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To think that if children were told that actually, sometimes it's ok to hit back, we might not have such a huge bullying issue in this country?

(152 Posts)
wannaBe Thu 03-Apr-14 15:42:13

So bullying is on the increase, and it seems that in truth, very little can or is being done about it.

We bring up our children to know that violence – all violence - is wrong. So if a child is bullying another child by hitting, kicking, etc etc we tell our children to walk away. hmm and because no-one likes a grass, it is almost seen as unacceptable to tell someone you’re being bullied. So bullied child fears the reaction of the playground if they tell on the bully, and if the bullied child dares to hit back then it is him/her who gets the punishment when actually, hitting back is nothing more than self defence.

Bullies are generally cowards. So if someone stands up to them by hitting them back they will often back off.

So perhaps it’s time we stopped being so very correct about all this and accepted that actually, it’s perfectly ok, a good idea even, if sometimes a child stands up for themselves and hits back. And that if a bully has been habitually violent to others, it’s no more than they deserve if they get back what they’ve been giving out.

School bullying policies are clearly ineffectual. Young teen still commit suicide because they’re being bullied. Children are under more pressure than ever to fit in, and part of that is not speaking out because that makes you a grass in the eyes of your peers.

There is something very wrong with a world which often advocates giving children certain clothing labels/gadgets/material goods in order to prevent bullying, yet comes down hard on the bullied who fights back.

ArmyDad Thu 03-Apr-14 15:45:24

The problem is that bullying is rarely one-on-one or indeed a fair match if it were. Plus hitting back wouldn't work when it comes to internet bullying.

I'm sure behind closed doors the parents of the child being bullied will...eventually....tell their child to hit back if hit first.

My DS was bullied, I told him this. He wouldn't though, it's not in his nature. Plus at the end of the day, two wrongs don't make a right.

What we need are better policies in place. My DS had a problem going into year 7 (after being bullied for a time at primary) but I reported it to the school and it was dealt with effectively and quickly.

I think if our kids turn round and give the bullies a well deserved thump it won't make the problem go away. Bullies usually pick on people more vunerable than them who probably wouldn't relatiate physically hence why then pick on them in the first place.

TarkaTheOtter Thu 03-Apr-14 15:47:41

Is bullying on the increase?

Fusedog Thu 03-Apr-14 15:47:57


Because that's not how bullying works my ds is huge was one of the biggest in his class and he was systematically made to feel like nothing worthless he was so down trodden he wouldn't have been able to fight back of he wanted to

NewtRipley Thu 03-Apr-14 15:48:54

And some of the most damaging bullying is verbal, and it's also harder for outsiders to spot. Hitting back in anger at verbal bullying is likely to lose you the moral high ground.

I think out culture has become very confused in the difference between criticism, assertiveness and bullying. Many TV programmes that appeal to children and teens involve an element of verbal bullying

WooWooOwl Thu 03-Apr-14 15:48:57

Not all school bullying polices are ineffectual.

It's the attitude that 'no one likes to be a grass' that needs to change, not that it's always wrong to use physical violence.

Fusedog Thu 03-Apr-14 15:49:00

Also you can be sure the moment the child who is bullied hits back the parents the bully will have that shit turned round on your child or the school will say well there just as bad as each other ECt

rightsaidfrederick Thu 03-Apr-14 15:49:10


In general, friends of mine who were bullied at school and then managed to stop it say that standing up to the bullies was the way way they did stop it. It's all very well and good saying that they should do so with words, but young children often simply aren't articulate enough confused

Aventurine Thu 03-Apr-14 15:49:10

How do you know bullying is on the increase?

NewtRipley Thu 03-Apr-14 15:49:29

our culture

NewtRipley Thu 03-Apr-14 15:50:08

I think the anti bullying policies at my DSs Secondary school are pretty good.

Fusedog Thu 03-Apr-14 15:50:16

And when we did raise it with the school I was told if he'd only try and fit in more

Code for he brings it on himself ffs

wannaBe Thu 03-Apr-14 15:50:22

I do agree that more needs to be done to e.g. tackle internet bullying/verbal bullying etc.

But the reality is that often even the parents are unaware it's going on because the kids are so afraid that it'll become worse if they dare to tell, so often by the time the parents even know it's too late. sad

Maybe the reality is that children are being given technology far too young, and this in itself has exaserbated the issue of e.g. internet bullying...

motherinferior Thu 03-Apr-14 15:50:26

I think it is highly unlikely that bullying is on the increase: what is on the increase is kids being able to speak up about being bullied and being taken seriously.

And I don't actually believe the cliché that 'bullies are cowards'. Some may be, but some may equally be spoiling for a fight.

meditrina Thu 03-Apr-14 15:50:55

This only works if the child who hits back actually then wins the fight.

If they hit back and then lose, their situation is a hundred times more miserable.

If you teach your DC to fight; you will probably find the changes to physique and bodily confidence, plus growing reputation from those they train alongside, will foster positive changes in social groupings anyhow.

But of course as bullying is about so much more than the use or threat of physical violence, it is clearly not a panacea.

Floggingmolly Thu 03-Apr-14 15:51:47

It's how we were raised; and yes, it's what I tell my children.

NewtRipley Thu 03-Apr-14 15:52:01


I agree with the point about technology. Many adults can't manage their email/text and FB interactions successfully. Little wonder children who have yet to develop good communication skills and a strong sense of self aren't able to....

NewtRipley Thu 03-Apr-14 15:52:19


I agree

Fusedog Thu 03-Apr-14 15:53:55

I think these days high schools are pretty good more so because they no parents can also get police brought in however the most shocking bullying going un checked in in primary schools

My son was told if he told they were gonna kill him and throw His body in the woods they followed him home although they lived in opposite direction just to taught him when I asked if my son could have a 10 minute head start leaving school so he'd be gone by the time they left school

I was told if I wanted to keep my son safe I needed to pick him up from school and the bullies where free to go about there pleasure

When the bully sat next to my son to taunt him I complained they moved MY son ffs

Fusedog Thu 03-Apr-14 15:54:58

Also getting them to hit back can turn into beare baiting oh let's see if we can get xxxxx angry

NewtRipley Thu 03-Apr-14 15:55:45

I agree that for many children, hitting back is the very last thing they would be able or willing to do. If they were able to successfully, many of them would have done it.

Confidence is more important.

I do kind of cheer internally (guiltily) when I hear about someone retaliating and it working once and for all, but i really think that's a very small proportion of cases, and it is definitely NOT something I would actively suggest

NewtRipley Thu 03-Apr-14 15:56:08



AskBasil Thu 03-Apr-14 15:56:41

IME it's the kids who come from homes where they are bullied and hit and told that it's OK to hit back (other kids, not their parents hmm), who are the ones who bully other kids.

mummytime Thu 03-Apr-14 15:57:02

Hitting a bully doesn't stop bullying - that is a myth! (I have persoanl experience back in the bad old days.)

In my DCs secondary they are very good at dealing with bullies. Swift, consistent punishment (detentions or isolation or for milder cases talking to and moving). They have a clear bullying policy and enforce it. They also have a superb SEN department, which ensures other behaviour is neither interpreted as bullying and SEN kids are protected from bullying.

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