DEAR ABBY: The bus stop for the elementary school students in our neighborhood is right in front of my driveway. I rarely sit outside and wait for my children to get on the bus, but the other day I did. Two neighbor boys, fifth- and third-graders, got into a fight on my front lawn. I refuse to tolerate fighting, so I went over and broke it up. The next two mornings, the same thing happened. My daughter told me they fight all the time, and it's been going on for over a year.
I want to put a stop to it, but I'm not sure how. I don't want to have to sit there every morning and break up the fight, but is it my duty to "tattle" to the parents? Both families have lived in the neighborhood for years, and both have expressed verbally that they never felt accepted. Both families also have the attitude that their children are always right and the rest of the neighborhood is always wrong. Bringing this up to either one could really cause an uproar.
I have spoken to both boys, but it clearly isn't helping. Please advise me before someone gets hurt. -- BUS-STOP MOM IN UTAH
DEAR BUS-STOP MOM: Put a stop to this immediately. Not only could one of those boys be seriously injured, but if it happens on your property, you could be liable.
You should have documented these fighting incidents when they occurred. However, because your daughter is a witness, the two of you should pay a call on the school principal and explain what's going on. Some schools have zero tolerance for bullying, and because one boy is two years older, their fights could be considered as such. Both sets of parents should also be notified. Both families seem to have self-esteem issues -- and the boys might be in need of counseling as well as mediation.