Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Defense

Last week a parent of one of our karate students asked us to talk to him about what someone is doing to bully him at school. So tonight we did. And holy shit it scared me. All the while we were talking about self-defense and not getting in the fight or running away or if he had to, use his techniques he knows, I was dying inside. DYING. This is a really nice 12 year old young man. He's adorable, smart, and kind. The kid who wants to beat him up? It's over video games that got confiscated at school when my student borrowed them. Despite offering to replace them, an offer the kid and parents haven't taken them up on, this kid still wants to beat up my student. Even threatened his with a piece of broken glass and told him he'd get cut.

This? This terrifies me.

So we talked to him about composure and self-confidence. We talked about how this bully has gotten a big group of friends together who will help the bully beat my student up. We talked strategy and tactics. We told him that it's ok to defend himself if he's punched or kicked. He's worried his mom will be mad at him or he'll go to Juvenile Hall if he hurts someone. We explained Florida law that it's ok to protect yourself if someone attacks you. You are allowed to defend with equal force. If that kid comes after him with broken glass I hope to God my student breaks his legs. Broken glass = deadly force. Defense = OK. This is a good kid. He doesn't want to hurt anyone. *I* don't want him to hurt anyone. He wouldn't hurt a fly if he didn't have to. He has a good heart. And this situation is wrong. His mom tried to talk to the bully's mom too. Nothing.

We live in a nice area. He goes to a good school.

Bullies. Bullies suck.

I am not sure how to teach this to a minor. When I taught karate to adults it was so much easier. How do I temper the seriousness of the situation but not instill fear? How do I not cross the line of treating them like young adults but remembering they are still children?

This is not easy. I don't know how to do it and honestly, I don't feel like there is anyone to ask.

I think it would be best for me if my children don't age past 5, don't go to middle school or high school and want to give me hugs and kisses for the rest of their lives. Right?

I say this because I'm scared. Scared to death of them going to school. Why? Because I have day terrors about their safety. I know it's ridiculous but seriously, it's not unfounded. Just today a kid was killed in school during an altercation. I came home from teaching a class about defense in school against a bully and his gang and I read that article.

I want to cry. But I can't. I'm the mom now and I have to figure this shit out.

5 comments:

PrincessJenn September 15, 2009 at 11:01 PM  

It's so heartbreaking seeing kids have to deal with this kind of BS. It makes me want to homeschool V, but I know she'll just encounter that sort of stupidity somewhere else.

I find so often, it's not the kids, but the parents that are the problem. If parents paid more attention to their children and stepped in when it was necessary (and weren't bullies themselves, in some cases) you wouldn't be having to teach some innocent kid how to defend himself.

HUGS to you. Lots and lots of them.

Ange September 15, 2009 at 11:25 PM  

Oh, this makes my stomach churn! My heart breaks for you for having to 'deal' (not meant to make it sound like a 'drag' or in a negative light at all) with a situation like this and have young boys of your own to worry about. It also breaks for your student, but he's got the best 'advising' him. Kudos to you for giving him the facts on defense and for letting him talk about it. I'm sure that, in itself, was major. *hugs*

Cheryl September 16, 2009 at 8:23 AM  

I don't have children yet, but in my experience as a teacher, it is HUGE for a bullied child to have an adult they trust to talk to. The conversation you had with him is more than likely going to be one he remembers for life. Bullied kids usually feel completely alone; I'm sure it helps him to know he's not. *giving you a standing ovation*

Cat September 16, 2009 at 2:01 PM  

Oh, that's terrible. At least you're helping give him the tools to deal with the situation.

Kekibird September 16, 2009 at 2:26 PM  

I don't know if there is a lot of figuring out to do with this stuff. I think you go with it. If you have the right tools, if the time comes, you'll be prepared to handle it.
Big hugs. You are doing great by being there and offering suggestions and tools to help him think through it.

Good thoughts and many blessings for a positive outcome!

Lots of love,
Katie