The teacher seemed a bit shocked. As she called my wife, and told her about what had happened, she was a bit surprised, but mainly by the fact that she’d never really had kindergarteners fight. I was shocked when I’d heard this story because I am still working on letting go of this image I have of my 5 year old hiding behind my legs when we went to a birthday party a few years ago. He was always a watcher – a kid who was reserved until he got into the groove and comfortable with the situation. I, like a lot of parents, try to hold on to images or perceptions of our kids – and this is great and it’s normal. It helps us understand how we should parent in a variety of situations, if we can have some basic assumptions about our children to apply in new situations.
But this fighting? What was I to do? How was I to parent?
And to be clear, this ‘fight’ was mainly wrestling, which I think my 5 y/o is actually ok with. When he’s in the situation, he doesn’t appear to back down or be timid or cry … as long as he believes in it. But there may have been some body blows by the other kid from what I hear. Anyway, not a knock down drag out, but worrisome because I preach that what our kids do today will be amplified tomorrow.
But I’m here to be real and to be honest, so you guys and gals get to see what I see.
To the men out there, it should be clear that if your kid gets hit, hitting back is acceptable. No one gets to bully our kid. And we’ve all thought about wanting to have a conversation with our kid about going back to school and popping the bully in the nose – ending this once and for all.
But for now, discretion is the better part of valor. And valor is important. So they say. So my wife and I went with the “Walk away” speech, and we’ve had to repeat it a few times for it to sink in. You have to walk away. Even if we think the way to win the battle is one action, the war is more important, and while it doesn’t always feel like it; doing the right thing, kindness, humanity always wins in the end.