A topic for a DaddyCast as soon as I get a chance to record again is how to teach the kids when defensive aggression is okay. A couple of weeks ago my youngest mentioned that another kid at school had pushed him. He then went on to state what this kid did to a couple of his friends- pushed them down, kicked them, etc. I am not sure where the embellishment began but realized that my interest in the topic was possibly causing it to go beyond fact. But, I do believe part of it was true so I decided to take the opportunity to learn more and perhaps teach as well.
I mentioned to the boys that if they ever felt threatened that they could use their Tae Kwon Do training to defend themselves. They immediately responded “Oh no, Master Cho would get mad at us. He would kick us out.” I confirmed that yes, that is the rule if they misuse their training but tried to emphasize that if they were threatened by a bully, and qualified it that if there was no teacher around to report it to, they could defend themselves. They still did not seem convinced.
If you have been following the show you know the boys have been doing Tae Kwon Do for almost two years. While a lot of what we do is learning forms and motions, no real sparring or tournament type action, my hope is that by learning the basics at a young age they can have something to build on when they get older and become more aware of what the training is and what it is for. For now, the training is to help them learn respect, focus and some coordination. Later, I hope it helps them build confidence and good character.
But even with their somewhat sloppy technique (and I can’t point fingers, my round house kicks hardly put anyone over 4 feet tall in fear of being kicked in the head), I hope that if threatened they will be able to defend themselves. Or at least scare someone off or make them think twice about bullying them. But I guess this is where the fine line comes in- when it is right to defend and when is it right to flee? How do you teach them to protect themselves, and others around them, but not to turn to an posture of offense? And, are there times that taking an aggressive stance would backfire and cause more bullying rather than less (ala the Karate Kid)?
So, I have done a little research on the matter and plan to share that on the next show. I still have a lot of questions on what to teach them, how to approach it and when is the right time (from a maturity standpoint) but questions lead to answers and answers to clarity. So if you have any comments in the meantime, please comment here and perhaps we can liven up the discussion on the next Podcast.
As always, it is Parenting from the Hip!