The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh recently opined in a piece entitled, “We Teach Our Kids To Be Doormats And Then Wonder Why There Is A ‘Bullying Epidemic.'”
From the article:
“We have built of this mythology of “the bigger person,” and told our children that the “bigger person” is the one who walks away from bullies, disengages, tells an adult. The “bigger person” is somehow the submissive one who slinks away and runs for cover. We tell our children that remaining silent in the face of a bully is “strong” and “courageous.” But somehow the strong, courageous, bigger child, who spends his childhood avoiding confrontation and retreating in the face of aggressors, never actually feels very strong, courageous, or big. He feels, rather, like a punchline. Because that is what we have told him to be.”
It was a piece that resonated with me. As a kid who was picked on. As the father of a child who has been picked on because he learned Japanese first, and other kids saw this as an opportunity to pick on a kid whom they felt couldn’t effectively communicate his case. He’s in first grade. He speaks below his grade level. He reads English at his grade level. He speaks and reads Japanese at the Third Grade level. Cool.
But we have an evening ritual at my house. Sparring after reading.
I’m going to up the stakes on Walsh’s article, and bluntly state what he alluded to. Make your children capable of violence.
It sounds like an extreme thing to say, but that’s probably because when you hear the word violence, you tend to think of the upper extreme of the definition. In reality, the capability of violence is the ability to do harm, but not the proactive encouragement of such.
Bullies aren’t versed in Self Defense, which teaches you to defend yourself against an aggressor rather than be an aggressor. As bullies lack discipline by nature, which is the foundation of Self Defense, odds are they don’t even know how to fight. Usually, they rely on a posse, otherwise known as strength in numbers, because they’re cowards. Cut off the head and the body will die.
Let’s approach this from a philosophical standpoint. There is nothing virtuous about saying you’re peaceful if you’re not capable of violence. You’re not actually peaceful. You’re helpless. There’s a difference. You don’t actually have a choice. Being peaceful is a lie you tell yourself to excuse your weakness. It’s like patting yourself on the back because you didn’t get punched this time, while having your lunch money stolen, and giving it up to avoid a conflict.
That’s not the high road. That’s a figure-eight track.
My son used to be in the Edmonds School District in Washington State. A kid pulled down his pants on the playground. I told my son to report it to his teacher and he did. Three days went by, and the school had not communicated with me about the incident. So I emailed his teacher, who stated she had reported it to the offending student’s teacher, but had not heard back and was unaware if he had been disciplined at all.
Even more recently, this is the same school district that did not alert parents district-wide that someone was trying to lure children into their car outside of multiple schools in their district. We found out about it on the news three weeks after it started happening.
Absolutely, I’m raising a kid who can deal damage. A kid whom I will stand behind when schools try to make him equally culpable as the aggressor for defending himself. I’m raising the proverbial stupid prize.
If you’ve guessed I hold a lot of skepticism towards the public school system, you’d be correct. Especially with his proficiency in Japanese, living in America, and being above kids his age who live in Japan. That was all home school.
But the biggest takeaway is this: Peace through strength is as applicable to grade school as it was on the world stage. Make your children disciplined and capable of violence. Stand up for them in front of them for its principled use. Very few examples will need to be made before the target is off your kids’ backs.
Or, we could be complacent with the rising suicide rate of bullied children, while continuing to enable the bullies. I say punching a bully in the face is favorable in comparison to your child hanging themselves.
But it’s your choice.