How to Advise 4 Year Old on Friend Issue

Updated on September 27, 2013
S.S. asks from Los Angeles, CA
13 answers

My 4 year old has a best friend at school who loves to throw things. I've seen this myself when we have play dates - he doesn't throw it maliciously, he just loves to throw it seems. Unfortunately, my son is often the target of these flung objects and today he came home with a bruise on his back. When I asked him how he got it, he started crying and said his friend threw a toy at him and it broke on his back. I've already told him to use his words and say he doesnt like it when his friend does that. I've also told him to play with somebody else when his friend acts like that. Is there anything else I should say? TIA!

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answers from Tampa on

Why isn't the teacher doing anything? She should be disciplining the other child. If there's a bruise, I would think someone at the school should have reported it to you. That's kind of serious, I think.

I'd be a little concerned about this school.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from San Francisco on

Um, you should be talking to the teacher. At four the kids should still be highly supervised, they shouldn't be fending for themselves! I know my kids' teachers would've been all over that, the only throwing allowed at school was balls, outside.

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answers from Jacksonville on

I agree that you should mention this to the teacher. If she isn't already aware, it might be helpful for her to know that this boy needs to be redirected to throw appropriately (nerf toys at a basketball goal for instance), and not AT PEOPLE.

And she also needs a head's up that he hurt your child (even if it was unintentional). Next time it could be some child's head, not their back.

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answers from New York on

Where is the teacher? Talk to her.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Instead of telling him to tell the kid he "doesn't like it" why not tell him to tell his friend to STOP throwing things at him because it hurts. And also tell him to tell the teacher. I also agree that you should talk to the teacher because apparently this kid is throwing things really hard.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

If it happened at school, tell the teacher...that's their job to monitor and teach right from wrong...especially at this age. Show the teacher the bruise...that may spur them into action. That takes you and your son off the hook.

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answers from Dallas on

I think you did great. You can maybe also tell your son that his friend should be more careful, he most likely did not mean to hurt him. (Four year olds are likely to think every thing is done on purpose, not by accident).



answers from Honolulu on

Where did your son come home from, when he had that bruise on his back??? From Preschool? From that kid's house?
In either case, YOU need to speak up to the adult in charge, and tell her/him what happened.
Sure, teach your kiddo to speak up.
But at 4 years old, the parent, You, DOES have to handle it, too. A 4 year old is too young to completely deal with it on their own. They are not even fully socialized yet etc.

AND, you NEED TO teach your son, the difference between right and wrong. Mean and nice. Start now, teaching him that. SO that, once he enters into Elementary school, he will know, what the difference is and how to TELL the Teacher, and speak up etc.

And, when YOU see it happening, you TELL that boy... stop it, that is wrong. It HURTS people when you throw things.
Don't just observe and let it happen.
TELL that boy, that that is not nice.
It doesn't matter if he threw it out of maliciousness or not... the point is: throwing things AT people, is wrong. It hurts others. It is NOT nice.
If that boy did that in school, he would be reprimanded.

Your son has a bruise now.
You need to tell that boy's Mom.
Or the Teacher if it happened at Preschool.

It is not all your son's responsibility to use his words and say he doesn't like it when his friend does that. He is only 4. You need to, also, handle it. To the boy or tell his Mom.

Again, throwing things at people, even if that boy is just "playing" is NOT nice. And it will not be allowed in any school setting.
As you see, your son got hurt already. Just because his friend "loves to throw things." Well THAT, needs to stop.
Throwing and flinging objects at others, is just not nice.

When my son was 4, he didn't throw things at people. He knew, it was wrong and that it hurts.



answers from Los Angeles on

I think your son understands that this behavior is not ok, but you need to talk to the other mother or the teacher about it so they can correct the other boy's behavior. If it is happening at school, the teacher should be aware because he is probably hitting other kids too. If you are friends with the mother and you feel comfortable, talk to her too.

Good luck!


answers from Norfolk on

This friend needs to not be throwing things at people (or animals or anything not made for it).
A basketball hoop, a goal net, a target - things like that are made for it.
People are not.
Your son needs to say 'I like playing with you but you can't throw things at me. It hurts and I don't like it.'.
If the friend forgets and throws again, your son should loudly say 'STOP IT' and walk away.
In the mean time, this friend should be given nerf balls to play with (and take away any other potential projectiles) until he can control himself a bit better.
At least if he throws them, they won't hurt anyone.



answers from Colorado Springs on

I think you're doing well, too. He needs to say something - out loud - and he needs to remember that he can probably still be a friend to the boy.



answers from Oklahoma City on

Where are the kids parents when this is happening? This kiddo should have a parent that tells the kid's parents. A 4 year old isn't equipped to handle this. A parent should be handling this.


answers from Washington DC on

Do you know the parents? Talk to the teacher. Find out what is going on your son throwing too and isn't tell you since he doesn't want to get in trouble? I would try to get more detail about what's going on - but him coming home bruised is not okay.

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