Why should my child have to fight? What am I teaching her?

@dloveli (4369)
United States
August 22, 2008 6:04am CST
I am a mother first and foremost. My children are my life. I try to teach them to be honest, respectful, and treat others as you would like to be treated. I think that I have been lucky as far as my daughters are concerned. When my daughter was in elementary school she was taller than the others. I think that the kids thought if they picked on the big kid it would make them look good. My daughter is a gentle soul. She doesnt like to fight or talk mean. I have always been proud of this. I never had to worry about Aria hitting one of the other children. She was the one that kind of mothered all the others. As she began 6th grade, her nightmare began. THe kids started teasing her. For what I dont know she's a beautiful girl. SHe didnt have any of the characteristics to which someone would get teased. I mean she didnt wear glasses, have a handicap, and she wasnt an overweight child. I just figured that this was her day to get a little bantering. When she told me I simply told her to ignore it and that I would be there for her. It didnt end. It got worse to the point that they would physically push her or pull her hair. I called the school, the police, their parents who thought that my daughter was causing them to hit her. I wanted to kill!!!! The last straw was when my daughter came home with a sneaker print on the side of her fact. Oh no! No one was going to victimize my child. Her father and I talked to Aria and told her that if someone hit her she had our permission to hit them back. Her response was" Mom I dont want to hit them. Why do I have to fight?" Those words broke my heart. Why should she have to fight? Just because I would, or another child would why should she have to resort to violence? SOme say it would let the bullies know she's not afraid. True but then she is forced to do something that upsets her. WHy should she have to make that choice. She didnt do anything? Am I right? Should I have made her fight? What about the damage it could have done to her psychologically? You'll be happy to know that we ended up moving because of my job. Perfect timing. Things were very different at her new schools. Up until high school where they tried to make her choose a side. She ended up leaving school and completing a ged. She is now employed with a great job and a great life. The kids that bullied her are now 21, with a few kids each. The other is in jail for drugs. I know I did the right thing..... Whats your philosophy on this?
5 people like this
19 responses
@Sillychick (3282)
• United States
22 Aug 08
I think that no one, adult or child, should be forced by another person to do something that upsets them, that is against their beliefs, or that makes them uncomfortable. Children are cruel, and it is tough to be on the receiving end of their often random insults and bullying. Your daughter did the right thing to stand up for what she believes in and not fight when she didn't want to. I know as a parent it is heartbreaking to see your child go through such pain and not know how to help, or to try and have nothing work. This is an example of a child teaching a parent something. She taught you that sometimes it is more important to do what feels right and not necessarily what will be the quickest means to an end. So glad you were able to get her out of that situation.
2 people like this
@dloveli (4369)
• United States
22 Aug 08
You are so kind. Your words have touched me. I have been questioning myself over the years as if I did the right thing. It is a tough question. There are several ways to approach it. I can honestly say this is the biggest life lesson I have learned and it was from my child. That is the greatest gift I could ever receive from her. She taught me a lesson. I am blessed. Thank you again for your words of kindness and honesty. You are right when you say children can be cruel. I wonder where they learn these things? That's why adults should be careful not to send the wrong messages. Sometimes we are teaching even when we dont realize it. dl
1 person likes this
@bbjwlsn (263)
• United States
22 Aug 08
Hey dl, how's it going? How can you possibly wonder where these children learn this stuff when you talked to the mother of one of the other girls, and received the answers that you did? The children learn what they watch their parents doing, and then, nine times out of ten, they emulate the parent. One of my daughter's best friends in high school turned on her; she started teasing and picking on my daughter. She even got others to join in. Well, I knew her mother, and I figured it was just a matter of time before something like this would happen. Her mother was a scumbag who taught her children by example, how to act. We took this girl to the grocery store with us one day, and she started eating things from the produce section and picking things off of the salad bar to eat. I was appalled! I told her that she shouldn't be doing that, and she replied that "they" always did that when "they" went grocery shopping. I asked her if she meant with her mother. She said, "Sure, we always do it when we're with my mom. She does it too." I told her that she was NOT to do it when she was with me. Granted, there are kids whose parents are completely respectable who still act like heathens. Generally speaking, however, they are acting like their parents do.
