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teaching my son to defend himself

(15 Posts)
mumsue Mon 21-Apr-03 16:05:43

My 3-year old does not strike back or even yell or move away when kids are aggressive with him, even when they hit him. I've tried roll-playing to teach him while he should never hit someone else, he also shouldn't allow kids to hit him. I've told him to push their hands away, tell them 'no, don't hit me' and move away, or tell an adult. Still, he is passive when situations arise. What am I missing??

SoupDragon Mon 21-Apr-03 16:59:32

No idea. DS1 is the same, although he's getting "better". We tried and tried to get him to say something like "No! If you do that again I won't play with you." but he's only just getting the hang of it at 4. He still comes running to me crying 90% of the time. Sometimes he'll hit back although I'd honestly prefer that he didn't as with the not-so-gentle children, this just escalates things.

Some children are just gentle I guess. I'm sure your DS will get the hang of it if you keep stressing that he should say "No! That's not nice." firmly and walk away. Personally, I prefer a gentle child to one who does the hitting etc. DS2 is more fiery than his big brother so I'm expecting the opposite problem with him.

Tortington Mon 21-Apr-03 23:40:56

hildren do have different tempraments, its a shame you have to do this with your children. in fact its horible you have to do this - i had to do this when we moved to a council estate some years ago and my children were 9 and 6 at the time and didnt have a mean streak in them - i had to teach them to be mean - i had to order them to hit back - the rule "do not hit girls!" did not apply anymore - hit the girls if they hit you it was often the girls thatwere most trouble.

if your not in a rough area and dont think learning these skills are going to be integral to your childs social survival then dont teach him them, take him out of the situation if possible - speak to teachers and parents ,i know easier said than done. it horible , horrible, horrible that you have to do this.

if it is integral to social survival, you have to have a strict set of home rules - no hitting siblings - stick up for family - can mum solve the situation first? never ever hit first - you will not be a bully
of course this is for older children harder when they are smaller

sorry if i havent been of help

LaaLaa Tue 22-Apr-03 00:12:30

I have a similar situation with my daughter who is almost 3 - we have taught her that under no circumstances must she hit or bite - unfortunately this means that she is being bossed around, shouted at, hit and bullied by other children - I don't want to teach her to hit but I don't know what to do. Luckily I know the other parents and they are keen to stamp out their children's behavior. Is it possible for you to speak to the other parents? Not much advice I know but at least you know you are not alone. Good Luck.

Libby65 Tue 22-Apr-03 00:54:39

Mumsue I was going to post about this exact same subject myself.

My son is almost 3, and is also passive. He plays well with other children, doesn't snatch things away from them, and never gets aggressive with them. On the other hand, other children take his food away from him, take toys away from him, and one other boy at playgroup went up to ds last week for no reason and thumped him in the back three times. Luckily his mother saw him do it, and ran over to reprimand him. But ds just stood there and did nothing about it.

He's big for his age and the other mums at playgroup call him the 'gentle giant'. But it is a worry - I want him to be able to stand up for himself and I certainly don't want him to be bullied by other children. I guess pretty soon (when he's old enough to understand) we'll have to start teaching him about this kind of thing.

Isn't it awful to be put in this position in the first place??!! Still, it's part of life unfortunately and as custardo said, they have to learn social survivial. I really do sympathise with you as I'm in the same boat with my ds.

Batters Tue 22-Apr-03 09:10:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Meanmum Tue 22-Apr-03 09:21:19

Can I join this thread in the hope that the mums that have already posted here can give me some advice. My ds is only 14 months but he is very strong and rough already. I don't want him to be the sort of child that hits others in the playground etc but am not sure how to start curtailing this. He currently goes to a childminder who also has a 3 year old there. The 3 year old is constantly pushing him and being nasty to him but at the same time giving him kisses and hugs. My ds has learnt to push back or snatch back toys that he wants if the 3 year old is doing something he doesn't want. I think this is OK as I see it as him defending himself however I would prefer it if he walked away and played with something else than started this behaviour. Also, as we have taught him how to kick his balls (bouncy balls I'm talking about here) he has decided that it's OK to kick other things too including the little girl that also goes to his childminder. I don't think he is doing this on purpose to be mean as I don't see it but am worried he may be as he doesn't like her much. She has taken away the attention he used to get from the childminder and also pulls his hair alot and other things young babies do. His response seems to be to retaliate.

