Originally Posted by ilovemygirl
I'm not comparing toddlers. I realized it wasn't in my original post so I wrote a second post where I made very clear that I am talking about older children. And yes, I feel a school age child who has reached the age of reason (which is seven) should be capable of knowing it's wrong to harm another and never doing so. Barring a medical issue or impairment this should not just be known by the child but I believe it should be expected of them. My frustration is coming from finding this not to be the case. In real life, I know many people who justify this kind of behavior away the same you would with a one year old, i.e. they are still learning and can't help themselves. I don't find this acceptable.
Sorry for misunderstanding the age issue. I think that if a 7-year-old is routinely hitting others, there very well may be some kind of emotional or medical issue going on, or home life issues... From my (admittedly limited!) experience, most kids are able to stay in control most of the time once they reach school age. And you wouldn't always know whether a child has any special needs. I definitely don't go around telling people IRL that DS has special needs & only a few of my very closest friends have any idea what's going on with him.
However, after re-reading your second post, I think what you're referring to is not so much outright acts of violence, but rather, violent play? Am I correct here? There is a spectrum of "violence" I guess, from outright hitting out of anger etc., to rough play/gun play/etc., to peaceful play. It sounds like you are more comfortable staying on the peaceful end of the spectrum (and I don't blame you!) but there is a fine line regarding when play becomes too rough and different parents have different thresholds here. My personal threshold is when someone is saying, "NO" or "STOP" or is clearly in pain/distress.. then the other child needs to stop, no matter how violent or peaceful his actions may have been. So hugging can be just as inappropriate as hitting in my view. I have a friend who's less focused on the other kid's reaction and more focused on the play themes themselves -- she's not comfortable with any violent play themes, even if the "victim" is enjoying it too. I have another friend who doesn't care what the kids play, and doesn't always notice or jump in quickly if someone is getting hurt or scared. It's not so much that she doesn't care if her kid is hurting someone but it seems more like she has just given up or feels helpless. With her, I find I just have to supervise the kids' play more than I normally would, and help DS assert himself (or speak for him). If the kid keeps shooting at him or scaring him, I just tell her, "Jane, that's hurting DS, you need to stop." And make sure she stops, physically remove my kid to safety if necessary (if the other mom doesn't remove her kid). I will be honest that sometimes I am not up for that level of play supervision/intervention so we do tend to get together less with that family. I would also say that although her mom seems to consider herself GD, what I witness of her discipline is a little harsher than I am comfortable with and I wouldn't exactly classify it as fully GD. Most of the GD parents I know do have a much lower tolerance for any violence.
I think people on this thread are agreeing with you more than you realize, it's just that there are so many issues (toddlers vs. 7yo's, hitting vs. fun roughhousing) that the conversation is getting confused.