Psychologist Makes Case for Teaching Kids to Punch Back


"Help your child learn to manage strong emotions and reactions as they become aware of themselves as separate individuals from their parents and the other important people in the world," said Claire Lerner in her blog entry. As the Senior Parenting Advisor of Zero to Three, a website where parenting resources are published, Lerner wrote several blog entries related to aggressive behavior in children accompanied by case studies and tips on how to help children in managing their temper.

In contrast to the traditional parenting advices given by Lerner, a clinical psychologist favored kids fighting back against bullies in the schoolyard. David Coleman, a psychologist from Dublin Ireland made a controversial argument on his article published in Irish Independent website.

"If an initial physical attack is not met with some degree of physical response, then it tends to happen again," Coleman said while stressing out the importance of showing the child strength in case of bullying. "If another child discovers that they can push someone around, they often continue to do so."

Bullying is a serious case that claimed a lot of lives around the globe. Kids who are below 18 years old are usually the victims of a horrific attack from schoolmates and other colleagues. Not to mention the incident of cyber-bullying where shame reached to a higher level through the use of social media and other platforms.

In his article he wrote, "By not fighting back they give a clear message that they will not resist. They give an equally clear message that they accept the other child's dominance."

Teaching kids to fight back is a positive input according to Coleman, "It is healthy to teach them that fighting has its place and that it's OK for children to believe that it is acceptable to push back against someone who has intentionally pushed them."

Should parents chose this route, Coleman warned, "Be sure to prepare your child - and yourself, for that matter - for a potentially painful consequence."

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