Friday, October 9, 2009

Beating down the Bullies

I've been a slacker reading & commenting on your blogs! I've been sick with the flu and though I've been feeling better, I'm still feeling tired and going through the yucky lingering effects from the flu. Let's just say, I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired! Now on to another topic....

Moe has always had problems with bullies from the time he was two years old. There was this tiny girl who was 3 years old that loved hitting him. They were in the same daycare center and poor Moe was terrified of her! The bullying stopped when he pushed her. This is what makes me sad, is that it seems the only way to stop bullying is to hit the person back.

Almost every year in elementary school & junior high school, Moe has come home in tears because of a run in with a bully. Renaissance Man and I didn't want Moe to retaliate because he was so much bigger than them. We were afraid that Moe would hurt them. He's a strong kid so we didn't want someone ending up in the hospital.

We taught Moe to ignore the taunts or to tell a teacher. Sometimes it worked and other times he's had to be physical. He got into his first fist fight when he was in 5th grade. This kid was taunting him for an entire year. Despite our talks with the teacher, the parents, this bully wanted to fight Moe, so we gave him the permission to fight back. The kid stopped bullying Moe and they actually became good friends!

I've had parents tell me that you should ignore the bullies, turn the other cheek, talk to the bullies parents or tell a teacher. They don't work, they RARELY work. The worst case of bullying happened when Moe was in junior high school. It was a large group of them, they taunted Moe in the bus, the lunch area and the hallways and often pushed him. We knew the bullying wouldn't stop if we told the school, but we wanted the school to have the complaint on file. The only way Moe was going to stop the bullying was to fight back.

Renaissance Man taught Moe how to hit those kids without hurting them too badly. RM has been practicing Martial Arts since he was 13 years old and knew a few moves that Moe could use. RM taught Moe fight moves that could stun the kid without hurting them. Moe was worried that he would get suspended. I told him if he got suspended, I would pick him up and take him out for ice cream and celebrate. Why should he get punished for defending himself?

After having a few sessions with RM, Moe was ready to "Beat down the Bullies." The leader and some of his cronies pushed Moe against the lockers and Moe was able to push them back and did a few other moves on them. They tried pushing him again the next day & Moe fought them back again! The bullying stopped and Moe didn't get suspended. Sadly a few of those boys are in jail for assaulting someone with a deadly weapon.

It still makes me mad when I wonder where were the school officials when this happened? Why do parents keep defending their kid when it's obvious they're bullies? I know you shouldn't teach your kids to hit, but shouldn't we teach them to defend themselves? This is a topic that I often discuss with other parents and some agree with me and others think you should just ignore it and the situation will go away.

I always knew that as a parent, it was important to teach Moe to be kind, courteous, and honest. Who knew that one of the most important lessons we would teach Moe was how to defend himself against bullies.


Kristina P. said...

I teach anger management/violence prevention to teenagers and schools are taking more hardline policies with bullies, and kids are being charged with assault and so forth.

I show the kids a movie in my class that reminds me of what Moe did. A kid with martial arts background was getting bullied, and he tried ignoring it and it didn't work. He finally agreed to fight the kid, and he basically only defended himself, but the kid looked like an idiot.

Jenni Jiggety said...

Bullies suck! I am glad you taught Moe to handle those jerks!

wendy said...

I HATE bullies --hate them hate them. Sorry, but I hate them.
That is the hardest thing in the world is to see your child be bullied. BUT ---perhaps you do need to fight back and defend yourself.
Schools are falling behind in that responsibility. Parents ---are they teaching Love and Respect to kids these days.
I say ..turn your cheek once....and then bust them in the cheek the next time.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Yea bullies are no good. It makes me sad that kids even figure out that pushing someone around gives them a sense of conrol... it's weird. Makes me sad.

But GOOD for MOE and that was a great lesson, because you are right, it seems the only thing that works is to show that you are stronger... survival of the fittest!

natalie said...

My son is dealing with bullies this year. This was good for me to read because I really don't know how to help him. Talking to the parents doesn't do any good because, of course, their kid is an angel. Talking to the school does no good- what are they going to do? Assign a bodyguard? It's really up to Joe, I see now. Poor kid, I'm going to have to teach him some moves! Good for Moe for standing up for himself.

septembermom said...

