Controversial Topic: Should We Encourage Our Kids to Fight?Christine Coppa
I’m fuming. I’m like the dad who jumped on the school bus and screamed at the kid for harassing his kid, only I didn’t do that—I just took it up with JD’s teachers. JD came home on Monday with a physical bruise on his upper lip. When I asked him what happened, he said *Alan kicked him in the mouth. I smirked at first. I asked JD if it was an accident, because preschool age kids roughhouse all the time and their awesome teachers sometimes miss these one second moments. JD explained that he was playing blocks on the floor. Alan wanted his block. JD said no, and so Alan kicked him and ran off. WTF. JD didn’t tell his teacher. Grrr.
When we got home I gave JD a frozen bunny boo-boo to put on his mouth. The next day I called the school and spoke to admin. I was told Alan is new and has never attended day care or school before. I was told he has problems sharing, communicating and not really grasping the idea of school and friendship. I took this all in and calmly explained that JD has been a student at their school since he was two and has never mentioned something so extreme. He does not want to come back to camp—this kind of sucks since he’s staying at this school for the 2012/13 Kindergarten year. Admin was receptive. They said they would talk to JD’s teachers, the child, and the parents of the child—this seemed like acceptable protocol. I sat JD down and told him to please tell his teachers if Alan is bothering him and that they can call me at work if he’s upset. JD was cool with this. Then he spilled the beans to Uncle Bri. “If he hits you again, just hit him back,” said Uncle Bri. I threw my hands in the air and said “Jesus!” Bri said, “Christine, the kid intentionally hurt JD. He is allowed to defend himself. If a customer hit me at work, I would defend myself. If someone tried to steal your purse on the subway, you would probably kick them in the balls—I know you.” Brian has a point.
If someone attacks you, can you defend yourself in a physical way? I don’t encourage fighting or hitting and luckily JD is not a fighter. He is guilty of being a shovel-stealer at the sandbox. A whiner when he doesn’t get his way, a dinner-time wander, wise a*s, and bed-stealer, but he doesn’t hit or hurt people and maybe it’s because I don’t hit him, not even a spanking when it comes to discipline. I believe in time outs and taking treats away, like a book at bedtime, or retiring a toy.
JD loved his karate party this past weekend and will be taking classes this fall at the studio. I know karate will teach him how to properly defend himself, respect others and most importantly build his self-esteem. I am doing my best to raise a confident, no pun intended – kickass kid.
Chime in: If a kid hurt your kid—kicked him in the mouth— does your kid have a right to fight back? I’m leaning towards Bri’s thinking. I want JD to know that kids, adults—no one can hurt him and he has a right to defend his body. Then again, I don’t want him thinking fighting is the way.
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