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.