As you know, my son has been having trouble with a bully too. Now I'm also battling his bullying mom! I have been considering martial arts for my boys. I think it can help them in so many situations. Thanks for a great post!! More power to Moe!!

Wendy said...

love this post. i hate bullies too. I have tried to instill in my kids to be kind to people. if my kids ever get bullied i will tell them they have to defend themselves because it probably wont stop. i was bullied when i was in school too but not physically. it was more verbal. when i learned to stand up for myself the bullying stopped. you have to defend yourself and stand up for yourself. that is important to teach your kids too. good job Moe!

The Crazy Coxes said...


Just this week, Garrett came out of the school to get in his car and this tiny freshman was like "Hey you faggot Flag Boy." Garrett had just gotten off the Spirit Bus and had a great time to be ruined by this idiot. Garrett was like, "Really?" And this little kid who was all of 5'4" was like, "Come on let's fight!"

Garrett's best friend got in a fight in the school parking lot last year and even though he was defending himself, was suspended for one week.

Our school has a strict policy - you hit someone for ANY reason, even self defense and you are out."

Garrett walked away. He thought the kid was pretty dumb since he was so small and would have gotten killed in a fight.

I just mentioned it to the principal and he said if Garrett told him who it was, they would call him in. Garrett doesn't care enough though.

I'm glad Moe can stop the bullying and send a message without hurting someone or looking like ajerk himself! Good job!

Life with Kaishon said...

I always pray and pray and pray that Kaish will make good choices when he is not with me. It is so hard. I am glad Moe has learned how to deal with that! I think, in the end, it is going to have helped him turn into an even better man : )

Sorry for your flu!

Yaya said...

Feel better!!

The almost 8 year old I nanny for is perpetually bullied and it breaks my heart. Her school "loops" so she has the same teacher and kids in her class as she did last year and the bullying started up with the same kids right where it ended off before summer. Why isn't her teacher doing something???

Jenners said...

This is one topic I'm really scared about ... my husband is too. He was bullied in school a lot (I was just a little) but I'm terrified for my son. We enrolled him in karate classes for fun but also to help build his confidence and skills if he should ever need them. I wish bullying wasn't around ... I know the schools try but it is just impossible to be everywhere 24/7. Ack. I'm glad Moe learned to fight back.

And I hope you feel better soon!

Melinda said...

I think you have such good points, to try to deal with it reasonably, but after so much they have to stand up for themselves. I totally agree with you! My brother was bullied A LOT and he rarely did stand up for himself, its affected him a lot even though he's a great guy. Really sad bullying is! (I think the parents who say to just ignore it, have never been bullied or had their kid bullied. Just a thought)

♫ Spasm ♫ said...

your ? about parents not doing anything when they know their kids are bullies? I am tempted to say that they aren't parenting... but I won't LOL

sorry he's going through

MomBabe said...

I've been in a few fights (a lifetime ago) and sadly, it was that same situation. You try and ignore them, you try and be nice, but there's that breaking point. And kids today are so much more aggressive! I think you HAVE to teach them how to fight.

The rule in my house was never start a fight, but always finish it.

Tammy said...

Bullies always suck. My kids haven't been picked on too bad by bullies, but other family members have. I think you handled it the right way. Turn the other cheek can last only so long until you literally do need to fight back. It sucks to have to tell your kids to do so, but at the same time it is a necessary ting to do.

In our lives there will always be that one person who thinks they are better than anyone else, that they cans trongarm their way through any situation, but someday their comeuppance will come.

Debbie / Cranberry Fries said...

Bullying sucks. My friends son gets it all the time and he's only in the 1st grade. It makes me sad.

I really think you gotta do what you gotta do. You've obviously done it the right way in my opinion. You showed him that there are other ways to try it first and if that doesnt work you get it done your way.

mother goose said...

i agree, teaching your child the morals and values and tolerance and how to walk away and turn the other cheek are formost important, but to give them the tools and the necessities to teach them how to defend themselves is crucial as well. I want my children to know how to defend and protect their personal being in any case and event. Bad things happen. be alert and be prepared. Glad moe had the knowledge how defend and the courage and strength to do it.