August 25, 2008

“You will encounter situations where parents will tell their kids, ‘If you are hit, I want you to hit back.'”

Experts point out it is important for parents to keep emotions in check and to not encourage a child to hit back or retaliate.

And apparently you will encounter “experts” who advise kids to be punching bags for bullies.

Look, I’m all for kids going to their parents with this stuff. Obviously. And I’m all for parents talking to school authorities. I’m all for calling up the parents of the kid (something else that the so-called experts warn against).

But I’m also for striking back when you are struck. I went to grade school in Los Angeles. I was skinny, introverted, and, truth be told, kind of funny looking. Unsurprisingly, then, there were sometimes bullies. What I remember most about these encounters is that the only thing that ever helped was bloodying the nose of my antagonist.

Bullies don’t like fights, you see. They like pushing people around. Fighting is work, and–win or lose–fighting can be painful.

I carried on with this strategy well into middle school. Sometimes it got me in trouble. Sometimes it got me hurt. But I never, ever had to suffer endless torment at the hands of some smirking bully.

Kids, if a schoolmate hits you and there’s no one around to help, hit back.

“You… yeah, you. Sick of some jerk shoving your head down the toilet? Well, you know what? Maybe… you should lift some weights, or uh, take a karate lesson and the next time he tries to do it, you kick him in the balls.” – Donnie Darko


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  1. I was all of the above, except I was one of two fat kids in school. Nobody was fat…

    I hit back once… still have a permanent lump on my skull.


    I’m sure she needed plastic surgery on that broken nose later 🙂

  2. Hit back…always hit back. Learn tactics….take a few hits, hit the deck, cover up, then jump up and use your noggin on their chin….then kick ass.

    Just because one is a either skinny or fat nerd doesn’t mean “take a beating” — hit back!

  3. This is so wrong. You need to try massive sanctions and idle threats by the UN first.

    What ever happened to trying to understand the enemy? Maybe his home life is miserable and your attack will only hurt his fragile ego further.

  4. […] And I agree with him, so long as the bully’s got no gang connections. Then it’s a whole new ballgame. […]

  5. Aaron, you no doubt think you’re making a clever remark about the foreign policy positions of left-leaning America, but you are not. What you’re doing is showing that your understanding of those positions amounts to little more than straw man caricature.

  6. I don’t actually see much difference between a playground bully and a full-grown dictator bully.

  7. Kudos Aaron. Any time you make a liberal respond with ” Poo, poo, you uneducated, gun toting, bible clinging dopes just can’t understand” then you have scored a point!

    Actually, the analogy is quite apt. When schoolyard bullies are coddled by psychologists and counselors rather than confronted, there is often an increase in the amount and severity of their anti-social behavior. The kids who are wrongly taught to always be pacifist become marked targets….they are easy helpless marks. The same goes for dictators. Appeasement only makes them stronger enemies in the future. You simply can’t reason with a person who uses violence as a yardstick to measure success. Negotiations only work when done from a position of strength. Negotiations from a position of weakness are better know as “pleading” or “begging”

    Speak softly, but carry a big stick. Still good advice.

  8. Raise your hand if you think the foreign policy record of G. W. Bush is pretty good. Okay, you with your hands up? You have absolutely zero credibility with me (or anyone else with a modicum of common sense) with regard to that subject.

    Furthermore, I wonder if you’ll be able to tell when you have ceased to be the guy who stands up to bullies and become a bully in your own right. I rather doubt it.

  9. I’m not sure how you can advocate both defending yourself with force and passive diplomacy at the same time. Why complain about getting beat up and losing your lunch money if you feel that standing up to the bully is wrong. Seems that a better solution for you would be to just get a job and pay the bully to leave you alone.

    As for foreign policy, well clearly President Bush made a mistake. While the carrot and stick approach worked remarkably well with N. Korea (the PRC makes quite a nice stick), his lightweight diplomacy only approach to Iran leaves us with a religious oligarchy on the verge of being able to wage nuclear war. Israel, knowing it is the likely target of Iran’s new “warhead diplomacy” will be forced by our weakness into attacking Iran. That may well spiral the region into a general war. Our limp diplomacy has led us to the brink of war. That happened when appeasment was tried with Nazi Germany, it happened when we ignored Japan’s murderous foray into China, and it happened when we showed weakness to North Korea in the 50s. War, however, was NOT the result when we stood up, toe to toe, with the USSR. Our strength in the face of that bully AVOIDED a serious war.

    If you seriously believe the left-wing rhetoric on Iraq, then there is no point arguing that issue. If not, then I’d say that Bill Clinton’s estimate of Iraq was correct, though he never followed through. Bush did what Clinton proposed, and what many (even many Democrats) felt was a good idea. In the end, millions of people have been freed from an evil, tyranical maniac. Saddam killed 100s of thousands of his own people (some were killed with weapons of mass destruction). Rape, murder, torture, all were commonplace in Saddams Iraq. It was not the paradise that some are trying to paint it. Iraq now as a chance to be the first true Arab democracy. If we don’t pull the rug out from under this fledgling democracy, something very good could come of it. If we allow it to fail, it will certainly leave alot of blood on our hands.

    I’m not sure how people can argue that Iraq would be better off if Saddam was still in power, but I expect that I’m about to find out.

  10. Ok. I’ll de-snark my response a bit by saying that your original post does not surprise me, given the little bit that I know of you.

    Now, had Mathias or Folkbum written it I’d be soiling myself right now.

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