Octopus Mom

Life as a mom who has her hands full

Fighting with the 5 year old boy

My little boy loves to fight. He pretends that he is a Jedi master and that he is battling the evil forces of the Dark Side. HE pretends that he is a master Kung Fu fighter and dragon slayer. And for the most part, we play right along with him. We duel sword fight and wrestle..we leap and tumble over sofa cushions and blankets. Problem is, he is taking this “aggressive behavior” outside of the home and trying to “play fight” with the other kids at school and at the gym club..apparantly which is a major NO NO! So what’s a mom to do? I don’t want to squash his creative play nor do I want to dampen his active lifestyle. I want to raise a boy who is pushing limits of society not quietly standing in line waiting for life to come his way. Yet I also want him to get along with others and understand the finer points of “appropriate social interactions”. He is just not understanding the difference between “only at home” play and “play at school”.

What concerns me is the idea that a boy who wants to play rough and tumble is somehow looked upon badly. Come on…these guys have millions of years of evolution and testosterone which makes them active and aggressive. I realize that we have to place limits on appropriate aggressive behavior but eliminating aggressive behavior in boys all together may be setting our boys up for failure.

I doubt that China, Iran, Russia, and Korea are trying to “squash” aggressive behavior in their boys. Fighting isn’t all bad, as long as you can teach your children how to control it. Some of the greatest contributions came from men who “fought” conventional wisdom and thought outside of the box. As a society we need to let boys be boys and let girls be girls and try our best not to create sexless, genderless, masses of average individuals. Not everyone wins a gold medal, (Not every boy is Michael Phelps), not everyone is an A student, and not every boy is a passive creater. Some are energetic fighters, constantly pushing us all ,as a society, to become brighter, faster, and yes even…better.


4 comments on “Fighting with the 5 year old boy

  1. Sharon
    September 21, 2008

    how about having play clothes? well, in this case, a fighting costume? i bet he’d love to dress the part as a jedi 🙂 then, maybe there’s a way to let him know that only when he’s wearing that can he play-fight.

  2. faemom
    September 21, 2008

    That’s tough. We have a similar problem because our three year old hasn’t realized he can’t make his little brother into the Sith.
    I was wondering do the teachers say why they don’t like his play fighting? Is it too rough or violent? Or is it just not done?

  3. Kris
    October 1, 2008

    I’m a mom of a healthy and happy 3-year-old boy. They have a no-touch/hands-off policy for the kids at this preschool. I am really concerned about our boys that we have taken our fears to this extreme. I believe boys need and want to test their strength and they just need help to know when enough is enough. I really think you make a good point about Russians or Chinese not worried about play-fighting. I’m bothered by it and wonder if there is a group that promotes wrestling for preschoolers… just for good exercise, play and fun!??

    Thanks for letting me vent!

  4. Michael
    January 21, 2009

    You’re right about other countries. In Russia they have a holiday called “Men’s Day”. The favorite activities for men on Men’s Day are drinking and fist fighting.

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This entry was posted on September 21, 2008 by in Parenting Tips and tagged , , , , , , , .

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