Dear Dr. Laura,
I am a married to the father of my children, a 9-year-old boy and 5-year-old girl. My son is in tae kwon do and has been working towards his black belt for a few years. Currently, he has a brown belt. He is a sensitive soul and my husband and I felt it was best that we enroll him in something that would help build his courage, confidence, patience and strength. Plus, there is a neighbor boy who has shown signs of developing into a bully, just like his dad. We don't interact with these folks, but wanted to make sure our son was prepared.
Our son's school (K through 8) has a zero tolerance for bullying. Each child must sign a behavior contract prior to enrollment. The policy essentially states that if they misbehave, they can potentially be kicked out of the school. However, I do not want to have to rely solely on the school nor their no bullying policy. I wanted to give our son the best chance of being able to defend himself should the occasion arise.
I have told him that if he were in need to defend himself or a friend and was in a position to throw the second (and hopefully last) punch, we would celebrate. I do not know how the school would handle a student's decision to defend himself since a fight has not occurred at the school since in started in 2010. But, if he gets suspended or given a referral, I have told him we will celebrate his day off by going to Disneyland or Legoland.
That answer made him smile. Lord help the kid that tries to push my son around, I don't think they will know what "hit" them.