Ignore, Tell or Do it back??

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Minx_Kristi's picture
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Ignore, Tell or Do it back??

Morning ladies,

I'm just curious, if another kid does something to your child do you tell them to tell an adult, ignore it or do it back?

I always encourage DD to tell someone if another child does something to her but DBF thinks she should just do it back, whatever it is!

xx

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Totally depends on what it is, where it happened, how big of a deal it is, etc. I don't want the kids to running to adults to solve every little kid battle there is, so it's really about the specifics.

ftmom's picture
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I agree with Laurie. I always tell my kids to tell an adult if someone hurts them, but I will often tell my DD to deal with her brother herself if he is hitting or pushing her because I think it is important that she learn to stand up for herself and I would rather she figure that out at home. Hurt feelings dont warrant an immediate tattle unless it is happening all the time, because to me that is tattling, and a disagreements should be worked out between kids on their own because that helps them learn to problem solve. This is all my opinion of course.

Now that DD is a bit older (6), we have been working on the difference between tattling and reporting. My rule of thumb (and I use this with my students too) is that if you or someone else is being hurt or going to be hurt by the action, then you report it, but if you just dont like what the person is doing and you want them to get in trouble for it, then it is tattling. It can be a hard distinction for kids, but it is all in the reason for the telling.

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Yep, I would need to know the details. I mainly want my kids to be able to handle things themselves, but i want them to know that they should and can go to a grown up if they need to. As for doing it back, there are only a few scenarios where i would think this is ok and typically only in a defensive mode.

ftmom's picture
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Oh, yes. In terms of 'doing it back', we dont teach that at all. If it is physical, I only really advocate pushing (though I would probably cheer DD if she belted her brother back some days). But what I SAY, is to push someone away from your space. You have a right to your own body, so if someone is touching it or hurting it, then you push them away from you. And if they are too big or strong to push away, then you scream for help.

Whenever I think of doing it back, I remember when DD was 2 and I had just had DS1 she used to have freak outs when we left play group. I would end up carrying her to the car and she would slap me in the face, around the head, the whole way. I finally had had enough one day and smacked her gently on the cheek to try and get her to realize she was hurting me when she did it. Maybe it would have worked if I hit her as had as she hit me, but I didnt want to hurt her. Well, she stopped screaming for about 30 sec, gave me this astonished look, and then ramped it up about 3000 fold! IMO all hitting back did, was show her that is how people deal with problems and probably prolonged this stage for her. I think the same can happen with kids, especially if it is an older child hitting a younger child back.

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I had a friend who told me once he was constantly physically bullied at school. No amount of intervention from the powers that be was helping. Simply pushing someone away so that he could get away was not helping him in the long run. Perhaps it would help that moment something happened, but it didn't prevent it from happening the next day, or the next. He told me that he eventually learned the only way to make it stop was to fight back. These kids needed a deterrent, and the school system was not providing it. He had to make them want to stop himself, and to do so, he had to fight back. I think if a system is going to fail you then I would be okay with this. Because sometimes switching schools is not always an option.

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
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It is subjective to the situation. For example, I have always told Jace that if another kid pushes him or whatever, he is to tell them with a stern voice not to do it again and they are not allowed to touch him. If that doesn't help, he is to tell an adult. If there is no adult or they don't do anything to help, then he is allowed to defend himself.

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I would not want my child to hit or shove another child. If they are being physically hurt I would expect them to come get an adult right away. If they were being bullied on a regular basis I would consider it my job as parent to make sure it did not happen if I knew about it. If that meant talking to the teacher every single day until they fixed the problem or moving to a different school that is what I would do. At this point we have never come across another child trying to hurt one of my children.

ftmom's picture
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"KimPossible" wrote:

I had a friend who told me once he was constantly physically bullied at school. No amount of intervention from the powers that be was helping. Simply pushing someone away so that he could get away was not helping him in the long run. Perhaps it would help that moment something happened, but it didn't prevent it from happening the next day, or the next. He told me that he eventually learned the only way to make it stop was to fight back. These kids needed a deterrent, and the school system was not providing it. He had to make them want to stop himself, and to do so, he had to fight back. I think if a system is going to fail you then I would be okay with this. Because sometimes switching schools is not always an option.

