Social Question

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Do you believe in teaching your kids how to defend themselves?

Asked by Adirondackwannabe (33394 points ) October 5th, 2012

The bullying question made me wonder about this. When I was young my uncle taught me how to throw a mean snapping left jab and a right cross. He also taught me to go for the nose. No one messed with me more than once. Do you think teaching your kids how to handle bullies would help them deal with this? I’m very non-violent now, but I’m thinking the ability to handle confrontations helped me throughout my childhood. It wasn’t the best way to handle things, but sometimes the bullies need their asses kicked. Your thoughts? And I hear the P/C cries already.:)

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24 Answers

woodcutter's avatar

Its way better than being a turn the cheek pacifist. Problems will never stop once they become a mark. Never.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@woodcutter My thoughts too. I’m not going to resort to violence first, but if someone lifts a hand against me they better be ready for payback.

woodcutter's avatar

If we don’t instill this in them they will be victims the rest of their lives. They will eventually be bullied in the workplace later. There’s a reason why bullies find their marks so easily and kids of turn the other cheek parents go on antidepressants. Conscientious objectors really are not meant to survive long. That’s just how nature works .

ragingloli's avatar

Of course. How to crush someone’s windpipe, break necks, where to cut and stab with a knife for guaranteed lethality. All of it.
“Son, if someone tries to fuck with you, kill him/her. Show no mercy, for they will not show mercy to you. Do this, and I will be pleased.”

wundayatta's avatar

@woodcutter Soldiers aren’t meant to survive very long. That’s what so many more of them die than do conscientious objectors. I think you need to review the math a bit. Also science. Your understanding of nature leaves much to be desired.

ragingloli's avatar

Who is more likely to survive? Someone who meets a Cobra and says “Come at me, bro!”, or someone that runs away?

Thammuz's avatar

Absolutely. I had to learn this by myself because my mother understands nothing about human behaviour and actually thinks “turn the other cheek” is a sensible attitude.

Pandora's avatar

Sure if it works. Some people are natural pacifists though. My son when little couldn’t be convinced to hit anyone to defend himself. He didn’t understand how hurting someone back was necessary sometimes.
The only time he became physical was once, when a boy he thought was his friend said some really hurtful things to him. He kept taunting and teasing him and then actually hit him and my son went blind with rage and beat the crap out of him. He said he could take the bullying from other kids but it hurt when it came from his friend. Thing is the second time he was shaken. He was upset with himself for being physical. He kept apologizing to me, even though I said it was ok. Some people just don’t get violence.
The only other time he came close was in defense of a smaller boy against a boy bigger than himself and the other child. Luckily for some reason the bully backed off. No one believed it because they never seen this child back off. From what I understood the smaller child started the whole thing but my son told the bully he would have to go through him to get the smaller kid. He told him it was unfair to fight someone smaller even if they were being a jerk. I asked him if he would’ve hit him and he said he would’ve done everything possible to keep him from hurting the little kid. He was still shaken at the thought of physically hitting someone back.
My point is you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. If a child is a natural pacifists, it will take a lot to get them going.

Coloma's avatar

To a degree, yes. I always taught my daughter to never start something and to walk away if she could, however…if someone else hit her first she had total permission to hit back or do whatever was needed to defend herself.
I was bullied for about a year in 7th grade and finally threw the girl off the school bus into a snow drift. lol
She never bothered me again, and not only that but I inherited all of her friends. haha

Coloma's avatar

P.S. Just for the record, I am not a christian but have studied biblical interpretation and ” turn the other cheek” does not mean to stand and take a hit, it means to turn your cheek, and walk away. Just like “spare the rod, spoil the child” does not mean to beat your kids with a stick, it means, fail to guide your children and you will “spoil” them, as in, spoil their character.
The “rod” is the staff that shepherds use to GUIDE their flock and keep them free from danger.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Absolutely! Part of teaching my children how to defend themselves includes teaching them when and where to use what they are taught. Defending themselves with physical violence after someone else hits them first is not a problem in my opinion. We were taught the same thing when we were kids. It was okay for us to “finish” a fight, but not to start one.

Sunny2's avatar

My son was taught to hit back just as hard as he was hit and no harder. Once he was challenged to a fight. He tried to get out of it, because it was a friend who challenged him and he didn’t want to fight. His dad told him that if he had to fight, he should get into it as hard and fast as he could, to put a stop to it. He did and the fight lasted only a few seconds. That was the end of it.

poisonedantidote's avatar

I think it is necessary so they don’t go crazy.

A friend of mine in school used to get bullied a lot. One day he snapped. He picked up a pen and stabbed a kid to death.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@poisonedantidote Thanks for your answer. I hadn’t even thought of that angle.

Ron_C's avatar

My dad was pretty tough when he was a kid and did a little boxing. He taught us a few moves but I never really had the heart to hit another person like that. Mostly, I talked my way out of fights.

Seek's avatar

I don’t think it was avoidable. He started his martial arts training in the womb, and it hasn’t let up for a moment. He already knows to go for the soft spots and the dangly bits.

E’s the first kid to give his last cookie to a friend, but don’t dare push him, big kid, because he will kick your bullying tushie.

YARNLADY's avatar

No, all too often children mistake defense with being the aggressor. I taught them to run away.

My oldest son was age 12 when he was attacked by four boys in the park. He dropped to the ground and curled up, and some adults intervened right away. All four of the boys were charged and convicted of aggravated assault and ended up in juvenile hall.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I’ve told them that I’d prefer for them to fight back if someone starts picking, but not how to physically fight back. It’s probably about time for my husband to teach our oldest how to throw a punch, if it’s absolutely necessary. My youngest can bite harder than a rabid dog and run incredibly fast, so she’s fine for now, LOL!

janbb's avatar

I raised two boys and neither of them were fighters nor were they bullied. Was I just lucky?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@janbb I don’t know. That’s a tough question.

janbb's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe It might be an interesting discussion for me to get into with them sometimes. I know there were bullies on the block.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@janbb Yeah, it might be good and help them with their kids.

Symbeline's avatar

Well violence really isn’t an answer, I guess unless you’re in federal prison, or like, Bruce Lee. But there is a difference in between going up to some dude and kicking his ass if he won’t stop picking on you, and genuinely defending yourself when seriously attacked and no other option is available. However, when a person truly feels threatened, they could be able to defend themselves even if they have no combat skills, and a person with combat skills may very well freak out and forget everything they learned, unless they’re a 300 year old Shaolin monk. I think it’s a hit and miss really…I prefer the idea of running away, especially considering the actual damage, often serious, that fighting can do.
I guess it’s always good to know how to throw a punch instead of leaving oneself to rely on freaking out, but I’m a wuss and would rather use a fuckin’ broadsword.

jonsblond's avatar

Yes. Self-defense is something everyone should know, not just children. (That is if you want to be able to protect yourself. You may not always have backup and running away is not always an option.)

@janbb Neither of my boys were fighters nor were they bullied. I think you and I were lucky. I really do.

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