A frustrated mother said she tossed ‘modern parenting’ out the window and told her young daughter to fight back against her bully.

The mother admits she’s not proud of the advice she’s given her daughter, but feels she has little choice, as not much is being done on a school level. She explained on reddit that her daughter is constantly targeted by bullies, but one boy in particular is causing her the most trouble.

“Kids have bullied her all school year, but mostly this one jerk,” she said. “The school calls me all the time: ‘There was an incident at school today where jerk /pushed/tripped/slapped/punched/yanked hair of daughter but she didn’t really get hurt, we’re just letting you know’. Even more often, daughter comes home and tells me herself about what he did.

“I’ve brought it up to the teacher and the principal and they just say they take bullying seriously but haven’t seen it happen to my daughter – despite being the ones to call me? We’ve tried the make nice, ignore, avoid, but there are no consequences for jerk.”

‘Let him be hit by a girl’

So the angry mum decided it was time her daughter stood up for herself.

“Last week we counselled my third grader to fight back. My brother taught her to grab someone by the hair and start punching. I told her to go for a nice slap, it will be more effective. Especially considering my daughter is a very nice kid, usually looking out for the underdog. She ain’t got no fighting skills but anyone can give a good slap.

“Let him get hit by a girl, kill a little bit of that machismo culture.”

She admits she never thought it was something she’d ever encourage her child to do.

“Being a parent is way different than how I thought I’d be. Never in my life could I have predicted that I’d give up mediation and go to physical self-defence. I’d like to clarify, this is only if he hurts her again. She cries every morning and night about not wanting to go to school because of bullies and the teachers that don’t care.”

The mum says in an ideal world she’d enrol her daughter in self-defence classes, but there are none nearby. So she’s encouraged her daughter to take matters into her own hands. And while her daughter hasn’t yet had to retaliate, it has prompted her to step into other conflicts.

“Simply giving her permission to defend herself has given her confidence. Yesterday she stood up to kids bullying a kindergarten child and kicked one of them. Still hasn’t taught jerk a lesson but I hold out hope.”

What are your thoughts? Can you sympathise with what this mum has told her daughter to do? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • My daughter was bullied and daren’t fight back because she had a Police caution from 2004 when she was 10 years old. She was bullied by a girl of her own age but only when the girl had older girls with her. I told my daughter if she felt threatened she should get the first punch in and I’d deal with the consequences. One tea time 2 Police officers called to arrest her for assault because as the girl and an ally had approached her 3 weeks earlier my daughter had grabbed her hair, spun her round and pushed her away, result?, Police Caution for assaulting a minor. She was 10 years and 1 month old, her bully, the minor was 10 years and 3 months old, this caution would be removed when she reached 18 or 21 however, in the meantime Ian Huntley committed the Soham Murders. It transpired that Huntley had been cautioned as a juvenile and so the law was changed and cautions remain on record for life now so for doing as her dad had told her, my daughter has a criminal record for Assaulting A Minor even though the minor was older than her. Please think before encouraging your child to fight back, it isn’t self defence if your child isn’t hit first. Yes, the law is an ass.


  • Yes I can sympathise and no I wouldn’t do the same


  • Good on her. I would have done something more drastic by now. I’ve always taught my kids to never hit first but also to never just take being bullied. Don’t start it, but finish it. If speaking to them does nothing, hit them back as hard as you possibly can. Most bullies pick on kids because of a power trip and they will stop if they keep getting hurt. And yes I tell my kids the spots to target. Throat, nose, eyes, hair, groin, back of knees


  • Being strong and not showing emotion like being afraid can help.i will probably not encourage my kids to fight but to not let other to threat them.


  • This is a right way to treat bullies because bullies always pick on kids they think are weak or can’t stand in front of them, so the only option to stop these bullies is to stand up against them and show them that they are not weak. This mum is not wrong she is telling her daughter the right thing and that is standing for her right to be respected and treated well. I would do the same.


  • I understand exactly what is happening. My youngest was bullied at school and the principal just said “They’re just being kids so let them work it out for themselves”. His cousin saw the bully pushing him around and hitting him so he walked up and pushed the bully over. The outcome was the bully got a band-aid and special attention, my son was ignored and his cousin was expelled for a week. At the time my son was 6, his cousin was 6 and the bully was 8. I couldn’t believe it and told the principal exactly what I thought of him.

    • Oh my goodness tessie, that’s horrible !


  • This is a tough one but I wouldn’t rule this out if my kids were bullied & nothing else was working.
    I was bullied for most of my childhood & then I got bullied when I entered the workplace. It’s something that I have had to put up with all my life so I know how it feels & how much you want it to stop.


  • I hate bullies and its not only Kids that get bullied these days Adults as well


  • This is such a tough one! When my child is intimidated by kids at school, you do want them to knock the bull on their a$$, in the hopes that it deters future bullying. However, we insist that they take the higher path and inform their teachers when issues arise.
    My husband was bullied a lot in high school and he did punch his bully in the face. It did solve his issue, but he also became a bully. He fully turned the tables and started bullying the kids who bullied him.
    And that’s where you need to be careful. One that it doesn’t open a floodgate where the bullied becomes the bully and two that the right person gets into trouble.


  • I absolutely understand. As a parent of a son who was bullied for years by different students, with a school more interested in mediation (that never worked and was comical), my husband used to tell my son to fight back. It upset me, but I understood. However, my son is not like that and it was difficult to tell him to do something that went against everything he felt. We ended up having to move schools.


  • Sounds to me that it is the only recourse left to you. Bullies usually stop if retaliation occurs. Hope it all works out for you in the end.


  • Wow surely there are other ways to go about this. I’d be scared for my daughter that her retaliation will make things worse


  • The school should step in but they never do, yes for self defence but not to be the one who punches first.


  • The school needs to give the bully more serious consequences than just “talking”.


  • Schools in general seem to be very good at lip service when it comes to bullying.
    It’s sad for this family that it has come to this.


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