or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › He broke his cousin's jaw
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

He broke his cousin's jaw - Page 2

post #21 of 81
I think its pretty clear that your son should NEVER be unsupervised when playing with others. He has high energy and poor impulse control. He is not just dangerous to toddler/preschoolers acting this way. I am just picturing if I had a family member whose child did this to my four year old. I sincerely hope yours are way more forgiving than I am. I would be enraged. This is a serious issue. The growing four year old now has to eat a liquid diet. There is pain, there is the potential for growth issues while the child heals, maybe future dental issues. This is HUGE and I would think that the parents of the child in question would be pretty angry if they didn't see some huge consequences of this action.

You call it an accident, but seriously, cartwheels in the house with a group of children all around? Your 11 year old doesn't know that to be completely inappropriate and dangerous in an enclosed - non-gym space? I have two 11 year olds and they would know that they needed to go outside and have people clear away to do gymnastics. I think you do need to consult a doctor who specializes in hyperactivity and find some therapies or drugs that could help.
post #22 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by KweenKrunch View Post
I have to say I agree. And I'm wondering if there isn't something else going on... Most 11-year-olds aren't that interested in playing with older toddlers. I know I have a hard time convincing my 6.5-year-old to play with my nephew, who is 4. If your son, at 11, is playing with toddlers, you might want to consider that he has a developmental delay.

Good luck... Sounds like you appreciate how serious this is and are trying to do the right thing.
My 11 year old nephew plays with my 4 year old son when we get together - not because it's exciting to him, but because he loves him and is willing to entertain him. It's not a sign of mental illness but caring!
post #23 of 81
Your son sounds a lot like mine...when he isn't taking his meds.

My boy is on a daily dose of biphentin to help with his adhd. He has had zero side effects on this drug, whereas with the ritalin we did notice a bit of depression (which is why we switched). On the meds my son is still the sweet, considerate boy we know and love, but he's also more capable of assessing whether or not the impulse that has just come into his head is going to be a good idea or not.

And he's also able to see his own fault in his actions and he's able to feel remorse when he hurts someone. Because he's able to focus on the thoughts, whereas off the meds there is so much going on in his mind he's not able to focus.

Sensory issues can go along with ADHD, my ds has super sensitive ears, has to wear a cover on them when he rides his bike because he really cannot handle the wind against them. Really loud music bothers him as well.

Here's the cold reality of it all: No amount of time, maturity or punishment is going to help him if he has ADHD or any other neurological variation.

And typically people with undiagnose/untreated disorders turn to self-medication with drugs and alcohol.

Just some food for thought.
post #24 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KweenKrunch View Post
I have to say I agree. And I'm wondering if there isn't something else going on... Most 11-year-olds aren't that interested in playing with older toddlers. I know I have a hard time convincing my 6.5-year-old to play with my nephew, who is 4. If your son, at 11, is playing with toddlers, you might want to consider that he has a developmental delay.
I'm going to respectfully disagree with this one. I believe that it's TRUE that most 11yo's don't want to play with 4yo's, but I don't think that it's necessarily NORMAL. I think it's largely a product of our age-segregated school system. I actually think it's GREAT that he can play with kids of any age without bias, I don't see that as a negative at all.

He is 'young' for his age and seems to be most 'peer-matched' with kids about 8-9yo. He's 'asynchronous' in his development, and his emotional maturity is at the lower end while much of his intellectual development is off the scale -- common with gifted kids, and again, with Asperger's.

But it's not that he simply PREFERS playing with young kids, he plays with everybody. He happily plays with the 4yo, the 8yo, the 10yo, the 14yo, and the adult -- assuming they want to play with him, of course.

Anyway, I do appreciate all the comments, even those I disagree with, it's all good food for thought. We'll see where we go from here.
post #25 of 81
I do not see this being completely your son's fault.

Your son has issues. He ussually does not behave this way. But you admit that he had been warned several times. Hind sight is wonderful there were things you SHOULD have done to prevent it.

Then you get the diverging stories. It could have been they both were at fault. My son slammed his sister's finger into a door once. Who was more at fault? My son that was not being careful or my dd for sticking her hand in the way? They were playing and both had a responciblity of being careful.

Accidents happen. It can take a day or two for it to sink into your son. His advoidance behavior could be a coping (bad one) mechinism. I think you are doing great on trying to help him make "restitution".

I have a 14 (almost 15 year old) and an 11 year old. Neither one has ADD but they do things that show lack of judgement, esspecially when wound up. We have had minor Wii injuries and fights with friends. Even though they should know better we have found sometimes we adults need to step in. Lets watch a calm moving and have low sugar snack. I do not doubt your son was the only "wound" child. He was just not the one not injured.

