Kids and Fighting?

Updated on April 28, 2011
R.J. asks from Sandy, UT
7 answers

There was an article in our local paper this morning about parents encouraging kids to fight mostly to defend themselves against bullies. I don't know about other moms but my stance has always been, Never start a fight but you wont be in trouble (with your parents) if you finish it. My boys have always been told to fight back never ever just take it. So my question is what stance do you take on this, anyone that starts a fight is pretty much a bully but would you chastise your child for finishing the fight or just fighting back?

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answers from Dallas on

The ridiculous thing about schools is that the person who fights back always gets the same punishment that the 'bully' gets, which is ridiculous. I know that this is largely due to the fact that there simply aren't enough school officials to take the time to determine and issue good and proper discipline, and to discourage fighting completely, but imagine if our legal system punished victims the same way we punished perpetrators. Ridiculous!

So, to answer your question, I would never punish my child for defending herself, and I would hold any school accountable who did punish her for defending herself. I would punish her greatly for starting a fight, and would support any school who punished her for the same.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Well, no, I would not 'chastise' my kids for fighting back. But since they've been taught that physical violence is NEVER acceptable, it's unlikely they ever WILL fight back. They will, and always have, just walk away clean.
Interestingly, they are now 18, 16, and 14, and none of them have ever had any problems with so-called 'bullying'.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

I know I'm not perfect, and I haven't had the chance to really see how far it can go, but here is my rule:

1) Use your words once (say stop it)
2) Get an Adult (if they don't stop, go find an adult)
3) If they still don't stop, make them - hit them back, whatever is necessary to stop from being bullied.

So far, this has only gone to getting a teacher, but it gave my son confidence that if the bully still does it without the teacher looking, he doesn't need to be bullied.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

We have had to deal with bullies and of course you want your kids to learn how to stop a fight from starting, but if they are getting hit or bullied etc. I have told my kids its ok to defend themselves and get away to tell an adult. They will never be in trouble with me for hitting someone back to get away or defend themselves from being hurt. But if they start the fight, thats another story. Sometimes kids don't get it with talking or saying no with words. So for those kids that won't take no or stop it for an answer, YES they should be able to hit back and not ever just take it. Good question!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

No. We'd talk about it afterwards, and discuss what actually happened, what might have happened if, what options there were and why this or that option was or wasn't chosen.

But no, they would not be in trouble for finishing a fight or fighting back in self defense. My son, who is a black belt in karate, is taught at home and in martial arts that your first move is to walk away if you can. If you can't, well then you can't. You defend yourself to the point that you CAN walk away and get help/get an adult.



answers from Provo on

This is a tough one. My DH was taught NEVER to fight back and so got beat up a few times (quite badly) in school. As such he is of the mind to teach our son "If they hit you, hit them back." But there is a problem with that. What if they hit you accidentally? What if they just bump into you? And even if they do hit you on purpose, that means that one hit turns into a fight, as one kid gets hit and hits back and the kid that hit first hits back, and it goes on and on until someone steps in. This is not how we resolve things as adults, so why would we teach our children that this is how to resolve issues?
Our solution has been to tell our son (who is in kindergarten) that he cannot hit back, he should tell his teacher or use words to say "Please don't hit me, it hurts and it is not nice." However, we did say if the other kid doesn't stop hitting him (so he can't get away to tell the teacher) that he can hit back and then run away. We'll deal with it differently as he gets older -- but at 5 years old telling the teacher or other adult is the right thing to do.
If he does get in a fight that he didn't start, he will not be in trouble with us for finishing it, but we haven't really said that to him in so many words.


answers from Detroit on

i was always taught if someone hits you, hit them back. as long as i didn't start the fight i never got in trouble. but i always had in my mind if you start something I will most definitely finish it for you! ;)

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