Can any of you give me advice in how to curb this behaviour now as reasoning with him is not possible at the moment due to his age.

katierocket Tue 22-Apr-03 09:33:40

I know this is slightly different but my best friend as a 15 year old DD and 11 year old DS. The girl is quite good and sticking up for herself but her son is very sweet natured, totally unagressive, lovely little boy. ANyway, when he moved up to secondary school he started getting bullied (nothing really serious but name calling etc). She thought about speaking to teachers etc but the reality is that doing that could well have made it worse (sad but true). She spent a lot of time with him explaining that he needed to stick up for himself and that if he did it would probably stop./

Horrible that she had to effectively get him to change the way he is naturally but as she said "if I didn't, he wouldn't survive school".

She wasn't suggesting he became a bully himself or got really aggressive just try not to let lads get away with calling him names etc.

it did work but I think it's so sad that it has to come to that. I know this is not much helpwith a 3 year old but as custardo says, all children have different temperaments and you just have to try and teach them the best way you can to look after themselves.

pamina Tue 22-Apr-03 09:59:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rosehip Tue 22-Apr-03 14:15:08

IMO you can bring your children up to be too polite, please, thank you, excuse me, sharing and taking turns are all very well and good but all this did my daughter NO favours and now in Y1 is struggling with playground politics and is a prime target for bullies. I am very different with my second.

mummy101 Tue 22-Apr-03 15:15:20

I think that you do have to teach them to stand up for themselves in an assertive but not aggresive way. My dd found this difficult as she is nice and sweet. It is right that they should treat others as they wish to be treated themselves and not to use violence BUT they (as do we all) need to learn that sometimes respect will not be given if you do not stand up for yourself.
I tell my dd that if the other girls are being mean just say that you do not want to play wiht mean girls and play by yourself and you will soon find that someone will want to play with you (as it shows you have self-respect). I tell her if soemone calls you a mean name to tell them they are like that if they are saying it to you. You have to teach them survival techniques as the school playground is a jungle.
From someone who was bullied for being to nice at school the only way is to stand up for yourself, that may mean pushing back if they push and as they get older the techniques will have to change. Standing up for yourself does not mean you have to change your personality.

Libby65 Wed 23-Apr-03 08:58:02

Rosehip I'm interested to hear how you are doing things differently with your second dd. I agree that it is probably possible to go 'over the top' with manners & politeness etc, but these are things that I feel should be taught to children, so it's kind of a fine line, isn't it?! Do you think your dd1's problems are anything to do with her basic nature? I just feel that it's likely to be personality as well as training that has an effect on how they cope with things.

Anyway I'm just wondering what you are doing differently with your second daughter, and whether you are noticing any difference or improvement as a result of it.

It's hard because as a parent (in my own view, anyway) you want your child to have some idea of good social behaviour, but at the same time, you don't want to turn them into someone who lets other people walk all over them. My ds has been a happy, smiley, easygoing kid from Day 1, so I know that at least some of it is due to his basic nature. It's making me feel pretty uneasy about him starting school in a couple of years' time!!

redchick Sat 26-Apr-03 22:12:31

I have a 3 1/2 yr old who is on the whole fairly passive and calm in the face of aggession, my problem is my younger son who is 2yrs old, and shall we say, fiery!!How do I get the older one who comes running to me every five minutes because his brother has scrathed,hit, bitten him, to stick up for himself without suggesting he just do it back. Which as you can imagine not only makes the situation even more explosive, but condones the bad behaviour... any ideas??

Jimjams Sat 26-Apr-03 22:40:09

My aunt had 4 children. She never got involved in any fights- just used to say "sort it out amongst yourselves- I don't want to know". All her children get on really well. They soon stopped trying to get attention by being horrible to each other because it didn't work. Your son may work out how to defend himself if he knows you're not going to help.

I have an almost 4 year old, very very passive autistic ds1 and a bully boy 15 month ds2. Since he's been able to reach out ds2 has taken toys off ds1. Initally ds1 used to just walk away but recently he's begun to fight back, and will take his toy back. Obviously I can't tell them to sort it out theselves as neither would understand. So I tend to leave them to it, or intervene with one rule- whoever had the toy first gets to play with it. Once they have finished I make a point of saying to the other "now it's your turn".

robinw Sun 27-Apr-03 07:15:51

message withdrawn

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