Both of my boys are getting hit by other boys. Judea got punched yesterday and Ezra got punched today. With Judea, it’s iffy because he still isn’t quite sure how to judge a situation appropriately and I don’t want him getting seriously hurt. I would rather him tell a teacher or try to somehow get out of the situation, if possible. Of course, if someone punches him in the face, i’m not going to be mad if he punches him back. But Judea is known to instigate things so that can get sketchy. Ezra, however, isn’t an instigator. He’s a quiet boy. He gets along with everyone. He isn’t the most athletic kid in the world. He’s more interested in science and building things, stuff like that. It was time to show him what’s up and I HATE THAT. He is in first grade. He shouldn’t be worried about this stuff. A boy that he was good friends with bloodied his lip today. I stopped letting Ezra hanging out with him last year because the boy is too grown. No parental supervision, foul mouth, etc… Bad influence. So we cut that one out. After that, the boy kept targeting Ezra. Pushing him down on the playground, saying hurtful things to him… And up to this point, our rule was that Ezra was just going to walk away and tell the teacher. I’m reasonable. I am not trying to raise a bunch of playground anarchists. But the kid crossed the line today. He closed-fist punched Ezra right in the lip and pushed him to the ground. I gave Ezra my full permission to sock the living shit out of him the next time it happens. Because it will happen again. That’s how it goes. You let people think you’re not going to do anything to them, they’re going to roll with it. My boy is not going to get bullied. And schools, of course, have to apply the same rules to every situation. I understand that. They can’t legally give a child permission to punch another student if there is an opportunity to get away from them. I totally get that. I completely understand that my boy is going to end up in the principal’s office with a referral and i’m 100% okay with that. Because the flip side is to tell Ezra to keep doing nothing and wind up getting relentlessly bullied. I’m sorry but, no. First, I laid out the rules. When it comes to this boy, where it’s not a one time deal, he has my permission to go blow for blow with the kid. Boy punches him in the shoulder, punch him in his shoulder. If he punches him in the stomach, he punches him in the stomach. If he punches him in the face one more fucking time, Ezra better lay his ass out. He’s not allowed to exchange words with the boy, aside from, “Leave me alone.” That’s it. If he’s messing with him, he can tell him to go away. He won’t get into a screaming match with him. No name calling. No teasing. No instigating. Keep your distance from the kid and if he bothers you, tell him to leave. Tell a teacher, of course. Do what you can to get the boy to leave you alone. Ezra’s not allowed to just go around fighting people, no matter how mad they make him. And if a kid pushes him down and it’s the first or second offense, it’s best to walk away. But if a kid punches you in the face, you punch him back. And especially if it’s a kid that continuously taunts you and puts his hands on you, there’s going to have to come a point where you stand there and duke it out with him. Ezra is not sensitive. He seems almost emotionless when it comes to people that aren’t his family. So he didn’t cry about this incident. He took it like, “Oh. Okay. I know why he probably did that.” and just rationalizes it. Because he doesn’t have time for bullshit. That’s my boy. So after laying the ground rules, we worked on his punch. I’m not suggesting that this is right for everyone and I know a lot of people would never agree with this but he’s my kid and i’m his mom and i’ll do whatever I need to do to make sure he is safe. If that means properly showing him how to throw some licks, it is what it is. I had him punch my hand and his aim is okay-ish but his swing is terrible. So I showed him how to throw himself into the punch to give more of an impact. I’ve been in several fights and only one time did it end up being a round two situation and that’s because the girl pinned me on the first round because I was embarrassed to be fighting in a ring of almost the entire middle school. By default, if you get pinned, you lost. So she had an ego boost and kept taunting me, long after I left the school. Two years later, I decided enough was enough and had her come up to my house and fight me properly. I beat the brakes off that girl and she never bothered me again. Same with the others. Give them a good lick and they’ll leave you alone, indefinitely. It sucks that it has to be this way but it’s dog eat dog when you’re a kid/teen. And i’m not letting my kids grow up being tormented by their peers. Taken advantage of because people know they’re punks that won’t swing back. When you’re an adult, you grow out of that stuff. But as a kid and teen, there is aggression…. and fighting is NOT the answer……UNLESS….. all other resources have been exhausted. You do what you have to do to get it to stop. Kids who haven’t been taught proper coping techniques, kids who haven’t been socialized properly, kids who have no positive way to channel their excess energy and aggression….. they’re the fighters…. and they’re going to beat the dog shit out of your kid if you don’t teach the child how to appropriately stand up for themselves. You can live in fantasy land all you want, where you spit out the generic “run away and tell an adult”….. see where that gets you. An emotionally fucked up child that carries their pain into adulthood, sabotaging future relationships, etc. Nope. Not my kids. If your child punches my child in the face, my child is going to punch your child right back, twice as hard. Believe that. I’m not okay with showboating. You never brag about having to punch someone. It’s not something to be proud of. It’s sad when it comes to that. And if a person apologizes, you accept it for what it is and keep the peace. You don’t hold grudges. Live and let live. If I find out they’re showboating, i’m going ham. As they get older and things calm down, they will also learn how to deal with conflict, when to walk away, when to stand up for yourself, etc. My kids better NEVER start a fight. I teach them to love everyone, root for the underdog, help people in need, be the peacemaker and peacekeeper as much as humanly possible. Include others, stand up for what’s right….. HOWEVER….. if they punch you in your face….. you better hit them back.
With that being said, we’re getting another punching bag and i’m teaching my boys how to defend themselves.
On another note, thank you Black Mirror for reminding me that Dionne (along with many others) did this song, long before Naked Eyes.