To the OP, don't dismiss this just because it is the "first time". All of us have had first times, and let's face it, they were NOT the only time. I am not trying to be flippant-but you need to take this to a professional at some level-and as another poster indicated, you need to let the other parent and child know that you are NOT dismissing this! How traumatic is that to them? It is horrific! This is serious to the extent that you should be discussing sons behavior with his doctor, teacher and probably a school counselor. Yes, they will watch him with an eagle eye for any further indicators-but YES, you want that. This is your son's LIFE we are talking about and growing up with some crazy malajustment that a loving parent dismissed could be tragic. If this was just a crazy one-off, then that is all it will be-but you need to have the adults in his life paying attention.
Friends, where have I gone wrong as a mother?
This is not normal behavior. It shows lack of anger control, violence, impulsiveness. It may just be because of certain traits he was born with and have nothing to do with his parenting. Don't worry about the 'why' just worry about what to do now.
This is very serious.
Please get professional help, for your child's sake, right now. He MUST learn how to deal with stress and frustration NOW.
Your child threatened someone with a knife. This is a crime. He could be charged in juvenile court. If you are in the states, what happens to him there is a real question mark, depending on where you live.
If a professional checks out your son and says not to worry, this is a one-time thing...then ok.
But if your child needs help, then he needs help NOW.
Do not let this go.
Also, if taken lightly or ignored ( by not getting the proper help ) he will stuff and take his core issues with him throughout his life, walking an "unbrokend circle" that leads him back to the same place of inner termoil and rage, with all his relationships.
You have not gone wrong as a mother.
This is serious, but don't make it any more dramatic.
Seek professional help for your son.
Reassure him repeatedly of your love and support.
Blessings to you and him.
First...there is no harm in having your son see a counsellor; even if just to talk about how is feeling about his dad not being there. It does sound as though that is eating at him. A counsellor isn't likely to bring up the knife incident from the start anyway.
Your son being angry about his friend playing unfairly, is normal. Kids have a strong sense of justice. But how he handled that anger is what needs to be addressed. Don't make light of it... but don't freak out either! If you can get him to talk to you about why he made that choice in handling his anger, then that is a huge start. But don't start thinking that he's not the next serial killer or anything. He is 9, and he cannot fully understand about long-term consequences - to himself or to his friend. It has to be kept simpler for him. You also haven't failed as a mother. Parenting is messy. You need to be able to go with what he needs to help him... and he needs you to be calm, rational, strong, and of course reassuring of your love.
Peace to both you and your son,
It doesn't make you a bad mother. Not seeking professional assistance to deal with the problem would.
I was an angry child, I also had a completely absent father. I second the advise to get him into counseling pronto. I had a few sessions with a counselor as a kid, but never enough to really develop any sense of trust. I had walls too high to be quickly breached. I don't think you are a bad mother, or that he is a bad child, it's just that having a crappy father is really hard to deal with and you are too close to the problem to be his sole support.
I would hold off on watching this other child. You have enough on your plate. I think your friend is dumping her child on you. I've had this happen to our family plenty of times. The other parent(s) think that your house is a fun haven; and it's sometimes nice to have kids over to play with your own kid. You probably enjoy it, up to a point. But, it gets to be too much. And, I can imagine that it is for you since you are a single, working mom. You deserve a moment to nap in the afternoon. And, that's impossible with a child who is not your in the house.
Your son shares you at your work with others. Then, on Saturdays, he has to share you with another child. I think you need to say, "NO" to your friend's child (or at least limit it to 2 or 3 hours); and spend some super quality time (go to a park, beach, hike, get out into nature) with your son. Nature has a calming effect.
A thought struck me, do you think your son is sick of this girl always being over? Kids get sick of each other, and at this age they (boys) are not good at verbalizing the behavior. A knife to the throat does sound extreme; but it could be that he is at his breaking point as well?
Could he have ADHD? Part of the spectrum is being impulsive and jumping into an inapproriate reaction without thinking things through.
Nine year old boys should be outside doing rough and tumble stuff. Swimming, hockey, football, roughhousing. Limiting a child to just one kid always spells disaster. Kids need to socialize with all other kids.
I would talk with a pediatrician about what happened. The pediatrician knows other professionals, the best, sports groups, etc. You've got to find this boy a trusted male figure (like a good coach) in his life. I do think that both you and your son need to talk this over with a professional. That way, he gets the message that this is not normal behavior.
And, I would tell the girl and her parents (she might have already told them, hopefully, she has that strong of a relationship) that the girl does not deserve that behavior and that you need some time with your son to address this issue. That way, the girl does not think that authority figures are going to dismiss it, and the girl's mother gets the hint that your son needs some space.
Again, this is very serious and needs to be addressed by a professional right NOW. Holding a knife to someone's throat is not ADD. This not 'boys will be boys'.
This is dangerous, violent, criminal behavior in a 9 year old. This is abnormal behavior.
Don't freak out, don't freak the child out...just calmly get help NOW.
I am not being overly dramatic.
Do NOT wait for the next incident.
Okay the recent developments - My friend (with her daughter) came over to talk about what has happened. I did not hide any facts from her. I also admitted that there was no excuse for my son's behaviour. My son apologised to the little girl. My friend decided not make it a big issue for which I can only be grateful.
Friends, some of your comments have made me see the seriousness of the situation. Yes I agree this not something to be overlooked. There may be alot of anger in him than that he is showing. I will take my son to a counsellor. I also agree that he needs a male role-model. I have called and talked to his dad regarding this matter. His dad will be here in few days time. He has agreed to talk to our son.
Getting him involved in martial arts sound like a good idea. I never thought of this and I believe that this might help him to build a stong self confidence. I also agree that that he needs to socialize more. Thank you all for helping me deal with this situation. All this is new to me as I was an only child to my parents.