7 Yr Old Son Punched Another Kid

Updated on June 08, 2011
A.L. asks from Anna, OH
25 answers

I haven't seen this myself, but this is what I've heard from my husband, my son's baseball coach, and a couple other parents. For the last couple weeks there has been a boy from my 7 year old son's baseball team picking on my son at practices, poking at him, taking his hat, not giving it back, and punching him in the stomach (I don't think it was hard, not sure). At their first game yesterday my son got fed up finally and punched him in the face. Should I address this with this kids parents, let the coach handle it (he did already say he was going to address it in the next practice), or what I was thinking was to make my son write him a letter of apology and let them resolve it? We've always taught our boys not to fight, they need to tell the other kid to stop and then tell a grownup. Is this just boys being boys?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the comments! I should mention that I didn't know anything was going on at all till the coach called me after the first game (I don't get to go to practice because of my work schedule). He did not have to write an apology letter, though we did have discussions about a more appropriate approach to bullying, rather than going straight to a punch in the face. The coach made the whole team run laps due to the entire team acting pretty crazy in the dugout and my son ended up practicing catch with the boy who was picking on him, and I heard they did great with each other. It was definitely a learning experience for us! Thanks again! (On a side note, I don't think anyone should ever say sorry in their opinions, we wouldn't ask for them if we didn't want to hear them!)

More Answers


answers from Seattle on

This is your son not letting another kid bully him. Good for him. I know I may get reamed for that, but that's my opinion. We always tell kids to not fight, but sometimes I think it's necessary. I mean, really, do you want your child to be at practice and constantly be picked on? Your son probably DID tell that boy to leave him alone and probably DID tell an adult. Sometimes that makes them seem like a "tattle tale" (at least to the other kids). Now that your son threw a punch he probably wont be picked on anymore.
I have ALWAYS told my children that I don't want them to fight. To use their words. To tell an adult. And then, if the kid doesn't get it, they are allowed to defend themselves and I will back them up.
(mom to a 5 1/2 year old, 8 1/2 year old, and 5 month old)

7 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

My first thought was "good for your son". I thought no one would agree but I see other answers so far say the same thing. Telling a grown up is great and should be tried once but it seems like it can also make things worse for a boy. Then he's a tattletale etc. So long as this doesn't get out of hand, I think your son might have done the right thing by nipping this in the bud and not becoming an ongoing target. I'd have a talk with him but otherwise let the coach handle it. And hopefully this other boy learned his lesson!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I wouldn't make him write an apology letter to the boy, sounds like he was just defending himself after being picked on. I would mention something to the coach, because that will be the first place the boys parents go, if they do. I would tell him something like...this boy has been picking on my son and my son asked him to stop and the boy persisted, so my son hit him. You'd be surprised, you might not hear a peep about it!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Don't do anything...it is just common boy interaction. The kid was seeing how far he could push your son...he reached that point and your son punched him. Do NOT get involved...the boys can handle this themselves.

If the coach wants to talk about it let him.

I actually would be praising my boy for sticking up for himself and stopping the bullying, by tacking action.

Boys fight it is in their nature and it actually wouldn't surprise me if your son and the boy picking on him don't end up friends when this all blows over...IF you let THEM handle it boy to boy.

Stay out of it and let the coach do his job...he being a man can deal with this a million times better than any of us moms. IMO

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

What was your son supposed to do? The adults that he trusted knew he was being picked on but did nothing to intervene. How else could he have handled it?

I honestly don't think I'd make him write a letter of apology for this when the adults around him failed him. You said your husband, his coach, and other parents saw your boy being bullied. Why didn't anybody say anything?

I would probably just talk to him about coping strategies and the importance of telling an adult in instances of bullying. As for the other kid, he had it coming, sorry to say.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I am not a huge fan of fighting either, but if this kid was truly picking on your son this much, then I think it was probably a good thing he stood up to him. Hopefully it sent the kid a message that your son can take care of himself. I would let the coach handle it, although I would definitely have a talk with him.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Good for your son! That will teach the other kid not to mess with him... No letters of apology needed, I dont even think your son should apologise at all. That kid deserved it. Kids, boys especially, need to get a L. aggressive sometimes. I think it will be fine, and your son will get some respect he deserves.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Good for him! I would not be making my kid apologize for anything. I don't think I'd talk with the other kid's parents - I've found that bullies often have bullies for parents. I'd let the coach handle it for now.

