Defending one's self.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Defending one's self.
17
Fri, 06-06-2003 - 9:26pm
An interesting issue was brought up below deep within a thread, i have big issues with.

what do you tell your children to do if someone in school is bullying them, ie: hitting them everyday, and will not leave them alone?

what do you tell your children to do if someone in school hits them, for reason or not.

i have had three children go through a pretty tough school system, and my boys especially have been in this position more times than i care to remember. my ds1 was very small(with a big mouth, i might add) until his senior year in high school. was picked on all the time. our ds2 is 15 1/2 and just finishing up his freshman year in high school. he has had some trouble but not much, as he is a lot bigger at this age than ds1 was, and i do think size has a lot to do with it.

we have always told the kids if they are being picked on, to go to an authority figure. sometimes this works,and sometimes it doesnt. if it doesnt, the rule for our children was, if someone hits you, knock hell out of them. i know this seems harsh, but i had to learn the hard way from the beginning. when my ds1 was a toddler, my friends little girl would haul off and belt him when i wasnt looking. i didnt want him to fight and used all the psychology i could think of. one day, my friend said, if you dont tell him to hit her back, shes not going to quit. sooooo, one day she hit him and he came to me crying, and i said, go hit her back. her eyes got as big as saucers!! LOL he hit her and she never bothered him again. this has been how its been all through school.

the kids worried they would have to "go to the office". i told them if someone hits you and you hit them back, and you go to the office, keep your mouth shut, go to the office and call me, or dad.

now i live in a city of over 100 schools, so we have a wide range of children, and i do know some of you (lauren) live in small towns. what is your rule?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 06-06-2003 - 10:12pm
I am absolutely with you on this. We've always told our children to keep their hands to themselves, try to work things out and talk to the adults in charge but if all else fails absolutely defend yourself and deck the offending donkeybutt.

Too often these days adults get involved when kids could work these things out themselves and dontcha know they're all best friends the next day!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 06-06-2003 - 10:17pm
AMEN, SISTAHHHH!!! im anxious to hear what people with younger kids think. i think i might be opening a can of worms, but isnt that what a debate board is for???LOL
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 06-06-2003 - 10:44pm
This is interesting to me since I have two young boys who will inevitibly find themselves facing a bully.

So far, I have just observed my older son's reactions to a bully to see what he does. I commend him for his reactions when faced with a violent outburst by a playmate. He tends to stand his ground and stare them down, without retaliating. For some reason, this seems to intimidate the attacker and they usually back down, leaving my son with the toy in question. Now he is only 4 so who knows if this will continue to work.

The funny thing is, this is the method I used in the very few times I was faced with a fight. Looking someone in they eye worked well when they were on the attack. They always backed off looking pretty darn frightened.

Maybe I look mean after all.

Jill

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 06-06-2003 - 10:55pm
Open away, honey!!!! I just love seeing the thoughts of parents of 3 y/os who are convinced they know exactly how their kids will act when they are 13, lol!!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Fri, 06-06-2003 - 11:16pm
This is something I really struggle with because I do not condone violence in any way, shape, or form. However, I do see where there is the need for one to defend themselves, if the situation calls for it. There is a fine line there, though.

My kids are pretty young wrt this issue at this point. So I really cannot say what I will or will not do. At this point, I have just watched the kids interact with others to see how they react. If something is going on that is what I consider appropriate, I will coach them through how they could more appropriately handle it. To this day I haven't ever told them to hit someone back, because I don't think it is always the appropriate response to someone elses violence. However, that is not to say it is always wrong, either.

I will say this, though. I had a taken a little girl with me to a local indoor playplace, and was letting her play. It wasn't a food place or anything, but they had HUGE toys like the ones at Mc Donalds. The kids got to crawl through the tubes, slide down the slides, play in the balls, etc. Well, this little girl was about 20 months old. She was a real tom boy, and could be downright MEAN. On the other hand, she was cute as a button (blonde CURLY hair and the brightest blue eyes there are), and could win anyone over if she wanted. She was crawling up this rope ladder to go into an opening, and a boy, about 8 or 9 was wanting to come out. I guess she was taking too long for him b/c he put his hand on her chest and PUSHED her backwards so he could get out. I was across the room watching her, but I was OUT of my seat and ready to pummle the kid! However, before I could ever get there, she reacted. She turned around, with a closed fist and hit him right in the nose! The boy started BAWLING, and I just chuckled, and sat back down....hehehehe.

So, as I say, I don't know. I think this is something that will mold as the kids get older.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 8:51am
ITA!

My stepson is one who was taught to turn the other cheek and run. His momma would show up at the school if anyone looked at him sideways. Now that he is ten, I have watched him in the last two weeks here wrestle with nephews, which I allow until blood is drawn, only to find that he does NOT fight fair - hits below the belt, in the back, kick when they are down. Not to mention that the second he is losing or gets hurt, comes running to tattle. My attitude is that you gotta be able to take what you give.. can't stand the heat, get outta the kitchen, etc.

I keep the same attitude with my pre-schoolers. Of course, even with all four in the house, thus far we have an advantage - dss10 weighs in at 60 lbs., dd4 42 lbs., dsd8 41 lbs., and ds3 39 lbs. Dss10 is smart enough to have figured out that his twenty pound advantage means nothing when you have 120 combined lbs chasing after you :)

I have yet to have a child in my home FT in school. I don't plan on being a bully hunter. Both dss10 and dd4 are big talkers, I will almost expect to get phone calls from the school regarding them :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 11:25am
I have always told dd if someone is bothering her to tell her teacher. If she was being hit or beat up by someone and getting to a teacher wasn't an option, then by all means beat the crap out of the person. If it was a boy hitting her, her dad has told her to kick them in the groin and run to a teacher. My dd is only 9 so we don't have much of an issue at this age. At this age, if someone hits her it is better for her not to retaliate and just tell on the other person, that way they are in trouble and not her.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 11:34am
Oh and to add, my ds is only 3 but one thing her is taught is NOT to hit girls. He is a fiesty little one sometimes and keeping him in line has been difficult this past year. He hits kids at school sometimes, the teacher says it is only when someone is bothering him (not excusable by any means though). however, one thing is that he NEVER hits the girls and he acts protective of them. He will continue to be taught not to hit girls, EVEN if they hit him.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 1:46pm
you know we had/have the same rules with our boys, and although they have gone around with dd, occasionally, in the long run it paid off, because they absolutely worship the ground she walks on. this is not only because she is a girl, but she is kind and considerate of them, and treats them well. its funny too though, because they will horse around together and the boys are afraid they will hurt her, and believe me, she works out and can easily bench press her brothers!! LOL.

as far as hitting girls if they hit first, i agree the boys shouldnt hit back, but on the other hand, some girls take advantage of that and can get pretty ugly. we used to live next to a girl who was WAY bigger than ds1 and the same age, and she would think nothing of wallopping him whenever she felt like it. he had special permission to retaliate. but in general, no hitting girls.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 5:59pm
Our rules are:

1. "If someone touches one of your brothers you may retaliate however you see fit. You may get in trouble in school, but we will not be angry with you. Nobody should mess with your family."

2. "Do not start a fight. If someone starts with you it is acceptable to fight back. If you get in trouble so be it. There are worse things than defending yourself."

My older son is VERY small for his age. He is 9 years old, 50 inches tall, and 62 lb. My middle son is normal height for his age, but thin. He is almost 7 and is 48 inches tall and 48 lb. I pity the SOB that picks a fight with my oldest though. He is small, but tough as nails. The other kid might be bigger, but I doubt that he will escape unharmed.

Jenna

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