Yesterday we were hanging out in our neighborhood park with a bunch of neighbors when our oldest started fighting with a third-grade girl. They had been playing a game on their bikes, and someone cheated. Someone called names and stuck a tongue out, someone started hitting, and the other person hit back. Pretty soon, it became two girls doing the windmill at each other. Kevin had to break up the fight.
After we got home, Kevin expressed his disappointment with her. But get this: it wasn't because she fought with someone, it was over how she fought. He talked to her about how ineffective the windmill strikes were and proceeded her to instruct her which blows and blocks she should have used. Basically, he was preparing her for her next fight. Then he scolded my 5 year old son for just standing there and not helping. He wanted my son to help my daughter beat up on the other girl! It's ironic, because he happened to be chatting with the girl's father when this happened.
Meanwhile, I'm thinking about how we're supposed to teach our children to turn the other cheek and how to be gentle and peace-loving. It's one thing to protect yourself from an attacker, but it's another to fight with a kid because you don't agree with her.
At the same time, though, I'm proud she stood up for herself. We hear a lot about Christian kids being constantly taught to "be nice," and then they grow up to be pushovers. I want our kids to be assertive but not aggressive, tolerant but not submissive. Finding the right balance - that's the tricky part.
P.S. Does anyone know which method would be better for kids: tae kwon do, karate, aikido, jujitsu, etc?