Playground fights are quite normal among children but if they take the form of physical bullying, parents should be well-prepared to deal with it.
Kids fight on playgrounds and in schools for the silliest things and it is a normal behavior to engage in. However, the fights aren't okay if they feel like bullying or make a child uncomfortable. While most kids might not even talk to their parents about things like these happening at school, as parents it is important to make sure they know how to go about it. Kelsey—who goes by @growingwithkelsey on TikTok—poses a thought-provoking question to all parents about the lessons they are imparting to children when it comes to resolving conflicts on the playground.
Another mother, Steph—who goes by @heyitsmestephany on TikTok—made a stitch with Kelsey's video and aimed at providing a solution to parents on how to deal with these conflicts. She introduces a unique three-step process that she has shared with her child to manage disputes. The first step encourages kids to communicate assertively but respectfully. Essentially, they are taught to express their discomfort and assert their boundaries by saying, "Hey, I don't like that. Please do not put your hands on me. You don't have permission to touch my body." This approach emphasizes the importance of verbalizing one's feelings and personal boundaries. A fellow mother, @augwonderwoman commented, "I added step 1A. Tell me the same day so when they call I know the start date," to which Steph replied, "That's a good one."
The second step involves seeking the help of a teacher. If the issue persists and the other child continues to engage in unwanted physical contact despite the initial warning, the child is encouraged to inform a teacher about the situation. They might say, "Hey, little buddy over there is putting his hands on me. I told him I don't like it, and he refuses to stop." This step underscores the importance of involving a trusted adult in conflict resolution.
Now, this is where the approach takes an unexpected turn. If the teacher's intervention does not yield any positive results and the issue persists, the child is permitted to use physical force as a last resort. The parent suggests that the child may "knock him out" or "slap the other child" as a way to protect themselves. It is essential to note that this step is framed as a final and justified act of self-defense when all other options have been exhausted. In an attempt to lighten things, @ilashesandmore commented on the video saying, "I don’t understand what’s so unpopular. I like the addition of the first 2 steps."
The video concludes by encouraging children to approach the teacher confidently, even after taking matters into their own hands. The child is instructed to inform the teacher with a smile and politely request that they contact their parent because they have followed the process they were taught. A lot of mothers supported Steph and agreed with her. Another mother, @cream_puffs90 said, "Same! And I backed my daughter up and said if you would have done your job she wouldn't have had to take that far!"