I have two kids, an 8-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter--second grade and first grade, respectively. They are both tiny. My son is only 46 pounds.
A child entered my daughter's first-grade class. Let's call the boy Joe. He's big, maybe 60 pounds. He's had behavioral problems his whole life, and his mom chose to homeschool him for kindergarten after he was removed from preschool.
Joe gets overstimulated easily and hits impulsively. He doesn't understand what he's doing is wrong. Dozens of teachers, social workers, and parents have urged the boy's mother to seek professional help, but she refuses. A petition to have Joe removed from the school was quashed in favor of an IEP (Individualized Education Program), which sometimes works.
We are (were) his only friends. As a family, we are compassionate and forgiving. Joe hit my daughter twice, but that was months ago, and she is willing to be his friend (they are in the same class). However, she is extremely sensitive to aggression; we don't even watch Disney movies.
A few weeks ago, Joe hit my son in the park and hurt him pretty bad. My son doesn't want to be friends anymore which I agree with. Joe's mom wants my daughter to still be his friend; he has no others.
The boy's mom asks if Joe and my daughter can have a play date at her house without my son present.
I have not responded to this request. Also, my daughter's birthday is coming up, and my son requests Joe not be invited. Joe is aggressive towards my son in almost every social setting, but we do better in small play date situations.
1) What can I tell the mom about Joe and my daughter having a play date (without me? of course not). My instinct is to say when he gets professional help, we can try again, but that seems too pushy.
2) What is your feeling about my daughter's birthday party? My instinct is to not invite him because it would definitely harm my son's experience.
The situation was resolved--mostly. We simply cut off contact. Joe's parents didn't object in any way; they've been through it before. He wasn't invited to my daughters party, but his mom and he briefly crashed to give a card. Joe invited us to his birthday. I dropped by with a card and $10 at the beginning without my kids. Nobody else came.
My son wants to do Scouts. Joe's in Scouts. Perfect. At the introductory meeting, I saw Joe hit 4 kids including my son, and I wasn't even paying attention to him for the most part. I'm going to ask his parents to keep Joe away from my son, or I'm just going to start calling the police. (His dad is one of the scout leaders.)
Joe has slowly gotten better with his aggression. However, I had to take a knife away from him at a Cub Scout event (in now the Pack leader). I talked with a classmate of his. I mentioned Joe seems to be hitting kids less. The boy responded, "Yeah, but he wants to." Great. Joe and my son actually shared a tent at a Scout campout, and it went fine. It was out of desperation in frigid conditions. (May and October are not safe for consistent weather in the US's Upper Midwest.) We invited Joe to my daughter's 10-yo birthday, but we haven't had any play dates.