Had to tell my 6 year old to use self defense

Samantha - posted on 06/20/2013 ( 15 moms have responded )

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So basically I just want to know if anyone else has had to resort to telling their 5-6 year old that it is ok to use self defense in certain situations. My son stays with his grandmother while I work (I work part time) and my nephew is there sometimes as well. He is 4 years old. My nephew will pinch and leave bruises from digging and clawing into my son and kick him. This isn't something new. It has been going on as far as I can remember. All his mother does is put him in timeout or take away TV or something.... After all this time it hasn't worked yet I think she should change tactics. He doesn't respond to timeouts (he willing goes to timeout without anyone telling him to when he knows he did something bad) he will make smart comments like " timeout doesn't bother me!" ...... In the meantime my 6 year old comes home with four bruises on his arm from where my nephew clawed into it and it just keeps happening. So I felt like since his own mother can't get it under control and he isn't mine to deal with, I told my son that ONLY if his cousin spits, kicks, claws, bites, or pinches is he allowed to punch him back and tell him "I am bigger than you! I don't like to be hit so stop doing it!" I felt I had no other choice. If she isn't going to discipline her child efficiently then my child should defend himself. Maybe my nephew will realize that my son is a lot bigger and he shouldn't be hurting him that way. I think four years old is old enough to know better especially my nephew because he is very smart and when my son was four I didn't have issues like this with him. On a side note... My son isn't perfect at keeping his hands to himself but he NEVER maliciously pinches claws or kicks his cousin. If he does hit him its a result of his cousin hitting him first or an accident from them wrestling around like boys do. My son bit a child once in daycare and that was the last time he ever bit anyone... I sent a note with him to the daycare the next day to give to the parents of the child he bit and told them that it was taken care of at home and I apologized sincerely..... So needless to say my nephews mother is furious with me because I told my son to defend himself but if I'm not around and she won't do anything about it I feel like I was left with no choice. It has been going on for years so I finally said enough is enough. My son is old enough to assess the situation and determine weather he is suppose to tell an adult or use self defense. I don't know how to mend things with my nephews mother. I tried to tell her to put herself in my shoes but she was to angry to listen to anything I had to say.

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Kayla - posted on 07/21/2013

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Hello,

I think looking into a different daycare provider would be a good step. However, from a single mothers point of view who can't afford it I understand staying with Grandma. I think you did the right thing by telling him to defend himself. Just make sure that the force used is only enough to get the point across and NEVER more severe. In karate classes they teach the kids Do's and Don'ts. Might be a good idea since anger can often impair judgement. I have had to tell my 5 yr old to use self defense in school when dealing with a bully since the teaching staff did not listen to her when she tried to tell them. As far as your nephews mother goes you have to pick and choose...If you don't stand up for your child who will?

April - posted on 07/23/2013

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You are well in your right as a parent to have your child defend themselves. My daughter was having trouble with her vision tackling her everytime she came around. After keeping my mouth shut for an hour or two and just watching the cousins mom not do a thing about it other than be more interested in the internet or game she was playing I told my daughter to hit back. It caused an argument between me and the other mom but whatever. The cousin stopped bullying my daughter and that's all that mattered to me. All I have to say is of its not nipped in the bud that child will run over everyone they come across. Also they need to learn that someone tougher and stronger will come along and put them in their place. When I was younger I got bullied slot until I stood up for myself and fought back. Keep your head up sweetie. Sounds like you are on the right track as far as this issue goes.

Stephanie - posted on 07/15/2013

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I had the same problem. I told my son to tell the adult in charge that so and so hurt him. If the adult doesn't handle it or it happens again then he then has permission to defend himself

Lulu - posted on 07/12/2013

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Your idea is really good, just tell him to use at defense when someone is hurting him, and make sure he doesn't turn into a bully. It's always better to get in trouble than to be really hurt. One of my daughters (she's 6) had a friend and she had a cousin that is like 11 year old, and that day my 13 year old daughter had a friend over that is like 12 years old. The 11 year old came that day, and he started bothering my daughter and her friend, then, he started throwing rocks at them and spit at them for no reason. Then, my daughter's friend tackled him and hit him with a racket in the head. ( nothing serious happened) I wasn't happy with this, but the 11 year old never messed with her again, and now he is actually nice to her.