@GardenGerty (90227)
• Marion, Kansas
22 Aug 08
My kids did not fight, but were bullied some. My son is so laid back, it is hard to think of that.When people caused problems he usually just let them roll off his back. He was always tall for his age. I am sad that he was actually bullied by the assistant principal his senior year. He was very apathetic and bored about his school work, and he was also experiencing some depression. The assistant principal bragged to the gifted teacher that he made my son cry. Up until that year I was very fond of the school district. I did not learn about this until later. My daughter was picked on occasionally. In middle school, the teachers handled it, and she was very philosophical, it seemed. She felt sorry for the girl who was causing her grief. Another incident happened, in elementary, off school grounds, and I was able to contact the parent. The girl called my daughter, to apologize, and you could hear her mom screaming at her in the background. Again, my daughter told me she felt sorry for her. In high school the first year, her brother was there. She had a strong circle of friends and by her senior year she was in college half time. I think with kids like ours, they have goals and dreams and they will not let the battles drag them down.
@dloveli (4369)
• United States
22 Aug 08
You know what's funny? everyone always tries to blame the parents. Its not always the parents. SOmetimes its a simple case of a child trying to fit in. I remember when I was in the 6th grade, the whole class would hate someone for a week. Then the next week it was someone else's turn. I dreaded that. I used to get stomach aches and everything. In 7th & 8th it wasnt as bad. However I was walking home and some girls came up and wanted to fight me for no reason. They didnt even know me. That was the end of that. When I got to high school, someone tried to approach me and I dont know where it came from but I let her have it. Punched right in the nose. You know what? I was never bothered again. I am sorry It took a physical situation. I had had enough. These days bullying has become much more severe. I have seen several occassions where students cant take it anymore and have literally killed their perpetrator. Its wrong but it shouldnt have happened in the first place. We must watch our children!!! Dont make it someone elses job!!! thanks for listening dl
1 person likes this
@hiddenwing (3721)
• China
22 Aug 08
U r a good mother! It was a best move! I am glad that she is now empolyed with a great job. Fight is not good anyway! Everything will be Ok!
2 people like this
@dloveli (4369)
• United States
22 Aug 08
Thanks so much for your kind words. Dont get me wrong I teach my children if someone hits you hit them back. No one should violate an individual's personal space. My baby didnt want to even do that. I respect my child for her determination. She is still a peacekeeper to this day. Thanks friend! dl
1 person likes this
• Philippines
24 Aug 08
good morning mom.. i think that is the basic rule of this life in earth. when you are offended, espccially when you are just a kid, then the basic principle is to strike back. even in science, that is explained. we respond to the needs that is being introduced to us in the environment, that is to survive.. and don't worry it is not only your daughter who did fight while in the elementary. i had myself involved too. a lot of them.. hehe.. but through those, we kids had learned...
1 person likes this
@dloveli (4369)
• United States
25 Aug 08
I just think that parents should monitor how their children treat others. It starts at home you know. I am sorry you had to fight when you were young. I am sure you understand where my daughter is coming from. I am glad you both turned out okay. You seem to have taken these things in stride. God bless dl
@dagda24 (367)
22 Aug 08
Kids can be so cruel. You don't even have to be ugly or fat or anything, just the slightest difference in you they take as a threat and just get so vicious. In truth they were probably jealous of her because of her looks and attitude. Whether you did the right thing is hard to say, these situations can be very hard to deal with and what works for one person being bullied won't work for another person in the same situation. The main thing is that your daughter got through this tough experience and has gone on to have a good life, that's all you can ask for for your kids really. The fact that the other children have done badly in life suggests that they realy were bad apples and that they did not have the family support that your daughter had, enabling her to make good decisions about how to live her life. Try not to worry about the past and just be happy that your daughter is doing so well now. You should be proud of her, and also of yourself and family for nurturing such good characteristics in her - this is something that seems to be increasingly rare these days.
