How important is making up after a fight and what are the do's and dont's?
My child has recurring fights, verbal and physical, with other children in our street. Most of the children will fight sometimes. They are 8 to 12 years old. I should add that the fights are not about something, one or more kids will just start to provoke another kid and it escalates into a fight. There are bruises, sometimes blood and i heard one time a kid knocked out another kid, but i cannot confirm (my child was not present).
My first goal is to prevent at least the physical fights. Especially since the fights are just for the sake of fights. My child developed a mostly succesful strategy of just leaving when the provocation starts, but it is not 100% foolproof. The other night i told him to go back out and that his friend was only joking, only for it to end in a fistfight.
After a fight, within hours, a day or a few days, the children will play and be friends again as if nothing happened. My gut tells me this is not ok. In my eyes this 'normalises' the physical violence and verbal abuse.
In the heat of the moment it is not possible to talk to any of the kids. What timeframe is there to making up? Should it happen within two days or not at all? A week maybe?
Should I get all the kids? Leave out the bystanders (who may have played a part by cheering)? Should I proceed if for example only two of the 3 participants are available or willing? Is letting every kid just speak and tell what they think happened a good strategy?
Edit: the location is the Netherlands, physical fights among adults are definitely not common and are frowned upon. The parents of the other kids will tell their children off for fighting or swearing, and are not happy about the violence either. It may just be the case that i'm being too nice, and my reaction to the fights should be faster and more severe, as in every time there is a fight, a parent of every kid involved should be called to come collect their kid?
This is a followup to: Handling bullying in neigbourhood playgroup