My son Dylan recently began exhibiting a most curious behavior. He puts his guard up. Literally.
If his little sister takes his toy, he calmly puts both fists up in front of his face for a moment. If he’s really irked, he’ll shadow box for awhile without making contact with his offender with his fists. Then he’ll stop and resume playing or air his grievance to the offender.
When I first observed it, this new behavior startled me. Does my child want to punch other people? What have I done wrong as a parent to cause this aggressive behavior?
Sure, my husband works out at the boxing gym three nights a week and practices in the basement with our boxing equipment…but why the five-year-old fisticuffs stance?
I have much to learn from Young Master Dylan.
I put my guard up, too. Just not quite so literally as my five-year-old. Harsh words and insensitive interactions have the same power as a well-landed jab to the solar plexus to take me straight to the ground and make my world spin.
Lesson from Dylan?
Keep your elbows in and your fists up when you need to.
Don’t hurt people, but be assertive.