I might help him in making that card. Finding reciepes to add varity to nephews diet. Babysit while mom gets a break.
post #26 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by KweenKrunch View Post
And I'm wondering if there isn't something else going on... Most 11-year-olds aren't that interested in playing with older toddlers. I know I have a hard time convincing my 6.5-year-old to play with my nephew, who is 4. If your son, at 11, is playing with toddlers, you might want to consider that he has a developmental delay..
Eh....they're cousins. We have cousins ranging in age from 2 to 11 in our family playing together That seems more typical than not, to me.

OP, I'd take my dc every day to visit the child he injured, to offer some sort of care/company/comfort each day. 3 weeks is a LONG time for a 4 yo to be on a liquid diet (and, I'm assuming, activity restrictions and some pain). It is also a LONG time for an 11 yo to check in with someone every day. It might make an impact, say, on day 18 when he feels like moving on but the cousin is still recovering from this accident.

And, I think it would mean a lot to me, as the parent of the injured child, to see the other parent putting that kind of effort into holding their dc accountable. I'll admit, I would be pretty angry if my dc was hurt in this way (even though it is an accident)--esp if there is a clear history of carelessness and close calls.

Every evening, he could make a plan for the next day (finding a book to take and read to his cousin, finding a recipe for a good smoothie, planning a game to play together, etc).
post #27 of 81
I agree with PPs who suggested that he make amends with the four year old by entertaining him and making him smoothies for the next few weeks. Can you also maybe get him to make a nice big "I'm sorry. Get well soon" card? I think sometimes kids deny responsibility if they are freaked out by the consequences of their actions, so I wouldn't come down hard on him for that, but would just say to him, "This happened. Nobody intended for it to happen, but now your cousin has a pretty bad injury from everybody monkeying around. We first need to make sure that he is well taken care of and that he knows you didn't intend to hurt him and want him to get better soon. And we need to learn from this and think about how we can all prevent something similar from happening in the future." Maybe trying to help him shift from a 'kid' role into a 'caretaker of the younger ones' role could help redirect that energy in the future if he perceives that he is the older, more 'adult' one of the group and needs to look out for the littles, be the one reading to them or putting on a puppet show while they watch or whatever.

Your guy sounds a lot like the son of our lifelong family friends. This young man is incredibly sweet, very energetic, a talented musician, and completely careless - low impulse control, lack of ability to plan and execute, lack of ability to consider the consequences of his actions. His mom is a psychologist who specializes in assessing children, and she had him tested up, down, and 3 ways to Sunday, including brain scans. He received a diagnosis of ADHD and was on Ritalin from age 8 through at least the end of high school (I don't know if he's on it now). She considered ALL their options and felt that in his case, the Ritalin was actually the most helpful. It allowed him to do well in school, be in three different instrumental groups, and excel in foreign language classes.

As he's gotten older, he's gotten into semi-serious trouble because of his neurology - hes pretty much flunked out of college, and not to tell long stories, but he's been charged with arson for playing with firecrackers on a school property (even though he wasn't the only one involved, just the only one the police caught) and almost got sent to a federal penitentiary for trespassing on a military base (he was going to the LIBRARY there to photocopy a language textbook). Both times, he wasn't doing anything with malicious intent, but he just doesn't THINK before he acts.

His parents don't know what to do with him - he's a grown young man now, but is like a leaf on the wind. He's very innocent and well-intentioned, but at some point may get himself into a situation they can't help him out of.

It sounds like you are doing really well by your son to have him in this intensive gymnastics program - any ways that you can think of that will help him focus and channel that energy in a positive way are good. Have you investigated any kind of cognitive training - something like mindfulness meditation along the lines of what John Kabat-Zinn promotes or even some kind of cognitive behavioral therapy, where he runs a little program or set of questions before he does something? One way or another, he needs to start practicing stopping to reflect on an action before he does it. But some of that higher level reasoning and decision-making and ability to plan for the future doesn't come into its full bloom until a person is in their early 20s.

Maybe you've tried all this, but does limiting screen time, modifying his diet, or making sure he's on a good sleep schedule produce any tangible results?
post #28 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
It could have been they both were at fault.
Between a 4yo and an 11yo, the 11yo is at fault.
post #29 of 81
I think a few of the PP were a little harsh! It was an accident. There are different stories of the accident, but it was an accident. My dh's sister broke his arm by accident when they were kids (she squirted him with the hose while he was on top of the family car washing it), but she didn't need medication because of it.

The OP has said her son has issues and it may be that they decide to look into that further, but I don't think just because he has an accident is any reason to jump to "must medicate" mode.

I think what Marsupialmom said about both being at fault is possible, too. No adult saw the incident. It could be that the 4 yr old ran up to him just in the middle of the cartwheel. (And fwiw, if I could do a cartwheel worth a darn I would be happy to do one in our basement playroom if it wasn't strewn with my little ponies and legos. I don't think that activity needs to be relegated to outdoors or gyms if you have the room. I'd do one in the hall, too, but it's hardwood and I'm old.) Maybe when my DH was a little boy he didn't actually need to be on top of the car to wash it.