Telling a parent what is going on is great. Expecting parents/ coaches/ someone else to make the bully stop doesn't always work. Sounds like your son did what was necessary. I'd talk with him about it, how punching is a last resort. But I would be glad he was able to stand up for himself.

I've had my daughter in Karate classes since she was five. I expect her to learn how to defend and protect herself, physically if need be.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Good for your son for hitting him back! One step further to making sure he doesn't get bullied. In my mind, that's the 100% right move, and I teach my kids the same thing.

I understand teaching him not to initiate a fight. And to use his words and tell an adult. But you should be patting him on the back for not sitting there and letting someone else beat up on him, when clearly, words weren't stopping the behavior. He just showed you that he's a strong, independent boy who can handle himself. What a great thing!!!

More to the point, I would not offer one word of explanation to the other kid's parents unless they come to you. And then, it's pretty clear why it happened, and I would HOPE that you would not apologize for your son.
The other kid deserved it. Period.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

I had to coment to this one! I was picked on by kids all through school. I am not a agressive person at all, but after finaly getting fed up with it myself I hit the kid....Guess who got into trouble! Yep me. My parents knew what was going on and stuck up for me. The told the teacher they were not going to punish me for defending myself! When I got picked on the one thing that helped was knowing that when I got home I knew someone was on my side! Stick up for him and dont let anyone tell him he was wrong. The other boy should be the one getting into trouble for picking on your son!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I didn't read the other responses, but I say it's self-defense and your son did the right thing. Bullies have to learn. And this boy bothered your son for a long time and if no adult stepped in to help him, he protected himself. I say you tell your son he did the right thing and do NOT have him apologize. It will tell the bully he can do it again and teach your son not to stand up for himself. Good on your son for standing up for himself.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

well good for him for finally taking a stand against a bully went thru the same thing with my son.nope no apology needed-let the coach handle it from here.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Oh my goodness, don't make your son write an apology letter!! This other kid had it coming and finally your son stuck up for himself! Good for him!

Sorry, but as your son found out, it doesn't always work to tell the other kid to stop it. Sometimes kids just need to find out the hard way, that they can't do this to other kids.

I see nothing wrong with what your son did.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Davenport on

Sounds like the other kid was a bully and your kid finally had enough and was defending himslef. Serves the picking on him kid, right. I would talk to your son about being bullied and that there are other ways to handle it, BUT also let him know you understand why it happened. I would talk to the coach and have him talk to the other kid about BEING A BULLY. Maybe talk to the whole team about both sides of bullying, and what everyone should do about it, other than hitting.

But, if you guys and the coach knew that the picking on was happening, you all should've intervened BEFORE it escalated to this point. If you were taking the stance of "boys will be boys" and just letting them "work it out" themsleves, then you have to keep with that stance, you sone worked it out for himself - good for him, that is what you did was left it up to him.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I'm sorry many on here won't agree with me but hooray for your son for putting that kid in his place! I bet that kid leaves him alone now. I'm so sick of people punishing kids for sticking up for themselves. I child that uses self defense should not be punished the same as a child that instigates it especially if this child has been allowed to tourment your son for weeks. The coach should have broken it down to the other kid weeks ago when it first started. He let it escalade to the point where your son had no choice but to defend himself.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

i would not make him write a letter of apology! If this other child has been picking on your son all this time and your son as done nothing before this incident,oh well. your son got sick and tired of being on! your son reached his breaking point, and how much more was he supposed to take before it ended up being that this other boy punched him in the face? Let the coach do what he is going to do. if the parents want to deal with you then deal with them later. Until then maybe this boy will leave your son alone now.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rapid City on

Hitting isn't a good thing, but being picked on isn't either. I know that everyone wants the kids to be taught never ever hit but what do they do when someone is punching them in the stomach, tell? Bullies pick on kids that are smaller and won't fight back. I seen it when my son was around that age. Once he stood up to the bully and pushed him back it stopped the bullying and they became good friends. What do you teach the kids if there is someone grabbing them off the street? Not to hit and kick and do whatever harm you can to get away? Of course you do but this time it is a child who is doing harm instead of a grown up. I do not promote hitting and fighting but I am old school "never throw the first punch but protect yourself"
sometimes there isn't a way to get away and tell the grownup so they need to know it is ok to hit to protect themselves from someone who is getting physical with them.

