Such a Weird Child

Updated on April 21, 2011
W.T. asks from Miami, FL
24 answers

One of my friends has a weird boy (4/y 4/m) I think. Each time we come to visit his house, he wont talk to us and even sometimes hit us. He acts the same way to anyone trying to speak to him. And he also hits his mother if she doesn’t give him what he wants. What should we do to change this unruly boy?

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answers from Washington DC on

it alarms me that someone who characterizes a little fellow with some behavioral issues as 'weird' also thinks it's her job to 'change' him- when he's not even her kid.
ask his parents how to handle it when he tries to hit you. i certainly wouldn't tolerate that. but other than that? butt the hell out.

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13 moms found this helpful


answers from Joplin on

wow....all I can say is I personally am Blessed to have such a "weird" child.
My son will be 4 in June and he is on th Autism spectrum. He has a lot of delays especially with social interactions. Maybe instead of trying to change this "unruly" boy....just maybe you should work on having some empathy.

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answers from Boston on

This could be a behavioral issue that's not being corrected by his parents, as others have suggested. He could also have some other problem with socialization that has not been diagnosed (some forms of autism inhibit social skills and conversation, ODD causes defiance, etc.). There may be something causing violent rages. It may be beyond his control and so it's not a good idea, or particularly helpful, to label him as "weird." However, that doesn't mean that you need to put up with it. Gently suggest to his mother that he seems to be having trouble adjusting to group play or whatever. See how she reacts. If she's open, suggest that she speak to her pediatrician and/or get some early intervention evaluations and services from the town/school system (free). If she's defensive, then just limit or eliminate play dates because of the hitting. Tell her, with compassion, that social get-togethers just aren't working now, and that you'd like to resume when he gets through this "phase." If she doesn't take care of it now, he'll definitely be referred for services when he goes to school. It will just be a lot harder because she's not addressing this at an early enough age. Meantime, he is clearly not a happy child, and hopefully she will want to help him.

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answers from St. Louis on

Such a weird child, how well do you know him really? Does he have an Autism spectrum disorder. My son acted like that when he was younger because he could not control it!

I don't mean to sound snotty, well actually I do because this post really irritates me. There are some people who think their kids are so darn perfect and any deviation from their perception of the norm is bad parenting or weird. Why do some people think it is acceptable to judge when they have no idea what is going on.

So what should you do? First try using your words to explain to the mom what is bothering you. Then listen to her words to understand what is actually going on. Then ask her if there is anything you can do to help. That is what real friends do.

16 moms found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

I don't think you should label this child as weird, or try to "change" him. He's not your child. Don't visit his house. Let his mother deal with it.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

First of all, he is not weird, if anything he is not well behave.
Weird is that you want to educate a child that is not even your family.
What you should do? Nothing, he has a mom.
If he is hitting your kids, then stop him and say don't hit and if the mother doesn't do/say anything then maybe you should leave.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Every one of your questions is about your child or someone else's child being somehow "abnormal." I think that you should generally worry less about everyone being perfectly the same and worry more about whether or not these children are generally happy. If they are, then I don't really think there's any cause for concern, and certainly no cause for intervention.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Provo on

Weird. See it's people like you who make bullying happen. You assume that you have to do something about it. He obviously has developmental issues. He's not your child so you don't worry about it. If he's at your house, tell him no hitting other than that, there is NOTHING YOU CAN DO!!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Louisville on

First, don't make assumptions that his behavior is unruly. There are problems that can appear to be poor discipline or lack of discipline, and it's no help to your friend if everyone automatically assumes he's a bad, unruly, or weird kid. It makes it hard for moms who need help and/or advice if people jump to conclusions without having the whole story. And that's true regardless of whether there is a problem with her son or a problem with the discipline techniques being used. Second, "we" doesn't include anyone but his parents unless his parents have specifically requested your help in changing his behavior. If you are concerned because you don't like to be around it, then all you can do is limit your time with this friend and her child. If you are concerned for your friend's sake, then ask her if there's anything you can help her with. But she may not be interested in your advice, especially if you have made comments about her child like those in your post to her or others in your circle of friends.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Augusta on

Nothing , he's not your child and not in your house.
If he was at your house, I'd say tell him that that's not the way the "we act in our house if you continue to do this you will need to leave. That's against the rules in our house"

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

WE shouldn't do anything. That is your friends child. The most I would do is talk to her and see what she thinks is the problem and the best solution. I'm learning that people are very sensitive when it comes to their children. I would totally leave that up to his mother, unless she ask you for your advice or opinion.

