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.