tiger vs lion, violence lurking
September 27, 2012 § 3 Comments
Lately I’ve been thinking about whether or not I’ve been handling the subject of violence properly with my boy. As it turns out it has occurred that he gets hit by a friend while playing. Of course these things happen, kids lash out from time to time, but it’s what he does (or rather, does not do) that has caught my attention. What does he do? Nothing.
Well, he does cry if he’s hit hard enough but he doesn’t even attempt to tell the kid to stop or to hit or push them back. In fact, he just gets back up and wants to play again. Some people might say that that shows an even tempered boy but all I see is a potential victim. I’ve spoken to him countless times about this: “Théo, nobody is allowed to touch your body in a way that upsets or harms you. Your body is your own. You are allowed to tell people to stop and, if they don’t listen, you are even allowed to use force to try to stop them. If that doesn’t work then you look around for an adult to help you.”
I’ve said the above in many different ways on many different occasions. The “turn the other cheek” method is nice, only if it isn’t your kid that’s getting hit in the face with a hard object. I don’t believe in violence but I do believe in self defense (I see the clash here, believe me).
The first time that I tried to talk to my boy about this his response was – “Mama, you are so funny!” “No, Théo I’m serious!” “But mama, I don’t know about all that.” – which I translated as meaning, “But mama, I don’t know how to do that.” He thereby made me feel like I was sending him the wrong message and a violent one at that. Yet, isn’t it my responsibility to let him know that certain things are unacceptable and that he is allowed to react?
I’ve never hit a person in my life. I’ve never even had to contemplate such a thing. I sometimes wonder if this is just a boy thing. It’s confusing. I don’t advocate violence but then again I do?
The one good thing that I do notice about my boy when it comes to things like this is that he is never afraid to play with tough boys. In fact, most of his friends are tough and he’s such a happy and easy going guy that he gets along with everyone. I actually like that he’s the kind of boy that hangs out with other tough boys, it shows that he’s not fearful of others. Yet, I want him to stand up for himself, just enough to let others know that there is a line that can’t be crossed. Another challenge among many I guess.
Love and light,