I understand the point of the article. Essentially, if my son snaps your daughter’s bra, you want her to know that she’s allowed to defend herself. You want her to know that she has a say in how she is treated by the opposite sex. But, maybe instead of teaching her to punch my son, you could teach her to say something.
I’m raising my son to respect women. I’ll cover what I can, but kids are creative, hormonal and, frankly, a little dumb. While I can cover bra snapping and skirt pulling, chances are by the time he’s in middle school there will be some new perverted, offensive trend that I know nothing about. Only these little boys won’t think it’s pervy; they’ll think it’s innocent fun. And some girls will too. Some girls might feel flattered by the attention. Others may be genuinely amused. So, I’m relying on your daughter to be cognizant of her boundaries and confident enough to speak up and tell my son when his actions make her feel uncomfortable. I know that’s a lot of responsibility to place on your daughter and I appreciate it more then you’ll ever know.
I’m so proud of you for raising a daughter who doesn’t respond to these types of advances with a girlish giggle. I’m happy that your daughter has set boundaries for herself. But at the end of the day, those are HER boundaries. Unfortunately, the boys in her class, including my son, will not inherently know her boundaries. She has to tell them.
Maybe a punch in the throat will stop them from ever talking to her again, but it’s not going to stop them from doing these inappropriate acts to other girls who seem to enjoy it. I wish you had told your daughter to speak up for herself and all the other girls in her class; girls who may not know yet that they are more than their bodies. To speak loud and firm for all the boys and girls to hear.
I’m raising a son who will listen to your daughter.
I can tell him to never disrespectfully touch a girl. I’ll teach him how to be a gentleman. In an ideal world, my son and his friends will never stoop to the bra-snapping, skirt-pulling, level of disrespect. However, it’s your daughter and her friends who will decide what constitutes disrespect.
Instead of teaching your daughter to punch my son, you should teach her how to assertively and unapologetically voice when she feels disrespected. Teach her why certain behaviors are inappropriate and that it’s not her fault if someone crosses her personal boundaries. If you do your best to raise a daughter who knows how to voice her boundaries, I promise to do my best to raise a son who abides by them.
On a personal note, please don’t teach your daughter that her first response should be to punch my son in the throat. First give him a chance to apologize and correct his behavior; because although he would never hit her back… his older sister would likely kick her ass.
However, if your daughter were to speak up for herself and my son were to ignore her and proceed with the disrespectful action, then by all means, teach her to punch him in the throat… and I’ll teach my daughter to stand by her side and kick him in the balls.