So what does it mean to be tough? Here is my Rocky. Well actually, his name is Jeremy. And as someone once said, "he's a lover not a fighter." But with that said, there comes a time when defending yourself becomes necessary. This is our story...

Saturday night, my oldest son arrived home on time for his curfew at 11:00 p.m. with a bruised and swollen face. He muttered, "I got in a fight!"  He was out with some of his favorite buddies walking around our neighborhood and talking when another group of older boys approached them with taunting, cussing, and threatening. "Tough guy" D. (His name will be omitted to protect the innocent and stupid.) yells from a distance, "I want to fight you! Mother f-----!" And other choice words which shall not be shared on this G-rated blog.

Now this may seem strange coming out of no where--no provocation. But that's where the rest of the story comes into play. These so called "tough guys" go to an ultimate fighting training center to learn to "fight" and "throw people down." Many of the boys who go to this center have a strange habit of picking fights--often with boys who are much larger than they are--which seems like sheer stupidity to me, but then again an air of aggression and arrogance seems to accompany this type of "training."

Not only are these boys trained to fight. Their parents actually pay for it! After all, they want their boys to be tough! And the boys want to practice what they learn. For about a year now, Kid D. has been coming from the high school to the junior high (with a group of guys) to "beat up" Jeremy when the last bell rings. Kid D. texts his threats.  Kid D. breathes his threats in person (as long as he has his punk entourage). Kid D. sends messages of threats with other Junior High students to give to Jer. In other words, "tough guy" D. has been premeditating and planning a fight with my son for quite some time. What is a parent to do?

This is what we did. My husband sent Jer down to the weight room in our basement and gave him a work out regiment. We encouraged Jeremy to be fit and ready IF he needed to DEFEND himself from "tough guy" D. who--as we stated before--is "trained" for garbage like this. I think Kid D.'s life dream is to be a cage fighter (think Kip from Napoleon Dynamite.) We also instructed our son, under no circumstance, to throw the first punch. EVER! So this is where he stood March 6, 2010.

It was dark and cold. Kid D. had his friends standing behind him on a front porch. Jeremy had his friends behind him standing on the sidewalk. After a string of profanity, jeers, and threats from the Kid D., Jer walked up to him and asked for some clarity, "you want to fight me?"  Then, so close he could touch him and with puffed out chest, Kid D. said, "no, I don't want to fight you!" With that Jeremy turned his head and  WAM!, Kid D. sucker punched him in the left eye when Jeremy was not looking--completely unsuspected and unprepared. Kid D. added some fighting kicks to Jer's face then some "throw down" moves. Then Jeremy balled his fists, gave him a powerful blow, and broke his nose. Kid D. or should I say Punk D. fell backward on the lawn and said, "I quit! I quit!" Jeremy, the lover not a fighter, showed class and sportsmanship and walked away.

On Sunday, Jeremy stayed home from church so he wouldn't be a distraction to the other boys. When we got home from our meeting at church, we found Jeremy watching Rocky in our theater room. We laughed and rolled our eyes. The kid! On Monday at school, a teacher handed Jeremy a Harassment Complaint Form to fill out against Punk D. Jeremy folded the paper into a small wad and slipped it in his pocket. I found the form while picking up his room.

In closing, bullying is a growing problem in our schools and neighborhoods. I attribute much of this to violent video games, television, and movies. It seems that "fighting training clubs" bring out the worst in boys rather than teach them self-control, confidence, and tools for self defense. Instead, boys feel empowered to go out there and "show their stuff." It's a crying shame! For a long time, experts taught kids who were bullied to go to parents, teachers, or principles. Now, experts are suggesting that they stand up for themselves and even fight back when necessary. We had our showdown and hope that boys who think they are tough, will clue in to what strength really means!

1 comment:

  1. Great job Shauna!!! So glad he's standing up for himself!!