27
   

A friend of ours hit our child - what should we do?

 
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2011 11:09 am
@wandeljw,
Same thing happened to my mother-in-law.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2011 11:10 am
@wandeljw,
And yet he didn't fall. All he had to do was wait until the kid moved out of the way.
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2011 11:20 am
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:

And yet he didn't fall. All he had to do was wait until the kid moved out of the way.


The longer he needed to wait, the greater his chance of losing his balance.

I am sorry to keep pressing on that detail, but we should not assume that the man's fear was unreasonable.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2011 11:28 am
@wandeljw,
If the fear was reasonable, assaulting the child was also reasonable?

0 Replies
 
odessitka
 
  3  
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2011 11:30 am
@JPB,
Thanks for the explanation about how this forum works.
Regarding the length of the incident, it was a matter of seconds. We (my husband and I) approached the tree when the man was already on top, and our son was just climbing up. He had barely straightened up when the man said, "Don't follow me, get down". There was no urgency in his voice, and I asked, "Why the hell did you even get up there?" (because this is not the thing he would usually do), and he replied, "Stupidity, I guess". Then he said "get down" to our son for the second time (again, there was no urgency in his voice; I could see he was irritated, but didn't look scared), and when our son didn't move, either me or my husband, I don't remember who exactly, told him to get down now, and he did. If you've been wondering, we've spent A LOT of time with this couple, we know them REALLY good (at least I thought we did), so I'm pretty sure I'd noticed if the man was scared or felt uncomfortable on that tree. That's why what followed came as a complete shock to all of us.
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2011 11:37 am
@wandeljw,
It doesn't really matter if the fear (assuming that is what it was) was unreasonable or not. If it gets the adrenaline flowing you can get all sorts of weird "fight or flight" type reactions. Of course he should have immediately apologized and at this point it is not going to happen so it's time to go separate ways.

I don't see any value in some sort of closure meeting. If the guy was going to apologize, he'd have made some move to do so already. If he is going to say something like "your child is a brat", that's not going to excuse his actions or bring any closure. Your best bet is to assume the best - that he lashed out due to fear and is really sorry but can't admit it - and let it go. Any other explanation is just going to salt the wound. As for the child apologizing, I think we are well past that. If you open your car door and accidentally hit the car beside you but the owner of that car slugs you in the face before you can apologize, you don't set up a meeting to say "sorry I hit your car". Yes, you were clearly in the wrong, but events have rendered that moot.
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2011 11:38 am
@odessitka,
do you know them well enough to know if he is on a new medication or something? Not that it would excuse anything, but it could be a cause for that kind of over angry reaction..
Mame
 
  2  
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2011 11:47 am
@shewolfnm,
That might explain his behaviour at the time, but it doesn't explain his refusal to apologize later. Not much of a friend if he touches your kids like that and then doesn't see what's wrong with it and apologize. Not a nice guy. Wonder why she hadn't seen this side of him before.
0 Replies
 
odessitka
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2011 11:58 am
@shewolfnm,
No, the guy is not taking any medications. We've known them for almost 10 years, and we know literally EVERY SINGLE THING about them. In the last month, we've spent every single weekend together. For instance, two weeks ago we invited them on a 3-day getaway to celebrate my birthday, carried all rental expenses ourselves, and brought almost all the food we had there. For the 4th of July they invited us over, and I cooked for several hours to bring good food along. We were as close as you can imagine, and as friends, we've always done much more for them than they for us - and we were totally okay with that, and we sincerely enjoyed having them as friends. That's what bothers me in this situation, too. I don't want to call them (him?) ungrateful, because friendship should not be based on the amount of good things you do for each other, but it just doesn't feel right. If you know what I mean.
JPB
 
  2  
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2011 12:25 pm
@odessitka,
I'm wondering if you've ever seen him "up a tree without an outlet" before? Not literally, as in this case, but it sounds to me like he felt trapped in a situation that was of his own "stupid" making and you've probably never seen him have to confront his own public anger/fear/stupidity before. He may also be the macho man type who wouldn't apologize to a kid simply because alpha males lose their capital "A" for alpha when they apologize to a child.

