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toddler fights

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by globetrotter, Jun 10, 2005.

  1. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    yesterday, my 3 and a half year old son got into a fight, in front of my eyes, and he got whupped, too.

    I have been very careful to teach my son to avoid using violence to settle differences, and I am trying hard to keep him from being an overly violent kid. I think that I am doing a good job with that. my son seems to be very strong and very well coordinated for his age, and I figure he will be very strong as he gets older, so I would like to make damn well sure he is not a bully.

    on the other hand, I have eoncouraged him to stand up for his rigths, and to be willing to use moderate force to protect his space and his rights. this has been a very difficult balencing act.

    my intention was that, as he got older, I would send him to train in a dojo and work with him quite a bit myself to teach him some of the things that I know.

    yesterday, he was playing by himself, building something out of lego, while we were gettign ready to leave his gym class. a boy in his gym class, who is 5, and a good head and shoulders taller than him, came and tried to take some of his blocks. we are friendly with the family and my wife is a good friend of the boys mother, and I also know that the boy takes karate. it was obvious, from where I sat, that the boy was doing it maliciously, in order to bug my son. my son told him several times that the lego was his, and asked him to go away. the other boy took some lego and held it under my sons nose, very close and agressivly and taunted him. My son popped him a few blows to the top of the head, with an open hand, and the other kid gave my son a head butt that basically ended the whole thing. my son was very upset and crying, but I also had to tel him that he shouldn't have hit the other boy first, as well.

    first, although I was purposfully not getting involved in order to see how my son resolved the situation, it was very painful for me to see my son so upset, and to have him feel that this was so unfair, and to have him feel that I didn't stand up for him.

    second, I am not sure if now I should (as opposed to waiting a few years) teach him to roll up his first and how to hit more affectivly. I don't know if it is better to let him get bashed around a bit, or if I should put some effort into giving him the tools that will prevent it.

    any thoughts?
     
  2. Stu

    Stu Senior member

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    Yeah, have a girl next time [​IMG] Seriously, I wouldn't worry about it too much. As parents it just kills us to see our kids suffer, but keep in mind that it is all part of growing up. I received and administered many beatings in my childhood and I'm sure you did too. That's the way it is with boys. I guess the best thing you can do is try to be a moral guiding force in the boy's life. Accept the fact that he is a boy: That means he will get in scrapes, do stupid stuff and at times be an ass, but just try and limit the damage by being a strong moral force that he can look up to. You might not see the difference your efforts will make now, but you will as he gets older.
     
  3. Matt

    Matt [email protected]

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    ahh boys will be boys relax and enjoy all the opinions of McDojo martial arts schools that take kids under 5 at www.bullshido.net
     
  4. BjornH

    BjornH Senior member

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    I know this one. My son is 26mo old and is quite headstrong. It does not help that he is much larger than most kids his age and according to the daycare reports, he has been known use 'body language' instead of verbal protests. Lately, he understands the Swedish spoken in school better so this has improved.

    The strange thing is that some part of me is happy that he is willing to stand up for him self and not afraid to take on older kids. On the other hand, one wants to keep this behaviour under control and teach him to respect others.

    When I'm around, I try to stand up for him if I think he's beeing bullied but most of the time I'm not, as he is at daycare during the day and has to fend for him self. I would not want to teach him to hit kids harder or 'better' as I would not want to encurage him towards violencce. This might all change, of course, if he comes home from school with a black eye and claims sombody beat him up. Anyway, my two cents...

    B
     
  5. FIHTies

    FIHTies Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    Hard topic.

    On the one had you dont want to mold your child into thinking that violence is an acceptable solution to problems. On the other hand you dont want your kid to be a wussy and always get pushed around by other kids that hit him/her.

    At this age I tell my kids that they have no right to hit and even when hit they should avoid hitting back as it will usually only escalate. Children have a very limited ability to discern when hitting is ok and when not and therefore at this age an absolute rule needs to be insituted (in my opinion). Unless their life is threatened by another child or person (dont laugh but there have been situations where other kids have tried to choke, not realizing that choking means permanent issues i.e. death) in which I have instructed them that to take a no holds barred approace, i.e. bite, kick in the sensitive areas etc... ) to get out of that danger.

    Just one mans opinion and of course as in all of life there really is no One rule fits all. etc...
     
  6. Dakota rube

    Dakota rube Senior member

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    You should be pleased you have a son and reaches a point of physical confrontation. I have four daughters, and have watched them receive and dispense psychological and emotional "warfare" at almost every stage of development beyond toddler-hood.

    My oldest two daughters (26 and 20) have had something going on, simmering just slightly beneath the surface, for years. I've spoken to both of them about it and they dismiss my concerns, but it pains me to see their obvious discord.

    I've wished many times that the girls would act like their male cousins and finally reach the boiling point, and belt their tormentor.
     
  7. Stu

    Stu Senior member

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    DR: There was a psychological study done a few years ago and written up in Time and elsewhere. It noted that boys, when they have conflicts, will pick up a truck or other nearby toy, belt their playmate over the head, and then the two boys will move on with life.

