My son was shoved.
I have always taught Carter to be calm. To fight with his brain – not his fists. I have told him to think through his anger and deal appropriately. Does it always work? No. But he handles situations way better than I have ever been able to.
I signed Carter up for a local karate class a few weeks back looking for some “stranger danger” reinforcement. For confidence in handling frustrating situations. He’s such a smart kid and almost looks frustrated when other kids use physical intimidation. I was hoping karate would teach him blocking moves from those situations, how to handle strangers and also how to use calm and collect moves to STOP a fight.
As (bad) luck would have it another local family signed their two boys up for very different reasons. Because the boys beat on EVERYTHING. They have no control what-so-ever. They swear, they glare, they punch each other …at 5 and 6 years old. I watched my son learn karate moves, learn karate phrases, and get shoved…over and over again by one of these boys. The boy would shoulder check my son and then glare at him, push him and laugh, cut in front of him in line just to see if he’d get a reaction… you name it. All in front of the boys parents (who did nothing) and the karate teacher (who made excuses like “it’s the age range”).
Here is where my story gets worse.
I handled the situation wrong. I let my frustration with the boy, the parents and the instructor get to me. I yelled at them. All of them. In front of my kids. I did the wrong thing.
Carter, however, did not handle the situation wrong. He didn’t hit back. He didn’t say mean words. He used his brain and just said, “that boy wasn’t very nice, but must have felt sad inside.” My son learned from my words and hopefully won’t learn from my actions.
He amazed me. He constantly amazes. He’s such a good person. I guess I can’t protect him forever, and I certainly can’t go all angry-mama-bear on every mean kid that Carter encounters. I guess I can just hope he always uses his brain…and not his anger.