© 2012 niall. All rights reserved.

should I teach my child how to fight? – The Washington Post

Is it a father’s job to teach his kid to fight? – The Washington Post.

This is a cool article from the Washington Post by Joel Stein. And it asks an important question: should I teach my child how to fight?

As parents we want to protect our children. From harm. From bad things. From the world. Some children – like Joel’s perhaps, and like Joel himself certainly – are not interested in learning how to fight.

Joel Stein believes kindness and gentleness are better than fighting. But anyway he’ll let his son try a mixed martial arts class.

Being a dad is knowing when your kid will be receptive to certain lessons. But that’s not it. I’m the one who is never going to be ready. Even when he’s 20, I’ll be trying to distract him from the violence of the world. I’ll be proud of his kindness, his gentleness, his ability to extract revenge by firing off pointed satire on Twitter.

So what is the answer? Should you? Should you teach your child how to fight? Or should you teach your child how not to fight.


nice photo: Aikido by Tonya Staab



  1. niall

    Thanks for telling us about your experience as a parent Carina. I spoke to someone just today who gave up karate after 9 years very like your children.

    • I wanted to comment direct in The Washington Post, but couldn’t register, because from your reply I don’t think that I made myself clear, my comment is not about registering and leaving of children in martial arts. What I wanted to say is too important to just leaving it, it concerns children. So I place my comment for the Washington Post for Noel Stein here:I read your article in the following blog http://mooninthewater.net/aikido and commented about my experience as a parent, but I’m not sure if I made clear what the important point is. The main point is to educate our children the way that they will become independent, mature, self respecting and respectful adults who will know how to face any conflictive or dangerous situation.

  2. With my last phrase “And I think that that is what you should teach your son.” I mean Joel, that is what he should teach his son.

  3. Hi Niall, you are right a very interesting article, the fighting nature of his father has made Joel to hate to fight.
    There is no handbook of how to be a parent. We had no experience, but life lead us to put our kids in karate being 4/5 years old, because the dojo was near home, so that our kids could go there by themselves and later we also put them to compete in swimming, so they were occupied in the afternoon after school, because both of us had to work. And I think the worst of a kid is to feel lonely, abandoned by his parents. In the classes of our children at school were conflictive kids, who knew that if teachers would call their parents they never would come, this conflictive kids were looking for the attention of their parents perhaps. I don’t know if we were just lucky, but our children never had to fight, even my older son had a teacher who was afraid of some students, when he was 14/15.
    You know my three children left karate after 10 years, but they know how to be respected by others, because they are independent, responsible and respect themselves. And I think that that is what you should teach your son.

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