All Articles Tagged "teaching your kids to fight"
When my sisters and I were young girls my mother would always tells us (among other things) that when a fight breaks out, don’t run toward it to watch it, run in the opposite direction. Her rationale was in case someone in the fight pulled out a weapon, or the crowd gets too hype and starts pushing, you could get hurt if you were trying to see what was going on. But like any bad-butt child, I would rebel and when the fists would fly on the playground, I would run my short little self on over to the melee to see it first hand. But after a while, after a couple of my family members were murdered by going to fights I realized that my mother did indeed know what she was talking about, and wasn’t so much of a wet blanket.
So, imagine my surprise when years later, I’m working at an afterschool program and one of the students tells me about a fight she had that day. Customary to school policy, she had to talk to her mother on the phone and during this phone call her mother told her to not fight the girl again… until the last day of school. Then bring soup cans in her bookbag and if the girl starts with her, to… “bust her upside her head.” Fear and alarm would be an understatement to describe my feelings (and a little bit of paranoia, honestly. How was I supposed to know that one of these kids didn’t have a soup can surprise for me at the end of the year?!). But as the children listened to the fourth grader retell her fight, more began to chime in with stories of advice that their parents given them.
I’m not going to lie, my father taught my sisters and I about the “element of surprise” when it came to fighting, but it was only supposed to be used as self-defense. Not as a way to possibly murder another child. But as reality television gets more prevalent you hear people saying how these “stars” are bad influences on children (which by the way, why are you letting your children watch reality television anyway?) and they should be more mindful of the viewing audience, but it seems like a large problem of it starts in the home.
In preparation for this article I googled the phrase “parents encouraging their kids to fight” and came up with over 62 million results. There were the normal You Tube videos of a father who encouraged his son while fighting another teenager to “punch his eyes out… slam his head on the ground” or a woman who was in the midst of high schoolers cheering her daughter on. Parents can be seen barking at their child to win the fight, and either enjoying the adrenaline rush of the fight, or sometimes even intervening when their child is fighting, so their child can get an upper hand on his/her opponent. The news articles seemed to come one after another of parents being arrested for openly praising their children for fighting, but the most disturbing article came from the UK’s Mail online website about a group of parents who had their little boys participating in child cage fighting matches. (REALLY?!) There are pictures of one little boy’s face that’s blurred out, but apparently the little boy was crying. The article described a video that was released that showed the adults cheering, clapping, and barking for the fight to continue while a medic came to see if he could continue the fight.
Being a relatively new mother, I can’t wrap my mind around setting my child up for failure in this manner. Leading her down a road of letting her know that it’s okay to be a trouble maker, or result to fisticuffs just because you’re frustrated at the other person. I’m not saying this to point fingers or judge anyone, but it hurts me when I see these women and men who don’t learn from their own mistakes, and keep teaching the same pointers to their children to perpetuate these personality flaws throughout generations.
Then you do watch reality television and you see mothers and fathers either encouraging their daughters to fight and start drama, or you see the parents engaging in the juvenile behavior themselves. Now, I’m not advocating being a punk, but I am trying to say to think before you act, and think about what you’re teaching your children. Because I personally know two mothers who could tell you that if they had the opportunity they would turn back time to convince their children to think before preparing to knuckle down.
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