A few playful jabs turns into blood and tears, and before you know it, the game of rough-housing has gone bad. There's a thin line between an amusing game of cat and mouse and unwanted pain. Plenty of warnings are present to tell when the game is going outside of play-fighting and turning abusive. At the first sign of these telltale indicators, stop the game and make the players find something else to occupy their time.
Calling It Quits
Repeated calls to stop playing is usually the first way someone will tell you the game is about to go in the wrong direction. Teach the principle that "stop" means just that, and it is the final say on getting punched around. There's no reason why the word should be screamed repetitively before the contender eases up.
If it's unusual to hear cursing and name-calling when the heat is on, take heed that the game is getting too serious and an argument is likely to ensue. This type of language is likely to ignite more fire in the game and should be monitored for verbal abuse.
When playing causes pain and the victim is crying, it's time to stop. Things have gone too far when crying begins. When other emotions such as complaining and frequent requests to stop are combined with crying, this isn't a laughing matter and the game needs to end.
Bite marks, scratches and bruises are immediate grounds to end all games and are a serious matter. When play-fighting has escalated to physical abuse, it's no longer a game, and actions need to be taken seriously. These signs are a precursor to fighting and deeper physical abuse.
Defending & Fighting Back
When the victim must resort to physical violence to defend himself, all activity should cease and the two play fighters should have a conversation. Both players should be told that the art of play-fighting is recreational and should never involve someone getting hurt. Provide details, and allow each to discuss when play time crossed the line.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images
Signs of Power Plays in an Abusive Relationship
Abuse of power in the workplace is becoming a national concern in the United ... How to Tell If a Dog Is...
How to Fight an Allegation of Verbal Abuse
How to Fight an Allegation of Verbal Abuse. Verbal abuse usually occurs in private, without ... is not a punishable crime as...
How to Stop Fighting In a Relationship
Communication, no matter how long you have been in a relationship, or what counselor you talk to, will always be one of...
How to Defend Against Domestic Violence Charges
While the US justice system will supply you with an attorney for free, chances ... Physical abuse cases can be easy to...
Why Do Cats Play Fight?
Cats play fight for a number of reasons, but all ... How to Prevent Dog and Cat Fighting. Many households have both...
How to Know If a Guy Likes You But Says He Doesn't
It could be that he is in a relationship already and does not want to hurt his ... Does he get in...
Puppy Play Biting vs. Aggressive Biting
Most puppies will play bite when they get excited but play biting can sometimes turn ... Correcting Bad Puppy Behaviors
The Differences Between Physical & Verbal Abuse
Physical and verbal abuse both occur in a variety of settings, and both have negative long-term effects. Abuse is anything that hurts...
What is Black Gum Disease?
This is a serious infection that kills gum tissue and requires immediate attention ... What Does It Mean to Have Swollen Gums?...
How to Stop Fighting with a Girlfriend
How to End a Fight With Your Boyfriend. Comments. You May Also Like. How to Solve an Argument With Your Spouse. We...
How to Fight For a Relationship
How to Fight For a Relationship. You are in love and your partner has done ... that they can't go running to...