Sunday, September 17, 2006

And in the blue corner, weighing in at 72 pounds...

Last Sunday night I walked out of church to find that my 10 year old daughter, Grace, had pinned a 10 year old boy to the ground. She was sitting on his chest and he was solidly trapped. He also had a bloody nose. I was proud of her, but also not too sure about how justified she was in dropping this kid to the turf. I called her off and as the story emerged it came out that the boy was picking on her younger sister, Claire, and younger brother Clark and she knew they needed her help.

We play a game here called Tickle Monster where I sit on the floor, grab a kid running by and tickle him/her until they pass out or their brothers/sisters rescue them. No one has ever passed out, not even close. The point of the game is to get them to stand up for each other. Grace, I now know for sure, got the point of the game. The others, from what I can tell, also got it. Another thing that I have taught my kids, good or bad, is to follow through when they punch someone. They were giving me five the other morning and they were barely touching me. They were setting their swing up to end right at my hand. This got us to talking about defending one’s self and I showed all the girls how to aim their punch to end about a foot behind the object they were hitting. Grace was especially attentive and one of the best learners. Claire was just as interested and continues to try to get another chance at a punching lesson.

Last night we were at a dinner at church and as we were leaving Grace and Claire were telling me how they had been in a fight with four boys and won. I told them, firmly and with great conviction, that this was a trend that had to end. I also asked them how it happened. Well, the boys decided, as nine to 11 year old boys will do, to chase the girls after the dinner was over. The only girls their size were Grace and Claire. Much to their surprise they learned that the Nelson girls do not run. The boys came running up to Grace and Claire and rather than run off like girls usually do, they stood their ground and walloped the boys, pulling their hair and tackling three out of the four.

So, should they be taught to run and squeal the way little girls do in these situations or trained up to be bounty hunters? I am thinking that the true answer falls somewhere in the middle, but I am also thinking that no one would really expect a couple of pretty girls to be bounty hunters, which would make them very successful.



Audrey said...

Looks like yall are making a real name for yourselves. I can hear it now. "Here comes that family; Those kids beat the other kids up and the father cuses in church. GASP" LOL


Heather Sanders said...

This conversation has occurred in our household as well ... how should we raise up our girls. We have determined that there is a middle ground as well, but we learn more toward having them stand firm than run in fear or mock delight.

We want the to talk like girls, look like girls and look forward to marriage and running a household one day. On the other hand, we want them to stand up for what they believe, protect their siblings (and future family), and not live in fear.

I think you are doing fabulously - there is always a learning curve. Not everything is a fight, but sometimes ... sometimes it is the RIGHT thing.

Heather Sanders said...

Geez ... I need spellcheck.

I meant "... but we lean toward having them stand firm."


"We want them to talk like girls,..."

Karen of TX said...

The only time I ever delivered up a bloody nose was when the next door kid was picking on my brother who had a broken arm. Wait. Rephrase. One time, my brother, who had a broken arm, was being picked on by the neighbor kid, and I decked him. The neighbor kid, not my brother.

Anyway. I remember my dad being very proud of me and instead of the spanking I expected, I got a pat on the back and a nudge of the self-esteem.

Good for Grace and Claire, and I don't think it'll happen often. Those boys aren't going to risk it twice.