First Friend Fight

Last Thursday Jack and Angus had their first falling out.

Before the fight, playing at Adam's Park with his new Super Soaker

I’m not sure exactly how it happened, as I find standing at a bit of a distance when the older boys play keeps everyone happier, but I entered the scene to find them calling each other names.

Ben uses his Soaker gangster style

When we left the park Jack said he never wants to play with Angus again.

I was heart wrenched to see him hurt. Even though I’m sure he had a part in what happened, you never want to see your kid hurt or upset.

But I realized it is part of growing up. It is yet another life lesson. For both of us, it turns out.

But on Thursday I thought it was just a lesson for him. So I drilled him on it.

“Yes, it hurts when your friends call you names. That’s why you never call anyone else names. The next time you think about calling Ben a ‘baby’, I hope you remember the feeling you have now and stop yourself.” I told him.

It didn’t stop him from doing mean things to Ben. But I guess that is also a two sided coin. Ben is hardly innocent. And what is the line between defending yourself and picking on someone? Can I really explain it in simple enough terms for him to understand? Do I even understand it myself?

Saturday night while Pam (Angus’ Mom) and I were out having drinks we talked about the fight. Pam said she talked to Angus about it. She said, “I hope he still wants to hang out with you after you called him names.”

Angus was sure Jack would.

Pam replied, “Well we’ll see. You should apologize to him.”

Oh, Pam is good, I thought. Motivating your kid through fear trumps my empathy plea for sure.

The next time we saw Angus was Sunday for Ben’s birthday. I was curious to see how they would greet each other. By the time I saw them they were off and running around together. Pam apparently had a talk with Angus in the morning again. When he arrived he apologized to Jack and all was better.

It warmed my heart that Pam was so sensitive to Jack’s feelings. I’m not sure I would have had the social grace to know what the best thing to do in that situation was. I feel like I might have just waited and seen what happened and hoped for the best. Not been proactive enough. If it happens in the reverse, I now know to make my son apologize!

Angus and Jack, Best Buddies Again

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