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AIBU To tell my 7yr DS it’s ok to defend himself?

132 replies

Harrassedhubby · 18/10/2018 00:37

Situation: My 7yr old came home from school today in tears because he’d lost his ‘Good Stamp’ at school. I asked him why, he said another boy had hit him hard, in my boys words; ‘It was like when a pan is on the cooker, it got too hot and the lid blew off’ my son kicked the boy in the shin. AIBU to support my son and tell him that he has the right to physically defend himself against an older and much bigger bully? Or should I have disciplined him? Hmm

OP posts:
Worzilgummidge · 18/10/2018 03:24

No they need to be able to defend themselves.

icklekid · 18/10/2018 03:30

School have to deal with the action of both children when something happens so he needs to know there will be a consequence if he hurts someone. Teachers do know that it's hard when someone hurts you not to retaliate but ultimately 2 wrongs don't make a right. Defending himself can easily lead to a fight where both children (and often others get involved) getting hurt. Schools job is to keep children safe. If you were looking after your child and another child hurt him would you encourage him to hurt them back?

CanaryFish · 18/10/2018 04:42

I saw a video the other day of a little girl (probably coached ) explaining her schools discipline system.
It went a long the lines of :
“So Johnny hits me, I tell the teacher and I have a black eye. On Friday Johnny doesn’t get his reward time. I still have a black eye.
So next time Johnny hits me I’m going to him back. Then on Friday, we both have black eyes and no reward time and I’m ok with that.”

BirthdayPlans · 18/10/2018 05:50

But kicking in the shin does not sound like defending himself, it sounds like deliberately kicking him back.
YANBU to teach him to defend himself i.e. block punches and shout to draw attention etc but as soon as he attacks back he is in the wrong.

Worzilgummidge · 18/10/2018 05:53

I always taught my ds to give as good as he gets gotta earn respect and not be a pushover even kids this age understand what they are doing to others they deserve it back.

PenguinSaidEverything · 18/10/2018 05:55

No of course not! We can all have sympathy for how it feels when someone hurts us and totally understand the instinct to lash out but you most definitely don’t encourage it. By all means teach him to say asssertively “stop hitting me” and go find a teacher but definitely don’t teach him to fight back. If the other child is violent towards him again it will be worth asking the school what they’re doing to keep him safe but you can’t do that if he’s being violent as well, he’ll be getting sanctions along with the other child.

Soontobe60 · 18/10/2018 06:04

This is every school's nightmare scenario.
Defending yourself means trying to stop something happening. Kicking back on purpose is retaliating. At 7 years old, children cannot differentiate between the two. Telling a child to hit someone back when they hit you is really blurring the lines. Before long, the child thinks that aggression is ok. After all, mummy said it's ok to hit someone if they hit me.
If it's wrong for someone to hit someone else, it's always wrong! Please don't tell your child it's ok to hit back. It really doesn't stop the other child, it just gives them more reason to hit in the first place.

Caprisunorange · 18/10/2018 06:10

I agree with the others, defending is trying to stop yourself being hurt, possibly by hurting your attacker (and the law actually allows you to do this pre hit if you’re under threat) but retailiating is something different.

That said I’m in 2 minds. Bullies will continue to hit those who don’t fight back and may back the fuck off when you do

Worzilgummidge · 18/10/2018 06:12

Never did my ds any harm but then again he wasn't often bullied probably because they knew he wasn't soft.

Worzilgummidge · 18/10/2018 06:12

Bullies pick on a weakness

Worzilgummidge · 18/10/2018 06:14

Some kid at one time was pushing at my ds with his bike wheels to get out of his way so ds took his bike and threw it. Grin

explodingkitten · 18/10/2018 06:15

If I'd hit my school bully just once she probably would have stopped. It would have saved me years of being unhappy.

whoareyou123 · 18/10/2018 06:47

That said I’m in 2 minds. Bullies will continue to hit those who don’t fight back and may back the fuck off when you do

DS use to complain that one of the bigger kids in his year use to bully quite a few including him. Then one day DS really fought back (probably too hard) and after that the problem seem to have disappeared.

