Kids are going to fight. To what degree lies with the individual child or teen. My middle and youngest child were fighting before they could speak intelligently. Most of the time “fighting” meant aggravation and fussing. Elevated voices, growls, cries, and screams were common. As long as they were at home, my wife and I tried to make them work it out. The parent referee was not the first choice. There was not enough vallum in all of the pharmacies for that. If I got up and ran into a room every time my daughter growled her brother’s name, my Fitbit would register 10 miles before lunch without leaving the house.
As they got into school, they had to adapt more to frustrations and the “little darlings” from other families. I have to admit this was interesting. My son was a tall and athletic kid. He really wasn’t much of a target. My daughter was not super tall, about average height for most girls, but VERY strong. My daughter was also the one with the temper. She obviously gets it from her mother. 😉
The school experience was interesting because now other adults could tell them what to do, and what not to do. Obviously, I’m talking about elementary. We got our baptism early to the principle’s office. That is right. Your kid does something and you the parent get to go to the principle’s office. When we got our first summons, my wife called me and said we had to meet at the school. “What did he do?”, I asked. “No, it was YOUR daughter”, she said.
My daughter was/is my baby, my princess. She fought with her brother at home sometimes, but she would not cause trouble at school. This had to be a mistake….NOPE. We arrived with my daughter sitting just outside the inner office as we were called in to face the “judge”. It seems as if my daughter had been walking to her seat. Do you know the square desks with the tiny chairs? Anyway, a boy lifted up her dress, exposing her undergarment. A few kids laughed, then there was a crash. My daughter hit him over the head with her chair. We are talking WWE off the top rope SMASH.
Okay dads, here is lesson one. Don’t laugh in the principle’s office if you receive this kind of news. However humorous it may be at the moment, your character takes quite a beating. I mean…regardless if the little fart deserved it, we should never advocate violence.
Lesson two. If you receive the news that your daughter whooped a boy for being a little perve, it is important to wait until you leave the school office before getting down on your knee in front of your princess and say, “you are the coolest kid I have ever met”. Yes, I know it was wrong…sort of.
I never advocate violence to my kids. What I taught them was to never be taken advantage of or let another kid be bullied. I told them that they could and would face consequences at school for their behavior whether it seem just or not, but I would always be supportive of them defending themselves and others. Some don’t believe that affirming my little girl’s actions were right. They say that it was not defending herself, but retaliating. I have the right to disagree. I think she was standing up for other girls, not just herself.
One other time, my oldest boy was in junior high or middle school. He sat in a class with desks pressed together by fours…they all faced each other. Next to him in the class was a girl that was slow. Forgive me for using that term. I don’t know her diagnosis. I just knew that she had special needs. Like the perve kid in my daughter’s elementary classroom, a bully lifted up her dress and yelled out the color of her underwear. My oldest boy had never been in a fight. He was extremely passive. However, he hated bullies with a passion. He flew across the desks and decked the kid, knocking him flat. We of course “got the call”.
This time as we made it to the jr. high school office, we heard a woman yelling. It was the mother of the special needs girl. She was threatening news media, lawsuit, and the apocalypse if they punished my son. We just stood there. My boy just sat there. Then a lady that looked liked she had just changed back into her human form walked out of the principle’s office. She saw Daylon, walked up to him and gave him a bear hug and a thank you. We pretty much just all walked out after that.
I taught my kids to never be a bully. I wanted them to stand up for themselves and for those that would or could not. I don’t know when the appropriate time for action is for your kids. I just know that it is a discussion that you must have. Edmund Burke once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. Not everyone will agree with your view on this subject. You and your kids can face consequences for actions that some may deem noble. You have to set the standard. You will set the values in your home. Be the best dad possible.