Monday, February 9, 2015

The Thinnest Line

For the past two days, a group of boys in Raphaela's Kindergarten class have apparently become more rowdy and uncontrolled than usual, and Raphaela came home yesterday and today with stories of taunting and throwing toys and general mischief.

I told my daughter, as I have told her in the past, that if someone attacks her or gangs up against her, she has every right to defend herself.  If a boy says, "I will paint your face with glue," you say right back, " I will paint YOUR face with glue.  You are hurting my feelings, so stop!"  And unfortunately as happens in the Israeli school system at too young an age, if there is physical bullying, Raphaela has been encouraged by me to hit back...and then tell the teacher or a responsible adult the whole story.

As has been explained to me often since moving to Israel almost 18 years ago, if you allow yourself to become the target of bullying, you are perceived as weak and the cycle of victim-hood continues.  The same could be said for the political situation in the Middle East, your enemy will most surely take advantage of a show of so-called compromise and weakness.

After explaining all this to Raphaela, and hearing a series of statements against boys and their roughness and the noise they make, my daughter looked at me and said, "But you told me that I am not allowed to hit, and that I shouldn't hurt a person's feelings on purpose."

Her beautiful rigid sense of rules and morality is stopping her from fighting back, and I don't know how to teach her that exceptions can and should be made, without it sounding like I am contradicting my own principles.

1 comment:

Lusjanochka said...

What about explaining about the army and police? After all, they have to 'hurt' the feelings of others to protect the citizens?