Brooke - posted on 06/27/2013

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I did this with my son. He was getting bullied at school by the little boy who lived down the road. We had spoken to teachers, parents, principal, it still wasn't stopping. So his dad took him out the back and taught him how to throw a punch. We impressed on him that he is NEVER to start the fight, but can finish it. A few days later he came home and told us "Ryan jumped on me and was pushing my head into the ground so I punched him in the nose, it started bleeding." That kid never touched him again. And no, my son did not turn into a bully, it is now six years later and he is still not a violent psychopath. If the mother won't do anything, then I think you are quite within your rights to allow your child to defend himself.

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Samantha - posted on 07/28/2013

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The grandmother agrees with me in this situation and backs me up fully. She is my mother in law. She punishes my nephew correctly, but it needs to be followed through when he is home with his mother, but she just puts him in timeouts and try's to stress the importance of keeping his hands to himself but it doesn't sink in with her methods. Certain things kids do shouldn't be delt with the same way as more severe things. I believe there are levels of punishment depending on the bad behavior so the child will understand the severity of their actions. Biting a child shouldn't be handled the same way as if your child took a toy from another..... If that makes sense? She uses the same methods and he is becoming immune to them, but I can say that every since my son punched him as hard as he could my nephew hasn't bit, clawed, or dug his fingers into him and left bruises. So I guess kids just need to work things out amungst themselves sometimes with moms advice ;)

Tara - posted on 07/28/2013

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Good for you. Some parents dont care if their child is the tormentor but gets all up in arms if their child is the victim. Youre doing it right, shes not. Self defense is allowed. My child once kick a kid in the shin and made him cry after he bit him, that child never touched mine again.

Malissa - posted on 07/22/2013

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do it. I have the same problem with my nephew who is a little sh-t and his parents wont and have never disciplined him. i told my daughter if he hits her to beat his a--! you are right if they arent going to parent, then their child will have to suffer the repercussions of being a hitter.

Lauren - posted on 07/22/2013

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I 100% agree with everything said by the others and totally agree that this mother obviously isn't doing what she needs to do. However, you never mentioned anything about the grandma. Have you discussed this with her? (I'm assuming you have) While I love that my mom and MIL are willing to help out with our kids on occasion (my mom does 1 day/week), I would hands down take them somewhere else if my mom or MIL wasn't putting a stop to it. They are in her home without parents so they are required to discipline as necessary and ensure the safety of all the kids. If the mom isn't there, it's really the grandma's responsibility but you don't mention any frustration toward her when your son comes home bruised. It may be time to have a deeper heart to heart with grandma!

Kristin - posted on 07/12/2013

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I am so glad to be reading this! My son was getting pushed around at camp and his dad and I told him to fight back. It feels weird to say it but I can't stand to have him get hurt and just take it. I stressed many many times he is not to ever start a fight. I just didn't grow up at all like that, my brother was kind of nerdy and never had to fight so I'm a little lost as to how to deal with boys and fighting! :=)

Cyndi - posted on 06/25/2013

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I do the same thing! My kids are 7, 8, &6. All three of them know they are not allowed to put their hands on some else. However it telling parent or teacher doesnt fix the problem they have my permission to protect themselves. It is their right as a person to protect their bodies. As for the parent of your nephew I wouldnt worry to much, once she sees that others will stand up to jim she will either do something about his behavior or he wont be around your son. We did thay with our nephew also (for different reasons though).

Autum - posted on 06/25/2013

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I agree if a child no matter who it is, is bullying him he shouldn't have to sit there and take it. I hate to say it but if the bully doesn't learn from time out maybe he will learn from a taste of his own medicine.

User - posted on 06/25/2013

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I know it may be difficult, but I would be forced to look into other child care options. There are programs, such as Care4Kids that would help with the expense. If Grandma is not going to stop it from happening , it's just going to get worse and it's completely unfair to your son.

Carla - posted on 06/25/2013

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Timeouts are for toddlers. Kids that old should have larger consequences for their actions, especially if he tells everyone that time-outs don't bother him. If the other Mother or Grandmother won't change tactics with him, you are absolutely right to tell you son to fight back.

Gena - posted on 06/21/2013

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Hi
I think you did the right thing. Personaly i would also tell my son that he should push back if someone hurts him on purpous. I know that some other moms will maybe think its wrong, but i find it wrong that he gets hurt.

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