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Monday, December 3, 2007

He Keeps Hitting Me


by Tracee Sioux

Mom, Austin kept hitting me and throwing the ball at me today. He pulled my hair and called me stupid a bunch of times!

Hmmm. Sounds like he likes you.

What? He's being so mean to me!

I know. That's what boys do when they like you.

Really?

Really.

Isn't he the one you have a crush on?

Yes.

So, then. I guess he likes you back.

Oh.

10 comments:

Violet said...

Sorry, but this sort of rubbed me the wrong way. I don't like the stereotype that it's cute when boys hit and pull your hair because they "like you." What an messed up message!

Frankly, I'd be calling the teacher if any boy was putting his hands on my daughter like that. It gives both little girls and boys the wrong message to accept it. Or at what age do you think it is no longer okay for them to smack us around?

Tracee said...

It's not really a school situation. So in this instance, I would be the authority figure.

I hadn't thought of it as any sort of domestic violence issue. Only a "boys are kind of lame about their feelings" issue.

I'll have to give your perspective some thought.

Rebecca said...

I totally had the same reaction as Violet! I mean, exactly the same.

No sense in repeating her whole comment, I figure. :)

Tracee said...

That's interesting.

I can see your point. Theoretically, you're totally right.

But, when I apply it to this situation the aggression seems like naturally-occuring play between children who are already very close. What I mean is that it's not out-of-the-ordinary for one of the kids to play too rough. The only thing added to it is Ainsley's affection for one of the players. And the suspicion that he feels the same.

I would hate to make a huge deal out of nothing and draw attention to it that might embarass or humiliate her or the boy. It really is very innocent and normal behavior I think. I'm afraid if I take stance against "domestic violence" in this situation it will be a complete overreaction and will have a very negative outcome. For one thing, his parents would freak out and never let him play with her again.

Anonymous said...

"He keeps hitting me, but I know it's because he loves me!"

"I would hate to make a huge deal out of nothing."

"I wouldn't want to embarrass or humiliate him or me."

"His parents would never let him see me again if I come forward."

Exact same things teen DV victims say. This is where it starts.

Tracee said...

Well, I could be wrong about this. I was a teen domestic violence victim and maybe this is why.

Maybe this is my first warning sign that seems innocuous to me because I'm so familiar with it that it feels like a "normal" interaction between children.

What course would you advise?

blue said...

I didn't have the same reaction as the others to this. I think we have to be careful interpreting childrens' behaviour with the same meaning as adults' behaviour.

Anonymous said...

Do I think he was hitting her and pulling her hair because he wants to abuse her? No. But boys need to get the message early on that being aggressive toward women isn't okay, and that they have to find other ways to deal with their feelings.

I don't think you have to kick him off the team or anything. Make a rule about no "rough play" and correct when you see it happening. As in, "Hey Austin, no hair pulling, sit out for five."

Violet said...

I wasn't there, so maybe it was more playful than it sounded. But studies show that aggressive boys turn into aggressive teens.

It might be my own upbringing talking. We were not allowed to put our hands on anyone, and in particular (and I know this is sexist) my brothers were told, you don't hit girls ever. Of course, the punishment for hitting was a spanking, so go figure.

Tracee said...

My siblings and I beat the crap out of each other. Boys and girls -free for all.

So perhaps that's why playful aggression seems more "normal" to me.

Monday, December 3, 2007

He Keeps Hitting Me


by Tracee Sioux

Mom, Austin kept hitting me and throwing the ball at me today. He pulled my hair and called me stupid a bunch of times!

Hmmm. Sounds like he likes you.

What? He's being so mean to me!

I know. That's what boys do when they like you.

Really?

Really.

Isn't he the one you have a crush on?

Yes.

So, then. I guess he likes you back.

Oh.

10 comments:

Violet said...

Sorry, but this sort of rubbed me the wrong way. I don't like the stereotype that it's cute when boys hit and pull your hair because they "like you." What an messed up message!

Frankly, I'd be calling the teacher if any boy was putting his hands on my daughter like that. It gives both little girls and boys the wrong message to accept it. Or at what age do you think it is no longer okay for them to smack us around?

Tracee said...

It's not really a school situation. So in this instance, I would be the authority figure.

I hadn't thought of it as any sort of domestic violence issue. Only a "boys are kind of lame about their feelings" issue.

I'll have to give your perspective some thought.

Rebecca said...

I totally had the same reaction as Violet! I mean, exactly the same.

No sense in repeating her whole comment, I figure. :)

Tracee said...

That's interesting.

I can see your point. Theoretically, you're totally right.

But, when I apply it to this situation the aggression seems like naturally-occuring play between children who are already very close. What I mean is that it's not out-of-the-ordinary for one of the kids to play too rough. The only thing added to it is Ainsley's affection for one of the players. And the suspicion that he feels the same.

I would hate to make a huge deal out of nothing and draw attention to it that might embarass or humiliate her or the boy. It really is very innocent and normal behavior I think. I'm afraid if I take stance against "domestic violence" in this situation it will be a complete overreaction and will have a very negative outcome. For one thing, his parents would freak out and never let him play with her again.

Anonymous said...

"He keeps hitting me, but I know it's because he loves me!"

"I would hate to make a huge deal out of nothing."

"I wouldn't want to embarrass or humiliate him or me."

"His parents would never let him see me again if I come forward."

Exact same things teen DV victims say. This is where it starts.

Tracee said...

Well, I could be wrong about this. I was a teen domestic violence victim and maybe this is why.

Maybe this is my first warning sign that seems innocuous to me because I'm so familiar with it that it feels like a "normal" interaction between children.

What course would you advise?

blue said...

I didn't have the same reaction as the others to this. I think we have to be careful interpreting childrens' behaviour with the same meaning as adults' behaviour.

Anonymous said...

Do I think he was hitting her and pulling her hair because he wants to abuse her? No. But boys need to get the message early on that being aggressive toward women isn't okay, and that they have to find other ways to deal with their feelings.

I don't think you have to kick him off the team or anything. Make a rule about no "rough play" and correct when you see it happening. As in, "Hey Austin, no hair pulling, sit out for five."

Violet said...

I wasn't there, so maybe it was more playful than it sounded. But studies show that aggressive boys turn into aggressive teens.

It might be my own upbringing talking. We were not allowed to put our hands on anyone, and in particular (and I know this is sexist) my brothers were told, you don't hit girls ever. Of course, the punishment for hitting was a spanking, so go figure.

Tracee said...

My siblings and I beat the crap out of each other. Boys and girls -free for all.

So perhaps that's why playful aggression seems more "normal" to me.