@dloveli (4369)
• United States
22 Aug 08
What really bothered me about the whole situation is that even when I tried to talk to the parents it was as if I was fighting with them.It was always the same kid. When I went to talk to the mother the response was always the same.."Your daughter shouldnt have said what she said". I wanted to literally smack the mother. We have an obligation to defend our children. To what length do we go? If my daughter was responsible in any way for hurting the feelings of another, she was made to apologize and was punished. It was as if no matter what this child did, the mother would lie through her teeth to protect her. Im sorry but I dont think that's the job of a parent. All it did was show the daughter that she could do anything and not be held accountable because mom will lie for me. I love my children but they know right from wrong. If you do something you must accept all consequences whether good or bad. I guess I'll never understand it. dl
1 person likes this
@cbreeze (1209)
• United States
22 Aug 08
This is the type of thing that makes me so angry about schools. When a child is being bullied and you and the child do the right thing by not fighting and going to the proper authorities and they do nothing. I feel they totally failed the child and they act like "oh, kids will be kids". They treat you like their is something wrong with your child. Then everyone is shocked by incidents like Colombine and other terrible school tragedies. I remember being bullied from time to time in school and I remembered my older brother being bullied a lot in school until he snapped and beat the living daylights out of another child with a stick. But he shouldn't have had to. Anyway, because of those incidents and because I was a single mother, I did teach my children to fight. And I always told them don't start fights, but if someone starts one with you, defend yourself to the fullest. They didn't have many skirmishes in school but they did have a few and were able to defend themselves. I think the reason they didn't have many instances is that once they proved they were not an easy target, children with the propensity to bully generally left them alone. If schools would enforce a zero tolerance for bullying, I think there would be fewer school fights and fewer incidents of violence in school period. I don't think kids should have to fight. I don't think as parents we should be put in a position to tell them to fight.
1 person likes this
@mummymo (23709)
24 Aug 08
Oh dloveli it definitely sounds as though you treat your role as mother the same as I do and that is to put your children first and try to make sure you make their lives as good as possible in the long term and not just as easy as possible. It is heartbreaking when your child is bullied - I have gone through that with my eldest although he is much stronger now and doesn't get bullied in school anymore and if he does then he shrugs it off and we talk it through when he needs to. My youngest was attacked at school a few months ago but didn't fight back as she didn't want to get in trouble, the school and myself both told her that if she had to protect or defend herself she would not get into trouble for fighting back and I know she will if she has to. Aria though sounds as though you have brought her up really well, to have the maturity to not want to lower herself to the level of bullies says a lot about her upbringing and what type of mother you are. xxx
@dloveli (4369)
• United States
26 Aug 08
Thank you for such kind words. I really do appreciate them. I am so glad she made it thru okay. I sometimes think she's a little cocky. Maybe that's because I defended her so much in the past. I sometimes feel that she doesnt remember what she went thru. I have to remind her. No child of mine is going to think that they are better than. If so I will be the one doing the bullying. lol dl
1 person likes this
@mummymo (23709)
28 Aug 08
I meant them sweety! I do try to see the good in things but I don't say things i don't mean! My eldest is in a bad situation at the moment where he was assaulted by an adult ( he has just turned 15) for no reason and had his nose broken , damaged the tendons/ligaments in his wrist, lots of bruises and grazes as well as losing his glasses and ripping his favourite jeans. He has a smart mouth on him at home but not outside and he is not a fighter so he has been left really shaken up and I wish I could turn him into the type to fight back but I guess the court system will take care of it and at least he is willing to fight back in the responsible way! If it had been his 7 year old sister she would have made mincemeat out of the guy - she wouldn't hurt another child but someone who is older than her is a different matter - maybe I made a mistake encouraging her to start judo! lol xxx
@getnbuy (1315)
• United States
23 Aug 08
I, too, hate violence.My oldest son had a friend just turn around and pop him in the nose. No provocation, or anything. The worst was my youngest son, though. He was small for his age. One time a kid picked him up and scraped his back against a brick wall. I went to school over that one. There was a very good vice principal there who called in all the kids that were in on it and gave them a good talking to. That solved that. Before that, though, a bully kept teasing my son and punching him. Finally, he popped this kid hard in the nose. That solved that one, too. I think every kid should have some training in karate. It is supposed to give them the aura of being strong and invincible. If that doesn't work, then the kid knows how to defend himself. Too bad it has to be this way.
