My son is 10 years old. Ah, the perils that comes with being 10. He’s been having issues with some other kids at school teasing him. He’s gone to the teachers, but that just makes things worse. Anyone who knows anything about human nature knows that telling on someone who is teasing you is only going to make it worse.
So, the other day I had a sit down with him. I told him that if another kid is teasing you, just walk away. If the kid teasing you follows and keeps teasing you, tell the kid to stop following you and to stop teasing you. If the kid keeps it up, then turn around and punch him in the face as hard as you can and follow up with a couple of knees. Trust me, if you do it right (by inflicting real pain) the kid will not tease you again. I followed up this advice with, “Never, ever resort to physical violence until AFTER you’ve given them fair warning and attempted to walk away first.” I also told him that he was going to get into trouble at school for doing it, and that he should be prepared to take whatever kind of trouble he gets into.
I know that this advice is counter to the politically correct world in which we live, but the politically correct world in which we live is a fantasy that has caused more harm to kids than most anything else. How many teenagers have you read about in the news who have committed suicide after being relentlessly teased and bullied at school? Just this week there was a teenage girl who quite publicly killed herself. Why did she do it? Because she felt helpless. Why did she feel helpless? Because she was.
She was helpless because she had grown up drowning in the politically correct nonsense that says you can’t defend yourself. If you’re being teased/bullied, you’re supposed to tell the teachers. Kids are being told that to defend yourself is wrong.
This does a couple of things that are a huge detriment to society as a whole. First it develops a victim mentality; a mentality of hopelessness. Second, it creates a class of little bastards that grow up to be big bastards because they’ve always gotten away with treating others like shit. A good tongue lashing for bullying another kid is not going to stop the bullying behavior. That is simply the way it is. People, especially children, will do what they are allowed to get away with. It’s just the facts of life. Little shits who don’t experience boundaries grow up to adult bastards who don’t respect boundaries and who are a societal pain in the ass.
My son has spent about three years doing a kind of martial arts training. It was a sort of mix between Krav Maga and a little bit of Brazilian Jiu Jitzu. He has a good grasp on basic boxing combos and did some sparring, too. He knows how to throw a punch and he knows how to throw knees and kicks. Yes, it’s very rudimentary, but it’s more than most kids his age. He’s a good natured kid who feels uncomfortable with the notion of hitting another person with seriousness. Part of his problem is his lack of seriousness. For a few months I had him doing Brazilian Jiu Jitzu full time, but because he was treating it more like recess rather than serious business, I pulled him out a couple of months ago. I told him that when he’s willing to take it serious we’ll take another stab at it.
Anyway, the other night he was very upset at how a couple of kids at school were treating him. I could tell that he was feeling that sense of hopelessness. He was in tears. That’s when we had the talk. Today he put it to use. During lunch recess one of the kids started in on him. My son told the kid to stop teasing him and walked away. The kid followed him and kept teasing him. My son, turned around and punched the kid right in the nose, clinched him up and then threw a couple of knees to the kid’s belly. The kid’s nose was bloody and he had the air knocked out of him. He ran away crying and told the teacher. Yes, my son was “talked to” by the teacher, and he was made to miss out on the next recess. He was told that he should never hit another kid. My son just nodded. Of course I told him that the teacher is wrong because she is.
So, in the end, for this situation, things worked out OK. You know why? Because I guarantee you that tomorrow, that kid is not going to tease my son. He won’t tease him because he has experienced a boundary that if he crosses it, there will be a price to pay. In this case a bloody nose. He won’t tease my son, and the kid has experienced real consequences for his actions which will aid him—and society—later in his life. It’s a win win.
People have a right to be able to live their lives without having some ass hole doing their best to make that life hell. Like any other right, sometimes you have to get physical in order to preserve it.