“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Mar 26, 2014
DEAR AMY: My son and two friends spent the afternoon together recently. They are all 8 years old, and I was the supervising adult. I took them to a movie, the playground and then out for a snack. They had a great time, but in the last five minutes my son's two friends got into a big fistfight about a pretend game they were playing.

All three of these boys have some social and emotional problems. All get therapy or are in special school (or both), so behavior like fighting takes on extra meaning.

Boy B struggles with the most behavior problems. He started the fight with Boy C by teasing him until Boy C grabbed him by the shirt, but then Boy B threw the first punch, Boy C retaliated, and I got there to break it up.

I don't want to report his behavior to my friend because although she is working hard to help her son improve, I do not agree with her methods. He is also a child who has struggled for a long time. I don't want him to be punished for a breakdown at the end of a day that, on the whole, went really well.

Surely (unfortunately) there will be many other fights and consequences for him to face. I want to give him a pass on this one. What do you think?-- Uncertain

DEAR UNCERTAIN: If you feel you dealt with this successfully by breaking up the fight and prompting Boy B to apologize for his actions, then I share your instinct to focus on the positive aspects of this long day. Certain and consistent consequences are vital for children, but just as important is the idea that if you take responsibility for your behavior and try your hardest to do better, you will be forgiven.

However, you are the mother of a challenging child, and isn't this information that a parent should have?

You should tell your friend: "Everything went very well until the very end, when Boy B instigated a fight. I stopped it quickly. I hope you won't be too hard on him for this. Overall, he did great."

There is another boy in this story. He was teased and punched. His parents should know this so they can help him deal with his own reactions.

DEAR AMY: I have been friends with a co-worker for two years. When we first became friends, I heard all the horror stories about her ex-husband and how he treated her and the kids.

She is now back with the ex-husband, and my feelings about her have changed. I poured my heart into giving her advice about how to stand up and be strong and independent.

Now she is back with the guy who was so mean to her and her kids. Just two days ago she started wearing her wedding ring again. When I asked her about it, she avoided the question and laughed it off. Where do I go from here?-- Flustered

DEAR FLUSTERED: One risk when taking a stand regarding others' relationships is the impact on your own friendship if or when the person returns to the relationship. You have learned the hard way that it is best to do more listening than advising in this situation, and to hedge for the day when the person ignores all of your wisdom.

Your stance now should be: "Are you and the kids safe and happy? If so, I'm happy for you." Stay open to her; if she is in a truly abusive relationship, she will need you again.

DEAR AMY: "Communication Challenged" tried to veil her bluntness, but I've noticed that people who describe themselves as blunt are only blunt about negative things; they're almost never blunt with compliments.

I once had a friend who was just as blunt with positive things as she was with negative. I found the negative comments much easier to take from her because she never held back compliments. Perhaps Communication Challenged needs to take a good, hard look at how many of her blunt comments were negative and how many compliments she dishes out.-- Just Sayin'

DEAR SAYIN': Excellent advice.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#2 Mar 26, 2014
1- It's what boys do, don't be so dramatic about it

2- Guess he wasn't that bad after all, eh? Women tend to be drama queens. MYOB

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#3 Mar 26, 2014
1 Oh my! 8yr old getting into a tussle. Your kids are not the social misfits you are making them out to be, they are normal healthy kids, doing what normal healthy kids do. You broke up the fight, and I bet they were friends again 5 minutes after the fight.

Man, we have got to stop sanitizing our kids like this.

2 Face it, she's a train wreck waiting to happen. Just get off the tracks and far enough away to avoid any flying debris.

“An Apple a day”

Since: Jun 08

nil carborundum illegitemi

#4 Mar 26, 2014
1. Ah, another drama queen! Boys fight, get over yourself.

2. And ANOTHER drama queen. Dump your "friend" but maybe you like the drama.

3. Yawn.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#5 Mar 26, 2014
LW1: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

LW2: Hope you've learned your lesson to maybe not pour so much of your heart into a work-friendship. But I don't think you have much to worry about; she'll be back soon to suck some more of your heart out.

LW3: Or maybe she's just a b!tch.


“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#6 Mar 26, 2014
L1: Not everything has to be categorized. They are 8 year olds. They do this. Most 8 year olds do this. And no, don't tell the mother. If there was no blood and no one killed, it's all good.

L2: Never give advice if you're going to get ticked off about them not following it. Of course your friend is an idiot. Everyone has a right to be an idiot. You don't get to tell her how her life is run. Either step back from the friendship or realize this is one of her weaknesses.

L3: Okay. But Squishy probably has it right.

Since: Mar 09

Hollywood, FL

#7 Mar 26, 2014
Heh. Team squishy all the way.

And Amy, if Boy C needs to cry to his mommy about being teased, he can do it his own self.

Hancock, NY

#8 Mar 26, 2014
1: Why didn't you stop the teasing before it got as far as it did? Was it because it happened very quickly before you were able to intervene? I know that is sometimes the case. I do hope you at least spoke to the child doing the teasing and made him apologize as well. Kids need to learn coping skills when they are in situations that they find frustrating/emotionally hurtful. But kids who do the teasing need to learn to refrain from doing it.

2: I agree with Amy. You do not know the whole story. Perhaps the husband joined AA and has been sober for the last year or so and has gotten counseling for his anger problems. At least I hope that's the case. All you can do is watch from the sidelines and be there if it turns out she again has to leave. You can help her if she asks but don't give advice. She needs to make up her mind on her own. I do hope things will work out for her and that she didn't go back due to some threat that he issued.

Marina, CA

#9 Mar 26, 2014
LW1: Team everyone, particularly Toj.

LW2: Be friendly, but don't get drawn into this woman's drama. If in the future she asks for your advice or opinion, just tell her that only she knows in her heart what is right for her. Then change the subject or tell her you have to make an important phone call.

LW3: No, I think original LW needs to learn how to engage her brain before putting her mouth in gear.
boundary painter

Waco, TX

#10 Mar 26, 2014
Glance into the future for LW2. In three to six months,
(a) that friend will come to the office in tears saying her husband is with
another woman
(b) the friend will say she and her children have moved in with a relative
and she does not wan to talk about it
(c) the friend will talk on and on about how even mean guys like her husband can be melted when she" learned to do just the right things"
(d) other

Plant City, FL

#11 Mar 26, 2014
1: LW is letting overreacting mom distate this. If no challenges existed, we would keep it quiet. If it was resolved you don't need a 20-bullet report on every action from parents, especially if your gut says let it lie.

2: Some people like to help others; some of us like to give what we think is good advice.
LW is not feeling the sting of seeing 0 return on her investment.
She can now be one of the co-workers who wanrs the next newbie about the "horror" stories.


“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#12 Mar 26, 2014
boundary painter wrote:
Glance into the future for LW2. In three to six months,
(a) that friend will come to the office in tears saying her husband is with
another woman
(b) the friend will say she and her children have moved in with a relative
and she does not wan to talk about it
(c) the friend will talk on and on about how even mean guys like her husband can be melted when she" learned to do just the right things"
(d) other
(d) Other: The LW sadly attends her funeral.

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