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answers from Minneapolis on

It is not unusual for a 4 year-old not to want to speak to adults in many situations. The hitting is concerning, of course. I agree with Chetina M. though, this is your friend's child and it is her choice how to handle her son. I would think your friend would also be dismayed if she knew you were describing her son as "weird".

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

If he did it in front of me and my kid, I would straight up ask the mom "does he do that alot? Will he hit me? What should I do if he hits my kid?". I would deliver it w/genuine curiosity and not show judgement.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Well...since he's not "your weird child" the answer is that you do nothing.
You know what they say about "nunya" ...Nunya business!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Youngstown on's really rude to call a child "weird". You can't do anything to change him, thats not your job. Its his parents job. I wonder how your "friends" would feel knowing you call their child "weird".

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answers from Los Angeles on

What should "we" do? Nothing. That is up to his parents.

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answers from Seattle on

"we" should not do anything. He is not your boy. Your friend needs to do something.
HOWEVER...if he comes to YOUR house and hits at you then I would absolutely say something..."Jon, you may not hit at this house. If that happens again I am going to have to ask you to leave." Have no shame in saying that in front of his mama IF she isn't saying anything. And then follow through. Don't threaten something you are not willing to follow through with.

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answers from Norfolk on

It's not up to you to change any child that is not yours.
It's up to his parents, and what you find weird, they might not feel the same way about. They will seek doctors, therapists, programs - or not - as they see fit.
If there are children you can not stand or do not like - then stay away from them. If that means distancing yourself from their parents (your friend), then so be it.
It's hard for a lot of people to understand but no one is entitled to your opinion unless they ask you for it.
There are kids that I like a lot, but for the most part I can't stand other peoples children. Some are quite 'normal' but that has no bearing on their being complete brats (and their parents think it's cute).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Just keep greeting the child with kindness. Keep speaking to him kindly even if he does not respond. If he hits just say, "ouch, that hurt," and let the parents take it from there. Speak to the other adults in the room in a way that is respectful so that this child will learn how to socialize through direct observation. In other words, be a good role model.

As a good role model you might want to lose the labels, such as calling people weird just because you don't understand why they behave the way they do.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

It is not your place to do anything or attempt to change him. He may have a host of different problems that contribute to his behavior. Perhaps the best thing you can do is stay away from him.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

Your house, YOUR RULES. If he doesn't want to be polite, he can't come play. If he tries to hit you, do what you would do with your own child... grab his hands, explain that if you're going to be laying your hands on ANYONE you had BETTER be giving them a hug, because hitting is absolutely not allowed. Me personally, I would go as far as putting him in time out for a few minutes. He's obviously got mom wrapped around his little finger and someone has to be the parents. I wouldn't let some brat kid in my house unless he's willing and ready to follow my rules. I don't want MY kids learning that that behavior is okay! What does he do with your son? Does your son like this boy? I truly hope he doesn't treat your child the way he treats you. I kind of feel bad because this kid isn't getting proper parenting, or has some issue where he's not 'getting it'... either be prepared to correct negative behavior, or send that kid on his way and tell his mom why! Maybe it will open her eyes a bit. Best wishes :)



answers from Norfolk on

sounds like he is just shy. Keep in mind he isn't the one who invited you in. He may not be ready to have other people sit in his spot and play with his toys or watching his shows on his tv.

How is he in a more neutral area like the playground?

As far as hitting mom...she needs to tell him No and make him sit in time out. Then after 3 or 4 mins. Have him to say sorry for hitting.

To P S. question like that do not show your curiosity but your ignorance. He is 4 years old! Why would you ask --what should I do if he hit me? You are an adult. You are not a whiny 5 year old.
People ask me questions like that about my dog, who is an old Boston terrier. He makes lots of noises that unless you had one you don't know what is "wrong" with him.


answers from Jacksonville on

You should do nothing to change him. If he tries to hit you then you are more than capable of stopping this from happening, then telling him no. But, that is it. My daughter is two and a half, she doesn't hit, but when she meets someone new she gives things to them. Like yesterday we were at the vets office, she wanted to interact with an elderly gentleman. So she went and picked up a flyer and handed it to him. He looked at me funny and I told him that was how she first communicates with someone when she isn't sure about them. If they take it and say thank you then she will continue to interact with them but rarely talks. Is it weird, yeah a little, but that is how she is.


answers from Modesto on

Does he do the same when he visits your house? Sounds like he's a product of his environment and his parents have made him the Alpha, so he's protecting his territory and doesnt want anyone taking his mom's attention from him. Probably nothing you can do about it unless his mom asks you for advice. If its not a mental disorder, the parents need to start making themselves the Alpha and not let the child rule the roost.

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