Fighting Question

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I'm dressing my youngest daughter after bathing her and she asks...

"Mommy, if my classmate picks on me, what should I do? Tell the teacher or fight back?"

"Fight back, of course". No, that's not what I said to my daughter but in my head. I want my daughter to be able to stand up for yourself but only when the problem persists and not at the first comment the other student says to her that she feels is mean.

My daughter will be starting school this fall. I ask her what does she think is the right thing to do and she takes a swing and says "I fight them!". I chuckled and she says she's not afraid. I ask her what makes her think about this situation and she says her sister told her that kindergarteners often get picked on because they are so small. I asked my eldest daughter if she witnessed younger children being picked on by older kids at her school and she said no; she was just preparing her little sister in case it happens to her.

"If you fight in school, you will get in trouble. You can not hit anyone. You tell the teacher and you tell mommy." My daughter nods her head and asks if the student picking on her will get in trouble in which I tell her yes. My little one is very anxious to start school. She's such a petite little girl and hearing her initial response gives me assurance that she will be a tough cookie in school.

25 comments:

Ami said...

I respectfully disagree.

Telling the teacher often gets the response of 'thank you for tattling'.

And a real bully isn't put off by a kid who will not fight back.

I think it's far more important for a child to know that a parent will back her 100% if she is forced to fight back.

I don't condone hitting first... but after my own school experiences and those of my son, I know that hitting back puts a quick end to that particular bully.

And of course there's the fact that I work in a public school. I see things all the time that just drive me insane... I think EVERYONE should know both when and HOW to defend themselves.

And not to depend on someone else to do so... someone else may not always be there.

there's a bit about it on my blog, too.

http://amimental.blogspot.com/2009/04/bullying-again.html

Buckeroomama said...

It does put your mind at ease knowing that she can stand up for herself somehow. :)

TK said...

My husband would always tell my son to fight back but I would tell him to always behave and not to hurt any of the friends or he will be in trouble. I don't know whether he listens to me more or the father!

Gina F said...

I think your little girl has a good head on her shoudler. I think if your little girl needs to defend herself she will. I think she sounds like a tough little cookie. Good For Her! HAVE A GREAT WEEK!!! :o)

Gina
motherof1princessand2princes.blogspot.com

eugene said...

In relation to this, i have told my son to fight back even if he is too smaller size than the bully, and i have told him that i would 100 % back him if he were to be questioned by the teacher if he was not the bully.....

RoseBelle said...

@Ami - I see your arguments in self-defense when being bullied. You definitely pointed out some very good issues. I didn't witnessed or experienced bullying when I was in school. Reading your post on bullying definitely alarmed me about this issue. I volunteer regularly at my daughter's elementary school and I have seen how the teachers there effectively handle problematic children from the start of the problem. I'm amazed at the staff there and I just hope that all teachers are trained to deal with issues in school but from your post, it's really disheartening and disgusting that some schools lack the proper guidelines and policies.

Mei Teng said...

There are workplace bullies too :) As much as we want to fight back, still..the best recourse is to bring it to the attention of the authorities so that the situation can be dealt with in a proper manner.

Serline said...

Sometimes it drives me nuts worrying about such issues. Janelle has high EQ, so she gets along famously with most girls. She's quite tall and not small frame, so physical bullying seems unlikely. But what about boys?!? Unlike his dad, Andre looks is more chubby and bookish looking, but every once in a while, I hear about him picking on smaller kids. Bad influence from my hubby, who sometimes regales them with his story of growing up in a nasty neighborhood school? What will happen to Narelle, who will start pre-nursery soon...

Willie a.k.a Reptoz said...

Will be good to have both. Fight back and tell the teachers. I am a teacher, when my students complain to me about a bully, I will assist to protect the one being bullied.

Just recently, I stop a bully case by confronting the bully boy in my school. Thanks to the student who informed me of this case. At least, we can warn him that he will be dropped from the school if he continuously harass other students. Till today, no such case is heard again from that boy.

Veronica Lee said...

In the past, I never agreed with hitting back but after one time too many of informing the teachers who merely shrugged the problem off, I told my son to fight back and the bullying seemed to stop.

Gwei Mui said...