I think it's great that he can play with kids of all ages, too. My 16 yr old neice happily plays and entertains my girls (8 and 5) when we get together.

I also agree that his avoidance can be a coping mechanism. My dd1 is the queen of avoidance. She will avoid avoid avoid unless I call her on it directly. She does own up to issues with her sister, but will deny being feverish, for example, in hopes that it will just go away if she doesn't talk about it. She can avoid/deny about other things, too, so that's why I would have the big talk about empathisizing with the injured party.

Make sure he knows that you don't think he did it on purpose, but emphasize that he's really strong (he's probably proud of that) and, although it was an accident he still needs to take responsibility for it. Sometimes people think that saying "sorry" is an admission of guilt. It's not! It's just empathizing and expressing regret.

I'm reluctantly, but firmly in the make 'em say sorry camp (mainly because my dd1 would not pick it up on her own if I didn't enforce it—dd2, sure, but dd1 needs prompting) and that's the angle I would approach this from. You did something really bad even though you didn't mean to and we've got to take responibility for it. When you do something wrong there's three things we need to do:
1) Let the other person/people involved know we're really, really sorry.
2) Make amends (fix the broken window, buy a new toy, get a cold pack for a bruise, smoothies for a broken jaw).
3) Make sure it doesn't happen in the future by having a specific plan in place.

hth
post #30 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by tankgirl73 View Post
Unfortunately any 'help' he might qualify for would likely just be drugs (ridalin). OT, which is what would really benefit him, just doesn't seem to be AVAILABLE.
What about a child psychologist? There could be behavior therapies that address impulse control. I know that, when my dd was in counseling (anxiety issues), there were games and activities in the room focusing on impulse control.

And, you could get an evaluation for aspergers at a child psychologist.
post #31 of 81
If you're in Canada and he's on the spectrum, that may be the way to get access to OT. Worth checking out, but nothing you're saying screams spectrum to me.

Yk, my son has low impulse control and other stuff, and one thing I hate is that everything always ends up being his fault - it's called pathologizing the kid with differences. In this scenario, there's an obvious age difference and a pattern of behaviour, but it is entirely possible that your son stumbled/ thought it was clear/whatever and the cousin walked into his heel or some other entirely accidental scenario.

Regardless of who's fault it is, the fact remains that some pretty rambunctious stuff was going on and someone got hurt. I think it makes sense for your son to be regularly present to entertain and support his cousin so he really sees the consequences of playing unsafely, and just because it's the right thing to do.

As for there having to be some developmental delay for an 11 year old to enjoy playing with a four year old... Kids all over the world play in mixed age groups, particularly within families.
post #32 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by joensally View Post

As for there having to be some developmental delay for an 11 year old to enjoy playing with a four year old... Kids all over the world play in mixed age groups, particularly within families.

Right... But the pre-teens aren't usually breaking the jaws of the little ones. If anything, they are acting in a supervisory capacity. At 11, I was already babysitting.
post #33 of 81
OP, My sympathies go out to you. This is tough. It seems like you're on the right track and have gotten a lot of good advice from PPs.
One more idea- could you involve ds's gymnastics coach and martial-arts instructor in having a talk about body safety and mindfulness? Maybe they know exercises to train the skill of mindfulness.
Instead of working against the carelessness, work for the mindfulness kwim?
post #34 of 81
It sounds like he is starting to process what happened, and it's great that he suggested a few things he could do to take responsibility! Some kids take awhile to think through these things, or realize that they acting inappropriately, but don't know how to express it, or may have an instinctive defensive reaction in the moment.

I have a dd on the autism spectrum, and I have come to a place where I view diagnosis as a tool. It is not a prescription, it is not an excuse, but it can be used to get you where you need to be. If you don't need that particular tool right now, great, but it sounds like something isn't working. He needs to learn that impulse control and self-calming somehow, and it may be that he needs special strategies, or that medication needs to play a role. You're the only one who can get a real feel for what will work. However, as a mother, I found that knowing that we had a name for what was going on, and that I could talk to other mothers helped a lot, though my daughter is more severely affected and was diagnosed young. It helped us access services: even if you can't get OT, you may be able to get some other services that could be helpful. It helped me understand how my daughter thought, and why she did things that really bothered me.

Just as an example - you mentioned your son struggles with empathy - knowing why may help in teaching it to him more effectively. Is he struggling with recognizing emotion in others, or taking roles other than his own? It can be hard for kids with Aspergers to really show empathy, but it's not unkindness, just a struggle with knowing what other people really are feeling, and with expressing that.

