I was struck by something I saw on television this morning…
I was watching Good Morning America and saw a report about a video showing two girls in a fistfight. What’s the big deal?
First, one of the girl’s mothers was in the crowd of people watching the fight happen. That’s right – one of the girl’s MOTHERS. Being a mother myself, I can’t imagine being gathered with a crowd of people, standing on the sidelines while my daughter is punching, scratching, and pulling the hair of another girl and having the same thing done to her. That is unfathomable to me. The mother is being charged with child endangerment and rightfully so. The girl’s mother should be there to protect her physically and emotionally, help her make a decision in right and wrong, and possibly stop the fight even before it started. The girls themselves and all of the other teenagers in the crowd have been sent a poor message from this mother.
Secondly, Robin Roberts interviewed Terry Real, who is a family therapist to get his opinion on this matter. He had quite a bit to say about this topic but what struck me was this comment: he said in so many words that if it was a father was there with his son encouraging him to stand up to a bully, the father wouldn’t be facing charges and it would be a totally different story.
In this day and age in a modern society in the United States, how does a person’s gender excuse one from the responsibility in harming another individual physically? That statement perplexed me and made me wonder about this: IS it OK for boys to fight and not girls?
In my personal opinion, the answer is no. Especially when a parent is present and supervising a physical altercation between two young people. If a father was in the crowd of people watching two boys fight, that man should be in just as much trouble as the mother in this situation should be.
So, there is another question to ask.
What if it was a mother watching her son fight, or a father watching his daughter fight? Is either excusable?
My answer, as a parent, as a citizen, as a member of my community, as a daughter, is absolutely “No!!!” on all accounts. Never should a child (teenagers are still children) be supported or encouraged by their parents to physically harm another person.
So parents, think about it. What is your say?
Good Morning America on ABC, September 24, 2010