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Is it bad to tell your kid to push back if they're being pushed around by someone else?

I mean there's only so much a parent can do in a situation like that, so I always tell my girls if they're being bullied or pushed around that they have my permission to defend themselves. Whether they push them back, start hollering and screaming or whatever. My 2 year old was being pushed around by some bigger kid at the play area the other day and his parents weren't even paying attention to him. She comes running over to me, crying. I saw everything that happened. I told his parents what happened and they barely say anything to him. They laugh and tell him to knock it off, that's it. There wasn't much effect. So I told my daughter if he pushes her again she has my permission to push him back or do whatever she needs to do to defend herself. I'm not going to let my kids be bullied. Of course she didn't, but another mom gave me the evil eye when I told her that. I honestly don't think there's anything wrong with teaching your kid to defend themselves. Part of the reason so much bullying goes on is because kids don't defend themselves.


Asked by Anonymous at 10:37 AM on Jan. 24, 2013 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (15)
  • I would have praised your child for coming to you for help with the problem & been totally disgusted that the parents of the other child seemed to blow it off & not do anything when the behavior continued. To the mom who gave you the stink eye, ignore her. Why should you & your child have to leave the playground b/c the parents of the bigger, mean child who was being aggressive, weren't doing their job?! As long as she doesn't think it's OK to push all the time, then I say they are never too young to learn a little survival skills. It's a tough world out there.  You did OK in my book.


    Answer by mrsmom110 at 10:50 AM on Jan. 24, 2013

  • Thats great to teach a two year old. Good job. Older kids yes, but at two she ran to you for protection. No two year old I know, knows how to play 100% nice.

    Answer by funlovinlady at 10:42 AM on Jan. 24, 2013

  • Defending yourself is one thing, but the best idea is to walk away. Bullies want to have a target, if you say something like you are not worth my time, and walk away you don't give them what they desire, and audience and a fight.

    Answer by jerseydiva at 10:41 AM on Jan. 24, 2013

  • Because at two your kids gonna get her ass kicked, right?

    Answer by funlovinlady at 10:49 AM on Jan. 24, 2013

  • I tell my son to walk away and make sure he tells someone but if its a situation where there is noone around and he has tried to walk away and is still being bothered, he has to defend himself.

    Answer by virginiamama71 at 10:46 AM on Jan. 24, 2013

  • Defending yourself (ie keeping yourself from getting hurt worse) is different than revenge (hitting back because you were hit). Mature people - which is what we hopefully all want our kids to become - solve problems without violence. At 2, I would encourage my child to come to me if he/she is getting hurt (although hopefully I'm watching close enough to prevent it). If it continued, we would leave the area, not engage in an all out brawl.
    My now 13 yo was getting bullied a couple years ago. He ignored it, walked away and they stopped when they realized they weren't getting a reaction.
    Although there are times when nothing else will work, a toddler or even grade schooler can distinguish those times.

    Answer by missanc at 10:50 AM on Jan. 24, 2013

  • Yeah, what if they can't seek an adult because they're getting beat up?

    At 2? Being a might bit overdramatic this morning aren't ya?

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 10:49 AM on Jan. 24, 2013

  • Unless your child IS the bully, they will be bullied at some point along the way, the best you can do for them is give them a sense of self-esteem that will make them capable to handle it. You have girls and there is nothing worse than a 13 year old girl! If you teach them to ignore the bully, most of the time, they won't find your kid the kind of target they desire. But expecting a child to defend themselves or engage with a bigger heavier child will most likely end up with the bully getting satisfaction of winning.

    Answer by jerseydiva at 10:50 AM on Jan. 24, 2013

  • It just scares me to think that my kids could be bullied at some point in their lives and I want to be sure they feel safe, even when I'm not there.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 10:44 AM on Jan. 24, 2013

  • Yeah, what if they can't seek an adult because they're getting beat up? Right?

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 10:48 AM on Jan. 24, 2013

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