Your son made him look less than in control (even if only in his own mind) and control freaks have to have someone else to blame for that. It's doubly bad when a child is the one to bring him down in the estimation of those around him (again, probably only in his own mind). I understand that this behavior is totally foreign to you. Even his own wife couldn't figure out what came over him. My crystal ball says he felt trapped and out of control and within his own mind acted/reacted appropriately to put himself back in charge.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2011 12:41 pm
@odessitka,
Quote:
No, the guy is not taking any medications. We've known them for almost 10 years, and we know literally EVERY SINGLE THING about them
This is how you treat a close ten year Friend, not even having a sit down to talk this out and considering calling the cops?? Mind boggling. Did it ever occur to you that maybe this guy has spent so much time with your boy over the years that he sort of looked at him at his own? That he reacted to the kid not minding as he would react if his own boy did not mind and was causing a potentially dangerous situation?

The more you talk the more I am convinced that you are out of line here, that it is you who has more violated the friendship.
DrewDad
 
  3  
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2011 01:15 pm
@wandeljw,
You're going pretty far off into "what if" territory, here.

Maybe he could have sat down on the log. Maybe he could have had an aneurism. Who knows?

We can play this in the other direction, too, and say, "what if he's just a jackass?"

The fact is, he didn't lose his balance. The fact is, he's an adult and presumably able to keep his balance (especially if he thought walking the fallen log was a good idea in the first place).
DrewDad
 
  3  
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2011 01:16 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:
Did it ever occur to you that maybe this guy has spent so much time with your boy over the years that he sort of looked at him at his own?

Did it ever occur to you that the man violated 10 years of trust?

I wouldn't care if it was my own damn brother. If someone attacks my kids, they can expect to be shunned at the very least. I'd probably be contemplating criminal charges, too.
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2011 01:29 pm
@DrewDad,
For that matter, I'd be upset if my brother did that to his own child.
Linkat
 
  3  
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2011 01:33 pm
@DrewDad,
Quote:
The fact is, he's an adult and presumably able to keep his balance


Both physical and mental.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2011 01:41 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:

For that matter, I'd be upset if my brother did that to his own child.
Would you disown him? People do stupid and bad things, we are human. I am sure that our OP however is perfect, which accounts for her low tolerance of humanity.
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2011 01:41 pm
@hawkeye10,
So many abusers say, "give me one more chance," "give me a chance to explain," "you can just leave," "what about loyalty?"

**** 'em.
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2011 01:45 pm
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:

You're going pretty far off into "what if" territory, here.

Maybe he could have sat down on the log. Maybe he could have had an aneurism. Who knows?

We can play this in the other direction, too, and say, "what if he's just a jackass?"

The fact is, he didn't lose his balance. The fact is, he's an adult and presumably able to keep his balance (especially if he thought walking the fallen log was a good idea in the first place).


I don't think I am going pretty far off. And I am not playing "what if" games. Most people would be concerned about losing their balance if standing on a fallen tree.
aidan
 
  3  
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2011 01:46 pm
@hawkeye10,
If you were walking through a grocery store and you saw a grown man fling a ten year old to the floor - would you call the authorities? Or would you say - 'Oh that guy's having a bad day' or 'That kid probably did something really bad to piss him off...' etc.

I have to tell you, I can't picture anyone I've ever known under any circumstance grabbing my child and flinging him or her to the ground.

I can't say what I'd do - all I do know is that I wouldn't explain it away.

Adults should not abuse children.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2011 01:46 pm
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:

So many abusers say, "give me one more chance," "give me a chance to explain," "you can just leave," "what about loyalty?"

**** 'em.
One couple second mistake over ten years and you are ready to say "**** them" ........do you have even one friend with your zero tolerance for humans?
 

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