This is a story about a scrappy little friend of mine named Joe, one of 7, soon to be 8 little Dutch Kids just through the block
Among my many toys for teaching delayed gratification is two sets of boxing gloves and 2 bright red protective head gears. Joseph liked the idea of beating his cousins one by one in the squared circle…and he shouted to be first in the ring.
Joe’s first opponent was Tanner, a scrappy little neighbor from across the street who held his own…and the slugfest went a couple of rounds.
“DON’T HIT HIM IN THE FACE!”, his mother shouted at her tough little kid—still standing and smacking his scrappy little friend.
It’s hard to explain to a mom—---the boxing gloves and the face mask keeps the blood well inside the nose of one’s opponent…but the fight did seem to go on and on.
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After five rounds both kids were breathing pretty hard, so we took a break and I changed Joe’s boxing buddy… His older brother, James who out weighs his little brother and has much longer arms.
All bullies crumple when opposed by superior force and it wasn’t even close….the otherwise mild-mannered James just stuck out his arm against Joe’s head gear and kept the frantically swinging Joseph at arms lengths shouting to me:
“ Brother Howe…make him fight…IT’S NOT FAIR!” (Fairness always favor’s the young complainer’s point of view.) After a few minutes of being out maneuvered by a chuckling older brother, Joe threw off the gloves and stalked off to his room in the basement (IT WAS A FEW MINUTES) before a sheepish Joe returned to the fun and nobody seemed to notice.
Kids like Joe count on the attention that sulking and fighting attract. The good news is it doesn’t take Joe long to jump back in (IT’S ALL PART OF GROWING UP IN A BIG FAMILY)