When another child so much as hurts my son's feelings, I feel like pummeling the offender. I don't, of course, and also know that my son has clearly done his fair share of hurting feelings too. But if anyone ever tried to physically harm him, I honestly don't know what I would do. Sure I'd encourage him to reason and talk first, but we all know how well that works out sometimes.
A mother in California decided to encourage her son to beat the living crap out of his nemesis, and was arrested. She made the mistake of getting captured on a video, which was posted on YouTube and led to her arrest. It's pretty graphic. When I first saw it, I couldn't believe it was the mother actually there at the fight cheering him on. It became clear, however, when a passerby tried to intervene.
"This boy has a problem with my son; I'm letting him handle it," Jennifer Zuniga, 33, tells him when he asks what's going on.
"What kind of example are you, lady?" the guy asks
Her response: "Hey I don't care." Clearly not, check it out for yourself and see what you think.
This is out of control, and she definitely deserves the charges against her -- child endangerment and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Being right there to witness the fight and screaming things like "beat him down" and "body slam him" go far beyond telling your child it's okay to defend himself if all else fails.
But is it ever okay to give your child permission to use violence?
I can't help but think of the Brady Bunch when Peter Brady tried to defend Cindy's honor after Buddy Hinton made fun of her lisp. "Baby talk, baby talk, it's a wonder you can walk." Remember that? Well, after unsuccessfully trying to reason with him, Mike finally taught Peter to fight. If there had been YouTube back then (and yeah, if they had actually been real-life people instead of characters, but I'm making a point), should Mike Brady have been arrested too?
Though a line has evidently been crossed in the above video, it does seem to be a bit of a blurry line other times. Peace all the time would be nice, but you also can't expect your child to just sit back and take beatings either if nothing else is working. Just look at Casey Heynes who recently rose to fame as a hero after body slamming his bullying. Sometimes you do have to stand up for yourself and, unfortunately, sometimes that means fists fly. It doesn't, however, mean that you need your mom to act as a cheerleader.
I hope I never have to deal with this issue with my son, though I know I likely will have to at some point. If so, I hope I'm able to convey the right messages and that he's never the one to throw the first punch ... but I also hope his father can teach him some really good moves just in case he needs them.
Have you ever encouraged your children to fight? Would you?
Image via YouTube