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Hitting Back isn't Self Defense!

Posted by on May. 17, 2015 at 1:26 PM
Max
  • 40 Replies
1 mom liked this

I'm in a thread in MC about kids fighting and I'm wondering what your thoughts are on this. 

Lots of parents say they teach their kids to defend themselves and I agree with that. If a child was hitting or restraining my child and the only way to get it to stop was to hit the other child that's what I would expect him to do. But that's pretty uncommon. Most of the time the kid can just walk away or there is an adult there to stop the situation from escalating. 

Hitting someone back isn't self defense, it's retaliation. The problem with kids hitting back after being hit is that it usually just escalates into an ongoing issue. 

Kids who hit always feel like they have a justifiable reason to do it. I've talked to hundreds of kids after a fight or argument. Every single one of them will tell you the other kid was the one who started it. Most of the time when kids hit they will you it was in self defense. 

Here's a common example. Kids are in the lunch line and one knocks into another. The child thinks the other is pushing so he hits the other. Both kids will tell you the other started it. 

Another example. Child A was picked on by a classmate, child B, for a while. He finally get sick of it and attacked Child B. Child B ends in the hospital with a concussion and needs stitches. Child A is arrested and expelled from school. 

Kids need to be clear on all their options when it comes to defending themselves against other kids. They need to understand the implications of those choices and when the situation really calls for physical self defense. Just telling a child it's OK to hit back doesn't give them enough information to make informed decisions.

Do you teach your kids it's OK to hit in self defense? How to you clarify what that means?

by on May. 17, 2015 at 1:26 PM
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Replies (1-10):
quickbooksworm
by Bronze Member on May. 17, 2015 at 1:28 PM
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Yes my son is allowed to hit in self defense. He knows exactly what that means as he is testing for his black belt soon. Running away and tattling is not only ineffective but usually worsens an ongoing bully situation.
maxswolfsuit
by Max on May. 17, 2015 at 1:30 PM


Quoting quickbooksworm: Yes my son is allowed to hit in self defense. He knows exactly what that means as he is testing for his black belt soon. Running away and tattling is not only ineffective but usually worsens an ongoing bully situation.

I didn't say anything about running away tattling. 

There are lots of options other than tattling or hitting. 

quickbooksworm
by Bronze Member on May. 17, 2015 at 1:32 PM
There really aren't. But I'm also fine with my kid getting suspended should he need to defend himself.

Quoting maxswolfsuit:

Quoting quickbooksworm: Yes my son is allowed to hit in self defense. He knows exactly what that means as he is testing for his black belt soon. Running away and tattling is not only ineffective but usually worsens an ongoing bully situation.

I didn't say anything about running away tattling. 

There are lots of options other than tattling or hitting. 

momager2two
by Member on May. 17, 2015 at 1:33 PM
My kids know if it's their only means to get away then do so. But they do understand that just because you get hit/kicked etc is not a reason to retaliate. There would be serious consequences. I saw that post in mc, and am avoiding it because it seemed like a drama starter from the beginning.
maxswolfsuit
by Max on May. 17, 2015 at 1:35 PM

What do you mean there aren't?

You don't believe there's a way to solve conflicts without hitting or tattling?

I'm surprised your child is in Karate and this is your point of view. When my son took Karate is was made perfectly clear that there are other ways to solve problems and that physical action is a last resort. Conflict resolution and developing social skills were part of the program. They even kicked a kid out of his class for fighting at school. 

Quoting quickbooksworm: There really aren't. But I'm also fine with my kid getting suspended should he need to defend himself.
Quoting maxswolfsuit:

Quoting quickbooksworm: Yes my son is allowed to hit in self defense. He knows exactly what that means as he is testing for his black belt soon. Running away and tattling is not only ineffective but usually worsens an ongoing bully situation.

I didn't say anything about running away tattling. 

There are lots of options other than tattling or hitting. 


quickbooksworm
by Bronze Member on May. 17, 2015 at 1:41 PM
Of course physical reaction is the last resort. Typically asshole kids don't leave you alone if you ask them to because they are assholes. At my sons school, the kids are largely unsupervised unless in the classroom. There are no adults to intervene without tattling. And even then they do absolutely nothing but scold the child who is telling on someone else. There is a group of boys who go around picking on everyone. They cuffed my son on the head and flicked his ears until one day when he caught one in action and put him in a head lock. Not exactly a fight but scared the shit out of the kid.

Quoting maxswolfsuit:

What do you mean there aren't?

You don't believe there's a way to solve conflicts without hitting or tattling?

I'm surprised your child is in Karate and this is your point of view. When my son took Karate is was made perfectly clear that there are other ways to solve problems and that physical action is a last resort. Conflict resolution and developing social skills were part of the program. They even kicked a kid out of his class for fighting at school. 

Quoting quickbooksworm: There really aren't. But I'm also fine with my kid getting suspended should he need to defend himself.

Quoting maxswolfsuit:

Quoting quickbooksworm: Yes my son is allowed to hit in self defense. He knows exactly what that means as he is testing for his black belt soon. Running away and tattling is not only ineffective but usually worsens an ongoing bully situation.

I didn't say anything about running away tattling. 

There are lots of options other than tattling or hitting. 

wakymom
by Ruby Member on May. 17, 2015 at 3:24 PM
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 As someone who works in the lunchroom, I can tell you that it is usually the kid who hits back that is the one who will get caught, and we can't always take his/her word for it that the other kids started it.

My kids are told that they are not to hit. If, however, that is the only way they can get away, we will understand.

 

 

 

Jinx-Troublex3
by Platinum Member on May. 17, 2015 at 3:40 PM
I too must disagree.

The first example you gave is an overreaction, and I agree. Not a reason to fight.

Same with the second, yet it happens all the time.

I must say that there are times hitting back is necessary.

We teach or kids to use their words first, and walk away and never hit first. If they are avoiding a situation, get followed and are attacked, they BETTR darn well defend themselves! That doesn't mean beat the crap out of them. It means, you give.them enough to get away.

If you are attacked walking to the car, and hit back, that is no different. Why should a child on q playground not have a right to their safety?
MommyHuman
by Silver Member on May. 17, 2015 at 3:43 PM

I tell my kids to go to a teacher or other adult first. If the child that started it won't back down they have permission to fight back if they adult did not get the other child to stop. I was bullied, and it was partly because I did not stand up to them. I refuse to allow my children to be victums. If my child accidentially hurts another because the other child wouldn't stop that is my problem. 

steelcrazy
by Emerald Member on May. 17, 2015 at 5:31 PM
3 moms liked this

Back in the day I was having problems with a girl being nasty to me.  She throw stuff at me, talk about me, etc.  I ignored it and walked away for months on end.  Then one day coming out of history she tried to say something to me and I just walked past her.  I barely made it out into the hall when she punched me in the back of the head, I kept walking.  She then yelled that I can't just ignore her before she hit me a second time in the back of the head.  At that point I turn around and begin swinging.  I have no idea how many punches I landed but when all was said and done, she had a broken nose and two black eyes.  I didn't have a mark on me other than bruised nuckles from hitting her.  I was suspended from school for three days and it was worth every minute of it.

My kids know that they aren't supposed to throw the first punch and that they are supposed to walk away if at all possible.  If trouble keeps following them, they have my permission to let loose.

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