Monday, April 13, 2009

The knock out punch.

I have three teenage boys, and being a mother of boys I naturally fear for them getting into a fight. We live in a society where if you look at someone the wrong way they punch you - violence crazed teeners like themselves with testosterone off the charts.

How do I know when it is permissible for my boys to fight? When do I determine that an altercation was justifiable and when it was not? A boy fighting off a kidnapper is surely to be praised, but a boy reducing himself to a fistfight over the last sweet is undisciplined. As a parent I instruct my boys to fight in a life-threatening situation and not to fight when the issue is petty.

I know the threshold varies across guys, and across cultures as well. Some guys won't even throw a punch if a drunken stranger gropes their girlfriend, while others (particularly in, say, Scotland) will feel free to swing a haymaker or worse if you dare to support the wrong soccer team.

My grand father use to tell my dad and his siblings "Don't ever fight. When you fight, you lower yourself to the level of an animal. Animals fight, men, think. Now, that having been said, when you do fight, and you will; remember when animals fight there are no rules, there is win or lose. But remember, like I said ... Dont ever fight!"

Isn't he just genius?

I do believe that violence can always be easily avoided in most situations, but I feel it is also important for my boys to first explain to the individual the situation and why it's horribly wrong. If the individual decides to not listen then I think striking fear on them will work best.

Otherwise, a real man can think on his feet.

I know what you think Ray, it would make my sons look sissies! (Hummp!)

But i do hate violence, although of course, there is always exception to every rule, like when they see an old lady getting beat up on, or when they will be in a situation where they just couldn't walk away.

What do you think, where should the kids draw the line? A thrown drink? Unflattering comments concerning their mother? ( I know I have to type that one, ha ha!)

Do they keep it in until the shoving starts?

When does a gentleman have the right to throw a punch?



Your Grandad was a genius, very wise and true.
I believe only fighting when its about survival and only because there isnt another way.
Fighting over name calling, or a drunkin shove could ultimately lead to death.
Many women die from a shove. They are pushed by an angry spouse and hit their heads and bam, a murder charge.
The same goes with fighting, the instigator has no prior medical knowledge of their victim, a bleeding disorder or heart condition and ban a murder charge if they die.
dangerous all round. Great post!

Jenni @ nest to keep said...

Hi Odette~
I have a boy as well, and I have thought about these things before too...I think that if he were defending someone who couldn't defend themselves, it would be justified. Definitely not for the last sweet though, as you said. I believe if we teach our children properly and instill in them a respect for others, they will know when to fight and when to walk away...

This was an interesting post. :) I hope you are having a good new week! :)

Sid Brechin said...

I have 3 brothers. On top of that my ancestors were all Scots. I changed schools 13 times before I finished high schools so I know that sometimes bullies put kids in situations where they have to fight. That said after a few schools only one of my brothers or I would ever fight once when starting a new school. Bullies are by definition cowards and really hate having to be taken away in an ambulance because they just choose to pick on the new kid half their size.

My mother would not let us fight over something said about her. She told us to tell the person to say it to her face. She could take care of herself. By High school I had studied Judo and was varsity wrestling plus when people heard I was Captain of the Rifle team it was funny how fast an insult became an apology. In the army I leaned the difference between fighting for sport ( I did also take karate for sport ) and fighting for real. I real fight never lasts longer than a few seconds as one combatant is not longer capable of carrying on. I had never thought knowing how to fight would serve me in civilian life but working a full career on the subway. There were times it did. Other times just not being afraid was enough to scare off "bad guys". I have only once fought to defend myself. My youngest brother and myself got mugged by 8 guys in their early 20's as we came out of a variety store. Both Roger and I got banged up. He got a broken nose, I was badly bruised to my thighs and missed two weeks work. Three of them were knocked out and all 8 went to jail. Turns out this was regular thing for them. Roger and I were able to identify all of them from photos for the police and since we were going to testify all the previous victims came forward. They ended up pleading guilty.
I have fought to protect others.
I have never heard an insult that couldn't be ignored. My rule of thumb is I will NEVER throw the first punch or the second if I can avoid them.
No one wants to fight less than an actual combat soldier. He doesn't have anything to prove to himself and it is only ourselves we ever have to prove anything too.

