Your eighth grade son got into his first fight at school. How concerned should you be? Well,
let's talk about that today on Tips on Teens. My name is Kent Toussaint. I'm a licensed marriage
and family therapist, and I specialize in helping kids, teens, and families to live happier
lives. I lead two organizations, Teen Therapy Center and the nonprofit 501c3 organization,
Child and Teen Counseling, both here in Woodland Hills, California. Every Wednesday at noon,
I jump onto Facebook Live to answer your parenting questions. Let's answer today's. My son
is only two weeks into eighth grade, and he already got into a fight at school. He's never actually
gotten into a physical fight before, so I was really surprised. He and the other boy got suspended,
and thankfully, that's all. Is there anything I can do to make sure this doesn't happen again?
Thank you for your question, and I'm not sure if there's anything you can do to ensure it won't
happen again, but I think there's a few things we need
to talk about. Number one, how is your son feeling? Is he emotionally okay? You may be surprised
that he's fine. Again, I'm painting with a very broad brush here, but sometimes when boys get
into a fight, once the fight's over, they're kinda over it. They're kinda done. It's happened.
They've moved past it. Not all the time, and that's why you wanna assess and ensure that your
son is emotionally okay. Was he bullied? That's something you need to address, and if he is,
he was bullied, address that with the school. Keep the school informed and involved in that.
Was it just a miscommunication, joking around, that went too far and went into a fight? Okay,
and talk about that, and it's important to talk about how to deescalate fights, how to walk away
from fights. Sometimes it's just unavoidable. I'm not trying to condone violence, but sometimes
you just have to defend yourself, or else you're just gonna get hit. Was this, is this thing that's
going to linger? Does the other kid have a beef
with him? Does your son have a problem not backing down? Does your son instigate? All these things
need to be addressed and understood. If this becomes a pattern, then yeah, I think we really
need to dive in a little deeper. Does he need therapy for some anger management issues? Is it
something deeper going on? I don't know. There's a lot of questions that need to be answered,
and you're the person who needs to explore all this with him, and I think you can. The one thing
about this that I think is really important is that, again, make sure this is not a pattern of
angry outbursts. Is he lashing out? Is he drawing attention to himself and looking for fights?
If it is, you probably want to get him to talk to someone, because this is only going to end badly.
Either he's gonna get beat up really bad, or he's gonna beat up someone else really bad, and then
legal, you know, law gets involved, and you don't want that. So there's a lot of unknowns with
this, but again, it's really important. The context of this fight is really important. This may just be a one -off, and hey, you know, 13 -year
-old boy's getting in fights sometimes. It's not the end of the world. We're assuming he didn't
get any real significant injuries, and this other boy didn't either. They both got suspended.
The school kind of stepped in. But again, connect with your son. Assess what his emotional needs
are, and address those. Anyways, that's our big question for today. If you have questions like
this you'd like me to answer here on Tips on Teens, email us at tipsonteens@teentherapycenter
.com, or you can direct message us right here on Facebook. Also, you can join our Facebook group,
Tips on Teens, and you'll always make sure you get these questions in your feed, and get little
tips on teens and kids and stuff. My name is Kent Toussaint with Teen Therapy Center and Child
and Teen Counseling, and I'll see you guys next Wednesday at noon on Facebook Live. Bye -bye.
When your kid gets into a fight at school it can raise a lot of concerns. First and foremost, it’s really important to gauge if they are emotionally okay. Sometimes when kids get into school fights, once it’s over they get over it quickly. Other times there may be bigger issues. Was he bullied? Was it a miscommunication? Is he looking for fights and lashing out? Understanding the context of the altercation is important to helping your child.
COMMUNICATE AND EXPLORE
Try to talk with your child about their motives, emotions, and experiences. Explore whether they feel the need to seek attention through physical confrontation. By maintaining your connection with them, addressing potential issues, and seeking professional guidance when needed, you can guide your child toward healthier ways of dealing with conflict. Remember that a single altercation doesn’t define your child’s future; it’s an opportunity for growth and learning.
For more, check out this Tips on Teens:
“My son is only two weeks into 8th grade and he already got into a fight at school. He’s never actually gotten into a physical fight before, so I was really surprised. He and the other boy got suspended, and thankfully that’s all. Is here anything I can do to make sure this doesn’t happen again?”
Clinical Director Kent Toussaint answers your parenting questions every Wednesday at 12:00pm in our weekly segment Tips On Teens on Facebook Live. Have questions about parenting kids and teens? Send them to: TipsOnTeens@TeenTherapyCenter.com. We love to hear from you!
Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE! Check out our page here – https://www.facebook.com/TeenTherapyCenter/
If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.