One thing you could do is put your son in Karate. It teaches self defense and when to use it. It doesn't promote fighting, it promotes protecting yourself.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Madison on

I'm sorry, but I don't think it's ever OK for a parent to tell a kid to go ahead and punch another person, regardless of the situation. That being said, your son was frustrated because there wasn't intervention on the ADULTS part, which I think you need to address - with your husband and the coach. It blows my mind that all of these people knew what was happening and did nothing until now. I don't think you need to punish your son or have him write an apology letter - the ADULTS should, to YOUR son!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

I would wait until next practice before you do anything. See how the coach handles it and see what other witnesses say. If this kid was teasing your son, then you don't want to make your son write an apology letter. You shouldn't approach the parents either without the coach and others present.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Your son does not need to apologize here. He followed all of the "right" channels to deal with this bully and EVERY adult in this situation knew what was going on and yet it continued. He did tell an adult... in the previous weeks and it didn't stop. The adults should be ashamed of themselves.

Let the coach deal with it and remind your son to always try a non-violent solution FIRST (walk away, tell an adult, yell for help...) but if the bullying (that's what is happening here) doesn't stop, then haul-off and punch the kid as hard as he possibly can. Knock him down & I can pretty much promise you that it won't happen again.

This is the exact advice I gave my students when I was working as a school psychologist. Violence doesn't solve problems, but let's be honest... you don't want your kid to be a doormat either!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I know it's not the popular answer but I say let it go! We've been having similar issues and, while not PC (and we are not advocate of fighting but enough's enough), we told our son to next time slug the kid in the face and that while he may be temporarily punished from outside sources, we would not be punishing him at home.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

You've gotten a lot of good advice here, so I'm only going to respond to one part of it. I would let the coach talk to the team/bullying kid about this, but it is not the coaches responsibility to teach your child how to act/react. You as parents need to take on the majority of the responsibility on talking to your son about what he should/should not do in these types of situations. The coach can help, but as parents you are the best ones to guide him.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Whoa...tough O..
Is this OUR dugout? LOL There's always O. in every dugout.
My son complains of O. kid all the time just like the O. your son punched.
It's really TOUGH for the coaches & helpers to keep an eye on the bench at all times and it's hard to get 7-8 year olds to sit, watch the game & cheer on their team mates.....
I got SO sick of hearing my son complain about this other kid pulling the same stunts--squirting water, throwing little stones, etc. The kid is usually just trying to be "a buddy" by fooling around, bey when there's no love by the O. kid for the tormentor--sometimes they need to take action. I guess you son just had ENOUGH.
I have told my son to punch the other kid--hard and tell him to leave him alone. Sometimes it's a he said/he said.
My suspicion (since your kid doesn't have a history of being aggressive) id that he had his fill of the treatment he was getting so (in a way) good for him for standing up for himself.
If my son actually does this--I will have him apologize to the kid in front of his parents.



answers from Miami on

If you son was defending himself then no nothing needs to be done on your end. If the other parents say anything say well I'm sorry but its your own fault for not stopping him from harrasing my son.



answers from Omaha on

I think regardless an apology note is in order for HIS actions. In the real world he'd still get in trouble if someone harassed him into it. You can't be the one who threw the first punch ever. Not to mention what you said was already your policy of stop then if not talk to an adult is what you do in school even. I would re-enforce that policy.

So I'd get the note handled and talk to the couch about keeping an eye on them and maybe trying to help keep them separate. Not everyone plays well with everyone.

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