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?