When my sister was in nursery school, she used to come home with scratches on her arms from where a bully in her class had scratched her. Once she complained to our Mama. Mama got mad.
She asked, “Is X in your class?”
Sis replied, “Yes”
“Is he bigger than you?
She asked her, “So why didn’t you scratch him back? Next time you go to school and X scratches you again, and you don’t scratch him back with all you’ve got, I will punish you!”
My sister was petrified. Next day rolls around. Lo and behold, X scratches her. She was scared. Scared of X and scared that if she didn’t scratch back Mama would spank her. She hesitated. Which did she fear more, Mama or X? No brainer.
With that she pounced on X scratched his face, his arms, his legs. He wasn’t stronger after all! He ran away crying and never scratched her again. Mama gave her a treat when she came back home!
I recently asked her about it and she said it was because she can’t fight all her children’s battles for them. It was a valuable lesson to teach them to fight back. Maybe one day I will see her point of view. Or maybe not.