One of the more common social issues that parents may face when it comes to their kids is when they get physical or fight at school or on the playground. Kids’ brains are still developing and sometimes basic concepts of talking it out, finding peaceful solutions, and “space” are still great, big mysteries. Other times, kids are just bullies and want to push someone around.
One TikTok mom asked for advice from others about how parents should handle physical violence and fighting. What are we supposed to tell our kids, and what’s the best way to keep them safe?
Mom @heyitsmestephany went viral for her honest and “unpopular” opinion on what she tells her kids about fighting and physical violence. Her three step process starts with the basics and escalates from there based on the situation.
“Unpopular opinion here, very unpopular, okay? So, there’s a three step process that I told my boy that he has to go through,” she begins.
First, Stephany told her son that he needs to try and talk it out with the person, help them understand that he needs space and to leave him alone. Give a verbal warning.
“The first step is saying, ‘Hey, I don’t like that. Please do not put your hands on me. You don’t have permission to touch my body.’ Okay?” she explains.
From there, if the situation escalates and the antagonizer will won’t leave them alone, she encourages her son to tell a trusted adult or teacher.
“Second time, you inform the teacher. You let that teacher know, ‘Hey, little buddy over there, he’s putting his hands on me. I told him I don’t like it, and he refuses to stop,’” she explains.
If a verbal warning doesn’t work and a teacher or other adult refuses to intervene, Stephany gives her son permission to do what he needs to do to stand up for himself and keep himself safe.
“Okay, if the teacher doesn’t do anything that third time, I give you permission to knock him out, slap the piss out of him. I mean, whatever you got to do,” she says.
After retaliation, she tells her son to go back to the teacher who ignored the situation and ask them to call her.
She concludes, “Now it’s my turn, okay?”
Though Stephany was certain that her opinion on fighting wasn’t going to mesh with other parents, her comment section on the video — viewed over half a million times — was filled with tons of parents who sided with her.
“This what I told my daughter. I even told her to tell the teacher both times because now imma be mad at the teacher because you knew,” one user wrote.
“The three T’s! Talk, tell, tackle,” another said.
One user wrote, “I was told if no was said 3x firmly then you have permission to be feral😂😭”
Listen, I will never encourage my child to engage in violence, provoke someone, or act without thinking. But Stephany’s 3-step process to mitigate a bully who is getting physical actually makes a lot of sense. There comes a time when, if an adult won’t even step in, self-defense may be the only option to preserve your safety and stop what’s happening.
Violence can and should be avoided at all costs, but sometimes it might be necessary. All we can is teach our children to be able to discern for themselves when it is necessary, and when it can be avoided. And that might well involve teaching them the “talk, tell, tackle” method.