How do you teach kids to defend themselves, without becoming bullies? I'm talking about younger kids (1.5 to 3yo) who are not mature enough (or old enough) to take self-defense classes.
My son is two and a half, and he's a bit on the small side; he has a lot of older cousins (and younger cousins) whom, for lack of a better word, get physical him.
Having them take his toys or food is ok. But what I'm talking about is when they:
- Hit him
- Hit him hard
- Bite him (he has scars from one bite-mark)
- Push him down (especially if he's running and he falls)
What can I teach him to defend himself, but without becoming a bully? In the past, two techniques that worked adequately were:
- Leaving the situation (running from biters)
- Complaining to an adult
However, these are both dependent on a parent being available immediately to assess the situation (and see who's the wrong party), and in the long-term, this will make him dependent on external authority to hold his own.
Looking forward, if he goes to school and gets into a tough fight, I don't want him to be "easy pickings" for bullies or to always be the losing end of the (hopefully very rare) fight; I want him to have the skills and confidence to hold is own. Without degenerating into becoming a bully.
What techniques have you used on your kids which worked?