Sunday, January 17, 2010

Fighting Rules?

by Amy Platon

Hubby and I have a 7 year old boy.

This weekend we “hit” on a topic that we don’t seem to agree on, and I want your opinion.

It’s a question that we parents with boys have all asked ourselves. What do we tell our son to do when another boy hits him?

My husband is of the “Hit him back” school of thinking. But he also went his whole adolescence without a single brawl.

And if you all know me at all you’ve probably guessed, I totally disagree. However, in an effort to find the middle ground, I offered this as a solution:

If our boy gets hit in the chest first, then it’s ok for our son to hit back, but only in the chest, equal to his punch.

I was pretty proud of that solution actually. But my husband said that that too much for our son to consider when he’s in the heat of it all. My expectation would be too high of him.

Of course, I’m thinking of the mom-to-mom aftermath. “My son hit your son in the chest, and your son hit him back in the nose and now it’s bleeding. That’s out of line!”

I feel like if my son at least understood the rules of “fair fighting” then I could at least back him up as responsibly as possible, and not feel totally wrong.

What are your thoughts? I would especially love it if you ask your husbands opinion and would love comments from dads who have been in school hood fights themselves. I’m looking forward to your thoughts!

Also visit this lovely blog for other "Not Me Monday" sagas!


  1. Well, your husband is probably right about how your son wouldn't take the time to consider making an equal punch. You just don't think about those things when you're fighting.

    And I agree with you that he shouldn't fight. Think about it. What does it really accomplish? Tensions and angers just increase. Next thing you know, your kid could get beat up by a group of kids. Or what if the other kid's parent(s) decide to press charges against your son? It's just not worth all the trouble.

    You really need to get other adults involved, and make sure someone is looking out for him. Also, you didn't mention where this happened, or why. Both would be important factors in determining what else to do.

    I speak as a 15 year old who has been through plenty of therapy.

  2. I believe that one should know how & when to fight back, but this is something that your child needs to learn on his own. Telling your child that it is OK to hit back is like opening the floodgates because you would be surprised at what all he really interprets from that. As a parent the correct thing is to be there, listen & support him. The truth is that whether you like it or not the kids always learn the wrong and the 'not so right' things on their own but its not the case for the right but difficult things. Thats what parents are for.

  3. Oooh... that's a hard one. I have a 7 year old boy and he's not been hit yet (other than by his 3 year old brother)... I haven't thought about it until now, but I like your solution... although I tend to lean toward "just walk away" but that could lead to bullying situations, right? Hmmm... looks like I've got some thinking and talking with my husband to do! :) Thanks for raising the question! ♥ Michelle

  4. Usually, unlike in the movies, bullies don't mug other kids. They swing doors into others on purpose, trip and some times will shove, until the offended student strikes back....then the bully will claim probably cause. My child went to a zero tolerance school. So if he so much as shoved back they both would be booted from the program.

    When queried about the behavior of another 10 year old slamming doors into him, I said "then he will never have the chance to be your friend. Avoid him, knowing he is looking for a fight. If he actually hits you, then report him. The subject never came up again. The best defense is not being there.