other day for about 1-2 hours at a time. I take this relationship to be good for my son because he has a friend that is the same age that he can see on a regular basis and it is outside of school. They like to wrestle and do boy things and I think their rough housing has gotten out of control by what happened yesterday. My son and Carter (neighbor boy) were on the deck looking out at something. There is a bench installed on the deck so they were standing on the bench so the railing was at their waist. I was inside and watched Carter intentionally push my son and he fell off the deck and fell about 10 feet to the ground. Obviously my son was screaming and he had a bloody nose and a split lip from the fall and Carter ran home scared. I have had no words with Carter, my husband talked to his parents and they told Carter he was grounded from my son for a couple of days. I am still mad about this but cant figure out if this was just normal boy behavior where carter didnt think before he pushed or if this boy has some issues and I need to take a closer watch on their play.

What can I do next?

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I can see where you would be upset however the boys are at an age where things pop into their heads as a good idea and they just run with it. They aren't to the point of being able to think things through nor do they have good impulse control at this stage in development. I'd say to let it go for now.

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I agree with Mikelle F.

I also second what you said at the end of your post. Go with your instincts and keep a closer watch on the boys. I too would be upset but who wouldn't be is their child fell from a deck?! It could have been a lot worse. How scary for your son!

Hopefully your son feels better and is recovering well!

2 moms found this helpful

You were right to talk to Carter's parents. If that were my son who did it, he would have alot more consequences that that! But, I would in the futer watch them more carefully and if his misbehavior persists, I would put a restriction on their playing together until Carter demonstrates he is a safe friend. Chances are, he didn't think before he did it and is really sorry now. But, your son really could have gotten hurt bad.

2 moms found this helpful

It sounds like just what you said, rough housing getting out of control. It doesn't seem the Carter meant to hurt your son. He was probably ready to move on from looking at something. I really think it was 100 percent an accident and they may have rough housed on the porch before and didn't really take into account the fact the were standing on the bench and your son would fall off.

1 mom found this helpful

I agree that they need to be watched more closely but at the same time I think it was just kids being kids.

When my brother was 6yo his best buddy spent the night and they decided that the "fun" thing to do was jump from the toilet to the tub like "army men" that didn't turn out to well. The friend slipped and cut his forehead on the faucet. Thankfully, our Dad is a Pedi and got to practice his stitching skills LOL. My parents were so upset and kept apologizing for what happened and surprisingly the other kid's parents were doing the same. We learned that those two together had to be watched closely because they "didn't think" beyond the moment for along time.

1 mom found this helpful

If Carter's parents grounded him, then you know they're taking care of the situation. Like the other posters, I agree that Carter probably did not truly understand the consequences of his actions when he did it. Now he does.

It's very important that kids have neighbor friends with whom they can play outside consistently. So there is a bigger risk of burning any bridges and cutting off the 2 friends from one another. As they get older, they should be allowed to play outside freely (the alternative- 2 friendless boys who stay inside playing video games all day long).

In the future, don't be afraid to "parent" your son's friend when they're at your house. This probably doesn't apply to you, but I've never been able to understand why grownups are afraid to address misbehavior immediately and directly when they see it in children. (Or compliment good behavior, either!) That's what grownups are for! Kids need to know that we're ALL watching.

1 mom found this helpful

I can see where you would be upset however the boys are at an age where things pop into their heads as a good idea and they just run with it. They aren't to the point of being able to think things through nor do they have good impulse control at this stage in development. I'd say to let it go for now.

1 mom found this helpful

Keep an eye on them while playing. The boy probably didn't think it would turn out like it did. In his mind he was just rough housing, but to be sure I would watch a little closer. 10 feet is a long way down, I hope your son heals quickly!!

Hard to say. Do you really watch them at all? If so have you seen any aggressive or overtly unwarranted from Carter? Then maybe you should be concerned.

If you dont watch them then I would. See what you observe. I'm guessing it's just they have gotten into this pattern of playing rough and he took it too far.

My son and husband play rough. Sometimes my son does impulsive things that are stupid. Like he ripped my husbands hat off his head while driving yesterday. Not smart eh. He didn't think about it. He was just stealing dad's hat off his head. It was a game. Except it could have been a deadly one. My son didn't think about it... He wasn't trying to crash our car or even think about how that could happen. He was just playing with dad! In a very stupid time...

So I'm sure it was just they have gotten into this pattern. I would tell them that the rough housing is over. Give them activities to do.. get on their butts if they start. Send Carter home if they start even if he didn't start it. They will both learn.

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