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How can I help my 7yr old ds stand up for himself?

(18 Posts)
TempusFunghi Thu 11-Oct-12 09:34:01

He is a funny and popular boy but very gentle. His gentle nature is causing him to be the target of more forceful children. Yesterday one boy took a book from him (very minor I know) and last week ds dropped a small toy he had in his pocket, another boy picked it up and refused to give it back. As far as I know he has now taken it home. I know none of the incidents are serious at all but I don't want him to be the child that others walk all over. I've tried telling him to say no loudly and insistently but he won't. Any suggestions?

SavoyCabbage Thu 11-Oct-12 09:42:18

I have tried teaching my dd to stand up for herself but she just can't do it. It seems she doesn't have a mean gene which I think is needed in these circumstances. My dd is 8.

Some of the girls in her year 3/4 class are such cows.They seem to know exactly what to do and say. Its innate! Poor dd has no 'street cred' as they probably don't say at all. grin

rumncoke Thu 11-Oct-12 14:14:04

Karate! my son was exactly the same but a year of this sorted it out and he does not get any grief now.

lljkk Fri 12-Oct-12 09:57:01

I am a fan of martial arts, too (Judo for us). It doesn't make them want to use fists to fix their problems, but it does teach them to handle conflict and stand up for themselves.

TempusFunghi Fri 12-Oct-12 10:44:11

Thanks everyone , I might look into that for him. smile

seeker Fri 12-Oct-12 10:46:10

Or just celebrate his gentle nature........

TempusFunghi Fri 12-Oct-12 10:57:28

Seeker, I love his gentle nature. I do celebrate how kind he his BUT that is not the problem, I don't want to stomp it out of him, I just don't want him to be pushed around. It is my job as a parent to try and prepare him for what is out there in the world and not everyone will 'celebrate' his gentleness but instead view him as an easy target.
I was waiting for a comment like that hmm

Oblomov Fri 12-Oct-12 11:02:46

Aspergers ds1(8) is a total wimp and can not stand up for himself. Makes me so sad on his behalf. Karate has helped alot.

TempusFunghi Fri 12-Oct-12 11:14:39

Is karate better than judo. I don't know anything about martial arts!

lljkk Fri 12-Oct-12 11:49:56

What really matters is how the clubs are run, that it's a fun martial arts club that your child enjoys & you find convenient & not too pricey. Try not to pay out for insurance or anything else any sooner than you have to (I have learnt that lesson the hard way). Ask around for recommendations, good clubs will let them have a few free or very cheap taster sessions that you can stay & observe.

Locally, Judo is a family run club with a huge ethos of fun (& discipline), and you only pay for insurance, kit & the sessions attended. The national offices are just down the road & there are many local competitions to attend.

Meanwhile local Karate is a private business that demands upfront monthly payments whether you turn up or not, with gradings & comps rather too far away for my liking. But I know some local kids love it.

DD did Judo & easily pinned the karate show-offs to the ground when they annoyed her. smile

Bumpstart Fri 12-Oct-12 22:23:43

How does he feel about it? It helps children to act to defend themselves if they can identify and express the feelings caused by these confrontations.

My dd1 has just got really into writing a diary, and talking with me about what she has written. I am hoping that it will enable her to see things coming... Patterns of behaviour, and find ways of dealing with them.

Sometimes kids can come up with their own solutions for dealing with the mean behaviour of other children. We walk past a little girl and her dad every morning on our way to school. The girl stuck her tongue out daily at my dd2. we discussed what to do about it and my dd decided that she would ignore her as we walked past, and look away. It stopped straight away, and my dd felt great because she had solved the problem herself.

Bumpstart Fri 12-Oct-12 22:25:15

Ps, I also think martial arts is a great idea, and am hoping my dd's. Can do itin the future.

Italiangreyhound Sat 13-Oct-12 01:57:24

Hi TempusFunghi sorry to hear this, he sounds like a great lad and it's horrible that other kids take advantage of his good nature.

My DD started Taekwan-do a year ago, sadly, she stopped doing it but I have now taken it up myself! In the adult class of course! They do classes for younger kids, junior plus type age and adults.

The classes are local, not too expensive and the atmosphere is very good.

They run a class for younger kids which is all aimed at teaching skills like respect, confidence, fitness, how to avoid conflict, communication and coordination.

I expect karate and judo would also help to teach this kind of thing.

Hopefully too you are encouraging him etc (I am sure you are) which is all building up his self esteem etc because these kind of unpleasant incidents must be horrible for a child.

Good luck, all best wishes.

Italiangreyhound Sat 13-Oct-12 02:02:03

Oh, PS some of the classes also emphasise anti-bullying and life skills, so might be worth just asking what the classes do and seeing if there is something that suits. I personally find the classes great fun!

lljkk Sat 13-Oct-12 13:00:24

Don't overlook Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) as an option, too. Very widespread & often run on the cheap.

GhostofMammaTJ Sat 13-Oct-12 21:04:22

My DD1 was bullied horrendously in reception. As soon as she was old enough she started going to Tae Kwon Do. Within three weeks she was walking in to school with a 'Don't fuck with me' attitude. At that point she could not have fought her way out of a paper bag, but she had gained the atttitude!!

Noone has ever tried to bully her from that day to this. She is now 17.

I loved her going to TKD but I don't think it really matters which martial art it is, they all hel enourmously.

GhostofMammaTJ Sat 13-Oct-12 21:08:11


legoballoon Sat 13-Oct-12 21:13:03

I know what you mean OP. You raise your kids not to be violent or mean, and then they go out into the big bad world and come across other kids who think it is normal to call names, scratch & push etc.

I try to explain to my DSs that not all children are fortunate enough to be raised in a peaceful home, that 'sticks and stones etc.', and to report any problems to their teachers. My DH tells me that it is important that the boys learn to 'give banter back', so sometimes we rehearse funny, but not rude, put-downs to the sort of things that the kids say. I also try to reassure them by telling them that they are loved, bigging up their qualities, and giving them opportunities to hang out with the nice kids who are their mates, in order that they are part of a 'crowd' too.

They also do martial arts once a week, and from what I hear from the older kids, that does come in handy when they get to 2ndary school and sometimes have to show people that they will not be pushed around.


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