@dloveli (4369)
• United States
27 Aug 08
You know what really upsets me is the mindset of the parents. The children learn or imitate their parents, siblings, or family members. It sad that children feel the need to literally resort to physical violence. What is going on with the choices the parents are making. People blame TV and media. How is that? It is up to us whether or not our children view it. I do understand that when they are outside of the home there are influences. Children shouldnt be away from the parents or the home for long periods of time. Thus the outside influences are not the cause. Parents need to face facts that our children may not be angels or innocent victims all the time. If I look back to when I was a child, I did things just the same as other children. We all try to push the envelope. dl
@getnbuy (1315)
• United States
27 Aug 08
Answering again--I agree, a lot of it is the parent's fault. I used to work in a facility for after school care. I would tell the kids to bring their fights, etc. to me but as soon as the parents would show up and the kid said so- and -so hit me, the parent would go ballisitic. "Did you hit him back? don't let him do that to you! Are you a wimp?" It was a code of honor that the kid should fight back. So, what can a teacher/parent do against this mind set?
@tessah (6638)
• United States
23 Aug 08
i think you were right in giving her the choice to fight if she felt it necessary. she simply chose not to. forcing her in either direction, wouldve caused more damage to her than was already being done to her by the jerks at her school. i was bullied in school.. constantly. escalating into violence the same way as yer daughters situation.. but i wasnt allowed to fight back. idve gotten a worse beating at home had i defended myself, so i took it at school. you left the decision up to your daughter, gave her the support she needed, and encouraged her to be the person she is. thats what a good mommy does
@dloveli (4369)
• United States
25 Aug 08
Thanks for your vote of confidence. I must admit that sometimes I wanted to beat the crap out of them kids. If the parents wouldnt do it, I would. Then I would beat the crap out of the parents for having the brats. Unfortunately that's not the best idea. My luck they would throw the book at me. lol dl
@dloveli (4369)
• United States
25 Aug 08
Thanks for your support. I sometimes wonder if the parents realize that the reason their children have turned out so horribly is because they didnt do the right thing when they were younger. More so do they even care that they werent the best parents. Probably not..... dl
@Lakota12 (42794)
• United States
23 Aug 08
I would never want my kid to go through somethng like that But I have always told them to defend themselves. Which they have . With no harm to them mentaly but then I guess this might of been how I raised them no one walks over you. Once they let it be known that they wouldnt take being run over the kids just let it be.
@dloveli (4369)
• United States
25 Aug 08
I wish I could tell you they never will. I hope that they dont. If they do just be sure to tell your children to handle it as they are comfortable with. If my daughter would have wanted to defend herself, I would have backed it up at that point. She had been brought to the breaking point. I honestly dont know how she didnt end up hurting someone. I thank god she didnt. Make sure your children let you know when the least bit of trouble begins. Its best if you deal with it from the start. Good luck. dl
@Lakota12 (42794)
• United States
25 Aug 08
My oungest is 39 lol and they have handled all theri probems mostly by their selves
• Philippines
27 Aug 08
I totally admire your daughter for having that kind of philosophy at an early age. If I was her, I would have fought back. But on the contrary, I'm the type who just sucks it all in and after the incident is over, I'd be mumbling at home thinking "I should have done this to that jerk." But she's right, why does she have to fight? Being a reserved person, I usually tend to just let some things pass by though I get annoyed at those. Seeing these things happen almost everytime has just made wonder why the world is like that. I'm a kind person but that thought causes some evil in me. I grew a bit bitter inside. I just wish I can fight back so I can tell those people "what you're doing is wrong!" It actually feels good to tell those people that they're wrong because instead of mumbling at home, I get to say what I really want to say to those people. I'm currently listening to a "How Deep Is Your Love" by Bee Gees and I think this line suits my statement well "'Cause we're living in a world of fools, breaking us down." Anyway, I'm happy for your daughter that she's leading and going to a better life than those fools. Serves them right!
@dloveli (4369)
• United States
27 Aug 08
I have shared all of the response with her and she is touched. I am shocked at how many people have experienced bullying over their lives. I am definitely going to try to make the city aware of this issue. I do think it has to get addressed before victimized children end up doing something he or she may regret. I have seen this occur already. I hope that we can help the youth of today get through these trying situations if and when they occur. dl
@Debs_place (10551)
• United States
25 Aug 08
My son was always the little one, usually he was quite popular, but he sometimes got picked on by older kids or bullies. I told him not to fight if he didn't have to. To go to teachers or coaches if necessary before he got into it. He went to a coach one time when 2 juniors in high school were picking on him, a 7th grader. They hid his brand new shoes then told him they flushed them in the toilet. He told the coach who we had know since he was 4. The guy went in the locker room, took the older kids shoes and locked them in one of the many lockers in the facility and said they would not get them back until he talked to their parents. Both boys dropped out of school later that year. My son got in trouble for fighting a few times, but he was defending kids who could not defend themselves -- I was proud of him for that. Now he is in the Navy -- I think I did something right - now if only he would not have gotten those tattoos. My philosophy is a kid must be able to defend themselves and they should help those who can't.