I could see in that situation being OK with my child fighting back. Like I said, I secretly want DD to hit her brother back when he is really pushing her around, I just think it is important to try other things first.

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It really depends on the situation. If my child feels they are in danger then they are allowed to do what it takes to deal with the situation.

In most other situations I encourage my kids to find a solution. Someone takes your toy? Use words to get it back. A friend uses words to hurt you, then make sure you tell them how you feel. If that friend doesnt change their actions, then maybe you walk away from the friendship. As a general rule, we tell the kids to try 3 solutions, and if they dont work then come talk to us.

I do have to say that as a teacher kids that tell on other kids is one of my biggest pet peeves. I have one kid this year that tells on every kid for everything, sometimes he will tell while he is doing the same thing. And then he goes and tell his mom everything he told me.

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"ftmom" wrote:

Now that DD is a bit older (6), we have been working on the difference between tattling and reporting. My rule of thumb (and I use this with my students too) is that if you or someone else is being hurt or going to be hurt by the action, then you report it, but if you just dont like what the person is doing and you want them to get in trouble for it, then it is tattling. It can be a hard distinction for kids, but it is all in the reason for the telling.

I pretty much agree with this. Don't tattle, but do report it if you or someone else is being hurt. And it's OK to fight back if you feel you're in danger and need to defend yourself.

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In general, we teach our kids 1) ask them to stop, 2) tell them to stop, 3) walk away 4) tell a teacher/adult.

Of course, if it's like something uber seriously mean/vile/physical then an adult should know about it right away. Some things I would not expect my children to handle themselves.

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DD has been doing the WITS program at school - walk away, ignore, talk it out, seek help. They are encouraged to try and sort things out for themselves but to get help if it is needed.

There are two kids in her class that are an issue. There is a flailing hitting over hyper boy and a "mean girl". The boy we have suggested she just stay away from to avoid his roughness. The girl she wants to be friends with. So there have been a lot of discussions on what makes a good friend. We are coaching her on how to talk to the girl and encourage friendly behavior and have told her to ask her to stop and then walk away if she gets mean. If there are problems bigger than she can handle she goes to the teacher who is also in on this.

It is tough to deal with! I was a bullied kid at school and it is hard to coach DD through something that I sucked at!

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I think it all depends on the age and LOCATION.. but really.. never do I tell the child to do it back... unless it is a child getting beaten up and no one is around for example. I do think a child has a right to protect themselves.
I tell my children to first use their words to tell the other children to leave them alone.. and then leave the area, and if need be get an adult to solve the problem.. the younger they are the more times you see them coming to you to help teach them how to solve situations. I think this is fine. I think it is ok not to expect children to be friends with everyone. But I do expect my children to be respectful to everyone.. but I do not expect everyone to be respectful back. So, I tell them they can, we can always leave.. which is a nice option we usually have as most of our social situations right now are optional.. ie church or the park or store.. sports or other activities they have chosen and not school.. like a pp had mentioned... at school one is relying on other adults to set up "safe" zones for your child where they can go to be alone or to avoid certain children or groups that might be being bullies or committing certain types of behavior that they do not like. at certain ages.. our children may or may not be able to even explain what they do not like about it.. so difficult.

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I'm confused about the "safe zones" thing at school. Is this at some school you used to use? I've never heard of this.

I have to be honest, I think that leaving a place you've chosen to go because someone is bothering you is not a lesson I would want to teach my kids. The hardest thing is helping them understand the difference between getting an adult to intervene because help is needed vs. tattling about every misdeed. When they're very young we have to help them navigate this, my daughter is 6 and definitely has trouble understanding the difference. It's my job to try to help.

But I do want my kids to be strong in these situations. I want them to be morally upright, which means not getting into fights or retaliating, but there are going to be some circumstances where they may have to fight back and I'll have to deal with that as it comes.

But it really is situationally dependent. That's what makes it so hard, there are no blanket answers that cover everything. I do think that if they are being physically overwhelmed then they should absolutely get an adult to step in. But if a kid is taunting them, there are probably better strategies.