As a parent, I want my children to grow up knowing that violence in any form is not a solution to anything.
I try to teach them that if someone hurts them, it doesn’t make it acceptable to hurt them back – they should be the better person and walk away. If that doesn’t work, they should tell a grown up.
I know that’s much easier said than done when you’re nine and seven and it doesn’t always happen that way but it’s the way I expect them to behave.
So can you imagine how annoyed I was at the local soft play centre the other day when a little boy kept throwing things at Master Frugal. It was quite close to closing so there were only my two and this little boy left in there and I could see this boy following Master Frugal around throwing balls at him – sometimes quite hard.
I watched closely but tried to stay out of it as it looked like Master Frugal was going a good job of ignoring this little boy (who’s mother could see what was happening the whole time but was talking on her phone so chose not to get involved) but after about five minutes he came to me to tell me he’d had enough and asked me to tell the little boy off.
As that’s clearly not my place to do, I interrupted the mother and asked (nicely) if she could tell her son to stop it. She was fine with me and did shout to her son to behave but then she turned to Master Frugal and said ‘If he does it again, just punch him. Hard. That’ll soon stop him’!
Is it just me that thinks that’s completely inappropriate or are your children allowed to hit others if they hit them?