This is a real tough one - on the one hand you want your daughter to have the confidence to stand on he rown two feet, on the other hand she has to learn what is acceptable behavoir and standards that are ecpected of her in society as a whole. I think it depends on the nature of the "bullying" your daughter musht always tell you obviously as her Mum maybe it should then be you who informs the teacher? In the UK there are strict guidelines and procedures that all educational establishments and business have to legally follow - some are beter than others. If you have a good relationahip with the school then you maybe able to get any potential sitautions like this dealt with in the background and stopped before they get out of hand.I know it's speculative at the moment ut every parent owrries about their child fitting in at school and having a good time.

Lazy Pineapple said...

Such a mature child you have there....already thinking about the future :)

I feel that sometimes stopping the bully then and there is the best way to build up self confidence. These days it gets tougher and tougher for kids in school.
It also depends on the nature of bullying..but telling your kid to defend himself/herself is the right way to go...that is how I feel...

CVmom said...

As parents, we need to be careful when we tell our kids it's ok to fight back when being picked on. The bully and the bullied would be in the principal's office and both students parents would be called to a school conference
in an event of a fight. Sitting in that room, are you going to
pat your child on the back and say "I'm proud of you for standing up for yourself? Seriously, would you do that? Your child, not sure about disciplinary actions for little 5 or 6 year olds fighting but for sure older kids would be suspended from school. I wouldn't want that on my kid's school record. I think strenthening kids' inner core and resilient are more important than encouraging them to fight back. If a child's self esteem is high and does
not allow mean comments or demands break him/her, it
would not take long for the bully to realize his tactics
are meaningless. A bully picks on the weak and vulnerable. Physically fighting back is in no way proof that you are strong and fearless but a solid inner core does.

Gratitude said...

I totally agree with you. Treating violence with violence should never be the option. We ought not teach the little ones to retaliate as it'll make us none the better. The proper thing is to do the right thing of letting the authorities know, so the teachers may handle and/or involve the parents too.

Another risk is that by teaching our kids to retaliate may result in more extensive beating especially if the bully is much bigger sized.

Hope all turns out well for your kid. :)
+Ant+

Mr. Stupid said...

Wow. I am glad she's all excited about starting school. Bullies are there everywhere. Even though, fighting them can be hard, mentioning the issue to teachers can be harder. I am sure she is mature enough and will be able to handle any situation!
Have a good day...:)

ModernMom said...

Seems like every single incident is different, but I am with you. I have my girls seek the assistance of an adult first. Not to mentions our school has a zero tollerence for hitting...wehter you start it or finish it, if they touch another child....they are out of there!

Alicia said...

Good for her for already having the right attitude!!!!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

So sweet! I hope your daughter will have a smooth start... Yes, fighting back without the use of violence is the best of things to do.

Cheers,

Rosa

Ebie said...

Good for her, she is very mature for her age. I bet she is all excited!

P.S. The last I was here was the transitioning of your blog to your own domain. I like your new layout. Also, I have a new blog too, that I took over from my daughter.

Have a nice week. I hope it gets cooler here.

AVCr8teur said...

I'm not sure fighting is the answer, but it sounds like she is thinking ahead. Hurray for her!

Savvy Gal said...

ah.... that is exactly what my sister said to her daughter before starting school b/c my niece is so shy. so far everything is okay.

Dora said...

Hi buddy, sorry for being so long didn't stop-by here 'coz I'm quite busy lately.

Hey, I'm sure your lil girl is cute. The monster in me tells me to fight back then only go inform the teacher! hehehe...

Ryhen said...

I thought little children only want to play with each other? If territorial instincts are already kicking in as early as kindergarten, then maybe the world is really changing. hehe.

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

Tough cookie indeed. I don't think my daughter has that in her list of options. I'm pretty sure she'll be a tattler, but it will be interesting to see in the fall when the big yellow bus comes to take her to kindergarten.

I think that picking on kindergartners is a movie myth. It's not even that fun because at that age they're not old enough to understand what's being said. I think it would be more of an issue for the later grades when they're getting a big spunky themselves.

Meldylocks and Her Three Bears said...

I though i've posted a comment here, did it go missing? Anyway, good luck to your daughter...and I think you shouldn't worry so much coz she's such a mature and sensible darling. As a teacher, I think I'll love your daughter a lot. :)