I raised three sons and a daughter, so had to deal with a lot of scrabbles between them. One thing I won't tolerate is fighting. If my kids started fighting, I would get between them and order them to their rooms. If they argued with me, I would carefully pinch right on their side, under their arm, and make them leave the room. I have always felt an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and always tried to nip fights in the bud. Tonight was no exception.
We have one special needs boy who comes to our activities who has some behavorial problems. You can't blame him too much, because he is only about 12, but does not live with his parents, but in a care center. He had one caregiver who really gave him a lot of attention, but she moved on to another facility recently. So he has been acting up at our activities.
Tonight I noticed him "head butting" his buddy. I've seen him do this before with a different buddy. That young man just ignored it and tried to redirect his focus. He really put up with a lot from this special needs kid. But it seemed he was being particularly aggressive with this new buddy. I went up and sternly said, "We don't hit or kick here." He rared back like a bull and came charging at me head first. I moved to the side, and the buddy grabbed him and stopped him just in time.
A little while later I saw him trying once again to head butt his buddy. Suddenly I saw him take a punch, and then kick him. That was all I needed for my mama bear to come out. My husband works with the boys, so I asked him to go reprimand this kid. He went over and talked to him, but I couldn't help butting in. Just then, the directors of the program came along and I said, "Maybe if he hits or kicks people, he will have to sit on a chair or something." He was sitting on the floor right then. The leader said, "Well, he can sit right there on the floor." I said, "That's true, he can sit there for awhile." When he heard that, he jumped up and ran off! Someone else corralled him and talked to him. He was good, but kind of sulky the rest of the time.
A little while later, a different special needs kid, who was there for the first time, pushed his buddy. One of the special needs friends who is higher functioning went over and told him not to do that ever again. The special needs kid punched him. The other guy grabbed him by both arms and said, "I could kick your butt!" I quickly ran over to stop a fight from happening. One of the caretakers of the boy also came over and things got defused quickly.
This is the first time we have had trouble with physical violence. The sad thing is that if it continues, they won't be allowed to come anymore. I would hate to see that happen, because these activities are really good for them!