HPandBaconSandwiches · 18/10/2018 06:48

I tell my children:
If someone hurts you, shout loud “stop hurting me” to attract attention and give them pause.
If that doesn’t work, run away and tell a teacher.
If they won’t let you get away and are hurting you, hit hard back or do whatever you have to until you can get away. Then run to a teacher.

That’s self defence in my book.

Kicking the boy in the shins in pure retaliation rather than seeking help isn’t a great first choice. I would try to help him understand his choices and the difference between self defence and retaliation. Or he’ll end up in trouble too.

MaisyPops · 18/10/2018 06:54

Defending yourself means trying to stop something happening. Kicking back on purpose is retaliating
School have to deal with both issues of violence in their own right.

I'm always a bit hmm when dealing with situations and one child says 'but my mum says if anyone starts on me to smack'em one so they know not to do it again. self defence right?' Mainly because it will usually end up with a parent suggesting one child gets sanctioned but not theirs.

Happygolucky009 · 18/10/2018 07:00

We taught our son to seek help, shout loudly "stop" but he kept getting hurt at school and the list of children getting involved grew. The school seemed ineffective and he would complain that he was restrained to prevent help being sought. Other parents denied that there was a problem involving their child and he felt the perpetrators were often unpunished. The problem in short was escalating as more kids got involved and I felt my child was becoming an easy target Sad

It took a long time as i hate violence of any kind, but eventually I gave the green light for my child to take whatever steps deemed necessary to protect and defend himself.

It took a long time for behaviours to change and if I had delivered the message earlier, it would have stopped much of the aggression towards him.

blueskiesandforests · 18/10/2018 07:01

If it was "like when a pan is in the cooker, it got too hot and the lid blew off" that isn't self defense, it's loosing control and blowing your top.

Obviously its asking an almost impossible amount of a small child to have immense, saintly, self control when someone else hurts them deliberately. It's unfair.

However loosing control and self defense aren't the same thing, as any good martial arts instructor would teach him.

BiggerBoat1 · 18/10/2018 07:03

Of course its not ok for him to kick the other child in the shins. He has to learn that he cannot retaliate. He has to learn to find more appropriate ways of stopping the situation. He can walk away, shout for a teacher, run towards a teacher. Getting his own back with a quick kick to the shins may be tempting for a 7 year old, but not ok. The school were right.

I'm a bit Shock by the posters who think he should be told what he did was ok.

Sockwomble · 18/10/2018 07:07

It was retaliation not self defence and although it was an understandable reaction I don't think it should be encouraged. Your child will end up in trouble because of it and in many cases hitting back doesn't stop the hitter doing it again.

pinkhorse · 18/10/2018 07:10

Self defence is blocking someone from hurting you, not kicking someone back 

MaisyPops · 18/10/2018 07:14

If it was "like when a pan is in the cooker, it got too hot and the lid blew off" thatisn'tself defense, it's loosing control and blowing your top
That's a fair point blue.
It's hard enough for a young child to understand the difference between retaliation and self defence without adults potentially reinforcing the use a that it's fine to be violent if you've got angry.

It's understandable that he will have felt hurt and may have wanted to lash out, but there's a responsibility to teach that 'get angry, act violently' isn't the correct response

LunasPaws · 18/10/2018 07:14

Have those of you who are saying teach your child to walk away/tell a teacher, have you ever actually been bullied?

It's not as easy as just walking away a lot of the time you can't! A good kick to the shins IS self defence when you're trying to get away from someone attacking you!

PurpleFlower1983 · 18/10/2018 07:14

That’s not self defence, it’s retaliaction.

PurpleFlower1983 · 18/10/2018 07:15

retaliation - no idea wage auto correct did there!!

PurpleFlower1983 · 18/10/2018 07:16

what! FFS Hmm

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