My first child (and second) was a boy. I didn't know anything about boys. I was against violence and never thought it'd happen to my child.
BUT, he was on a playground and I was watching when he got his little ass kicked by some other children. It threw him (and me) for a loop. I watched him, after the shock wore off, start hitting the other kids that hit him. I marched over there and scolded my son for violence and brought him back to sit with me. Another mom was with me and when I finally allowed my son to go swing, she leaned over and said, "You should never punish your son for defending himself."
That really made me think. I apologised to my son. I told my husband about it, and he gave my son punching lessons. AND he told him that he shouldn't start a fight, but if someone started a fight with him, he should finish it. He told him to get the first punch in, and hit the kid hard enough to make his nose bleed - and that move alone would stop a bully.
Sounded horrible, I know...but, we are animals and fighting happens - and I was shocked when it happened to my son, but I realized I had a responsibility to teach my son to protect himself.
Later, my son asked to take karate lessons and he went through the ranks for years and become a brown belt.
As he got older, he got into a couple of fights, but he never started one. And the fights didn't amount to much. They never really got off the ground for anyone to get seriously hurt or for a punishment to occur.
He is now in the US Navy and is defending freedom.
There are worse things than teaching your son to punch and kick. Like him getting his ass kicked by someone else. It's demeaning and it effects their self-esteem.
My youngest son just doesn't like violence. He learned to defend himself, but woudn't. When he was in middle school, everyday this bully would push him down in the hallway and the other kids would laugh. He'd get in the car many days and just cry from embarrassment. BUT, it was his choice not to defend himself. I told him if he decided to hit the kid, I would happily accept him getting suspended from school.
My older son was fearful that his little brother would get his ass served to him on a platter when he got in high school. Nothing happened. No fights. No bullying.
My youngest son is in college now, no worse for wear.
My point is: teach them to defend themselves. THEY are the ones who encounter these things. You probably won't be there when it happens - and they have to know what to do IF they choose to do anything. You don't want your child to become a "target" for bullies because he has no knowledge of how to defend himself, and doesn't think he has your support if a situation develops where he needs to defend himself.
I think you're right to prepare him. With the knowledge of defensive moves, also comes the responsibility of knowing when it's appropriate to use these skills. As long as you teach him that as well, he'll be prepared to make the best choices for whatever situation develops.
- Response by kiki812
, A Thinker, Female, 36-45, Atlanta, Artist / Musician / Writer