Tracey said...

I would, and have, fought when someone was being hurt or insulted. Luckily my son takes after his dad, one look at either of them is enough to put anyone off having a go.
Another great thought provoking post!!
Love Tracey x x x

Odette said...

yes this fighting back does not only concern the men, we women are more vulnerable to this as men sees us as the weaker sex.
but when push comes to shove..i'll fight back too!

Odette said...

if only all mother's can be like you who take time to instill to your kids the right and wrong of it...
but alas, some boys are born bullies and they love to sow terror at their very young age and become meaner as they grow.

so lets also teach our kids how to stand up to them!

Tracey said...

Wheres the sheriff (Ray) I would have thought this post merited a comment from the big guy!

Odette said...

have you ever dreamt of becoming a super hero?

anyway, to me you already is!

Odette said...

your sheriff has a strick regulation. he said only one comment w/in 24 hours!
since he finally posted one in the previous blog, so i have to wait at least 19hrs more before i get a new one.
i just wanna wring his neck!

hey did you read his comment on amy's?

Tracey said...

Yes I read it & laughed! The sheriff sure aint normal!!!!!!!

Angry American said...


Thinking somebody would be a "whimp" for walking away? Many years ago, I'd have agreed. Today, not so much. I've always believed "never start a physical figh. FINISH it". Now, that includes walking away.

Old age and experience has taught me a few things. Having made the mistake of being the one to swing first at an asshole (even though he deserved it), I learned the hard way it's too time consuming and too expensive legally. I'm also screwed because of my criminal record.


You're so right on so many levels. I'm shorter than average and not very muscular. So, punks, retards, assholes and bullies of all shapes and sizes think I'm an easy target. They always assume I can't fight my way out of a wet paper bag.

Untill they start trouble. Then they realize they just f*cked with the wrong person. In 90% of my confrontations, standing my ground with a dead serious look on my face finished the fight before it started.

However, in America, the laws are SO strict, even standing your ground can get you arrested. Our laws state that "we have an obligation to walk away". Even after being threatened verbally. Altough, doing that is illegal as well.

Current laws have made it all an ugly mess. Back in the day, guys would talk some smack and do a little chest thumping. If it escelated to pushing and shoving, they'd commence to beating on eachother. Whoever had the worst split lip or bloodiest nose was the winner and that was that.

Today, most chicken sh*t ganstas and thugs don't know how to solve even the simplest arguments without a gun. Even good, old fasioned knives have become obsolete.

Also, you can't even defend yourself, family, friends, strangers, or your own damn home unless you're physically attacked first. Realistically, if that happens, you could be dead before you hit the ground. If you shoot somebody who breaks into your home, you might be the one who goes to prison. Worse yet, you'll most likely be sued by the asswipe who broke in, or his family, as well.

In many situations here, criminals have more rights than victoms.

Odette said...

so ok, at least the long wait was worth it!
i hope my boys will learn from your mistakes and know that not all fight has to be won.

but when confronted with one,they should think how diffuse the situation by other means.

Amy said...

I don't like violence and get worried when i see anything starting up...but i would fight if i had to or to help someone out.

thanks for your should really come over and come ghost hunting with us!! haha xxx

Odette said...

Amy, spare me the fright, or i'll be looking over my shoulder for days and sleep under the blanket even when iam soak with sweat!

Sid Brechin said...

AA: the laws are even worse here. You cannot defend yourself with more force than you were attacked with. In other words you cannot use a knife unless you opponent pulled a gun.

We have more guns per capita than the states but almost all are long guns rifles and shotguns. Handguns are rare here. Even a Private dectective may not carry a gun here. If one is found with one he is guilty of a major felony. Carries a sentence of at least two years. On the other hand if someone commits a crime and is in possesion of a gun it becomes a life sentence.


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