One of my sons was getting into trouble pretty regularly for fighting at school and daycare (he was about 8 at the time). It was nearly impossible to get information out of him about why he was doing it, but the teachers were saying a lot of it was over-the-top retaliation for small things (kid bumps into him too hard while playing basketball, he beats kid up, etc.) We had all the talks about how bad bullying is and how much trouble he can get in. There were many suspensions, many groundings, many video game restrictions, but nothing seemed to work.
So, one day I get another phone call from another teacher, saying that he beat up another kid. When we got home, I asked him if he thought he was tough. I got the standard shoulder shrug and “I dunno” answer. The next day, I sent him to school in a bright pink shirt with a great big sequin butterfly on the front of it. I actually had him put on some of his sister’s tiny, spandex shorts as well, but after seeing him in it, I decided that was too far and let him wear jeans. Everyone made fun of him that day (starting from the moment I dropped him off), and he got to feel what it was like to be picked on all day at school.
It was a hail Mary pass that could have gone really badly but. Surprisingly, it ended well. There have been no more issues with his fighting. He has been a good boy and even helps around the house. When I asked his teachers. . . They say there’s been a positive change. . . Now he gets along well with everyone.
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