The Samurai Mother


When it comes to schools of Eastern Philosophy I realise I am less Gandhi and more Samurai.

As much as we would love to live in a Marxist idyll, we don’t. We are an aggressive species, more hunter than hunted. Life is not about fairness. Life is about survival.

As my father-in-law once said to me, “Withhold food and water from people for 48 hours and watch how thin the veneer of humanity really is”.

He should know, having survived four years in Dachau.

Just like any animal, we prey on the weak and nowhere is this more prevalent than on the playground. As a parent, I believe in making sure that my children have the moral strength to not start a fight, but are equipped the skills to end one.

As much as teachers would like kids to come running to them every time they get bullied, kids aren’t stupid. They know it just gets worse. In life there really is only person you can count on to fight your battles and it is yourself.

My first year law lecture started like this, “”There is right and wrong, justice and the law, and they are not the same.”

My son has been a victim of bullying. His quiet nature and gentle approach seems to be a red flag. They mistake his quietness for weakness, when in reality he is anything but.

Yesterday, for the first time ever, he stood up for himself. He got in trouble and that’s right. But that child won’t make the mistake of bullying him again.

It was wrong of my child to punch another, but after enduring months of verbal taunting and physical abuse, it was just.

He knows he has to accept the punishment for breaking the rules, but he also knows that sometimes you have to have the strength to stand up for yourself.

Maybe we can have a week where his face doesn’t crumple when he gets in the car and I know how long he’s been holding in the tears because he’s been struck or called an idiot or stupid by another pupil or a teacher.

I believe in discipline and I believe that you have the right to make a stand against abuse of any kind and you have the right to act to protect yourself.

To quote my son’s Sensei, “You may not use the skills I teach you to hurt or harm another, but you may use them wisely to protect yourself.”

I am not a doormat and I won’t raise my children to be either. You get three chances, third strike and I strike back.

I believe that children need discipline and that bad behaviour and a lax approach to bullying cannot be cuddled away or brushed under the carpet as a result of a broken home, a bad childhood or some other tenuous excuse.

I won’t fight my children’s battle for them, but I will damn sure they can win them. And have the strength to take the discipline that will result.



17 thoughts on “The Samurai Mother

    • Not bad for a Monday! You? Myhusband woke up feeling poorly and I was very sympathetic until he said, “I don;t have the flu, I am dying of pneumonia”. Then my sympathy quotient shrivelled up and died. He has bronchitis. I left him at home and went to work. Much less stressfull.

      • OH! yes very wise, nothing worse than an unwell man! Enough to try the patience of a saint!
        My husband has been mending a neighbour’s bird house most of the afternoon, after walking two guide dogs for a blind friend of ours ( he takes the girls , one retired one working, for their recreation) I have been busy all day too but I do not need praise like he does!!! … Men we have to love them….why??

      • Apparently studies somewhere show that men need to feel needed and appreciated. This means that when men do stuff they should be doing anyway we have to go, “Wow! You put the loo seat down. You are so manly and strong.” When a woman cooks dinner just eating it is apparently enough for us as a show of gratitude. I disagree with assessment. I want praise too everytime I do laundry, take the kids to school, fetch them, feed them and do long division.

      • yes, every night we have sat up and nursed a sick child and then put in a full days work only to sit up again….. hey sorry I am getting too heavy here lets face it we are the stronger sex!!

      • Absolutely. When I feel irritated about it I watch that video of men experiencing an hour’s worth of labour adn remind myself I got through a lot longer than that 3 times.

  1. I think that is a brilliant post. I agree completely, I am the mother of three boys. They are all grown up and left home now but I know how hard raising them to cope with school and their peers can be.
    I know the pain of coping with a bullied child and I know the pain of being one too. Great post. X

  2. Was there for too long, with 1st daughter being bullied: by a child & a teacher… me being bullied by a ‘Parent’, and showing my daughter how I STOOD/stand up for MYSELF, has shown her how to do it herself. But, I’ll be damned if it happens TWICE: my second gets these lil kids in McDonalds that run away from her consistently and she wonders what SHES doing wrong–I am a hands on mom and I KINDLY offer the running kids a turn to be ‘ran away’ from and the game stage changes: not fun to be run away from all of a sudden LOVE IT! It’s the parental UN-involvement that drives me! And, we ALL 3(me n my girls) come from a ‘broken homes’ theres just no excuse for bullying right!?! Thank you for the follow much appreciated! JayNine 😉

    • You are so right, you can’t always turn the other cheek. There is no excuse for bullying ever. Bullying is actualy such a stupid term, as an adult we’d call it, harrassment or psychological and physical abuse.

      • Thank You! Exactly! Well put description. Abuse! I tell my children all the time, don’t let yourself be abused–and we don’t want to be raising ‘victims’ they won’t go anywhere but sit feeling sorry for themselves for the rest of their lives. Doesn’t work–no playing the victim. Look forward to many more great posts of yours, thanks for the share!

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