@dloveli (4369)
• United States
25 Aug 08
Children should be able to defend themselves even if its with words. I dont feel that anyone man, woman, or child has the right to put their hands on another. I doo think their is such a thing as being a baby or wimpy and crying about every little thing. I assure you this wasnt the case. THese children would play with her when the others werent available. They'd act like they wanted to be friends and then they'd invite her to where the others were to jump her. I am sorry very few can win against those odds. What scared me is the fact that the whole things was entirely premeditated. We as adults have to take a stand and teach the youth of today right from wrong. The sad part is that these children who behave like this grow up to do the same to elderly and others whom they feel superior than dl
• Indonesia
23 Aug 08
I agreed with you, I think we should teach our kids to win by other way than fighting. There's more peaceful and respectful way in life to get to your purpose other than fighting and war... and you're thought that well :D
• China
23 Aug 08
i think a child fighting is not good .we should to teah them to respect others
@dloveli (4369)
• United States
25 Aug 08
I agree with you and the fact that they should defend themselves. I feel that the parents make things worse. If parents think their children do no wrong then I feel sorry for them. All children take a turn at being a little stinker. Its those types of parents that I had to deal with. I am so glad its over. thats for sure. dl
@msedge (4012)
• United States
28 Aug 08
Oh, you touch my heart!Honestly my tears fall down while i am rading your discussion.I am a mom too.I have a daughter whos thirteen and like you she is my life also.I would do anything for her.Your discussion reminds me of one thing she told me that in their school bus there is a kid that always pulled her hair because she has a long hair.It hurts me i told my husband to talk to the kid or the parents but she said never mind.But i never heard her complain anymore so i expect everything is fine with it now.
@cyberfluf (5005)
• Netherlands
28 Aug 08
You did the right thing because you acted out of love for your child which is allways a good thing. Kids can be very cruel, I know, I was teased a lot in elementary and high school and it stopped when I was so sad and pissed at the same time I cried out some swearing words I never want to recall ever again and the bullies scared and did not do it again. They say with bullies it is the best thing to make the victim less vulnerable because making bullies stop bullying is a lot harder.
@quinnkl (1668)
• United States
24 Aug 08
I am just sick that she had to go through that. Why didn't the police and school do something about that? What is that teaching our children? That anyone can do what they want and get away with it? That makes me so angry. Kids have always been cruel, but it is getting to the point where they are now having to be brought up on assault charges (which, whoever did that do your daughter should have been). That said, I have always told my son that he has a right and duty to defend himself, and that I would stand beside him all the way if that would ever come about. I abhor violence and we do not condone it in our family, but enough is enough. Someone needs to stand up for these children! I have not idea why some kids are picked on and others not, but no one should have to put up with that. I am so proud of your daughter and of you, her parents, for being there for her through all of that!
@youdontsay (3503)
• United States
22 Aug 08
I agree that a child should be free to be themselves as long as it doesn't harm anyone. And a child that isn't a fighter shouldn't have to become one. One option, though, is teaching unarmed self-defense to ward off physical attack without getting hurt or hurting. A child should never have to feel they are a victim. Violence is not the only way to protect oneself. Good verbal skills also help before it becomes violent. Teaching a child to respond verbally in a non-defensive, non-combatant way is an important talent for anyone to develop. Personally, I think assertiveness training should be taught in grade school. We are living in a fear-stoked world these days. There is fear being generated on every side. So children are growing up to be more anxious and defensive, engendering aggressive behavior. Violence is quite often a product of anxiety. I think this is why we have so many bullies in school these days. Parenting seems to get more difficult each generation.
• Philippines
22 Aug 08
I think you are a very good mother. You have disciplined your child in the right way and didn't push her to do anything she doesn't want to do. I have 5 kids and teach my child to be more independent.I don't like my kids getting hurt so I try my best to discipline them in a way that they can protect themselves from harm. I think it's just right to teach the kids to stand up for themselves. I don't like anybody bullying my kids.