Friday, March 09, 2007

Raise them Fighting

At Westside park my 9yo daughter, Maria, was playing tag with some other girls and a boy joined them. I thought it odd but just watched. What I didn't know was that he was shoving the girls when he "tagged" them because he thought it was fun, but wasn't doing it to Maria, who was an inch taller than him. She saw a little white girl asking him to stop (the black girl in the group defended herself) so Maria told him "You shove her again I'm going to shove you."

She related this to me immediately afterwards. I asked her what he said in response, she said "He didn't say anything." I asked her what he did after that, she said "Well he didn't push her again."

Later she was playing on the slides and running around, and these black boys were playing catch football amidst the kids on the gym equipment. I thought they liked running around an obstacle course. Actually, they thought it was funny to shoulder other kids as they ran by.

One of them hit Maria in the back of her right shoulder as he ran by and she instinctively elbowed him in the gut, just pure reflex. She said the boy spun around, gave her this wide eyed expression, and then ran off. None of the boys bumped into her after that.

I've had her elbow me in the gut before (I grabbed her from behind when she was trying to run to her baby brother, who had just fallen, and I thought she was running from the tickle fight me and my three daughters were having), and it made me sit down for a moment. She kept trying to apologize when that happened, and I kept praising her.

Moral of the story is to make sure our kids grow up fighting - for their grades, for what they want to achieve, and against people who would do them harm, verbally or otherwise.

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