    Girls, on the other hand, instead of confronting their opponent/playmate/rival head-on, engaged in devious psychological warfare to circumvent, undercut and mentally terrorize the other one.

    I'm oversimplifying of course, but the patterns are spot on. Kind of proves your point.
     
  8. Matt

    Matt [email protected]

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    my brother and I pretty much still do that
     
  9. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    (Dakota rube @ June 10 2005,08:54) You should be pleased you have a son and reaches a point of physical confrontation. I have four daughters, and have watched them receive and dispense psychological and emotional "warfare" at almost every stage of development beyond toddler-hood. My oldest two daughters (26 and 20) have had something going on, simmering just slightly beneath the surface, for years. I've spoken to both of them about it and they dismiss my concerns, but it pains me to see their obvious discord. I've wished many times that the girls would act like their male cousins and finally reach the boiling point, and belt their tormentor.
    DR: Â There was a psychological study done a few years ago and written up in Time and elsewhere. It noted that boys, when they have conflicts, will pick up a truck or other nearby toy, belt their playmate over the head, and then the two boys will move on with life. Girls, on the other hand, instead of confronting their opponent/playmate/rival head-on, engaged in devious psychological warfare to circumvent, undercut and mentally terrorize the other one. Â I'm oversimplifying of course, but the patterns are spot on. Kind of proves your point.
    my wife, who spends more time with my son and his friends, talks about that alot. the little girls allways seem to be plotting and dealing with these elaborate political strategies, and the boys seems to be knocking each others blocks off. on the other hand, the girls can put together much better sentances. DR, I know what you mean - my sister, bless her little anger filled soul, seems to be a little volcano of rage that has no good outlet, and I know that that pains my father. it has affected her life very dramatically. I am not proud of some of the things that I have done in my life, but I would be suprised if anybody ever said about me that I kept anger pent up inside me [​IMG] I have very nice healthy blood pressure, and she could snap any minute. yeah, the whole situation with my son is very hard to grasp. part of me doesn't want him to feel that I didn't stand up for him, part of me wants to give him a chance to sink or swim on his own, part of me wants to make sure he doesn't get to comfortable with violence, part of me figures that that comfort is a heritage that he will in any event inherit.
     
  10. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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    i think your fears are understandable (given what little i/we know about your background), but he's a little young to even have 'being comfortable with violence' on the radar. little kids are by nature comfortable with violence. they haven't yet reached the stage of development where morality is a guiding force.


    ***edit: beckground -> background
     
  11. Matt

    Matt [email protected]

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    well then sooner or later it was always going to be the turn of your son's block....i wouldnt get too caught up in it.
    such an ironic time for a male to misspell sentence [​IMG]
     
  12. retronotmetro

    retronotmetro Senior member

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    My 6 year old has preschool classmates that started TKD at age 4. The classes I have seen that are geared for that age are damn dangerous. They are basically tumbling classes combined with "imitate your favorite Power Ranger moves" and the kids are too young to grasp (and aren't taught) any sense of restraint or context. Many of the parents who put their kids in those classes have no MA background themselves which means they usually have no ability to weed out bad McDojo classes, and even worse, no commitment to build any values around the art.

    My 3 year old gets into occasional fights at his preschool and has been pretty badly bitten a couple of times before a teacher could separate the kids. I think it is an unfortunate part of that stage of life, and it is very difficult to teach kids at that age anything to help them to avoid or defuse the conflicts.
     
  13. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Originally Posted by Stu,June 10 2005,09:02
    boys, when they have conflicts, will pick up a truck or other nearby toy, belt their playmate over the head, and then the two boys will move on with life.
    my brother and I pretty much still do that
    The worst trouble (in my house that consisted of a sound whupping from mom followed by a lecture, a whupping, and any additional punishment deemed necessary by my dad when he got home) I remember getting into was when I was 7 or so and my brother was five, and my mother came back from the back yard seeing us squaring off.  I was wielding one of those fisher price "lawnmower" contraptions (made of pretty sturdy wood), and he was brandishing two Chinese square blades (used for chopping up vegetables) made of stainless steel (those things are heavy too.)  He was waving them at me, and I was fending him off, trying to disarm or stun him before going in.  I don't remember what the original dispute was about, but I know that we caught hell that day.  And possibly for abut a week after. Yep, boys will be boys.  The trick is to keep them alive until, say, college. For the record, I was never known to  be the best (or even a better) fighter, just the kid with a remarkably high tolerance for pain and a mean streak that would have made Idi Amin proud.
     
  14. Tokyo Slim

    Tokyo Slim In Time Out

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    My children will be lethal with a blade by age 5.
    I'll also teach them how satisfying it is to hold the anger and pain of public insults inside, while plotting to get revenge far from the prying eyes of the adults.

    Daddy, daddy, little timmy "fell" down the well. (again)

    Sort of reminds me of my childhood.
     
  15. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    Heh.

    Jon.
     

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