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Thread: Self defense for a child - necessary?

  1. #21
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    Originally Posted by boltnrun
    How about an instructional YouTube video series that you two could do together? He could learn the basics of self defense without being on display.

    BTW, my son encountered a similar situation to another poster (Batya? Sorry, have to go back and check. Nope...Seraphim). My son was a big kid, but an older (and smaller) kid kept harassing him on the walk home from school. One day he'd had enough...he's a slow burn but once he ignites, watch out! He turned around and shoved the older but smaller kid onto the ground and, leaning over him, told him very firmly "you do that again and I'll do this again". Kid left him alone after that.
    Nope not us. In our school no "self defense" allowed and another poster suggested getting to know the bully -in our school a parent can't interact with another child like that on school grounds and the school doesn't give out the name (sure the child who is bullied often does).

  2. #22
    Platinum Member charity's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by luminousone
    Don't make your son do it, if there is no buy in. Otherwise he will also feel pushed by his mom too.

    I wish there was a way to reach the bully. Obviously he has deep issues, to feel the need to bully others like that.

    My mom used to go into inner city schools in Detroit for class presentations. She would somehow figure out who the worst problem child was, and get them involved in helping with the presentation. By the end, she had them completely won over. She was such a pro!

    My heart goes out to your son. Love him like he is and how he handles the situations that come up. Keep the communication lines open, and if he ever requests a self defense class then he can ask you.

    Hope it all works out.
    Thank you. This is what I am leaning towards

  3. #23
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    I wouldn't force a 12 year old. That's basically punishment for confiding in you, and my main concern would be now that he won't trust you and is shouldering burdens from two sides, and secretly.

    Instead, I'd take him out for a nice walk, because walking side by side is less threatening than speaking eye to eye. I'd tell him that if he will take this walk with me, he gets to pick the place where I will treat him to a nice meal afterward.

    While walking, I'd apologize to him for pushing the class on him and tell him that I won't force him to go there again. From there, he'll be more receptive to what you say to him after that. I'd tell him that I realize that it's on me to learn how to trust his judgment and to stop treating him like he's 6 instead of 12, and that I need for him to help me learn to do that. This means that being secretive with me will make me less likely to trust him going forward, while being open with me--about anything and everything that concerns him--will show me that he trusts me not to overreact and impose accidental punishments on him the way I did with that class. So this will teach both of us that our trust of one another can be mutual.

    If we can talk through any future concerns, I may raise questions for him to think about and possibly offer some options to help him resolve a problem or make a decision. He will get to make the first choice of any options we put on the table, and he can also decide if there's anything he wants me to do that can help. If his choice works out, we can discuss some kind of reward for a solution well done. If not, we can go back to considering other options.

    I'd tell him that my hope is to teach him how to make adult decisions while he teaches me that I can allow him more freedoms of choice as he grows older. We can also discuss a list of rewards he wants from me going forward in exchange for a list of things that I want from him or for him that he can pick from to earn those rewards.

    I'd go quiet and let him speak about his response to this idea, and anything else he wants to raise. I'd save any further talk about the bullying for the meal unless he raises it and wants to go there. I'd hear him out, and I'd learn from him what HE wants any solutions to be. He may well end up showing you that he does, indeed, have a handle on it, OR, that he has some ideas about how you can help him navigate through this particular hurdle.

    Sometimes listening without taking charge of outcomes is the best way to teach kids that they can trust you instead of teaching them that they need to hide things from you in order to avoid worse outcomes.

    Head high, you're a smart Mom for bringing this to a forum. Your son is lucky to have you.

  4. #24
    Platinum Member itsallgrand's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by itsallgrand
    He's 12 and not into any forms of physical exertion? Is the resistance here to exercise in general that gets him breaking a sweat or the particular class?
    I'm still curious about this though.

    I don't think a child should be forced to complete a class, particularly when it's a self defence class he didn't choose.

    However, I do think physical activity and fitness is essential for development. And the benefits go way beyond purely physical. Strenuous regular activity, if he isn't getting it already ( and he may be, you didn't answer) could make a huge difference including when it comes to needing to focus on school work.

