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How can I toughen up my kind and tender 5 year old son? A bit long...

(6 Posts)
Victoria72 Wed 19-Sep-07 14:36:54

The other day at gymnastics, my husband witnessed my son being pushed by an older boy. He pushed him to the ground twice and then grabbed hold of his nose and shoved him away. My 5 year old son did nothing to retaliate. He simply stood up and waited for his turn on the apparatus. When I asked him about it later and why he had not pushed back, he said "Oh, I don't mind, I just want to be kind." My son is a lovely and kind child and never initiates a fight but when I see other kids pushing him around and he does nothing, it really upsets me. My husband and I are now telling him that he has to push/hit/kick back as and when these things happen. I'm not sure if it's the right thing to do but I don't want him to end up being bullied because he's 'too nice'. A part of the problem is that he's worried about the teacher telling him off. I've told him that I used to get told off when I was little for different things and that it's not the end of the world but it really seems to bother him.

Any ideas/sugggestions as to what I can do/say to him to get him to stand up for himself and, if necessary, fight back?

CapnBirdseye Wed 19-Sep-07 14:43:59

my ds3 was very much like that, although he did have an older brother who would stand up for him, if he was around!

When he was about 7/8 I sent him for judo lessons with his brother but he wasn't that keen and didn't stick at it long. He never did suffer any serious bullying though and had lots of friends.

Probably a lot will come and tell you not to teach him to fight back but I'd say 'do it' its a cruel old world out there and plenty of people will take advantage if you let them.

He sounds a lovely child by the way. smile

mustsleep Wed 19-Sep-07 14:55:57

victoria72 i really sympathise with you as ds is like this he will come home from school and say that his friend has ounched him in the balls and in general he doesnlt push himself forwards enough

have seen him been pushed around a few times and have told him to hit back etc and all he says to me is that the teacher says your not allowed to hit back and you need to tell a teacher and this makes me really angry because unless the teacher sees it happening they will not do anything

i would also love any tips about how to make your child more confident and assertive

manuka Wed 19-Sep-07 15:02:47

What a lovely boy you have! Maybe you could approach it with a bit more ballance. He needs to know that his gentleness is a good thing because that's who he is so he really needs to know that you respect him for who he is.
So maybe you could let him know that if someone is awful to him and it doesn't upset him then walking away/ignoring is the right thing to do. But if someone is awful and it does upset him then it's also perfectly ok to deal with it and let him know the various ways to deal with bad situations. e.g. serious bullying - tell a teacher and you; mild bullying like the example you gave - stand his ground and say "get off me" and push the person away. He doesn't have to be violent back if that's against his nature he just needs to learn that self -defense is ok and not a wrong thing for him to do.
He naturally is aware that aggressive behaviour is wrong which is really good and needs to be valued which I know you do. Karate will teach him defense and respect for the self and others. Maybe he'd be interested in trying it?

Hulababy Wed 19-Sep-07 15:03:56

Replied on the duplicate thread. Will cut and paste here too:

Your son is right. Retaliating physically is not the answer, and infact could end up getting him into trouble especially at school.

I would teach your son to just say very loudly "No, don't do that, it isn't kind/nice." And if it continues to tell you son to make sure a teacher or instructor is aware so that they can reinforce the message.

Would you be as concerned if your child was a girl and reacting in this way?

He sounds lovely BTW

law3 Wed 19-Sep-07 17:28:29

My ds is now 11 and at 5 was similiar to your ds. I once noticed a nasty bruise on his leg and asked him how he did it. He replied a boy in the playground had kicked him repeatedly. I told him if he didnt want to hit back that was fine, but not to just stand there and let the boy kick him, move away. He told me the teacher had rung the first bell and you have to stand still when the first bell rings, otherwise you get in trouble!!!!!!!!!!!!

As adults we want them to do what we would do in that situation, dont worry as he gets older he will stand up for himself, he will learn. I would like to see the boy try kicking my ds now!!!

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