ADHD doesn't always equal medication. There are some kids who get a diagnosis, and receive help with their needs in different ways: home programming for you, organizational strategies, things like that. Some kids need medication due to the way their brains are wired. But I do also know people who take medication for a time, and then wean off of it. They can't learn strategies to deal with their ADHD until they have outside help via medication, but are able to apply the strategies themselves later on in life. Some people can't do this - they can recite strategies and demonstrate them all day long, but take the medication away, and they fall apart. It's all in the individual.

I hope the little cousin heals as quickly as possible, and that you find the best way for your family to approach this!
post #35 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by KweenKrunch View Post
Right... But the pre-teens aren't usually breaking the jaws of the little ones. If anything, they are acting in a supervisory capacity. At 11, I was already babysitting.
OMG, it was a freaking ACCIDENT. : And it's CLEAR the OP's son has some type of dev issue. He didn't say, "Gee, I think I'll kick my cousin in the face tonight to see what happens." I'm so sick of some posters acting like this 11 yr old kid should be held more accountable or should know better. THIS 11 yr old does not sound like he is neurotypical. Therefore, he should not be treated as such.

My 9 yr old is quite impulsive and sounds A LOT like the OP's son. My son has a diagnosis of anxiety and Asperger's Syndrome. Additionally, he plays with kids of all ages. It's not weird or bad or wrong and he's definitely not capable of being in a supervisory position with anyone younger than him. I can't even rely on him to keep an eye on my 22 mo old while I take a quick shower.

We medicate him, but not with ritalin. We use Zoloft. He takes half a pill (about 12.5 mg) every morning and he does GREAT on it. It's wonderful for him and it keeps my 7 yr old from constant assault and my 22 mo old from being screamed at. It seems to help his impulsiveness, somehow.


He should definitely be helping care for the 4 yr old when possible, make looooots of smoothies, buy him some ice cream, play video games or something with him, etc.
post #36 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarperRose View Post
OMG, it was a freaking ACCIDENT. : And it's CLEAR the OP's son has some type of dev issue. He didn't say, "Gee, I think I'll kick my cousin in the face tonight to see what happens." I'm so sick of some posters acting like this 11 yr old kid should be held more accountable or should know better. THIS 11 yr old does not sound like he is neurotypical. Therefore, he should not be treated as such.
If this 11yo should not be held accountable as if he were neurotypical, then he should not be left alone as if he were neurotypical. It can't be both ways.
post #37 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarperRose View Post
OMG, it was a freaking ACCIDENT. : And it's CLEAR the OP's son has some type of dev issue. He didn't say, "Gee, I think I'll kick my cousin in the face tonight to see what happens." I'm so sick of some posters acting like this 11 yr old kid should be held more accountable or should know better. THIS 11 yr old does not sound like he is neurotypical. Therefore, he should not be treated as such.
By the OP's own words her 11 year old son is a highly trained junior black belt - that means that his kick is much more powerful than the average 11 year old. I personally believe that because of this, coupled with his possible developmental issues that may affect his impulses and behavior issues that he whould never be left unattended with other children, especially ones younger than him. Honestly, the OP is lucky that he just broke his jaw as I would assume a junior black belt has the power and skill to seriously injure a small child.
post #38 of 81
I'm sorry to hear about this. I'd feel awful if it happened with my son. I guess this is why his dad won't let me put him in martial arts yet, as bad as he wants to try it. He's the type of kid that doesn't understand his own size/strength and has a hard time being "gentle" around other kids/animals. I wonder if this is a type of aspergers?
post #39 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by KweenKrunch View Post
Right... But the pre-teens aren't usually breaking the jaws of the little ones. If anything, they are acting in a supervisory capacity. At 11, I was already babysitting.
I'm sorry, but I really think you're off base here, saying that something must be wrong with an 11 year old who will play with a 4 year old. Like a pp said, it's pretty much the norm all over the world. It only seems strange to people who are used to the school model of socializing. I was babysitting at 11, too. I 'played' with the kids i babysat.
post #40 of 81
One more thought:
Please don't let this unfortunate accident be the defining moment of your son's childhood. It's a big deal and needs to be addressed, of course. However, I could imagine the harm to him if Every time he started getting a little excited he was reminded of the injured cousin, was made to feel like a menace or if it became one of those stories that got told and retold a thousand times. Don't let a teachable accident become a perpetual guilt trip. Relatives could easily go too far saying things...
I say this because something similar happened with my sister and she could never live down what she had done and carried a disproportionate unhealthy guilt for a long time. It became a shadow over her life.

TCMoulton- It wasn't a kick full of power and skill, it was a cartwheel. Give the kid a break.
JL83- I half agree with you. Every time a group of kids is horsing around, it is dangerous. They should not do so unsupervised.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Gentle Discipline
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › He broke his cousin's jaw