So, my oldest some is in Kindergarten. He has now been in two fights within one week.
The first one, definitely his fault and he definitely got in trouble for it. He was saving a seat at the lunch table for a friend when another boy attempted to sit in the seat. My son told him the seat was being saved and that he needed to go somewhere else. The other boy refused so a shoving match started and ended with the other boy punching my son several times. I hoped he'd learned his lesson.
Today, the nurse from school came and found me while I was attempting to scarf down my lunch (my son attends the school at which I teach). Apparently a different little boy was chasing my son on the playground today and shoved him a few times. My son kept trying to stay away but this boy wouldn't let up. So my son pushed him back. The boy then hit my son in the jaw and scratched his neck. He was bleeding a little but was heading back to class when I caught up with him. He was very upset about the entire incident, probably because of what had happened earlier in the week. He explained what happened, and later the assistant principal spoke to both boys.
I am a little torn. I know fighting is wrong and I've always said I would teach my kids it's never ok to hit. However, I could not tell my son that he shouldn't have hit back in this last case. I know the principal's job is to tell them that they should also leave the situation and let a teacher know, but I honestly think that if someone is instigating physical aggression, that you have every right to defend yourself. After all, you have that right as an adult, why not as a kid?
So, my lesson to my boys has changed from, "It's never ok to hit" to "It's never okay to START a fight". I'm confident this will teach my boys what I believe is right. I don't want to teach my boys to be punks who pick fights, but I refuse to teach my boys to become, for lack of a better word, ninnys who cannot stand up for themselves and allow others to push them around.
All of this to say, parenting is really hard. There is SO MUCH more involved in it than I ever imagined before becoming one, especially for those of us who take our jobs seriously and don't just sit on the sidelines. I have so much respect for my own parents and all of those who are actively trying to raise their children to be the best they possible can. I believe we will one day see the rewards of this hard work.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Gal 6:9