    I hope you won't take offence, as I don't know if he is already getting that. Just how I read it, it sort of sounded like he has a real aversion to physical activity? And if he does, there are ways to encourage a love of sport ( does not have to be classes) that will benefit him through life.

    I still remember fondly a particular coach of mine, who nurtured me as a girl who did not feel naturally athletic, and brought out the strengths I have and a life long love of physical activity as a source of confidence and positive coping outlet.

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  6. #25
    Platinum Member charity's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by itsallgrand
    I'm still curious about this though.

    I don't think a child should be forced to complete a class, particularly when it's a self defence class he didn't choose.

    However, I do think physical activity and fitness is essential for development. And the benefits go way beyond purely physical. Strenuous regular activity, if he isn't getting it already ( and he may be, you didn't answer) could make a huge difference including when it comes to needing to focus on school work.

    I hope you won't take offence, as I don't know if he is already getting that. Just how I read it, it sort of sounded like he has a real aversion to physical activity? And if he does, there are ways to encourage a love of sport ( does not have to be classes) that will benefit him through life.

    I still remember fondly a particular coach of mine, who nurtured me as a girl who did not feel naturally athletic, and brought out the strengths I have and a life long love of physical activity as a source of confidence and positive coping outlet.

    Hi itsallgrand, sorry for my late response. He's is fit and active - no hugely so - but certainly enough I would say. He will join any bunch of lads playing a game of football or basketball but is not interested in actually joining a team. For him, physical exertion needs to be a lot of fun and pleasure as well. This class did not offer that.

  7. #26
    Platinum Member charity's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone for your advice and stories. I have listened and taken all of it in. I have decided not to purse the classes. His choice and feelings need to be respected and forcing this on him is making the situation worse from his perspective. My heart was in the right place but it was also coming from a place of fear and protection and that is not the way I want to live my life or teach my children to live their lives. I think I will focus instead on teaching him about the importance of being observant and making strong friendships. I will do as catfeeder suggested (thank you) and have a nice chat with him. He really has handled his situation as well as anyone could have. Thank you everyone for sharing your opinions and perspectives, very much appreciated. Charity

  8. #27
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    I didn't get to page 3...but have to say if the other child's words didn't bother your son and it just washed off his back, I would not "prepare" your child to fight. Often as soon as a kid realizes he/she doesn't get a rise out of one kid, he/she will move on. Some defend themselves through humor, some just simply are not affected. if this kid cannot push his buttons and the teacher/principal knows the child is violent, sure sports can increase the confidence level of your child but i would do it for confidence, not to learn how to "karate chop" someone. If its confidence, a kid can get confidence from jobs well done in other sports or hobbies as well. I think learning problem solving and communication is more apt here. But your son seems to be okay. He ALSO seems to have friends, so that is half the battle. He is not isolated and often bullies give up on kids that have other kids.

    It could be this kid is violent because he is a bully or maybe he has an IEP and the teachers know about him - he has problems expressing his feelings, has RAD, etc.

    Maybe you can explain to your son that some kids aren't really bad kids, but they get very frustrated because they can't always use their words well - so hit things, etc, instead. Its not to excuse the child, but to make a point and to teach your son other tactics -==ie. tell principals and teachers, and only listen/talk to the child when they are being calm and nice. etc.

    If the principal and teachers are "on" it then praise your son for handling things maturely

  9. #28
    Platinum Member itsallgrand's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by charity
    Hi itsallgrand, sorry for my late response. He's is fit and active - no hugely so - but certainly enough I would say. He will join any bunch of lads playing a game of football or basketball but is not interested in actually joining a team. For him, physical exertion needs to be a lot of fun and pleasure as well. This class did not offer that.
    Right, martial arts may not be his jam. And that's ok!

    I think you've shown a lot of thought in this, and that made me smile.

  10. #29
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    You are such an awesome mom and an inspiration I hope things improve soon for your son.

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