We talked about not knowing why she slapped him. Perhaps he did something inappropriate. After all, it is not in A's nature to just slap someone for no reason. We talked about how if a boy touches you in a way that violates your privacy, you have a right to defend yourself.
"For instance Riley, if a boy ever came by and touched or pinched your bottom, you would be entitled to slap him," I said. "You have every right to defend yourself."
She began to sob. The thought of slapping anyone for any reason was beyond her comprehension. We talked about how it's possible to not like something someone does,( like A hitting the boy), but still like that person.
She was a wreck. It is all so confusing to her. She didn't want to go to school this morning because of it.
It's confusing for me too. If I teach her it is okay for A to hit, to defend herself, will she interpret it as, it is okay to be hit? After all, we can dislike something someone does, but still like the person. How do I teach her to stick up for herself? The great spiritual teachers, like Jesus and Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. would not have taught anyone to hit back. It doesn't resonate with Riley either.
I haven't yet mentioned to her that Mommy was a multiple graduate of DC IMPACT and a teaching assistant for the same program and is trained to incapacitate and knock out would be assailants with various a kicks to the head. Wonder how that'd go over?
But wait. Maybe it would. Maybe I could explain how having had this training has actually made me more peaceful. How knowing I can protect myself, allows me to carry myself differently, making it less likely to become a victim in the first place. When you are truly confident, you don't need to stick around to prove a point, potentially getting yourself in harm's way.
Or even, even, how you can't hurt someone without ultimately harming yourself. So by stopping someone from hurting you, you are actually protecting them from their own further violence which will only boomerang back to them. If you are hyper empathetic like Riley, it could be, I care about you, so I'm going to stop you from hitting me, hurting me etc.
My wish and prayer is to teach my girl to value herself, and care about herself as much as she values and cares about others.
If only the rules were as black and white as she is.