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Do you teach your child that if they're hit, they should hit back?

(62 Posts)
IcouldstillbeJoseph Wed 22-May-13 16:25:06

I remember being taught this as a child but now I have 2 small DC I have told them they don't hit back but they come and tell me, or CM etc.
DS is 2.3 and runs and tells me he's been bashed or whatever. Anyway, was at a playgroup last week and a friend (who incidentally is a police officer) told me that she has told her daughter if someone hits her she should hit them back harder as "I dont want her to become a target".
It got me thinking....
What does everyone else do?

MirandaWest Wed 22-May-13 16:26:14

I don't tell my children to hit back as that's not what I think is right.

signet Wed 22-May-13 17:05:56

I don't tell mine I hit back. Personally I think it creates a whole heap of trouble if you tell them that. Schools won't distinguish between who hit who first so if a child hits back at school regardless of the antagonism, they'll be in trouble.

signet Wed 22-May-13 17:06:32

Oops that should have read I don't tell them to hit back!! smile

kilmuir Wed 22-May-13 17:07:39

Hit back. Bully will be less inclined to return

Pozzled Wed 22-May-13 17:08:39

No. I tell them to make it clear they don't like it (so the other child can't use the 'it was only a game/joke' excuse) and then tell an adult if it continues.

scaevola Wed 22-May-13 17:10:06

There's been a few of these threads recently a you might want to try to search function to see if you can find any, as views there might interest you.

Everyone, no matter how young, has a right to self defence. However telling a child to hit back will not achieve that. A child who does not know how to fight cannot be sure of winning, and faces added harm and humiliation by losing (let alone the added problem of the chances of getting into equal trouble with the perpetrator).

ChoudeBruxelles Wed 22-May-13 17:13:17

Up until very recently I've always told ds (7) not to hit back. However he keeps being hit/punched/kicked by another boy in his year. I'm fed up with the school/parent doing nothing so told ds to hit him back if he did it again.

Funny since ds punched him back in the playground the other week he hasn't hurt ds. Has moved onto hitting other children though

Gunznroses Wed 22-May-13 17:13:52

Yes! Same as your police officer friend. I started off with the never hit anyone back, report to a teacher caution, by yr 3 when ds had gone through being hit on and off through from reception with the only punishment being said child missing break time. I told ds to hit back harder...Worked a treat!
Ds too missed break time but was never hit again, other child gained a new found respect for him and they even became friends.

Until schools can manage these situations more effectively im afraid the nicey nicey method doesn't always work.

FranSanDisco Wed 22-May-13 17:17:46

When they were little I'd say they should tell an adult or say loudly "No, don't hit me". However, as they got older (7 years ++) I said if someone constantly targetted them then they should hit them back. Ds is 10 yo and has not one aggressive bone in his body. He told me a boy in his class threw a football in his face, laughed and then hit him over the head with someone's lunch box saying "good header" each time. This boy had made another child cry the day before by constant punching to his arm; 10 yo boys don't tell an adult. Ds punched this joker twice in the stomach and apparently he walked off and hasn't said a word to ds since. I think ds handled this well.

Gunznroses Wed 22-May-13 17:23:46

Fran - i agree your ds handled it exceptionally well!

scaevola Wed 22-May-13 17:27:06

Oh, you don't have to be nicey nicey.

But self defence is a learned skill. A good martial arts programme is worthwhile, learning how to block punches and hit effectively. And the proper children's programmes have 'dealing with bullies' sections, with a range of techniques. Just saying 'hit back' is inadequate.

kiwigirl42 Wed 22-May-13 17:36:59

my DS is a mild mannered chap and not athletic at all. He has been needled by a boy at school for a few mths, making fun of him etc. This boy kept throwing the ball right at his face so DS punched him. I was horrified until he explained circumstances. I am pleased he stood up for himself - his not his job to be kicking boy for these out of control kids.

MrsOakenshield Wed 22-May-13 17:39:56

DD is 3.5 and we have taught her to shout very loudly DON'T HIT ME IT HURTS/I DON'T LIKE IT!!!!!!! And then go to one of the nursery staff if it continues.

Don't know what I'd do with an older child though.

mummy2benji Wed 22-May-13 17:41:57

If we all taught our children to hit back, school would be just an endless stream of violence and hitting. I see your friend's point - I don't want my son to be a target for bullies either - but I consider it more important that he doesn't grow up with that attitude, that it's fine to hit people if you were hit first. I tell him to walk away, and go and stand near a teacher if they follow you and keep hitting. I've told him to tell me about it, but I haven't emphasized "go and tell a teacher" as I don't want him to be known as a tell-tale. It's a difficult situation but morality should win out.

noisytoys Wed 22-May-13 17:43:54

I taught my DD from the start to hit back but never hit first. It is always the same children who bully and intimidate others, they need to know my children aren't scared of them and won't tolerate their behaviour

Wishiwasanheiress Wed 22-May-13 17:45:23

One answer doesn't fit all ages or situations or child. I think for now what u say is ok but u may well have to alter that on the fly as S/He grows.

Wishiwasanheiress Wed 22-May-13 17:46:46

Btw having been bullied myself (who hasnt?!)I have no problem in the future telling dds to belt someone back if required. Sometimes it is the only response that actually works.

EndoplasmicReticulum Wed 22-May-13 17:48:42

I think it depends on circumstance.
Probably best not to, but on the other hand should they just stand there and take it if running away / telling adult isn't an option?

I have told mine not to. But they are always fighting (each other) anyway. I don't think there's much I can do to win that one.

LizzieVereker Wed 22-May-13 17:50:55

Tricky... I am a Mum and a teacher and have always been of the "Don't hit back, it doesn't solve anything" school of thought.

However, my mild mannered DS in yr 8 was badgered for 2 or 3 weeks by another lad who wanted to fight him, after a misunderstanding. DS kept refusing but eventually was surrounded by a whole group of baying boys, and was shoved towards the other boy who wanted a fight. DS threw one solid punch, knocked him down and walked away. They were both internally excluded for a day, which we fully supported, what if he'd really hurt the other boy?

DS and the other boy made up their differences in exclusion, and since then DS seems to have attained a bit of "cred" and been left alone. I will still never say out loud "hit back", but I must admit privately, I think DS's actions dealt with the situation a lot quicker than any number of method of dealing with it...

bigbuttons Wed 22-May-13 17:52:37


Ilovemyrabbits Wed 22-May-13 17:57:39

I told my child never to hit back. I also told her never to accept verbal abuse, but to be sarcastic in response. She doesn't get upset if anyone says horrible things to her and nothing has escalated to physical violence yet. DD is tall and has a very 'hard' look when she wants to. I wouldn't want to threaten her with physical violence cos she's so self-contained! Of course, next week someone might punch her and I'll be struggling to tell her not to hit back, even though I know it's not the most constructive way to deal with things..

Dontbugmemalone Wed 22-May-13 17:59:06

I've never said to DS1 to hit back but he's only 4. I told him if someone hurts him to put his hand in front of him and yell "NO/STOP." Then to inform a teacher.
I've no idea if he actually does this though but he's quite young for his age so don't know how he'd handle the situation.

When he's older, I probably would tell him to hit back. I was bullied for many years and it was horrible. I don't want him to go through that.

VerySmallSqueak Wed 22-May-13 18:00:58

Yes,I have taught mine to hit back.

The school told me it wasn't their policy,so I told them that's fine,but it is mine.

Mominatrix Wed 22-May-13 18:09:20

No. I have told them to not hit back, and to run and inform someone in charge. As they are young and in very sheltered environments, this issue has never come up - yet.

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