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TGT09 11:46 AM 04-22-2010
What do you do when parents condone something at home that is serious and is most definitely not socially acceptable or otherwise? Especially if you sort of agree.

5 y.o. dcb: I went to the principals office today.
Me: Uh oh, what happened?
dcb: I bit someone yesterday.
Me: Why didn't you go to the principal's office yesterday?
dcb: There wasn't time.
Me: Well biting isn't very nice, is it?
dcb: Dad says it was ok.
Me: Oh, so what was the other boy doing to you?
dcb: He was squeezing me around my arms.

Assuming that this is the "true" story (he's a bit of a fibber). Is the biting self-defense even though it's not something that anyone should condone? What "should" parents be doing in this instance? I almost always answer with, "did you tell a teacher"? But, if you can't physically do it then what? It's not a really a concern from a daycare stance unless he bites someone here but I'm just curious as to if there is a "right" answer to this issue.
Reply 11:55 AM 04-22-2010
I would just tell him that sometimes its hard to know the right thing to do,... and even adults have trouble deciding what is wrong and right. And remind him "now quinten, I know you normally wouldnt have bitten someone, and I know you were frustrated, but please, if anything like that happens here, yell for me and I will come help you. Biting hurts and we can think of so many other ways to handle this " then hug him and make sure he knows you love him.
TGT09 11:57 AM 04-22-2010
That's good, thanks.
momofsix 12:00 PM 04-22-2010
I had the same thing here. DCB hit another child, and when I stepped in he said "Dad said I can hit someone if they hit me first, it's called self defense." I talked to mom about it, and she said dad did say that, and I would need to talk to him if it was a problem. I just told them that was not how we solved problems at my house, and I wouldn't allow that type of "self defense,, but I can't control what they do anywhere else.
Although, maybe if someone had taught me some self defense skills as a child I wouldn't be such a pushover now!
DBug 03:49 PM 04-22-2010
I have the same issue, with my own kids & husband. I've taught my boys (7 & 9) to keep their hands to themselves, and to use words to stop unwanted physical contact. As a result, I've watched various other boys (generally while waiting for the school bus) punch, kick, and choke (among other things) either one of my boys, while my boys stand there yelling "You need to stop". Of course I intervene as quickly as possible, but I can't be with them at school all day. My husband says it's okay for them to do whatever they need to do to get out of the situation, including physically hurting the other child(ren). My guess is that if they do that at school, they'll likely be the ones getting in trouble.

I teach my daycare kids the same as I've taught my own kids -- use words to solve problems, not your fists. But at the same time, I don't want them to be in the same position as my kids are now (cuz you know the bullies will always pick on the one who won't hit back).

It's a tough call ...
fctjc1979 05:12 PM 04-22-2010
I tried to stay away from blanket statements like "We don't hit." or "Use your words to solve your problems." and instead focused on teaching my daughter to know her limitations. She was in several incidents at school where she was punched or kicked where she knew that she was ok (since they didn't really hurt her) and she solved her problem by either talking it out with the other kid or talking to a teacher. She's tiny for her age and gets picked on a lot. She's also had several incidents where she knew she was in over her head and yelled for a teacher or yelled for a friend to go get a teacher. And she had one incident where she was in over her head and there was no adult in sight where she did what she had to do (hit the boy in the stomach, stepped on his foot and then ran away because he had her in a head lock and was slapping her) and then left it at that. I've always taught her that in a case like that, it's her "job" to protect herself and not her "job" to hurt the other person. She may be tiny, but she's tough and knows she could really hurt someone if she wanted to, but she doesn't because she knows that would be unacceptable. I know a lot of parents, when I've told them my philosophy with my daughter, were shocked but I think that if the kid is in over their head, has no access to a trusted adult, and knows how to stop when they are no longer in danger, politeness or political correctness no longer matters when they are in danger. We talk about it a lot and ask what she would do in certain situations, not because we want to scare her, but so she can feel empowered and as in control as possible. I know I'm not explaining it well on here. I explain it so much better when I talk to my dcp. I don't necessarily teach this philosophy to my dck but have told the dcp that this is what I believe and they didn't have a problem with it. I have one mother who is going to talk it over with her husband and if her husband agrees, would like me to teach her three daughters the same way.
TGT09 07:29 PM 04-22-2010
I think that's a fantastic philosophy myself. I agree that there are times when the child NEEDS to stand up for themself because no one else is there. That's why I felt torn about the situation from the get-go and didn't say much more than what I did.

DCM and I talked about it when she got here. She was told by him that the little boy was squeezing him so tight around the body and pinning his arms down that he felt like he couldn't breathe. :-( She said there is some serious bullying going on and she wouldn't have expected it so much at this age. She's very torn as they are my "peace maker" family but she understands that you can't let another child bully your child either. It was my understanding he went to the principal today not because he was in trouble. The other boy openly admitted to doing this. I told DCM how do kids get to the stage where they bully??
DBug 07:46 PM 04-22-2010
Originally Posted by fctjc1979:
I've always taught her that in a case like that, it's her "job" to protect herself and not her "job" to hurt the other person.
Thank you!! That's perfect for my situation! I love the wisdom on this forum, and can't wait to tell my sons this
fctjc1979 06:39 PM 04-23-2010
If anyone would like to know where I got the basic idea for my philosophy, check out "Protecting the Gift" by Gavin DeBecker. It helps you figure out how to develop your child's instincts.
TGT09 08:35 PM 04-23-2010
Nice, thank you!

I told mom about the: I've always taught her that in a case like that, it's her "job" to protect herself and not her "job" to hurt the other person.

She was in complete agreement and said that was pretty much what they have told him at home too. I guess this is a MUCH bigger ordeal and the bullying is getting worse every day. :-( Dad even spied on recess today and watched him without him even knowing he was there. The bully's struck, pushed him down on concrete and both recess teachers weren't even paying attention! When he told me his Dad came to school today and why, I said that's a pretty cool dad to do something like that for you E.
Tags:5 year old, biting, bully, philosophy
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