I’m going to say it right off: hitting is primitive. It is. I think of the caveman hitting the woman over the head and dragging her to his cave, claiming her as his own. I would think we as human beings would have evolved to a point by now where we didn’t have to use physical violence to prove our point. Some would argue that violence is a part of the human genome, and to that I say, Prove it!
As parents, we don’t want to see our children picked on or pushed around, and we lack the knowledge of any better solution so we say, “If so-and-so hits you first, you hit them back.” The funny thing is I’ve seen parents tell their child this when it was obvious to me and everyone else around that their child was the aggressor.
It seems like today’s society is angrier and more violent than any other. Teenage girls are making Youtube videos of other teenage girls being beaten to a pulp by their peers. Sports stadium riots and beatings are on the rise, with more occurrences than ever before. Call it lack of moral and family values. Call it lack of religion and belief in sin and judgment.
Perhaps I’ll argue you about wars and world peace another time. Let’s make it more personal for right now. I hear some parents who yell at their boys – and girls – “If he hits you, you better hit him back!”
Yes, I will confess that I even told this to Ruqi once because I was distraught when she told me the boy in the red shirt was hitting her at preschool. I wasn’t raised with this type of thinking, but I guess we all question our own upbringings, right?
My parents always taught NO HITTING. And guess what? I was never in a fight, and I never got picked on. I think it was all about confidence for me. My brother did not escape the punishment of unforgiving children as easily. He was teased and picked on, and that is probably the fear I have for my own children. But I now realize that there are other mechanisms we can use as parents to get the best of both worlds: a child who is both confident and non-violent. Talking to your children about conflict resolution from a young age is key and also demonstrating it in the household. If mommy and daddy and verbally/physically abusive or short-tempered, that is the lesson being taught to the child.
The ethic code starts with us the parents. What will we teach our children? As parents and caregivers we have the unique opportunity to be the very first moral influence on these young minds. What will you choose?
P.S. I know what some of y’all are thinking: Is she saying a child should sit there and get beat up, and not fight back? NO!! Not at all. Even the Qur’an states that violence is permissible once one is transgressed. I am simply saying we as parents need to be examples of non-violence and peaceful conflict resolution J