Friday, March 23, 2007

Turning The Other Cheek vs. Defending Themselves

Some things we teach our children are not nearly as black and white as say, eating vegetables is good for you while eating sugar-filled junk food is not. That one, while some of us may in secrecy not even follow our own teaching, is pretty clear. Most all parents would agree with the veggies vs. sugar issue.

But what do you do when it comes to turning the other cheek vs. teaching kids to defend themselves? This was something we had to decide where we stood a few years ago when our little neighbor boy was being a bit rough on our second son and our first boy let him know that he wasn't going to put up with anyone hurting his brother!

After talking about it and discussing what would benefit our children the best, daddy and I came to a firm decision on how we wanted to train our children in the area of dealing with bullies. We made it clear to them that they had better never be the 'bully' or the one to 'start' something with another child. If that happens, not only are they taking a chance that the other kid might not put up with their behavior and knock their brains out, but they will be in even bigger trouble with us when we find out about it, and believe me, we WILL find out. Parents have a weird way of finding out things their kids do that they shouldn't.

However, IF another child does something to intentionally cause harm or injury to one of our children (or to one of their younger siblings) we fully expect them to defend themselves (or their siblings). Naturally, they are to first tell the bully to 'stop' and walk away from them as to try to avoid conflict, but if that doesn't work, then they know they have our full permission and support in defending themselves. In no way do we encourage fighting, but at the same time, we do not want our children growing up being an easy target for bullying and teasing. We don't tolerate bullying by any child. There's no sense in it, but unfortunately it seems to be an ever-increasing problem with kids. I remember my mom saying, 'kids can be cruel' and the older mine get and the more things they get involved in, I am seeing this more and more. But it seems today that kids aren't only cruel, they're rude, disrespectful, vulgar, and have an I-couldn't-care-less attitude. Not all kids mind you, but far too many.

I'm getting WAY off the whole reason for this entry, but I just remembered an incident that occured last fall at a high school football game we were at. I'm usually one to not say anything because I don't want to be the 'embarrassing mom' to my kids nor do I want to be the 'crazy mom' to all the other kids we're around. However, when two young men walked past my 7 year old son and said, rather loudly, to another young man, 'Your momma s*cks p*n*s', oh honey! Let me tell you. This momma's feathers were more than a little ruffled! Before I even knew it I was all over those boys like oily suntan lotion on a baked bikini bod on a hot summer day! My momma instincts came out in full force and I gave those boys a good scolding, much to their great surprise. I actually get tickled thinking about their faces now. They were so shocked that some crazy woman was getting on to them for their language. LOL.

ANYWAY! Back to my original reason for discussing teaching our children to defend themselves. Others may disagree with me, and that's ok. But it is our desire to raise Godly young men (and women) who also know how to defend themselves and others less fortunate who may not be able to defend themselves. Satan is alive and on the rampage in this world and having the knowledge and skills to protect and defend themselves and others is, we believe, essential.

We are currently looking into this, a homebased Christian karate curriculum on DVD for all of our children. While we knew karate would be good for learning self-defense for our children, we never even considered it simply due to the fact that there are things associated with karate that go against our Christian beliefs. But with this program, we feel very comfortable with the way it appears to be taught. Here is what their website says...

"Being a Christian Homeschool family ourselves, we understand the concerns of the Christian parent wanting their child to participate in karate without having to worry about strange eastern mysticisms often associated with martial arts.

We have made every effort to bring to you a quality product for your home. A Bible based Christian Karate self defense curriculum, appropriate for the whole family."

You can check out Homeschool Karate at HSB's Old Schoolhouse Store and as always, take advantage of totally free shipping!


Marsha said...

I know exactly what you're talking about! Although in our case, it's not between one of our boys and another child...but between the brothers. *sigh* They are the best of friends, but then they start disrespecting each other. I'm sure you can imagine the different conflicts... It can be a fine line b/t working it out and encouraging them to not let the other abuse them. Besides, they can get quite dramatic at times, which makes it difficult to make an honest and accurate assessment of the "situation."

I'm proud of you for saying something to those kids! While you might've scared them a little, maybe you encouraged one of them to speak up and do right. All too often kids get caught up in that foul language even when they don't like it themselves. They want to fit in and be cool, instead of being "prudish" or goody-goody.

I'll have to check out the Karate. The boys took a two week trial and liked it...but decided they would rather play tennis with daddy at the local middle school after-hours. :-)


Julie said...

I totally agree with you! We were just talking about this very thing with our boys recently...

And you are like a walking commercial for the TOS Store! You need to join the affiliate program and start making a cut! ;o)