What the rules for fighting back against a bully? On 11D, Laura tries to teach her son how to fight fairly.
Jonah got punched in the eye by Dickie McDick last week on the school bus. After he stopped crying, I told him that if Dickie did it again to punch him back. Jonah’s eyes grew wide, and he was silent for a minute or two processing this very large bit of information. After a few minutes, he got a big smile on his face. Then he asked if was allowed to punch a kid who did something to him a couple of weeks ago. No, I said. The punch must happen immediately after the other kid hits you. Then we went through all the other rules of engagement. You can’t throw the first punch. You have to respond with equal force. For example, if the kid kicks you in the shin, you can’t break his nose. You can’t go around threatening to hit people.
Several 11D commenters thought Laura was presenting a metaphor on international relations. No, she was talking about how to raise a kid who’s neither a bully nor a victim.